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      Black Mirror is a British anthology television series created by Charlie Brooker. Individual episodes explore a diversity of genres, but most are set in near-future dystopias with sci-fi technology—a type of speculative fiction. The series is inspired by The Twilight Zone and uses the themes of technology and media to comment on contemporary social issues. Most episodes are written by Brooker with heavy involvement by the executive producer Annabel Jones.


      1 1 “The National Anthem” Otto Bathurst Charlie Brooker 4 December 2011 2.07
      Princess Susannah, a British royal family member, is kidnapped. For her return, the kidnapper demands that the prime minister, Michael Callow, have sex with a pig on live television. The demands gather attention on social media and then national news. Backup plans to fabricate footage of the act are trialled by Callow’s staff without his knowledge and lead to a change in public opinion when the kidnapper discovers and reveals the plan. A failed raid on a suspected location leads to the injury of a journalist, Malaika, who has been communicating with government staff. Callow reluctantly agrees to go forward with the broadcast to an audience of over a billion. However, the kidnapper—a famous artist—had released Susannah shortly before the broadcast and then hanged himself, facts which are kept from the public and Callow. A year later, Callow maintains good approval ratings but his relationship with his wife is damaged.

      Cast : Rory Kinnear and Lindsay Duncan

      2 2 “Fifteen Million Merits” Euros Lyn Charlie Brooker & Kanak Huq 11 December 2011 1.52
      Bing lives in a society where the majority of people ride stationary bikes in exchange for “merits”, a currency used to buy essentials and virtual entertainment. His bedroom is covered from head to toe in screens and he watches another one as he rides the bike. One day, he hears Abi singing in the bathroom and convinces her to enter the talent show Hot Shot, paying almost his entire savings for her ticket. She sings “Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand)” by Irma Thomas but the judges say they cannot hire another singer and she is instead coerced into becoming a pornographic performer. Later, Bing is unable to pay the merits to skip a pornographic advert starring Abi and is tormented by the images. He lives frugally until he can afford another ticket, for himself, and threatens to commit suicide when onstage. The judges give him a regular show in which he rails against the system he lives in.

      Cast : Daniel Kaluuya, Jessica Brown Findlay and Rupert Everett

      3 3 “The Entire History of You” Brian Welsh Jesse Armstrong 18 December 2011 N/A (<1.53)[c]
      With the implantation of a device called a “grain” behind their ear, people can replay their memories through their eyes or on a screen. At a dinner party, Liam is suspicious of his wife Ffion’s behaviour towards her friend Jonas. Upon returning home, Ffion reveals a former relationship with Jonas, though some of her details are inconsistent. Liam drinks alcohol continually throughout the night and then heads to Jonas’ house. On threat of glassing, Liam forces Jonas to delete every stored memory he has of Ffion. Liam crashes his car and when he regains consciousness, he replays his memories and notices one of Jonas’s memories was of Ffion in bed. Liam confronts Ffion, who continues to lie, and forces her to show her memory of having sex with Jonas around the time her baby was conceived. Later, alone in the house, Liam uses a razor to try to remove his grain.

      Cast : Toby Kebbell and Jodie Whittaker

      Series 2 (2013)[edit]

      No. in
      Title Directed by [37] Written by [37] Original air date [38] UK viewers
      (millions) [38]
      4 1 “Be Right Back” Owen Harris Charlie Brooker 11 February 2013 2.01
      Martha’s boyfriend Ash is killed while returning a hire van, the day after they move into a new house in the countryside. Martha learns she is pregnant and tests a service that her friend signed her up to: by aggregating Ash’s many social media posts and online communications, an artificial intelligence (AI) imitation of Ash is created. Martha interacts with him via instant messaging and video call, talking on countryside walks and neglecting her sister’s attempts to reach out. The next stage is a physical android version of Ash, which begins to make Martha uncomfortable. She argues with him and takes him to a cliff where she orders him to jump, but Martha is then frustrated as the real Ash would not obey such a command. Several years later, on Martha’s daughter’s birthday, her daughter takes a slice of cake to the android Ash kept in the attic, which she is only permitted to visit on weekends.

