47 – Black Mirror, dystopian drama.

I saw this being advertised on ‘4od’ catchup a while ago, and recently got round to watching one. “One” I thought, “One episode and then I’ll go to bed” I ten minutes into the first episode when I decided this was the best thing I’d seen on television all year, and twenty minutes in when I decided I HAD to watch the rest of the drama series in one sitting.

Yes, Charlie Brooker has done it again. He shocked and amazed me with ‘Dead Set’, the realistic zombie apocalypse with a satirical twist. Now he has come back with something even better.

It’s gripping, it’s clever and it’s satirical. Black Mirror is a must see for anyone who likes their television with a pinch of genius, depicting Britain in ‘What if’ scenarios of technology dependant dystopia. There are three episodes, each one with different characters, telling a different story, but with technology at the heart of the issues. I sat through them in absolute awe, and slight frustration. I say slight frustration because one of my ‘side projects’ (which I was writing months before I’d even heard about Black Mirror) is similar in some ways, so I was split fifty-fifty throughout the drama.

The first episode satirises the ‘twitter age’ that we live in, and discusses the issues of such an uncontrollable information stream.

The second episode is a little more far fetched, but equally believable. Britain has been reduced to a comatose state of technological distraction, and ‘petri dish’ food. This ‘What if’ dystopia presents us all as something we are quickly becoming – mice in a cage, running for the cheese.

The final episode is something different again. A grim look at what technology is turning us into.

You can watch all the episodes at channel four on demand, or via YouTube. I highly recommend you check them out.

I found each episode to be increasingly chilling, because they are believable (in their own ways). You can see yourself ending up like the characters in the story because they are like us, and we are not as far off from the technology and state of affairs in these episodes as we’d like. Just like ‘Children Of Men’ a terrifying picture of what could be has been thrown at us, and it leaves you thinking, that’s why this is such a good series, and that’s why it is in the cabinet.


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