Love, Death & Robots
Love, Death & Robots (stylized as LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS) is an American adult animated anthology web television series on Netflix. The 18-episode first season was released on March 15, 2019. The series is produced by Joshua Donen, David Fincher, Jennifer Miller, and Tim Miller. Each episode was animated by different crews from a range of countries. The series is a re-imagining of Fincher and Miller's long in-development reboot of the 1981 animated sci-fi film Heavy Metal.
|Love, Death & Robots|
|Created by||Tim Miller|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||18 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||6–17 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Blur Studio|
|Original release||March 15, 2019 –|
The animated series consists of 18 stand-alone episodes, all under 20 minutes long, and all produced by different casts and crews. The series title refers to each episode's thematic connection to love, death, and robots.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Adapted script by||Based on a story by||Animation producer(s)||Original release date ||Duration|
|1||"Sonnie's Edge"||Dave Wilson||Philip Gelatt||Peter F. Hamilton||Blur Studio||March 15, 2019||17 minutes|
In dystopian London, a young woman named Sonnie with teammates Wes and Ivrina participate in underground "Beastie" fights: Remotely controlled bio-engineered gladiator beast battles. Ringmaster Dicko attempts to bribe Sonnie to throw the match, but she declines. Her team explains that Sonnie was sexually assaulted in the past, and her desire for revenge becomes her "edge". Sonnie enters the arena, piloting her beast, Khanivore, to fight the opponent, Turboraptor. After a brutal match, Khanivore wins. Dicko's mistress visits Sonnie to seduce her, before severely injuring Sonnie. Dicko appears, stating he isn't happy with Sonnie's rejection. Laughing, Sonnie reveals that her body is only a bioware processor spliced to a spine, revealing that her consciousness was always inside Khanivore, and that the fear of death in combat is her real edge. She kills the mistress, then grabs Dicko as the screen goes dark.
Starring: Helen Sadler, Hayley McLaughlin, Time Winters, Omid Abtahi, Christine Adams, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Braden Lynch
|2||"Three Robots"||Victor Maldonado & Alfredo Torres||Philip Gelatt||John Scalzi||Blow Studio||March 15, 2019||12 minutes|
Long after the fall of humanity, three robots (K-VRC, XBOT 4000, and a triangular bot) wander through a post-apocalyptic city, trying to understand how humans lived based on their limited knowledge of them and the things they left behind. They learn the concept of human sports, consumption, and eventually pets when they encounter a live cat, which proceeds to follow them. The three robots learn about their origins and later arrive at what appears to be a nuclear missile base, where the triangular bot explains that humans died out from environmental disasters caused by their own actions. K-VRC states that at one point, humans genetically engineered their cats, which the cat approves, showing its speech ability and suggesting that cats contributed to mankind's extinction. The cat demands petting while other cats in the base corner the three robots.
Starring: Josh Brener, Gary Anthony Williams, Chris Parnell
|3||"The Witness"||Alberto Mielgo||Written by: Alberto Mielgo||N/A||Pinkman.TV||March 15, 2019||12 minutes|
A woman witnesses a murder in the apartment across from her hotel. The murderer realizes he has been caught, but notices the similarity between his victim and the witness, and he proceeds to chase her. The woman hails a cab and contacts Vladimir and the authorities about the murder, leaving the detail vague in her confused state. She then visits a strip-club where she works as a dancer under the alias Zawora. The man enters the club, guided by the host; after an eye contact and a close encounter, the man and woman engage in a cat-and-mouse game across the city streets. The woman, who stole Vladimir's gun, hides in an apartment, but the man finds and corners her. They proceed to fight over the gun, with the woman ending up shooting the man dead. She then realizes a man in the hotel across the street witnesses the murder, and she notices his similarity with her victim.