      Cast : Hayley Atwell and Domhnall Gleeson

      5 2 “White Bear” Carl Tibbetts Charlie Brooker 18 February 2013 1.69
      A woman wakes up in a house with amnesia. People on the street record her but do not speak. After being chased by a masked man, she flees and meets Jem, another woman hiding from those known as “hunters”. Jem explains that the people recording her have been affected by a strange signal, while the hunters are unaffected sadists. The woman follows Jem in her plan to destroy the signal transmitter. A hunter, Baxter, holds them at gunpoint in a forest but Jem kills him. When they reach the facility, hunters attack. The woman wrestles a shotgun away but it only sprays confetti. The whole day has been a staged performance, and everybody but the woman—named Victoria Skillane—was an actor or audience member. Victoria was an accomplice to the child murderer Iain Rannoch. Victoria was sent to the White Bear Justice Park, wherein her memory is wiped at the end of each day so that the punishment and entertainment can begin afresh.

      Cast : Lenora Crichlow and Michael Smiley

      6 3 “The Waldo Moment” Bryn Higgins Charlie Brooker 25 February 2013 1.28
      Jamie Salter controls a computer-animated bear named Waldo on a satirical show. Waldo pranks politicians by asking vulgar questions in interviews. After interviewing the Conservative Liam Monroe, Waldo is entered for a by-election in a Conservative safe seat where Monroe is standing. Jamie meets the Labour candidate Gwendolyn Harris and they have sex, but Harris is made to avoid further contact during the campaign. At a student-organised hustings, Waldo derides both Monroe and Harris. The event goes viral and Jamie meets with an American agent interested in using Waldo’s image. After Harris rejects Jamie’s apology, Jamie publicly reveals himself as the man behind Waldo and urges people not to vote for him. His executive Jack takes over Waldo and encourages the public to attack Jamie. In a hospital, he sees that Monroe won and Waldo came second. Later, a homeless Jamie is tasered by police for throwing a bottle at a screen that displays Waldo on every channel.

      Cast : Daniel Rigby, Chloe Pirrie and Jason Flemyng

      Special (2014)[edit]

      Title Directed by [37] Written by [37] Original air date [38] UK viewers
      (millions) [38]
      7 “White Christmas” Carl Tibbetts Charlie Brooker 16 December 2014 1.66
      In a cabin, Matt and Joe talk about their past. Matt used to run an online group who watched each other seduce women through “Z-Eyes” that record vision and hearing. It ended after a mentally ill woman poisoned one of the attendees in a murder–suicide. Matt’s former profession was training “cookies”—digital clones of people stored in an egg-shaped object—as personal assistants. Meanwhile, Joe’s wife “blocked” him with the Z-Eyes, so that he could not communicate with her, after an argument over her planned abortion. Joe travelled to Beth’s father’s house each Christmas to spy on Beth and the child—who she kept, but who Joe also cannot see. After Beth’s death, he was able to see the child, but he was not the father. Joe confronted Beth’s father and killed him, leaving the daughter to freeze to death. Matt reveals that they are both in a cookie, and Joe has just confessed to his crimes. Joe will be imprisoned, while Matt is registered as a sex offender and blocked by everybody. Meanwhile, as punishment, a law enforcement officer sets the time inside Joe’s cookie to run at 1,000 years per minute.

