List of Black Mirror episodes

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Black Mirror is a British television series created by Charlie Brooker. The series is produced by Zeppotron for Endemol. Regarding the programme's content and structure, Brooker noted, "each episode has a different cast, a different setting, and even a different reality. But they're all about the way we live now; and the way we might be living in 10 minutes' time if we're clumsy."[1]

As of 29 December 2017, 19 episodes of Black Mirror have been released, including one special, concluding the fourth series. The first two series comprised three episodes each and aired on Channel 4 from 2011 to 2013, along with a special episode in December 2014. In September 2015, Netflix commissioned a series of 12 episodes,[2] which was later divided into two separate series. The third and fourth series of Black Mirror, each comprising six episodes, were released in 2016 and 2017 respectively.[3] Netflix also released a standalone interactive film titled Bandersnatch on 28 December 2018, while a fifth series has been in production since March 2018.[4][5]

Series overview[edit]

SeriesEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast releasedNetwork
134 December 2011 (2011-12-04)18 December 2011 (2011-12-18)Channel 4
2311 February 2013 (2013-02-11)25 February 2013 (2013-02-25)
Special16 December 2014 (2014-12-16)
3621 October 2016 (2016-10-21)Netflix
4629 December 2017 (2017-12-29)
Film28 December 2018 (2018-12-28)

Episodes[edit]

Series 1 (2011)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions) [6]
11"The National Anthem"Otto BathurstCharlie Brooker4 December 2011 (2011-12-04)2.07

Princess Susannah, a member of the British royal family, has been kidnapped. To return the Princess, the kidnapper demands that the country's Prime Minister, Michael Callow, has sexual intercourse with a pig on live television, otherwise he will kill her. Callow refuses to be blackmailed, but public opinion is gradually turning against him. Security forces are trying to locate the kidnapper, but every effort fails. Under pressure, Callow finally agrees to fulfill the demand. The British people gather in public places and watch the shocking broadcast, with no one realising that the kidnapper has already released the Princess, thirty minutes before Callow's sex act began. The kidnapper commits suicide by hanging and he is later revealed to be an artist, who planned the debacle in order to make a statement on people's obsession with the media. One year later, Callow's approval ratings have fully recovered, but his relationship with his wife has suffered a heavy blow.


Starring: Rory Kinnear and Lindsay Duncan.
22"Fifteen Million Merits"Euros LynCharlie Brooker & Kanak Huq11 December 2011 (2011-12-11)1.52

Bing feels trapped living in an enclosed, automated space, as a member of a society that rides power-generating stationary bikes in exchange for "merits", a form of currency they can use to buy things they need. One day, he hears a girl named Abi singing in the bathroom and falls in love with her. He decides to gift her fifteen million merits, that she can use to buy a ticket for a talent show. Abi accepts and enters the contest, where she is given a psychotropic beverage to drink before she goes on stage. The judges are impressed with her singing, but they suggest she is better suited for pornography. Abi accepts their offer, unable to think clearly. Bing returns to the stationary bikes, determined to earn back the merits he needs to enter the contest himself, and finally manages to buy a new ticket. When he enters the stage, he takes the opportunity to express his indignation and threatens to commit suicide, while other members are watching in the audience. When he finishes talking, the judges offer him a weekly show, where he will have the opportunity to rant about the system. Bing accepts their offer.


Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Jessica Brown Findlay, and Rupert Everett.
33"The Entire History of You"Brian WelshJesse Armstrong18 December 2011 (2011-12-18)0.87

People have implanted a "grain" behind their ear, which allows them to record everything they see and hear. Using a remote, a user can perform a "re-do", playing back their memories directly to their eye or to a video monitor. At a dinner party, Liam is suspicious of his wife Ffion's behaviour towards a man named Jonas. Returning home, Ffion admits that she used to be in a relationship with him. The next morning, Liam drunkenly heads to Jonas' house and forces him to delete every memory of sexual intercourse he had with Ffion. In the memories appearing on the monitor, Liam notices one from the time when he and Ffion were already in a relationship. Liam, afraid that he might not be the biological father of his child, returns home and demands that Ffion show him the re-do of that specific sexual encounter, in order to prove that they had used a condom. The re-do verifies that the two of them had unprotected sex. Sometime later, having been left alone in his house, Liam goes to the bathroom and uses a razor blade to cut out the grain from behind his ear.


Starring: Toby Kebbell and Jodie Whittaker.

Series 2 (2013)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions) [6]
41"Be Right Back"Owen HarrisCharlie Brooker11 February 2013 (2013-02-11)2.01

Ash lives with his girlfriend Martha, spending a lot of time on social media, until one day he dies in a traffic accident. A few days later, Martha finds out that she is pregnant and decides to use a new technology that is able to simulate Ash's voice and personality on the phone, based on his social media profile and other audiovisual material. This service helps her overcome her despair, until one day she accidentally drops her phone and panics. The artificial Ash tells her of the service's experimental stage, in which she agrees to have the replica transferred into a synthetic body, almost identical to Ash. However, Martha realises that the android is not able to replicate the small details in her loved one's behaviour and starts distancing herself from it. Finally, Martha takes the artificial Ash to a cliff and orders it to jump off. As it begins to follow the order, Martha expresses her frustration that Ash would not have simply obeyed. As a response, the android starts begging for its life. Unable to get rid of it, she ends up keeping the android in the attic, where a few years later her little daughter visits it every weekend.


