Polar crime without Norwegians? Not now!
Spanish-Japanese thriller in six parts
Viaplay premieres on Sunday, December 6th
Manus: David Pastor, David Troncozo, Паlex Pastor, Isaac Sastr
Reggie: Jorge Dorado
Honey: Johnon Lynch, Alexandre Willom, Catherine O’Donnell, Tomohisa Yamashita, Laura Bach, Richard Samuel
When Johann (Willaum) returned to Antarctica to meet again with the international crew at the Polaris VI research station after spending six months without daylight in the ice, many terrible things happened.
Several are dead. Some have disappeared – one of them is Johann’s better half, Anika (Bach). Young doctor Maggie (O’Donald) hides in a closet with a knife in her hand, full of post-traumatic stress. Satellite communication with the station broke down three weeks ago. But no one doubted that had happened like that wrong
The team was at the South Pole to investigate an insect (!) That could change the climate crisis (nothing less). The band’s self-appointed superstar, Arthur (Lynch), also appears at the end – as much as a whole. He is strongly unwelcome within the group. He then also behaves more like a morally convicted taxi driver in Alicante than a potential Nobel laureate.
Many are dead, yes – and Johann is appointed as the god who will clarify what happened. Oddly enough, completely without outside help, even after the communication system is turned on and running. In this he is especially eager, especially because he has hope that Anika is still alive.
The next is six episodes of à la Agatha Christie’s “indoor mystery”, where suspicions are directed against one person at one point and another at the next.
They were a colorful bunch, this team. (Here we can bitterly point out that there are no Norwegians at the station, only portraits of Nansen and Amundsen on the walls). Doctors, kitchen staff, technicians and electricians – apparently all were people who had run away from something at home.
Some had secret love affairs. Others have unhealthy interests. One of them is suspected for some time of being behind what happened – whatever it is – because on the bookshelf in the cabin is “Beyond Good and Evil” (1886) by Friedrich Nietzsche:
“But what faen! Exclaims Johan, as if what he did was irrefutable proof of his guilt.
The setting for “Head” is not unequal. Just like with a spaceship, there is a lot of potential claustrophobia that can be found in an isolated Antarctic station (here the series is not so different from the previous Viaplay series, Rig 45). Director Dorado initially hums to Caron Carpenter’s immortal “Something from Another World” (1982), as if to suggest how exciting this could be.
But it will not be. Instead, there will be a lot of fuss with lanterns in the hallways and out of the ice, huge amounts of weaker dialogue, in this exhibition and extremely dubious “science” and many substandard performances by anonymous actors.
These come from all continents – but not, as we mentioned, from Norway – and have very different styles. The Japanese Yamashita seems to be involved only because he is clearly a kind of teenage idol in his home country.
The sets look cheap, the pictures are dark, and the references to pop culture are dated (“Sports Spice”?). The only scene that hurts is the one in which Maggie has to operate a bullet from her own stomach, more or less on her own. But that is not because it is exciting. That’s because it’s nasty. (The operation was obviously successful, a few minutes later she was placed and jumped and caught a scarecrow in the underground passages).
I finally saw “The Head”, mostly because I was looking for an explanation why the series is called “The Head”. I have not received a satisfactory answer lately, but at least I can report that the series has a dispute at the end, which is not the worst I have seen, but it is also hidden in a clown.
In general, I would argue that investing six hours of life in a middle dispute is a criminal waste of time. And that the “Nordic” streaming service Viaplay continues to adhere to the standard they set for their crime and uncertainty series.
The problem is that this standard is too low.
The reviewer saw the whole series
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