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Black Mirror

Moonbat

Chuckle Churner
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Annoyingly late :mad:

I saw that Channel 4 were showing three Charlie Brooker written dark Sci-Fi dramas, when the final one had already aired. :(

Fortunately (for those of us in Blighty) there is 4OD

I have just watched the first two episodes and they are very good.
Though be warned, they are dark.

See them here.

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/black-mirror/

As I said I have watched the first two and I really enjoyed them

The first is probably more disturbing, but made me laugh quite a bit (says something about my sense of humour)

The second was more sci-fi but equally enthralling and just as dark.

Have any of you guys/gals watched these?
What did you think of them?
 

Fried Egg

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I watched all three this weekend. They were very good SF. Dark and satirical they were definitely food for thought.
 

Anthony G Williams

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My take on them, from my blog:

A series of three TV dramas on UK Channel 4 "that taps into collective unease about our modern world". Each takes a look at some aspects of modern society by imagining what the future might hold if current trends continue.

The National Anthem

The nation's favourite princess has been captured and is being held to ransom. The kidnapper's demand? That the Prime Minister should have sex with a pig - live on TV - that day; otherwise she dies. This is the premise for an hilarious but very dark comedy as the PM struggles to find a way out of the situation, with spin doctors, special forces, TV reporters and his wife all getting involved, and many twists and turns before the final sting in the tail. Painfully real - the PM's agonised dilemma is all too convincing.

15 Million Merits

Some time in the future, the lot of most citizens is to spend their days on exercise bikes, generating power for some unknown purpose. The harder they pedal, the more Merits they earn to spend on food, consumer goods and popular entertainment. The only way out is to earn the 15 million Merits needed to get a ticket onto a talent show, where their performances are judged by a panel plus the reaction of a virtual audience. One man hears a new neighbour singing, an innocent girl only just old enough to have started pedalling, and is so moved that he sponsors her for the talent show. But the outcome is entirely unexpected, and drives him into making a dramatic intervention - with an equally unexpected consequence. No humour in this one apart from the satirical portrayal of the judging panel, but it's a bitter, thought-provoking take on some trends in modern society.

The Entire History of You

The time is the near future, when almost everyone is implanted with a Grain in their heads: a small memory chip which permanently records everything a person sees or hears. It can be played back in their heads or sent to a TV screen, as often as they want. This is remarkably convenient but the drama reveals the social and psychological dangers of a memory which is not only perfect, but can be replayed to anyone else. The plot follows the gradual disintegration of one man who obsessively replays his memories to look for clues about the relationship between his wife and an old flame of hers they'd recently met, zooming in on details, using lipreading programmes to decipher distant conversations, and so on. Not for those who prefer their entertainment to be light-hearted.

These programmes make compelling viewing and, unlike other TV dramas, have stuck firmly in my mind. The first is more of a political satire but the others are adult SF, and all of them were written to make people think rather than be passively entertained. They make the usual TV SFF hokum look ridiculously juvenile. If you missed them, try to see them. They are not always easy to watch but are exemplars of what modern adult SF programmes should really be like.
 

Moonbat

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Please note everyone that black mirror is back
A very clever sci fi series is back for a second season

Starts on Channel 4 Monday 11th Feb at 11:00pm
I believe there will be 5 episodes, and I advise you all to watch it :)
 

Moonbat

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I just watched the first episode

Be Right Back

Again another thoughtful Sci fi drama. A clever look at how far our digital fingerprint and online presence can go, and then how far we could go when confronted with loss.

Another very clevel, subtle sci fi, a mix of not-to-distant technology and the human drama that makes for a good story. Nothing was truly unbelievable.

I advise you all to watch it, if you don't like it fine, but don't miss out because you didn't give it a chance. :)
 

Mouse

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Missed the first one, unfortunately, cos I thought it looked good. But just caught White Bear. Really, really good. Very thought provoking! (Still can't help but think of Lenora as Annie from Being Human, which kinda made it worse!) My mum wasn't impressed though, she didn't get it and then went to bed in disgust. Still, I enjoyed it.
 

Lenny

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*SPOILERS FOR 2.02*






I thought the boyfriend looked sketchy!

If this episode turns out to be a possible future, then I'll be pleased - for one thing, if privately owned companies have the money to stage elaborate sentences, then the government would be able to outsource the entire prison system and put that money to good use elsewhere in the budget! Brooker, you genius.
 

Moonbat

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Another great episode, but much darker than the last, at times it was quite hard to watch. As much as it was a commnet on trial by media, I think the punishment was almost backwards, it reminded me of mob rule, and stonings.
I suppose some people would say punishments should be harsher and fit the crime, but that has got to be classed as cruel and unusual. Very clever though, I kept wondering what had happened.
Looking forward to next week.
 

Lenny

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I wasn't sold on tonight's episode. Even with the scene during the credits, I thought the ending was weak, and that it was a poor way to end the series. Personally, I would have put it second, or reversed the order of the three entirely (Waldo, cruel and unusual punishment, Facebook mannequin) to more closely mirror the way the first series played out (politician do the strangest things, bizarre future, technology destroys marriages!).

Still, it was kind of enjoyable.
 

Mouse

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Agree with you there exactly, Lenny. Didn't float my boat. Still, I missed the first one so maybe I should catch that online.
 

Moonbat

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Not the strongest of the three episodes, and had a darker turn/underside to it, but I think I would have preferred to see more of the rise of Waldo to ultimate world ruling power.
There were good moments, and an interesting take on things, but I don't think this series was as good as the first.

Still I enjoyed it and hope they do more.
 

Fried Egg

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I thought the Christmas special was excellent. Probably one of the best pieces of SF on British TV for years and it's not even billed as SF...
 

paranoid marvin

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Yes it was very good. It's a particularly chilling tale, and the ending is one that will stay with me for a long time. More horror than Sci-fi, and for me the one that is most likely to come to pass. In actual fact with the complexity of AI we are almost there. And one has to ask the question;how long before that AI computes "I think therefore I am". Will we then have the right to enslave it?

Very thought provoking , and one of the best programmes I've seen in a long time.
 

markpud

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What an excellent show!! Mr Brooker has long had an eye for dark humour and warped "what-if" scenarios of the near-future, but the issues raised this time around are particularly well executed.

The real-life blocking of people via optical implants is just horrific, the poor guy whose pregnant girlfriend cut him off was heartbreaking.

I can see us getting to the point where people would pay for a virtual wing-man to help them meet people (hopefully without the gallery of voyeurs though!).
 

paranoid marvin

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Re your spoiler.

*spoiler*



It's effectively what people are doing now via social media, just taken to the next logical progression.

Personally I thought the cookie was the most frightening prospect; 6 months of nothing in 30 seconds. 1000 years in just one minute. Could there possibly be a worse torture than enduring solitude; no need to eat, drink, sleep - if he was left in over Christmas, even for just two days then he would have spent what perceived to be almost 3 million years in isolation before he was turned off. And all at the whim of a police officer. Chilling.
 

Moonbat

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I loves Black Mirror White Christmas, really good. Very dark, I really liked the dark ending and said 'Oh no' out loud when I realised. When I looked it up on IMDB to find out who Rafe Spall was (I knew I recognised him) it listed it under series 3, so maybe there will be more (fingers crossed)

Spoiler

I loved the way that the copies had no power, from being enslaved by the real woman to 'run' the house, to being imprisoned for 3 million years at the whim of the policeman (and the crime wasn't that bad!!!)
 
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