      Cast : Jon Hamm, Rafe Spall, Oona Chaplin and Natalia Tena

      Series 3 (2016)[edit]

      No. in
      Title Directed by [37] Written by [37] Original release date [39]
      8 1 “Nosedive” Joe Wright Story by : Charlie Brooker
      Teleplay by : Rashida Jones & Michael Schur
      21 October 2016
      Using eye implants and mobile devices, people rate all of their social interactions on a five-star scale. These ratings form a person’s overall rating, which affects their socioeconomic status. Lacie, rated 4.2, is keen to reach 4.5 to afford a better apartment. She leaps at the opportunity to be maid of honour at her childhood friend Naomi’s wedding. Her flight there is cancelled and she is too low-rated to qualify for a replacement. She argues with a staff member and security temporarily subtracts a point from her rating and places her on “double damage”, which increases the effect of poor ratings. With her new rating, she can only rent an old car, which breaks down. Lacie hitchhikes with Susan—a truck driver rated 1.4. Naomi uninvites Lacie due to her lower rating, but she gatecrashes the wedding and attempts to deliver her speech. Increasingly agitated, Lacie grabs a knife as guests give her low ratings. Security arrest Lacie and she is taken to prison, where she and a fellow inmate revel in their newfound freedom from being rated.

      Cast : Bryce Dallas Howard, Alice Eve, Cherry Jones and James Norton

      9 2 “Playtest” Dan Trachtenberg Charlie Brooker 21 October 2016
      After Cooper’s father dies, Cooper travels the world and avoids his mother’s calls. He spends a night with Sonja in London and, after being victim to identity theft, finds a paid offer to playtest an experimental game. He tests an augmented reality version of Whac-A-Mole and meets Shou, the company’s owner. In a mansion, Cooper tests a horror game where an artificial neural network learns from his fears. After fighting with a simulated Sonja, Katie tells Cooper that the technology should not cause him physical pain and leads him to a room where the test can be terminated. In the room, Cooper loses his memories and Katie and Shou say that the technology has advanced too far to be removed. Cooper then awakens in Shou’s office, all subsequent events having been simulated. He returns home to find his mother unable to recognise him. However, Cooper’s entire experience—from Whac-a-Mole onwards—was contained in the 0.04 second-long experiment. He died during the experiment when a phone call from his mother caused electrical interference.

      Cast : Wyatt Russell, Hannah John-Kamen, Wunmi Mosaku and Ken Yamamura

      10 3 “Shut Up and Dance” James Watkins Charlie Brooker & William Bridges 21 October 2016
      A hacker records Kenny masturbating via his webcam and threatens to release it unless he follows their instructions. Kenny picks up a cake from another blackmailed individual and takes it to a hotel room where Hector was waiting to commit adultery with a sex worker. The hackers contact Hector, who complies with their commands to avoid losing custody of his children. Kenny and Hector drive to a bank and Kenny robs it at gunpoint. Hector drives Kenny to the woods to drop off the money and leaves to dispose of the car. Another blackmailed person explains to Kenny that they must fight to the death over the money while filmed by a drone. Kenny tries to shoot himself, but the gun is empty. Later, staggering out of the woods, Kenny discovers that the hackers have released the footage. His distraught mother calls him, having learned that he was masturbating to child pornography, as police swarm the area.

      Cast : Alex Lawther and Jerome Flynn

      11 4 “San Junipero” Owen Harris Charlie Brooker 21 October 2016
      In 1987, the shy Yorkie meets the outgoing Kelly in a beach resort town named San Junipero. The next week, the pair meet again and have sex. Yorkie struggles to find Kelly afterwards, until a man suggests looking in a different time. She searches in multiple decades until finding Kelly in 2002, where Kelly confesses that she is dying, and wanted to avoid developing feelings for Yorkie. They have sex again. San Junipero is revealed as a simulated reality inhabited by the deceased and elderly, who interact through their younger bodies. In California, Kelly meets a paralysed Yorkie, soon to be euthanised so that she can live in San Junipero permanently. Kelly marries Yorkie to authorise the euthanasia. However, the pair argue when Kelly says she does not wish to stay in San Junipero when she dies: her husband, with whom she was together for 49 years, did not choose to join after their daughter died without the option to do so. After some time, Kelly changes her mind and happily reunites with Yorkie after her own euthanasia.

