I’ve been watching the new series of Black Mirror on Netflix over the last few days.
For the uninitiated, it’s the latest in stand-alone, one hour long stories (mostly) co-penned by Charlie Brooker, the main theme being technology, our relationship with it, and what happens when it is used for ill-gain, or when its use spirals out of control.
The first ever episode, “The National Anthem”, had a storyline where the UK Prime Minister was forced to have sex with a pig live on air as part of the ransom to secure the release of a kidnapped member of the royal family; it hit the headlines several years later when it was alleged that the actual Prime Minister had allegedly voluntarily done something not entirely dissimilar. Allegedly. I said allegedly enough times there, didn’t I?
The new series continues in a similar bleak vein; the first – and don’t worry, there’ll be no spoilers here – “Nosedive” envisions a world where your social avenues are opened or closed depending on the on-line scores people give you for your real-life interactions with them; “Playtest” explores the world of virtual reality gaming, and the third “Shut Up and Dance” taps into the paranoia stemming from that urban myth (or is it….?) that the webcam on your laptop might record more than you intend it to.
“Shut Up and Dance” climaxes with a sequence featuring one of my favourite Radiohead songs, a song which has always sent shivers down my spine, and it’s inclusion in “Shut Up and Dance” ensures it will continue to do so for quite some time:
I have another three episodes to watch, so doubtless I’ll be back if any others touch a nerve.
In other words: More soon.