THE HEAD is a new HBO Max thriller series with a very international cast. The language spoken is mostly English though, so don’t worry about subtitles. We’re on an Antarctic Research Station where a killer seems to be among the small team. Read our full The Head series review here!

THE HEAD is a new HBO Max thriller series with a plot featuring a serial killer and a big mystery. All will be answered by the end of the six episodes in this limited series. The story plays out in an Antarctic Research Station with just a few scenes from warmer climates in flashbacks.

Basically, it’s perfect for watching now during the winter. Well, here in the Northern hemisphere, anyway.

Continue reading our The Head series review below. We’ve watched all six episodes before writing this review.

Winter in the Antarctic

During episode 1 of The Head, you’ll meet the 10 people that make up the small team (and their families) at the Research Station located in the South Pole. They’re called the “Winterers” and consist of scientists, a doctor, a cook, and a handyman of sorts. All of them are there working on something that just might save the entire world from the dangers of climate change.

The Winterers will be cut off from the rest of the world (and the sun) for the duration of winter. Perfect for the one person among them, who turns out to be there with the purpose of killing everyone else. Of course, it isn’t as simple as the above might sound. This is after all a thriller series with a mystery at the heart of its plot.

And if you get somewhat of a The Thing vibe early on, then it’s for good reason. If you don’t then The Head series will make sure that you do. The 10 people in the Winter crew spend their first night alone watching John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982). Apparently, this is a tradition so the “old-timers” are having fun while the newcomers find it a bit more gruesome.

Before we get to the killing, there’s a time jump which is when the rest of the much bigger crew arrive with Spring and sunshine. Then we get to experience the events as told in flashbacks by those few people still alive.

The Head Review – HBO Max Series

The international cast on Polaris VI

This is a series with a very international cast with Danish Alexandre Willaume (Netflix series Equinox) in one of the key roles as the head of the Research Station. However, he is not one of the Winterers, but his wife, Annika, portrayed by Laura Bach (Sky series Gangs of London) did stay back for the winter stretch.

Another key character is portrayed by John Lynch who was brilliant in The Fall, playing across from Gillian Anderson as her captain. There’s also a familiar German face which fans of The Strain series should recognize immediately. His name is Richard Sammel and while he was strong in The Strain, he comes across as very weak in The Head. A stellar performance, really.

Also, I should mention Álvaro Morte as the cook, Ramón. You might recognize him from the Netflix series Money Heist or the movie Mirage. Japanese actor, Tomohisa Yamashita, plays the role of Aki, who ends up being very important as well. Okay, all ten people on the Winter team end up playing important roles in the plot.

Still, Katharine O’Donnelly does play the most crucial part as the doctor, Maggie Mitchell. She managed to survive the Winter which is why she tells the story of what happened during those long, dark, winter months. Also, I have to mention the badass character Heather, portrayed by Danish-American Amelia Hoy (or Høy) who you may have seen in The Rain on Netflix.

Watch The Head limited-series on HBO Max

The Head series was created by David Pastor, Àlex Pastor, and David Troncoso. David and Álex Pastor previously wrote and directed the movie Carriers from 2009, which is definitely worth checking out. Especially during a pandemic – just to remind us all that it could be even worse. Also, Álex and David Pastor wrote and directed the Netflix thriller The Occupant.

You might like: Out review of the Netflix movie The Occupant here >

They also wrote the script for the sci-fi thriller Self/less from 2015 which starred Ryan Reynolds. In terms of series, they’ve also created the sci-fi crime series Incorporated (2016-2017). Basically, they tend to deliver on both characters and plot, so this latest project is a pretty safe bet as well.

Also, if you’re worried about subtitles, then don’t be. Since the Antarctic Research Station is an international workplace, English is the spoken language among the crew. Though some dialogue in Danish and Swedish do occur as well. If you like mysteries where you should be able to guess a few things along the way, then be sure to check out The Head on HBO Max.

The Head premieres on HBO Max on February 4, 2021.


Creators: David Pastor, Àlex Pastor, David Troncoso
Director: Jorge Dorado
Stars: Alexandre Willaume, Laura Bach, John Lynch, Katharine O’Donnelly, Chris Reilly, Richard Sammel, Tomohisa Yamashita, Tom Lawrence, Sandra Andreis, Amelia Hoy, Álvaro Morte, Hannes Fohlin, Andreas Rothlin Svensson, Mónica López


THE HEAD is a six-episode survival thriller set in an isolated and inaccessible Antarctic research station in which winter has fallen on the South Pole, and the sun will soon disappear for the next six months. A small team, known as the Winterers, will remain at the Polaris VI Antarctic Research Station to continue their innovative research, a crucial part in the fight against climate change, under the command of renowned biologist Arthur Wilde (John Lynch).

But when spring comes, summer commander Johan Berg (Alexander Willaume) returns to the station only to find the entire team are either dead or missing. A killer is on the loose, and Annika (Laura Bach), Johan’s wife, is missing. If he wants to find her alive, he will have to trust Maggie (Katharine O’Donnelly), the young doctor who is profoundly shaken and apparently the sole survivor from the group… or, is there someone else?

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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