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British series ‘Black Mirror’ resembles a modern ‘Twilight Zone’

Starlight Tucker, Features Editor, Puma Press

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A little too close to reality

The premise of the British short series “Black Mirror” by Charlie Brooker is an alternate universe in which technology is the heart of insanity.  Inspired by “The Twilight Zone”, the show theorizes where the obsession of advancing technology could lead.

Episode premises include memory implants, daunting ultimatums, bringing back deceased loved ones in artificial form and mind control.

According to Digital Spy, Netflix will release more episodes of “Black Mirror” on Oct. 21.  The Hollywood Reporter also states that Robert Downey Jr. is in the process of making a movie based on one of the episodes.

Disclaimer: Episodes may contain inappropriate sexual content or offensive language. Viewer discretion advised.

A sneak peek into the series

Season 1, Episode 2: “Fifteen Million Merits” In a perfect world where humans make all the money they need by stationary cycling to generate the city’s electricity, everyone has a smart home in which commercials and emojis are constantly invading thoughts and conversation. The walls display commercials and produce a charge for muting. The smart walls also detect emotion and publicly display it. Closing the eyes during a commercial sets off an ear-screeching alarm with a voice demanding “resume viewing. In order to escape this kind of existence, one must try out for a televised talent agency to work a different job.

Season 1, Episode 2 features smart homes, easy money, and a careless population

Season 1, Episode 2 features smart homes, the new way to make money, and a careless population

Season 1, Episode 3: “The Entire History of You”- Humans have access to surgically placed memory implants which record everything humans see, hear, and do. The memories can be stored just like videos and viewed either on a television, hologram, or inside the head. The conflict in this episode is that one is able to study each memory which leads to spilled secrets, violence and obsession.

Humans have access to a memory implant which constantly records their life.

Season 1, Episode 3 Humans have access to a memory implant which constantly records their life.

Season 2, Episode 1: “Be Right Back”– A service with the purpose of comforting grieving families gathers information off of all of the deceased person’s published media to create a robot which mocks their behavior. The system has 3 stages: instant messaging, talking on the phone, and a robot resembling the exact appearance. The only setback is that the robot can only act how the person acted and looked in the media.

A woman communicates with her dead husband using a service that brings back the deceased artificially.

Season 2, Episode 1
A woman communicates with her dead husband using a service that brings back the deceased artificially.

 

Season 2, Episode 2: “White Bear”–  A public game tricks a woman inadvertently involved in a murder into thinking she woke up with no memory in an apocalypse. Throughout the game,people stream the event live, filming the woman’s reactions while laughing into the phone. The woman is told that criminals have taken over, and it is a way of mind control so the criminals can track humans unaffected by the social media spell. She finds herself stuck in near death experiences, but the truth is she just keeps receiving an injection by the end of the game that steals her memory so the game continues the next day. The episode represents the sense of entertainment humans get from practical jokes, violence and persecution.

A woman is trapped in a traumatizing game for public entertainment.

Season 2, Episode 2
A woman is trapped in a traumatizing game for public entertainment.

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British series ‘Black Mirror’ resembles a modern ‘Twilight Zone’