Image courtesy of http://www.mediacritica.it/2016/11/05/black-mirror/
In an age when the power can wielded with a YouTube channel and people destroyed by a Tweet, technological allegories are entirely welcome, and no more so than with Charlie Brooker’s ‘Black Mirror’.
Within the twisted world of the anthology is an uncomfortable reminder of how to close to the precipice we are when it comes to technology. With some episodes set in the near future, others in an alternate present and each with varying focal points, ‘Black Mirror’ reflects the darker aspects of humanity and subsequent abuse of an ever-advancing world around us.
Even in some of the higher concept sci-fi episodes (like ‘15 million merits’), we’re still presented with a reality that reeks of our own and a world that could be all too attainable if we’re not careful. Whether it’s political blackmail, ambiguous warfare or the friendship fallacy of social media, the echoes of our addictiveness and vindictiveness ring true, and ring for a while.
The original two series of ‘Black Mirror’ contain three episodes, the latest ‘season’ (as it’s now commissioned by Netflix) offering six for consumption. With each one capable of being expended and explored further, it’s unsurprising that Robert Downey Jr has optioned ‘The Entire History of You’ episode (written by Peep Show/Fresh Meat creator Jesse Armstrong) for a possible film adaption. And with Netflix having commissioned twelve episodes from Brooker we know there’s at least six more to come.
Featuring an assortment of recognisable faces (and hopefully names), Rory Kinnear, Domnhall Gleeson, Daniel Kaluuya, Lenora Crichlow, Jason Flemyng, Rafe Spall, Jerome Flynn, John Hamm, Toby Kebbell and Faye Marsay are but a few who make their respective marks. As do guest writers that include comedy greats Michael Schur and Rashida Jones.
Believably engrossing and intellectually stimulating, it’s nice to see that in the over-saturated market of sci-fi dystopia, something of this magnitude and originality can still be achieved. While the title has connotations for many things, if you really want to see a ‘Black Mirror’ just turn off your phone . . . or laptop . . . or TV . . .