Métal Hurlant Chronicles is an English-language Franco-Belgian television science fiction anthology series based on the popular comics anthology magazine Métal Hurlant, known in theUnited States as Heavy Metal. All the episodes are a self-contained story taking place on a different planet with a different cast, linked together only by the idea that a meteorite, the "Métal Hurlant", passes the planet in question during the events of the story. The show′s premise originated with Guillaume Lubrano, who put together a self-financed pilot to pitch the show, which was broadcast as the series' third episode.
Lubrano and Justine Veillot produce the show trough their company WE Productions. It was largely filmed in Bucarest, Romania. The series premiered on French television on October 27, 2012 on France 4. Broadcast rights for various European countries such as Germany, Austria, Luxembourg were bought by Sony Pictures Television.
As an anthology series, each episode is a self-contained science-fiction story taking place in a different world, with different characters played by a different cast and adapted from a story previously published in the Métal Hurlant magazine. However the show also proposes that all the stories are linked together by a meteorite, called the "Métal Hurlant", which is passing close to the planet where the episode's story is taking place. The opening credits, narrated in French by voice actor Benoît Allemane, inform that the "Métal Hurlant" (screaming metal) is the last fragment of what was once a living planet, lead to destruction by the madness of its inhabitants and condemned to travel ceaselessly through space and time, screaming its sadness and despair.
A number of notable British, French, American and Dutch actors have participated in the various episodes, including Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White, James Marsters, Michelle Ryan,David Belle, Dominique Pinon, Kelly Brook, Joe Flanigan and Rutger Hauer among others.
Broadcast, Reception & Future:
After being initially expected for early 2012, all six episodes of season one were broadcast on France 4 in a late night time slot over the course of two nights in either default dubbed French or optional subtitled original English audio tracks, between October 27 and November 3 of the same year. Nolife is expected to rebroadcast the series in France sometime in 2013.
Sony Pictures Television has bought the broadcast rights for several European countries, however no plans have been revealed to date.
Broadcast on October 27, 2012 after 3 episodes of Doctor Who that gathered a 1.4% share on the night, Métal Hurlant succeeded in raising the global share for channel France 4, bringing it to a tie with and W9 and beating out Gulli, NT1 & D8. The premiere episode attracted 347,000 viewers, garnering a 2.2% share at 11 PM, but lost about 100,000 viewers for the next two episodes broadcast on the same night. Overall the night held 2.4% of 15 to 34 year olds and 3.5% of men aged 15 to 49.
When it debuted on SyFy in 2014, its viewership was slightly below normal for a pilot in its time slot, and then steadily declined. Its critical reception has been tepid, from the start. Generally, the series is described as having decent visual effects, but being poorly written and produced, with inconsistent acting.