Starring: Emily O'Brien, Ben Sullivan
|4||"Suits"||Franck Balson||Philip Gelatt||Steven Lewis||Blur Studio||March 15, 2019||17 minutes|
A small community of farmers pilot mech suits to defend their land from an invading swarm of insectoid aliens dubbed "DeeBees". When the defense field fails, DeeBees pour in faster than they can repel, so as the community hunkers in a shelter, all arms are called in and one neighbor, Jake, sacrifices himself to kill a large portion of the swarm. As this happens, the biggest one comes through, and with a well aimed shot from a turret gun, destroys the Big Mama.[clarification needed] Come dawn, the barriers are back to normal and the town return to a sense of safety. After the battle the camera view moves to show the whole planet has a population of DeeBees living on it, and the farmers have set up small colonies on the planet as the real invading force.
Starring: Neil Kaplan, G.K. Bowes, Scott Whyte, Courtenay Taylor, Tudi Roche
|5||"Sucker of Souls"||Owen Sullivan||Philip Gelatt||Kirsten Cross||Studio La Cachette||March 15, 2019||13 minutes|
Flynn, a hired mercenary, and Dr. Wehunt, an archaeologist, escape through an underground tunnel, fleeing an unknown assailant. Moments before, both of them accompanied by an intern, Simon, discover a cave with writings in it. A demon awakens and proceeds to kill Simon. After it transforms, Flynn escapes with Dr. Wehunt and informs his two employees Micky and Gary. On their way, they are confronted by the demon, revealed to be Dracula. Dracula attempts to kill Flynn, although it stops after seeing a cat. Dr. Wehunt explains that Dracula fears and hates cats, which Flynn uses to scare it away. The two reunite with Micky and Gary in a chamber, although they are trapped from the main exit. Realizing that Dracula has followed them, Dr. Wehunt searches another exit through a secret tunnel while the mercenaries set up explosives. Entering the chamber, Dracula is bombarded with bullets. The team escapes, while Dracula enters and is killed in an explosion. Dr. Wehunt states that tunnel leads them to prison cells, which turn out to be filled with similar demons.
Starring: Michael Benyaer, Fred Tatasciore, Laura Waddell, Jonathan Cahill, Scott Whyte
|6||"When the Yogurt Took Over"||Victor Maldonado & Alfredo Torres||Janis Robertson||John Scalzi||Blow Studio||March 15, 2019||6 minutes|
A group of scientists mutate yogurt by fermenting bacteria. Although initial tests fail, a researcher takes the mutated bacteria home for her homemade yogurt, unaware that it has become sentient. The yogurt asks to meet US leaders, to whom it claims to have solutions for the country's problems. As payment, the yogurt requests control over the State of Ohio. The leaders initially laugh at the offer, but accept after the yogurt threatens to go to China. It proceeds to receive a century-long lease on Ohio, promising respect for the humans and constitutional rights within its borders. Soon, the yogurt evolves and comes up with an instruction to eradicate national debt. It gives this to the US president, and instructs him to follow without any deviation. He accepts, though deviates, and the global economy soon collapses except for Ohio. In desperation, the government gives the yogurt supreme executive power, despite some rejecting the idea. A decade later, humans live prosperous lives under the yogurt's reign; to the surprise of humans, the yogurt decides to initiate space launches, and leaves the humans behind on Earth.
Starring: Maurice LaMarche, Alexia Dox
|7||"Beyond the Aquila Rift"||Léon Bérelle, Dominique Boidin, Rémi Kozyra, Maxime Luère||Philip Gelatt||Alastair Reynolds||Unit Image||March 15, 2019||17 minutes|
Blue Goose's crew members Thom, Suzy, and Ray, are on a mission to reach beyond the Aquila Rift, but an error in the routing plot causes unexpected events to happen. Thom is greeted by Greta, an old flame, and is told he is hundreds of thousands of light years from Earth centuries later. Still in disbelief, Thom forcefully demands the truth from a tearfully reluctant Greta, who continues that he is not ready to see the truth. Greta defends her position as she truly does care for him, and revealing the truth would hurt him. But as his demand grows, she relents and awakens him: an emaciated Thom is in a floating hive web structure occupied by an alien species. As Thom loses his mind to such an encounter, "Greta" returns him to the dream world, minus his recent memories, to greet him and begin all over again.
