Everyone’s favorite critic Charlie Brooker, the writer of E4′s Dead Set (see below), returns with a suspenseful, satirical three-part mini-series that taps into collective unease about our modern world. The first episode (which you can watch below as long as it lasts on Youtube) is out and it’s pretty much the best thing you will get to see on TV this year. Dark, fast, intense, cynical, no prisoners taken. Brooker, who got inspired by “The Twillight Zone”, has delivered an almost perfect media drama about a princess who got kidnapped and a prime minister who has to decide how far he would go to save a life and his country. Don’t miss it.
From The Guardian: The three episodes of Black Mirror
1. The National Anthem
Set slap-bang in the present, The National Anthem, starring Rory Kinnear and Lindsay Duncan, recounts what happens when fictional royal Princess Susannah is kidnapped and prime minister Michael Callow is presented with an unusual – and obscene – ransom request. The traditional media finds itself unable to even discuss what the demand is, while the Twittersphere foams with speculation and cruel jokes. As the ransom deadline nears, events start to gain a surreal momentum of their own. This was inspired partly by the kerfuffle over superinjunctions, and partly by the strange out-of-control sensation that takes grip on certain news days – such as the day Gordon Brown was virtually commanded to apologise to Gillian Duffy in front of the rolling news networks. Who was in charge that day? No one and everyone.
2. Fifteen Million Merits
In 1984, Apple ran a famous advert that implied the Mac might save mankind from a nightmarish Orwellian future. But what would a nightmarish Orwellian future that ran on Apple software actually look like? Probably a bit like this.
Fifteen Million Merits, co-written with my wife Konnie Huq and starring Daniel Kaluuya (The Fades) and Jessica Brown-Findlay (Downton Abbey), takes place in a world in which the population is apparently doomed to a life of meaningless toil enlivened only by continual entertainment and distraction courtesy of ominipresent gizmos and screens. So not really sci-fi at all, then. Your sole chance of escape or salvation from this world appears to be a talent contest called Hot Shot, where the judges are played by Julia Davis, the grime MC Bashy, and Rupert Everett.
3. The Entire History of You
Anyone who’s ever nosed through the Facebook profile of a potential lover will feel right at home here. Today, most of us routinely leave a trail of personal information behind us – from emails to idle thoughts on Facebook, to images of ourselves grinning at parties. Go to a live event and instead of lighters in the air, you’ll see the glow of people recording proceedings on their smartphones. This final episode, starring Toby Kebbell and Jodie Whittaker, and written by Jesse Armstrong of Peep Show, Fresh Meat and The Thick of It fame, explores the logical outcome of this, something many might consider a fantasy scenario: what if you had a kind of Sky Plus system for your head, so you could rewind and replay memories at will? You’d never forget where you left your keys again, for one thing. And it would be great for winning arguments. But it might not be brilliant news for the health of your relationship. After all, how much do you actually want to know about each other?
Black Mirror – Episode 1 – The National Anthem
If Youtube takes down the videos, you may want to try finding Black.Mirror.S01E01.HDTV.XviD-RiVER on the Interwebs.
Bonus: Charlie Brooker’s “Dead Set” – The complete series
All of England has been run over by zombies. All of England? No, there is one place where things are still normal and nobody has heard of the chaos and the horror on the streets. This place is the original Big Brother house and things wont be normal inside for very long.