20 Interesting Facts About Black Mirror

Black Mirror

Black Mirror is one of the most innovative, thought-provoking, and downright disturbing shows on television. This British anthology series offers a darkly satirical look at our relationship with technology and where our obsessive reliance on devices could lead us in the near future.

Here are 20 fascinating facts about this modern masterpiece of speculative fiction:

1. Black Mirror was inspired by The Twilight Zone

the twilight zone

Creator Charlie Brooker was influenced by the classic anthology series The Twilight Zone when coming up with the concept for Black Mirror. Much like The Twilight Zone, Black Mirror uses speculative fiction and satire to hold a mirror up to our society and force us to confront uncomfortable truths.

2. The title refers to the black screens on our devices

The term “Black Mirror” refers to the black screens we see every time we look at our smartphones, laptops, televisions, and other devices. It suggests that these screens reflect our darkest fears, weaknesses, and impulses back at us.

3. Brooker wrote every episode in the first two seasons

Charlie Brooker wrote all three episodes in Season 1 and all four episodes in Season 2. It wasn’t until Season 3 that other writers, like Rashida Jones and Michael Schur, were brought on board to pen episodes.

4. Black Mirror premiered on Channel 4 in the UK

The anthology series debuted on the British channel Channel 4 in 2011. It aired for two 6-episode seasons before moving to Netflix in 2014.

5. “The National Anthem” shocked viewers

The very first episode, “The National Anthem”, shocked audiences with its provocative storyline about the British Prime Minister being forced to have sex with a pig on live television. This immediately established the show’s dark, controversial tone.

Early in his career, Daniel Kaluuya delivered an acclaimed performance in the Season 1 episode “Fifteen Million Merits”. This role helped establish him as a rising star. He later starred in Get Out and Judas and the Black Messiah.

7. Jon Hamm starred in the Christmas special

Between Seasons 2 and 3, a Black Mirror Christmas special aired in the UK in 2014. It featured Mad Men star Jon Hamm in a dual role as the troubled characters Matt and Joe.

8. Black Mirror moved from Channel 4 to Netflix

After the success of the first two seasons, Netflix outbid Channel 4 for the rights to commission future seasons. This enabled the show to reach a wider global audience. Season 3 premiered on Netflix in 2016.

9. “San Junipero” is the show’s most uplifting episode

image from IMDb.com

The Season 3 episode “San Junipero” provided a rare optimistic storyline for the normally bleak show. It follows a heartwarming romance between two women in a nostalgic 1980s virtual reality.

10. “USS Callister” pays homage to Star Trek

The Season 4 episode “USS Callister” offers a dark spoof of Star Trek, with Jesse Plemons as a sinister version of Captain Kirk. The stunning visuals and allusions to the classic sci-fi series made it a standout episode.

11. Black Mirror was inspired by The Matrix and Brazil

Brooker has cited The Matrix and Brazil as two of his biggest influences when creating the show’s distinctive dystopian, technology-focused style. Both films had a huge impact on Black Mirror’s aesthetic and themes.

12. An interactive film was released in 2018

In the ambitious choose-your-own-adventure film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, viewers controlled the story by making decisions for the main character. It paved the way for more interactive content on Netflix.

13. Miley Cyrus played a pop star in Season 5

Global superstar Miley Cyrus delivered a critically praised performance in the Season 5 episode “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too”. She played a bubbly pop singer named Ashley O.

14. Andrew Scott starred in a Season 5 episode

Andrew Scott of Fleabag and Sherlock fame played a rideshare driver obsessed with his rating in the Season 5 episode “Smithereens”. His tense performance earned rave reviews.

15. Black Mirror episodes vary dramatically in tone

While some episodes are bleak cautionary tales, others are darkly comedic satires. And a few, like “San Junipero”, even have optimistic endings. This tonal range keeps the show fresh.

16. Brooker is passionate about technology

Despite the show’s dark view, Brooker himself is fascinated by technological advances. He’s said, “I’m very much pro-technology, even though I do think we’re creating hell for ourselves.”

17. Brooker cameos in Season 5

Rachel Jack and Ashley Too
Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too | image from imdb.com

During the Season 5 episode “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too”, creator Charlie Brooker briefly appears onscreen as a news reporter named Daniel Shotwell.

18. The show has gotten more cinematic over time

As the series has evolved, the episodes have become more like self-contained movies, with high production values and cinematic aesthetics.

19. Black Mirror won multiple Emmys

The acclaimed series has been showered with awards over the years, including six Emmy wins. It also won a Peabody Award in 2019.

20. What We Know So Far About Black Mirror Season 7

The DigitalSpy article speculates that a seventh season of Black Mirror is likely given the show’s popularity, but notes that Netflix has not yet renewed it.

Creator Charlie Brooker has hinted he has more ideas and is open to doing more seasons. He also mentioned possibly doing musical or animated episodes in the future to change things up even more.

While there is no set timeline, if the show returns to its regular release schedule, season 7 could potentially arrive by late 2024.

Black Mirror continues to deliver groundbreaking, unforgettable television that holds up a dark mirror to our modern tech-obsessed society. As the new season looms, this innovative anthology series remains as relevant and incisive as ever. Which shocking twist or satirical storyline will arrive next? We can’t wait to find out.

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