Starring: Henry Douthwaite, Madeleine Knight, Rebecca Banatvala, Delroy Brown, Grahame Fox
|8||"Good Hunting"||Oliver Thomas||Philip Gelatt||Ken Liu||Red Dog Culture House||March 15, 2019||17 minutes|
In early 20th century China, Liang accompanies his father hunting a shape-shifting Huli jing named Tsiao-Jung, but stumbles when entranced by her. His father traps her in a half-form, following Tsaio-Jung to the den where Liang meets her daughter, Yan. As Yan tries to explain how humans & Huli Jing can love without magic, her mother arrives urging she get away. Liang's father kills Tsiao-Jung in front of them, but when asking Liang if there are signs of pups, Liang lies and says there were none. His father accepts this and takes the severed head of Tsiao-Jung to collect the bounty; Yan escapes into the night. Years later, Liang's father dies just before the colonized modernizing of China, while Liang and Yan are friends. Moving to Hong-Kong, Liang works as a train engineer, and one night sees Yan, now permanently human after magic left the world. After a time, Liang develops robotic engineering, and Yan comes to him for help: the Governor of Hong Kong drugged her, and turned her into a cyborg sex toy, but she killed him for this atrocity. Per her plea, Liang builds her a flexible metal alloy body to morph into a robotic Huli jing. Parting as friends, Yan hunts any Englishman abusing her homeland.
Starring: Elaine Tan, Matt Yang King, Gwendoline Yeo, Maddox Henry, Sumalee Montano, JB Blanc
|9||"The Dump"||Javier Recio Gracia||Philip Gelatt||Joe Lansdale||Able & Baker||March 15, 2019||10 minutes|
A city inspector tries to convince Ugly Dave Dvorchek to move out of his house which is located in a dump. However, Dave and his pet Otto are not intent on doing so. Dave recounts a story of meeting Otto, who is a muck creature which fused with whatever material it consumed. But instead of killing it, Dave made it his pet and commands it to eat the inspector, killing him. Happy to be staying in his home, Dave plays with Otto.
Starring: Nolan North, André Sogliuzzo, Gary Cole
|10||"Shape-Shifters"||Gabriele Pennacchioli||Philip Gelatt||Marko Kloos||Blur Studio||March 15, 2019||16 minutes|
In a world where werewolves are common knowledge, but discriminated against, two close werewolf friends who serve in the US Marines, Lt. Decker and Sgt. Sobieski, are taken by surprise when escorting a convoy. Decker's senses locate the assailants. When returning to base they are antagonized by some of their comrades. While Sobieski is assigned to a Watchtower, it is attacked and Decker races ahead of the backup convoy to help the troops therein. Upon arrival, Decker finds all the men slaughtered by likely another Werewolf, which also killed Sobieski. Commander Reyner orders Decker to find this Werewolf and determine if they are Taliban. The next night, Decker leaves base camp, finding an old man who morphs into beast form, and another Werewolf attacks Decker. After being injured, Decker faints to lure in the younger Werewolf to kill him. Decker then fights the old man wolf, killing him by crushing his skull. Come dawn, Decker has mostly regenerated, and after ending his service in disgust due to being discriminated and antagonized by fellow soldiers, reclaims Sobieski's body to bury him in the desert with his dog tags.
