The streaming service Netflix has really captivated the world over the last few years. You can literally access thousands of television shows and movies with the click of a button. Netflix has really stepped up their game though since they started releasing original content.
Shows like Orange Is The New Black and The Crown have won multiple awards and has captured the hearts of fans across the world. Black Mirror is another show that is featured on Netflix at the moment.
Although it originally aired in the United Kingdom on a different channel, Netflix took over the series and commissioned a third series. Each episode deals with a different story and centers around our use of technology in the not-so-distant future.
The show’s popularity has sky-rocketed since Netflix took over the production, and it seems like fans can’t wait for the next season to begin. In the meantime, though, here are 15 unknown secrets surrounding Black Mirror.
15 Title's Meaning May Surprise You
In a competitive market, it’s crucial to have a title that’ll grab the audience’s attention and set it apart from the rest of the pack. Black Mirror’s simple, yet unique title doesn’t give too much away. But the more you watch the series, you begin to understand that the title refers to an alternative universe. After all, existential theorists always believed that looking through the mirror represents looking at a different dimension.
This alternative dimension is so similar to ours, that it makes the series incredibly believable. The only exception is that the technology seems to be a little more advanced, making us think the series make take place in the next decade.
14 The David Cameron Prediction
As mentioned above, the series takes place in the near future, and one episode deals specifically with a scandal involving the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and a pig. In this episode, a princess is kidnapped and the kidnappers threaten to murder her unless the Prime Minister has sex with a pig on camera in front of the entire nation.
We won’t reveal what happens next, but the episode draws comparisons with the alleged revelations that David Cameron, the ex-PM of the UK, had sex with a pig as a part of an initiation in university.
This rumor caused a lot of controversy in England, and no doubt served as inspiration for the show writers.
13 Not Your Usual Series
Black Mirror defies all the odds. In television, we usually see a chronological timeline with the same characters over and over. In Black Mirror though, the big deal is that every episode is an individual story. The characters are not reoccurring, so they only appear in one episode.
Each episode takes place in the same universe so there is some form of continuity and familiarity. Series creator Charlie Brooker has said that some characters do bear resemblance to each other, but each episode stands on their own.
12 Surprise Netflix Deal
The deal with Netflix was completely unplanned. The third season was expected to air on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom, the same channel that aired the first two seasons. But the deal with Channel 4 fell through and left the fate of the show in a state of limbo. This is when Netflix stepped in and provided funding and an outlet for the third season. It took a while though to acquire the rights for the first two seasons, but they’re finally all on the streaming service at the moment.
Netflix also decided to expand the third season, because they had the money to do so. The first two seasons had just been three episodes each, but when Netflix took over, they had the money to expand the show. This is why season three has 6 episodes, including one episode that is more like a movie (it’s 90 minutes long).
11 'White Bear' Is Based On An Old Column
There’s one episode in season three that is really fascinating. It’s called ‘White Bear’ and it deals with how young offenders should be punished when they commit some sort of crime or defy society’s rules. Someone would be displayed in front of a crowd and the crowd would call in with suggestions, forcing the individual to perform an array of humiliating acts.
This episode is definitely very interesting because it comments on how the public can be ruthless, especially when they’re protected behind their screens and phones. It also demonstrates how the ‘mob effect’ comes into play when a crowd gathers, they become literally senseless and irrational.
10 Known Unknowns
The best thing about Black Mirror is that it’s British. The Brits know how to film a great series, especially when it comes to cinematography and choosing the right actors. The actors who appeared in Black Mirror are usually unknown or are just emerging on the acting scene.
This makes the series more believable because we don’t associate tabloid headlines with the actors. Although some heavyweight celebrities have appeared in the series. Hollywood actors such as Bryce Dallas-Howard and John Hamm have filmed episodes, but their acting was amazing, so you kind of forgot they were famous for just one second.
Since Black Mirror has been released, though, several of the show’s actors have appeared in big budget films. For example, Domhnall Gleeson has appeared in The Danish Girl and the new Star Wars film, meanwhile, Toby Kebbell has appeared in the new King Kong film. The show helped put them on the map, to say the least.
9 A Satire of Social Media
The season finale of the first season deals with the issue of social media and technology. The episode is called “A Complete History of You,” and it takes place in a world where people have recording devices planted in their brains.