      Cast : Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Mackenzie Davis

      12 5 “Men Against Fire” Jakob Verbruggen Charlie Brooker 21 October 2016
      Soldiers are exterminating mutated humans called “roaches” in a foreign country with the help of MASS, an augmented reality implant which gives them data. Stripe encounters his first group of roaches and kills two of them, but one uses a strange device that interferes with his MASS interface. The next day, Stripe tries to save a frightened woman and her child when Hunter inexplicably tries to kill them. The mother explains to Stripe that MASS causes soldiers to see them as mutants, but they are normal and healthy. “Roaches” are an ethnic group against whom the military is committing genocide. Hunter kills the mother and child and knocks Stripe unconscious. In a cell, a psychologist, Arquette, gives Stripe the choice of indefinite imprisonment or a memory wipe. Later, Stripe is a decorated officer and approaches a beautiful house and partner he pictured in his dreams, but the scene is a figment of his MASS.

      Cast : Malachi Kirby, Madeline Brewer, Ariane Labed, Sarah Snook and Michael Kelly

      13 6 “Hated in the Nation” James Hawes Charlie Brooker 21 October 2016
      To counteract near-extinction of bees, Granular has developed robotic bees called “Autonomous Drone Insects” (ADIs). DCI Karin Parke and Detective Blue Coulson, with the help of the National Crime Agency agent Shaun Li, discover that rogue ADIs caused the deaths of two people, both subjects of the “#DeathTo” hashtag after gathering recent hate on social media. The hashtag was spread by a person who is running a “Game of Consequences” where the person most-mentioned alongside the hashtag is killed each day. They try to save the new target, but ADIs swarm the safe house and kill her. The public and news media become aware of the game as Blue traces the hashtag to a former Granular employee Garrett Scholes. A hacking toolkit of Scholes’ is found, which Li insists on using to deactivate the ADI system. However, this was part of Scholes’ plan and almost 400,000 people—everyone who used the hashtag—are killed by ADIs. Karin appears in court over the incident, while Blue has tracked Scholes down.

      Cast : Kelly Macdonald, Faye Marsay and Benedict Wong

      Series 4 (2017)[edit]

      No. in
      Title Directed by [37] Written by [37] Original release date [40]
      14 1 “USS Callister” Toby Haynes William Bridges & Charlie Brooker 29 December 2017
      Callister Inc. produces the multiplayer game Infinity, with James Walton as CEO and Robert Daly, the brains behind the game, as the little-recognised CTO. Robert has created a version of the game modelled after his favourite series, where the characters—the crew of the starship USS Callister—are sentient clones of his co-workers. After Robert adds a new programmer, Nanette Cole, to the game, she is distressed and confused, and does not obey his commands until he causes her intense pain and shows the scope of his power. During his absences she devises an escape, though James is reluctant to join as Robert once brought his son into the game and threw him out of an airlock. Nanette finds a way to blackmail her real-life self into distracting Robert for long enough for them to steal his in-game “omnicorder”, which controls the world, and begin to escape. Robert resumes playing and chases them, but they escape, which causes the game to break with Robert inside. The crew enter the real Infinity game as players.

      Cast : Jesse Plemons, Cristin Milioti, Jimmi Simpson, Michaela Coel and Billy Magnussen

      15 2 “Arkangel” Jodie Foster Charlie Brooker 29 December 2017
      Marie briefly loses her three-year-old daughter Sara and decides to have her implanted with the Arkangel system, whereby Marie can track Sara’s vision, hearing and health via a tablet computer. A filter censors Sara from seeing or hearing stressful situations. After nine-year-old Sara makes herself bleed, Marie deactivates the filter and puts the tablet in the attic. One night when Sara is fifteen, Marie discovers she is lying about her whereabouts and, in distress, retrieves the tablet. Marie sees Sara having sex for the first time with Trick. Marie begins using the tablet in secret; she forces Trick to avoid Sara after he gives her cocaine, and sneaks an emergency contraception pill into Sara’s smoothie. Sara discovers Marie is using the tablet and beats her with it, causing the stress filter to be reactivated so that she cannot see the damage she is doing. When Marie regains consciousness, Sara is long gone.