Starring: Graham Hamilton, Adam Bartley, Jim Pirri, James Horan, Ike Amadi
|11||"Helping Hand"||Jon Yeo||Philip Gelatt||Claudine Griggs||Axis Studios||March 15, 2019||10 minutes|
Overworked and underpaid by the ‘E-Z Orbital Maintenance Company’, working class hero Alexandria Stephens attends to a faulty satellite in Earth orbit. While in mid-operation her old model EVA suit is randomly hit by a stray screw from orbital debris, damaging her oxygen tanks, disabling the mobility unit and casting her hopelessly adrift in open space. A rescue team can reach her in 58 minutes, but her compromised oxygen supply will only last 14 minutes. She seals the upper left arm of her suit using her watch strap, then removes the left glove, exposing her left arm to the vacuum of space. Throwing the glove pushes her back toward the satellite, which narrowly remains infuriatingly out of reach. Ultimately drifting back past her beaten up maintenance vehicle ‘The Anthem’, she decides to break off her now frozen left forearm, throwing the arm in a last ditch attempt to make it back to her ship. Back onboard she performs emergency self triage then radios Bill, her ground controller, who asks with relief if she ‘still needs a hand?’.
Starring: Elly Condron, Chris Parson
|12||"Fish Night"||Damian Nenow||Philip Gelatt||Joe Lansdale||Platige Image Studio||March 15, 2019||10 minutes|
Two salesmen get stuck in the desert after their Plymouth breaks down due to a broken radiator. Spending what remained of their day around the car, the older man informs the younger man that the desert was once a sea floor, and they soon discover that the desert is not what it seems at night. They wake up to find the ghosts of prehistoric marine life floating around the car. In awe of the sight, Young man starts taking off his clothes to swim through the air, while Old man urges him to return. As Young man looses himself to becoming a luminescent being, a primordial Shark appears and despite Old man's calls of danger, Young man is ignorant until he is consumed by the ghost shark. Old man, in shock, stands alone in the desert under a full moon.
Starring: Kirk Thornton, Yuri Lowenthal
|13||"Lucky 13"||Jerome Chen||Philip Gelatt||Marko Kloos||Sony Pictures Imageworks||March 15, 2019||14 minutes|
After two crews on the Dropship Lucky 13 are lost, other Marines become superstitious and give the unlucky ship to rookie Lt. "Cutter" Colby. Dropping troops at a LZ, the troops are flanked by enemy fire and Cutter orders the Marines back into Ship 13. As one officer races to make it, Cutter waits until the last second to launch flares, saving all troops. Following this success, Cutter flies 19 more missions without casualty. Under her charge, the ship is renowned as "Lucky 13". Cutter, loyal to her craft, passes up upgrading to newer models. But on one mission, 13 is grounded by a Subsurface gun; the ship fails, but all her occupants are still alive. The troops evacuate as Cutter occupies enemy combatants; when overwhelmed, Cutter sets 13 to self-destruct to kill however many enemy troops she can. After reaching the trench, Cutter watches as the ship does not detonate until after enemy troops take cover, where 13 takes them all down with her. Cutter is later awarded numerous awards and a cutting edge new ship, but she longs for one more mission on Lucky 13.
Starring: Samira Wiley, Daisuke Tsuji, Nestor Serrano, Stanton Lee, Noshir Dalal, Jeffrey Pierce, David Paladino, Jeff Schine, Melissa Sturm
|14||"Zima Blue"||Robert Valley||Philip Gelatt||Alastair Reynolds||Passion Animation Studios||March 15, 2019||10 minutes|
Journalist Claire Markham is invited to interview reclusive artist Zima Blue, who wishes to tell his story before unveiling his final work. Zima, who began in portraiture, moved on to abstract murals with the main focus on abstract shapes in a single shade of blue. He continued making larger murals until they were incorporated into celestial bodies, asteroids, and even nebulas. When they meet, Zima reveals to Claire that even though he is a cybernetically enhanced man, in truth he is an advanced android originally built by a young woman many years ago to clean ceramic pool tiles (known as Zima Blue tiles), with the tiles being the first thing he saw. He was upgraded and modified as a test-bed for hardware and software to his current state, passed from owner to owner after his original owner died. Deeply dissatisfied with his state and expressing a deep yearning for meaning through his art, he unveils his final piece: he immerses himself in the re-constructed pool that he originated from, strips away all of his modifications and reverts to his original state as a simple cleaning machine where he finally reaches meaning and happiness stating that he is "home".
