Charlie Booker’s new series is about the modern media and modern technology, three episodes on different topics, all of them relevant to Media Studies students.
This area – between delight and discomfort – is where Black Mirror, my new drama series, is set. The “black mirror” of the title is the one you’ll find on every wall, on every desk, in the palm of every hand: the cold, shiny screen of a TV, a monitor, a smartphone. The series was inspired, indirectly, by The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling’s hugely entertaining TV series of the late 50s and early 60s, sometimes incorrectly dismissed as a camp exercise in twist-in-the-tale sci-fi. It was far more than that. Serling, a brilliant writer, created The Twilight Zone because he was tired of having his provocative teleplays about contemporary issues routinely censored in order to appease corporate sponsors. If he wrote about racism in a southern town, he had to fight the network over every line. But if he wrote about racism in a metaphorical, quasi-fictional world – suddenly he could say everything he wanted.
Episode One, The National Anthem, is about secrecy, privacy, and social networks. It is on Sunday night (December 4) at 9pm.
Episode Two, Fifteen Million Merits, is about a miserable society in which the only hope for escape lies in a TV talent show.
Episode Three, The Entire History of You, is about a world in which you can keep a personal record of everything you do in digital form, and revisit it any time you want.
I would say this is essential viewing before your Unit 3 exam in January.