      Cast : Rosemarie DeWitt, Brenna Harding and Owen Teague

      16 3 “Crocodile” John Hillcoat Charlie Brooker 29 December 2017
      Rob hits a cyclist on a mountain road, killing him; with his companion Mia he throws the body into a lake. Fifteen years later, Rob visits her to talk about sending an anonymous letter to the victim’s wife. Afraid the letter would be traced, Mia kills Rob. Later, an insurance investigator Shazia researches an unrelated car accident and learns that Mia saw it out of the window that evening. Shazia uses a “Recaller” to view people’s memories, as best as they can picture them. Shazia speaks to Mia, who sees Mia’s memories of both of her killings, despite Mia trying to stop herself thinking about them. Mia ties Shazia up, uses the Recaller to discover Shazia told her husband about the visit, and kills Shazia. Mia journeys to kill Shazia’s husband and also kills their baby son to avoid leaving evidence. However, the son was born blind and the family guinea pig observed Mia, so police track Mia down to her son’s school production.

      Cast : Andrea Riseborough, Kiran Sonia Sawar, Andrew Gower, Anthony Welsh and Claire Rushbrook

      17 4 “Hang the DJ” Tim Van Patten Charlie Brooker 29 December 2017
      Frank and Amy use an electronic device called “Coach” which chooses their relationship partners and durations. Coach will eventually assign them lifelong partners, with a 99.8% success rate. They are matched for 12 hours, and then each given a match lasting several months. Amy’s ends and she is given a series of 36-hour relationships; when Frank’s ends, the pair are rematched. They get on well until Frank violates an agreement they had not to look at the expiry date—initially five years, but his action causes Coach to recalculate the period to 20 hours. Amy and Frank leave on bad terms but fail to enjoy future matches. The day before they are paired with their lifelong partners, they reunite and Amy encourages Frank to rebel. As they escape, the world fades away: it was a simulated reality used by a dating app to determine the real-life Frank and Amy’s compatibility.

      Cast : Georgina Campbell and Joe Cole

      18 5 Metalhead David Slade Charlie Brooker 29 December 2017
      The episode is filmed in black and white. Bella journeys to a warehouse with Anthony and Clarke. A robotic guard known as a “dog” kills Anthony and chases the others as they drive away in separate cars. The dog jumps into Clarke’s car and kills him, then pursues Bella in it. The dog enters Bella’s car, and she exits as the car topples off the edge of a cliff. Via walkie-talkie, Bella leaves someone a brief message for her loved ones in case of death. The dog finds her and she climbs a tree to escape it, draining it of power by throwing things at it. As it recharges, she makes her way into a compound. When the dog tracks her down, she blinds it with paint and destroys it with a shotgun, but its shrapnel embeds trackers in her body, including one in her jugular vein. She says a final goodbye into a walkie-talkie, unsure if she can be heard. As she puts a knife to her throat, dogs swarm over the area, including the warehouse where Bella and her friends were trying to retrieve a box of teddy bears.

      Cast : Maxine Peake

      19 6 Black Museum Colm McCarthy Charlie Brooker 29 December 2017
      Nish visits the Black Museum run by Rolo Haynes. He previously recruited people for experimental medical technology. One technology allowed Dr. Peter Dawson to feel the physical sensations of his patients to make diagnoses, but he began enjoying pain and was rendered comatose after killing a homeless man and experiencing his death. In another case, a comatose mother had her consciousness transferred into her husband’s head, but after arguments she was moved to a toy monkey which her child quickly abandoned. The main exhibit is a holographic Clayton Leigh—a man convicted of murder and put to death by electric chair. Visitors pull the lever to execute the sentient hologram, and get a souvenir clone copy to watch the death on repeat. Nish reveals herself as Clayton’s daughter; she has given Rolo poisoned water so that he falls unconscious. Nish kills the hologram of Clayton and takes a souvenir of Rolo being given the electric chair. As she drives away, she speaks to her mother, whose consciousness has been transferred into her head.


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