Black Mirror is a British series popular for featuring near-future dystopias using science fiction technology. The series is based on the Twilight Zone and each episode can be seen as a comment on current social issues.
TechStorm, Asia’s largest and fastest-growing esports, gaming and tech-centric network, is proud to announce the anthology will premiere on our channels as a First on TV title in Asia* from 6 December 2021.
And ahead of that, we look at how scenes in Season 1 of Black Mirror resemble real life.
(Some spoilers ahead.)
#1: The National Anthem
Summary: A member of the British royal family has been kidnapped. The kidnapper’s only demand is if the British prime minister has sexual intercourse with a pig on live television.
Real life: Sounds preposterous, doesn’t it? Well, years after The National Anthem first aired, the Daily Mail published allegations that then-British Prime Minister David Cameron had taken part in a sordid initiation ceremony at Oxford University. An initiation ceremony that required him to place a “private part of his anatomy” into the mouth of a dead pig. The incident was widely known as “Piggate” and Cameron himself was forced to publicly deny the allegations. Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker eventually said the similarities between Piggate and the inaugural episode of the series was “a complete coincidence”.
#2: Fifteen Million Merits
Summary: Bing lives in a room surrounded by screens. He convinces Abi to enter a talent show after hearing her sing in the shower. She enters the competition but the judges are unimpressed, however one of them offers her a place on his pornography channel. Abi, bowing to the audience and the judges’ pressure, agrees.
Real life: The episode was inspired by Brooker’s wife and episode co-writer Konnie Huq’s idea that her technology-obsessed husband would be happy in a room covered in screens. But the episode goes deeper – it also looked at the narrative of talent shows and how they lead to fame. The episode also touched on the objectification of women and the power dynamics behind it.
#3: The Entire History of You
Summary: Liam, his wife Ffion and a mutual friend, Jonas, live in a future where people have a “grain” embedded in them, which allows them to scrutinise and replay selected memories. This leads to Liam harbouring suspicions about Ffion and Jonas.
Real life: We don’t have grains implanted in our bodies to replay our memories but smartphones can replicate this quite closely! Because who hasn’t whipped out their phone to quickly capture a video or picture? In fact, Cell phone trading company Bank My Cell estimated there are 6.3 billion smartphone users in the world. That’s a whopping 80% of the world’s population. And many of us use our phones to store memories – be it either making a note in your online calendar or taking a snapshot of a certain moment. But we might not even need phones to do that in the future – Facebook has launched its first smart glasses, allowing wearers to take calls or even photos and short videos. Needless to say, many have questioned the privacy (not to mention ethical) aspect of this.
*with the exception of Sri Lanka, where it is an exclusive.
*Featured image from Black Mirror
By Samantha Chan \ 24 November 2021