Starring: Kevin Michael Richardson, Emma Thornett
|15||"Blindspot"||Vitaliy Shushko||N/A||Original story by: Vitaliy Shushko||Elena Volk||March 15, 2019||8 minutes|
A cyborg crew- Hawk, Kali, Sui and Rookie- attempt to rob a convoy for a heavily guarded microchip as it is in motion to a tunnel. As they plant explosives on the back car, Sui drops one of his when swerving to avoid a desert rat, alerting the guards. Kali opens cover fire, as Hawk moves in to deal with the turrets. Once in the tunnel, they have a limited window to get the microchip, but as Hawk readies, he is blindsided by a massive defense bot which destroys him. Using distraction, Sui knocks it off the convoy, but it shifts into vehicle mode and intercepting Kali before she can rally with Rookie and Sui. As Sui and Rookie work to destroy the CPU of the heavy bot, Sui sacrifices himself to destroy it and the convoy. Rookie survives and takes the targeted microchip, lamenting on the loss of his team. He is greeted by Bob, the team's coordinator, congratulating him and telling him that he copied all of their brains before the mission; the crew greet Rookie in hologram form, commenting on a job well done.
Starring: Aaron Himelstein, Carlos Alazraqui, Jill Talley, Brian Bloom, Chris Cox
|16||"Ice Age"||Tim Miller||Philip Gelatt||Michael Swanwick||Digic Pictures / Blur Studio / Atomic Fiction||March 15, 2019||10 minutes|
Gail and Rob move into the apartment finding an antique refrigerator. Opening it to get ice, they find a preserved Mammoth the size of a sand grain, and returning to the freezer they find a fast-moving time-dilated civilization developing. After ten minutes, the civilization goes from Medieval era to Industrial Revolution then modern day, but some minutes later do they see the civilization use tactical nuclear warfare, with Rob's face is sightly burnt by the nuclear explosions as a result. Finding the fridge civilization escalating warfare they close the freezer and order pizza. After an hour and afraid they didn't make it, open the fridge and find the civilization has rebuilt and move further into its future with technology evolving at an unprecedented level. They ultimately evolve into a race of energy beings, returning to singularity and vanishing from the freezer. Believing the mini-people are gone, Rob unplugs the refrigerator, to clean it come morning. As they have breakfast, they find the freezer now has a prehistorical world, with primitive sapiens and dinosaurs.
Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Topher Grace, John DiMaggio, Roger Craig Smith
|17||"Alternate Histories"||Victor Maldonado & Alfredo Torres||Philip Gelatt||John Scalzi||Sun Creature Studio||March 15, 2019||7 minutes|
Starring: Rebecca Riedy, Dieter Jansen, Scott Whyte, Chris Cox
|18||"The Secret War"||István Zorkóczy||Philip Gelatt||David W. Amendola||Digic Pictures||March 15, 2019||16 minutes|
A platoon of Red Army soldiers hunt demons in the Siberian forests. Sgt. Sergei Pavlovich and his Lieutenant raise concerns the men are too dispersed, but the Major dismisses their worries. As the Germans lay siege to Stalingrad, the Red Army Platoon continue without support into the forest. Following a bloody victory, Scout Okchen finds the corpse of a fallen Secret Police agent, Boris Grishin. At camp reviewing Grishin's notebook, Sergei finds intel on "Operation: Hades" which was to research myths across Russia. In 1919, after the White Army retreated, Grishin summoned monsters to fight in the Red Army, but apparently failed to control them and died. Sergei wishes to use this information to rid the demons, but others fear it would expose the government's past errors. As they locate a barrow, Okchen and Pogodin ready munitions to destroy the monsters' nest and cave, but the two die from the collapse before they can escape. The horde is larger than expected, and Sergei orders a stand. He deploys explosives and turrets, but orders the fastest horse for his son to relay a message to the Major to bombard their current location to kill the horde.
