Netflix series ‘Black Knight’ portrays social divide in apocalyptic world

May 10, 2023

Netflix’s new series “Black Knight” depicts an apocalyptic world where oxygen is scarce due to devastating air pollution and a brutal social hierarchy determines who has the access to resources for survival.

Based on Lee Yong-gyun’s webtoon under the same title, the six-episode sci-fi series tells a story set in a dystopian future devastated by air pollution following a comet strike. In this wasteland, the survival of humanity depends on deliverymen known as “Black Knights,” who deliver parcels of oxygen and other necessities.

Kim Woo-bin plays a former refugee, identified as 5-8, who takes on this job and recruits others from the bottom ladder of society to help him overthrow the hierarchy.

Song Seung-hyeon stars as an heir of the powerful conglomerate, which unevenly distributes resources depending on the class divide, while Esom plays a military intelligence officer who joins the rebel group led by 5-8.

The poster of Netflix series "Black Knight" is seen in this photo provided by the streaming platform. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
The poster of Netflix series “Black Knight” is seen in this photo provided by the streaming platform. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Director and screenwriter Choi Eui-seok said the series remains faithful to the original webtoon’s universe but was restructured into a compact version with new characters.

“I read the original webtoon and loved its universe. I decided to make it into a series as I really liked the idea of deliverymen providing oxygen and necessities to people,” Choi said during a press conference on Wednesday.

Kim said the dystopian world where people must wear masks for survival is a plausible setting as the mask mandate had been in place until recently in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I thought these kinds of things could really happen in the future. I was also interested in various characters in the story,” Kim said.

Kim introduced his character as a “legendary” figure who fights against social injustice as he knows the sorrow of being born as a refugee in the starkly divided world.

“I wondered what it would feel like if I am abandoned and suffer just because I was born as a refugee,” he said.

“Black Knight” premieres on Friday.