This means people can record their surroundings and replay it at any given moment. In one particular scene, one guy goes over his job interview and scrutinizes every single facial reaction from his potential employers.
The viewers even interact with one woman who no longer has the device in her brain anymore because it was stolen by thieves. Everyone in the room is completely shocked due to the fact that everyone in this universe has one these devices. She then tells the room how she prefers life without the device.
8 Character Based On Damien Hirst?
In the episode entitled “National Anthem,” the show drew inspiration from the artist Damien Hirst. Who is Hirst though? He’s relatively unknown outside of Britain, but he basically has a bunch of famous artworks and is known for preserving animals in formaldehyde.
He represents the antagonist in the episode because Damien Hirst has always antagonized the British press for decades and has had a rocky public persona.
7 Black Mirror Predicted the Trump Election
Black Mirror literally predicted the Trump phenomenon. I know this may sound shocking, but if you watch the episode “The Waldo Movement,” it talks about how an outrageous cartoon character takes over the political world.
Waldo was supposed to be a joke created by a television network to counter the rigid political system in one British district. The cartoon soon gained a lot of momentum and took over the entire race.
The same parallels could be seen with the Trump campaign. He began the race by acting like a complete aggressor, calling out the old political system and how it didn’t really do much for the American people. What began as a joke, soon turned into a giant force that built momentum. He eventually won the American Presidential campaign and we all know he’s now the President. It just goes to show you that even the most obscure ideas can be turned into a reality.
6 Digital Resurrection Story Is Close to the Truth
In in the episode of “Be Right Back,” we see the show dealing with the issue of death and technology. In the episode, we see that the dead can interact with the living through the medium of some sort of technology. The episode stars Domnhall Gleeson, and he does a stellar job at portraying this heartbroken character who loses a loved one.
The episode is interesting because there are rumors circulating that certain companies are trying to bridge the gap between the dead and the living.
5 Not “Ripped From the Headlines”
The show is not based on the news, but the showrunner has used the news as inspiration for several episodes. So some episodes may seem like they're extremely close to our reality, you can rest assured that it is still within the realm of fiction.
The show draws several comparisons to The Twilight Zone because it transports us to a universe that is so eerily similar and allows us to see the fatal flaws that plague our society.
4 Not Really About Technology
If you've made it this far through the article, you know that we've talked a lot about technology. You may even assume the show is anti-technology, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. We think the show is just telling us that we should be aware of technology and how it can be used to harm us and our society.
We see this in a specific episode called "Men Against Fire," which deals with the military. All soldiers have a special device implanted within their brains, and it warps their reality, especially when their in the field.
They have to hunt down these creatures called 'roaches' which live in pockets in the countryside. These 'roaches' seem problematic and pose a direct threat to the military. When we first see these creatures, they look like monsters, but that's only because the implanted device makes the soldiers see things this way.
3 A Darker Shade of Black
Once you finish watching all of the Black Mirror Episodes, you'll immediately realize the show is extremely dark. As you may have guessed, the showrunner Charlie Brooker is known as a satirist and uses cynism to convey as specific emotion.
For example, if you look at the episode that tries to resurrect the dead, the subject is really dark and intimidating. But the show dives right into it and does not shy away from really exploring a lot of difficult storylines.
2 Hidden Depths
Rumors have always circulated that showrunner Charlie Brooker is extremely protective of the series and has been 'a frustrated romantic' when it comes to being optimistic about the future of the show. His friend Caitlin Moran said he's a very sensitive and caring person, and his deep devotion to the show has caused him a great deal of stress and anxiety in his life.
We can only hope that Brooker is seeking help for any stress-related issues that relate back to the show and that he continues to produce a stellar series that shall continue to grow on Netflix.
1 Light At The End
Everything can get really boring after a certain period of time. Even Stephen King takes a break from horror occasionally. Season three of Black Mirror is similarly a mixed bag. While it plays upon extremely dark elements, there are also some lighthearted moments within the series.
They had six episodes to play around with, so everything didn't always have to be super grim and serious. Luckily, the show always sticks to its true colors, though, and you can extract an interesting amount of info from each of these episodes.
We aren't that surprised that Black Mirror is so popular, but our only hope for the future is that it continues to explore these themes and we get to see great content!
Sources: BBC Newsnight, The Independent, Kerrang Radio, The Guardian