The Future Is Broken.Black Mirror
is a highly didactic UK television drama anthology
series produced (and mostly written) by Dead Set
creator Charlie Brooker
. The episodes follow different characters and settings yet retain similar Black Comedy
themes of techno-paranoia and general unease with the world. The series is heavily inspired by The Twilight Zone
.The series' name stems
from the reflection visible in a blackened digital screen. Since each episode
is set in its own universe, specific examples can be found in the appropriate series page (linked below), whilst recurring tropes can be found on this page.
The first series ended up winning the International Emmy for "Best TV movie/Mini-Series", and the second series started on 11th of Feb 2013. There has also been a Christmas Special
, released in the UK on December 16th 2014. Additionally, Brooker has confirmed the series will soon return with a third Series in 2015. The series became a smash hit in China, leading Chinese bloggers to dub surreal tech-related events "Black Mirror Moments."
Here are the trailers for Series 1
, Series 2
and the Christmas Special
Pages for specific episode examples can be found on the series page:
The first series consists of "The National Anthem", "15 Million Merits", and "The Entire History Of You", whilst the second contains "Be Right Back", "White Bear", and "The Waldo Moment". The Christmas Special, Black Mirror: White Christmas, was a feature-length special containing three intertwining narratives.
Recurring tropes throughout the series:
- Author Filibuster: Brooker might as well deliver half the lines himself for all their "subtle" recitations of his views.
- Author Tract
- British Brevity: There is a grand total of six episodes over two series, both lasting three episodes each. Justified in that the first season was only meant to be a mini-series, but it proved to be so successful that the show was commissioned for another one.
- Crapsack World
- Creative Closing Credits: Combined with The Stinger, the credits often show the aftermath of the each story.
- Finagle's Law
- Never Trust a Trailer: The series adverts, which are a cocktail of Chekhov's Guns and Red Herrings. It's worth watching them again post-series to see what was and wasn't foreshadowed for the plots.
- New Media Are Evil: Very frequent.
- Pastiche: Towards The Twilight Zone and Tales of the Unexpected, among others.
- Sliding Scale of Cynicism Versus Idealism: Falls on the side of cynicism. Boy howdy, does it ever.
- Take That: Too many to list.
- Twenty Minutes into the Future: Most episodes. "The National Anthem" and "The Waldo Moment" are exceptions as, due to no visible tech advancement, they are presumably set around present day. Indeed, a Freeze-Frame Bonus shows they take place at about the same time- Carton Bloom's "agitation exhibit" is mentioned during a broadcast during the Waldo Moment.
- You Bastard: As observed in numerous reviews of the series, Black Mirror's stories take many digs at the selfishness and pettiness of contemporary humans as amplified by technology.