Black Mirror is Charlie Brooker’s science fiction television series. Each season is three episodes long. Each episode is 45 minutes long. There is a new season every one or two years since 2011.
Black Mirror is The Twilight Zone meets Person of Interest. Each episode is its own story with its own characters, like the Twilight Zone, and has some sort of horrible twist. Like Person of Interest, each world is only a few minutes into the future rather than decades or centuries into the future. The technology is our technology pushed just one logical step forward. And like all good science fiction, Black Mirror shows us how that technology can get the best of us.
In these worlds, technology is used to record your memories for convenient playback, bring surrogate dead loved ones back to life, and exploit the Prime Minster having sex with a pig (golly, that really was only a few minutes into the future, wasn’t it?). In one of the better episodes, Fifteen Million Merits, Bing tries to rescue a young woman from a life of mind-numbing labor by giving up his fortune to put her on a competition reality show like The X Factor. After singing in front of the judges–played by Rupert Everett, Julia Davis, an Ashley Thomas–we learn what many famous people learn: fame comes at a cost. But here we learn it through slightly advanced technology, which makes her fate so much worse. I wouldn’t say the genre is horror exactly, but it’s scarier than any horror flick because you feel the stomach-turning realization that this is where our society is heading next.
In a similar episode commenting on our viewing habits, White Bear, we begin disappointingly in a world that seems far too sci-fi/fantasy to be a few minutes into the future only to discover with a twist that we are practically living this scenario already. This is a terrifying, heart-thumping episode. Also a great role for Michael Smiley.
In that vein, the show is not littered with stars. You do see the occasional Jon Ham, Domhnall Gleeson, Alex McQueen, Tobias Menzies, and Justin Edwards, but these are few and far between compared to the number of unrecognizable faces, which pulls you more in to the nightmare.
Black Mirror is currently viewable on Netflix streaming and DVD region 2/PAL.