TV Review | Netflix’s Black Knight
“Black Knight is a dark and serious post-apocalyptic series with a tremendous work done on the VFX to bring this world to life. It is a thrilling and action-packed ride with a lot of surprises.”
Black Knight is a new post-apocalyptic Korean drama series. It consists of 6 episodes of around 50 minutes each. This series is based on the award-winning webtoon Delivery Knight by Lee Yoon-gyun. I had the pleasure to watch all the episodes last week, the series is now streaming on Netflix.
Black Knight is set in 2071 after air pollution has turned the Korean peninsula into a wasteland and wiped out the majority of the population. The ones who are left have to wear respirator masks when they are outside. Society is divided in different districts and the general district has to rely on the Knights. They are delivery drivers providing them with supplies and fresh oxygen to stay alive. The series takes the time it needs to introduce this new world order. There are intricate layers that makes it so interesting.
This series follows the legendary Knight ‘5-8’ (played by Kim Woo-bin). One day, he meets Sa-Wol (played by Kang Yoo-seok), a boy who wishes to become like him. This encounter is going to change the course of Sa-Wol’s life. Because of its settings, this is a dark and serious story. It goes to unexpected places with some great plot twists. This is actually a massive story that sends the audience on an epic journey. It knows how to keep us on the edge of our seats. Indeed, it is a thrilling and action-packed ride. But, it is a deeply moving story too. And in the middle of all this, the series also knows how to have fun. Despite being set in the future, Black Knight reflects on our current society in a smart way. Its topics are timely.
Moreover, Kim Woo-bin as ‘5-8’ leads a brilliant cast. He has an imposing presence. When he is on screen, you know that things are about to get serious. And yet, he sometimes has this little smirk that lightens the mood. Esom is also great, delivering a stoical performance as Seol-ah, a military officer. Song Seung-heon as Ryu Seok, the CEO of the Cheonmyeong Group, is delightfully evil. He always displays disdain for others and has a superior attitude. It is the kind of villains you love to hate. And to counter balance these characters, there is the co-lead Kang Yoo-seok as Sa-wol. He brings a more light-hearted performance bringing the fun. But he can also get quite emotional when needed. Kang Yoo-seok and Kim Woo-bin have a good on-screen dynamic, one that feels like friendship but also mentor-apprentice.
Furthermore, the team behind the series has created an impressive post-apocalyptic version of Korea. In fact, Studio Westworld spent over ten months during post-production to create this world. This desertic version of Korea really feels dangerous and difficult to live in, hence the use of the masks. But at the same time, you have below the ground the districts for the rich people which actually look safe and beautiful. There is a contrast between these two worlds.
On top of that, the costumes are quite simple but fitting for the series. There are the usual military outfits, classic suits. And the refugees have normal clothes but with dust on them and damage on them showing the difficult live they have above the surface.
Finally, Primary composed the score. It is an energetic score that relies on pop and electro. I think it is quite fitting for a post-apocalyptic series. Primary’s work is at its best during montage sequences or action scenes. The series also uses two songs during a particular explosive action sequence. These songs add even more to the epicness of the scene.
Black Knight is a dark and serious post-apocalyptic series with a tremendous work done on the VFX to bring this world to life. It is a thrilling and action-packed ride with a lot of surprises. Kim Woo-bin leads a brilliant cast with Kang Yoo-seok who brings a bit of fun to lighten the mood. This is undoubtedly one of the best series of 2023 so far.
Black Knight is now streaming on Netflix.
Collectables Editor at Future Of The Force.
Star Wars and Marvel specialist, anime expert