Starring: Stefan Kapičić, Bruce Thomas, Jeff Berg, Antonio Alvarez, Victor Brandt
Netflix released the first trailer for the series on February 14, 2019.
In March 2019, Netflix revealed that it was experimenting with a new approach by including a different order of episodes to different users. In response to an accusation that the episode order was based on the streaming company's perception of a user's sexual orientation, Netflix responded via Twitter that there were four unique episode orders, released to users at random.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 74% based on 31 reviews, and an average rating of 6.68/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "This animated anthology has enough creative Death to satisfy cyberpunk aficionados who Love their Robots to have some Heavy Metal influence, but the series' lofty ambitions are often undercut by a preoccupation with gore and titillation."
Abby Robinson of Digital Spy called the series problematic in its portrayal of women as primarily sexual objects and victims of trauma, labeling it as "firmly rooted in the past". Writing in The Daily Beast, Nick Schager described the series as "Black Mirror for the ADD-addled video game crowd" and praised the show for its "diverse affair rife with violence, humor, and a healthy dose of sensuality". In a more negative review, Ben Travers of IndieWire described the episodes as "too often hyper-masculine and half-baked" and gave the series a C grade, though the review was based on only 6 of the 18 episodes. Writing for Wired, Peter Rubin praised the show and its boundary-pushing nature, saying that "sometimes, you just want to see Adolf Hitler suffocated by a giant mound of gelatin". Rubin further voiced frustration with the seemingly "endless parade of stoic supermen and the women who deceive or escape them", noting that at times it seems as though Fincher and Miller have aimed the show at a "particularly retrograde subset of genre fans".
- Hipes, Patrick (2019-01-07). "'Love Death & Robots': First Look At David Fincher & Tim Miller's Animated Netflix Anthology Series". Deadline. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
- Robinson, Tasha (2019-02-14). "The trailer for David Fincher's Love, Death & Robots is a manic headache". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
- Radulovic, Petrana (2019-02-14). "First trailer for Netflix's animated anthology Love, Death, & Robots makes it clear this is for adults". Polygon. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
- Prudom, Laura (2019-02-14). "Netflix's Love, Death & Robots Trailer: First Look at Tim Miller and David Fincher's Surreal Animated Anthology". IGN. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
- Schwartz, Terri (2019-03-16). "How David Fincher and Tim Miller's Heavy Metal Reboot Became Netflix's Love, Death & Robots". IGN. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
- Temperton, James (2019-03-16). "Netflix's Love, Death & Robots is sexist sci-fi at its most tedious". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Retrieved 2019-03-24.
- Fear, David (2019-03-18). "'Love, Death & Robots' Review: Netflix's 'Heavy Metal' For Post-Millennials". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2019-03-24.
- Schager, Nick (2019-03-15). "From Latex Strippers to Killing Hitler: Inside Netflix's Wildest Series". Daily Beast. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
- "Love, Death & Robots – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
- Trumbore, Dave (2019-02-14). "Exclusive: 'Love, Death & Robots' Trailer Teases Tim Miller and David Fincher's NSFW Netflix Project". Collider. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
- "Netflix is experimenting with different episode orders for 'Love, Death & Robots'". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
- US, Netflix (2019-03-19). "We've never had a show like Love, Death & Robots before so we're trying something completely new: presenting four different episode orders. The version you're shown has nothing to do with gender, ethnicity, or sexual identity — info we don't even have in the first place". @netflix. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
- "Love, Death & Robots: Season 1 (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
- Robinson, Abby (2019-03-19). "'Netflix's Love Death + Robots has one very big problem and it's not okay". DigitalSpy. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
- Travers, Ben (2019-03-10). "'Love, Death & Robots' Review: David Fincher and Tim Miller's Netflix Shorts Are One-Dimensional Beauty". IndieWire. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
- Rubin, Peter (2019-03-15). "Love, Death & Robots' and the Rise of NSFW Netflix". WIRED. Retrieved 2019-03-19.