Starring: Hayley Atwell and Domhnall Gleeson.
52"White Bear"Carl TibbettsCharlie Brooker18 February 2013 (2013-02-18)1.69

A woman wakes up in a house with amnesia. She notices people on the street recording her on their phones, but when she speaks to them they ignore her. When a masked man opens fire at her with a shotgun, she flees and meets Jem, another woman running away from the "hunters". Jem explains that the people recording her have been affected by a signal that appeared on their screens, while the hunters are unaffected people acting sadistically. The woman follows Jem in her plan to reach the transmitter and destroy it. When they reach the facilities, they are attacked by two more hunters. The woman manages to wrestle a shotgun away, but when she pulls the trigger it only sprays confetti, revealing that everything was staged. The woman is told that her name is Victoria Skillane and she has been found guilty for her part in the brutal killing of a young girl. She has been sentenced to undergo this psychological torture daily in the "White Bear Justice Park", where visitors are allowed to record her daily suffering. Victoria is returned to the house where she awoke and has her memory of the day's events wiped clean, in an extremely painful procedure.


Starring: Lenora Crichlow and Michael Smiley.
63"The Waldo Moment"Bryn HigginsCharlie Brooker25 February 2013 (2013-02-25)1.28

Jamie Salter is a comedian controlling a vulgar computer-animated bear named Waldo on a late-night show. The character becomes popular with the British public and a pilot for a series is commissioned. Jamie reluctantly agrees to have Waldo enter an upcoming by-election to promote the pilot, having no interest in politics himself. Waldo is projected onto a screen on the side of a van and targets the Conservative candidate Liam Monroe by following him around during his campaign. Jamie sleeps with the Labour candidate Gwendolyn Harris, with whom he starts falling in love. When Gwendolyn follows her campaign manager's advice and distances herself from Jamie, he exposes her publicly as a career politician. Waldo gains more public support, attracting American interest for global branding, but Jamie rejects the idea. On the final day of the campaign trail, Jamie begs the public not to vote for Waldo. Monroe wins the election, with Waldo coming second and Gwendolyn third. In the future, Jamie wakes up homeless in a dystopian police state, with Waldo's face appearing on every screen on the streets.


Starring: Daniel Rigby, Chloe Pirrie, and Jason Flemyng.

Special (2014)[edit]

No.
overall
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions) [6]
7"White Christmas"Carl TibbettsCharlie Brooker16 December 2014 (2014-12-16)1.66

On Christmas Day, Matt and Joe start talking about their past for the first time, after five years that they have been stationed together in a remote cabin. Matt used to help single men seduce women. His clients had optical implants that allowed him to see through their eyes and give them advice in real-time using the "Eye-Link" technology. His main profession, however, was subjugating artificial copies of clients' consciousness, stored into bean-sized chips called "cookies", into docile personal assistants in charge of running smart houses. Joe reveals that after a domestic squabble, his pregnant girlfriend Beth "blocked" him, using a technology that turned them into incomprehensible pixelated blurs to each other. The block lasted for years, preventing him from talking to Beth or the child, until Beth died in an accident. Joe found the child in Beth's father's cabin, but the man told him that the little girl was not his daughter. Angered, Joe bashed his head with an object and left. After Joe tells Matt that the girl also died in the blizzard, trying to get help for her grandfather, it is revealed that everything is taking place inside Joe's cookie, where Matt was trying to extract Joe's confession, in exchange for his own release from prison. Due to his Eye-Link-related voyeurism, Matt is registered as a sex offender, resulting in him being universally blocked following his release. Joe's artificial consciousness remains trapped in the cabin, having its time perception changed to 1,000 years a minute.


Starring: Jon Hamm, Rafe Spall, Oona Chaplin, and Natalia Tena.

Series 3 (2016)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
81"Nosedive"Joe WrightStory by : Charlie Brooker
Teleplay by : Rashida Jones & Mike Schur
21 October 2016 (2016-10-21)

Using eye implants and mobile devices, people rate their online and in-person interactions on a five-star scale. This system cultivates insincere relationships, as a person's rating significantly affects their socioeconomic status. Lacie is a young woman currently rated at 4.2 and keen to achieve self-improvement, hoping to reach a 4.5 rating to qualify for a discount to a luxury apartment. Lacie tries to gain favour from highly-rated people, as they have larger impacts on scores, and sees a great chance to achieve her goal, when school friend Naomi asks her to be maid-of-honour at her upcoming wedding, with many highly-rated guests. After a series of mishaps on her way to the wedding that send her ratings plummeting, Naomi calls Lacie and tells her not to come. Enraged, Lacie manages to get to the celebratory dinner; she grabs the microphone and starts giving the speech she had written. The guests rate her negatively, causing her rating to drop to zero. She becomes dangerously upset and security removes her from the area. She is placed in a cell and has the technology supporting the rating system removed from her eyes. Feeling liberated, she gets into an argument with a man, without worrying about being rated.


Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard, Alice Eve, Cherry Jones, and James Norton.
92"Playtest"Dan TrachtenbergCharlie Brooker21 October 2016 (2016-10-21)

Cooper leaves his home in America to travel the world, but ends up stranded in England after a banking error. He avoids calling his mother for help, as he has been unable to connect with her following his father's death due to early-onset Alzheimer's. While staying at the house of a girl he had slept with the previous night, Cooper offers to participate in a playtest of an augmented reality video game. A gadget with the ability to layer lifelike images and sounds into his perception is implanted at the back of his neck, though a phone call from his mother causes an interference during the initialisation process. After the gadget probes his brain for information on things that scare him, the test begins with Cooper being left alone in a spooky mansion. There, Cooper endures some jumpscares at first, but when he later experiences severe mental and physical pain the test is terminated. Cooper returns home to his mother, who does not recognise him, and he realises that—like his father—she too has been afflicted with Alzheimer's. At this point, it is revealed that all events subsequent to the signal interference were taking place in Cooper's head. The interference had caused his brain synapses to light up all at once, resulting in his death shortly afterwards.


Starring: Wyatt Russell, Hannah John-Kamen, Wunmi Mosaku, and Ken Yamamura.
103"Shut Up and Dance"James WatkinsCharlie Brooker & William Bridges21 October 2016 (2016-10-21)

Nineteen-year-old Kenny downloads an anti-malware program to fix his infected laptop. Unbeknownst to him, the program activates his laptop camera, which records him masturbating to internet porn. Hackers threaten to e-mail a video of his act to his entire contacts list, unless he follows their instructions. Another victim of the hackers gives Kenny a box with a cake inside, which he then has to deliver to Hector, a man being blackmailed over infidelity. Kenny and Hector get into an assigned car and drive to a bank, which they must rob using a gun hidden inside the cake. Kenny robs the bank and they drive to the drop-off point in a nearby wood. Kenny alone carries the money, as Hector leaves to destroy the car. In the wood, Kenny meets another man, who is being blackmailed for watching child pornography. The man explains to Kenny that they are to fight to the death and attacks him. Kenny manages to kill the man, but the hackers leak all the blackmail material of their victims anyway. Kenny receives a call from his crying mother, where it is revealed that he too was masturbating to child pornography. The police arrive at his location and apprehend him.


Starring: Alex Lawther and Jerome Flynn.
114"San Junipero"Owen HarrisCharlie Brooker21 October 2016 (2016-10-21)

In 1987, shy Yorkie visits a bar in a beach resort town named San Junipero, where she meets the outgoing Kelly. The two young women are attracted to each other and they sleep together. After that, Yorkie is not able to find Kelly again, until a man suggests looking for her in a different time. Yorkie visits 1980, 1996, and finally manages to find Kelly in 2002. Kelly explains that she is dying and that she was not looking for a relationship. San Junipero is revealed to be a virtual world, set across different time periods, where dead people can upload their artificial consciousness, while visitors, like Yorkie and Kelly, can test the trial period of the system once a week. In real life, old Kelly visits bedridden Yorkie in a hospital, and discovers that she was paralyzed 40 years earlier, after running her car off the road in despair, when her parents rejected her for coming out. Kelly marries Yorkie and authorises her wish to be euthanised and uploaded to San Junipero. As her health worsens, Kelly elects to do the same, overcoming her thoughts of her dead husband and daughter who were not uploaded to the system. Kelly and Yorkie reunite in San Junipero forever.


Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Mackenzie Davis.
125"Men Against Fire"Jakob VerbruggenCharlie Brooker21 October 2016 (2016-10-21)

Soldiers are exterminating mutated humans called "roaches" in a foreign country, using a neural implant called MASS, which enhances their senses and provides instant data via augmented reality. When soldier Stripe encounters several aggressive roaches, one of them uses a mysterious device that disrupts his MASS interface. The next day, Stripe starts seeing roaches as humans, and tries to save a frightened woman from his fellow female soldier, Hunter. The woman tells him that MASS disguises the fact that roaches are regular humans, hated by everyday civilians due to propaganda and prejudice. Hunter knocks Stripe unconscious and brings him back to the military base, where he is incarcerated. An officer named Arquette reveals to him that the true purpose of the MASS implants is to dehumanise the enemy, allowing soldiers to kill them more efficiently, as part of a eugenics program. Arquette threatens to imprison Stripe, endlessly looping raw footage of him killing ordinary humans during his service, unless he consents to have his MASS system reset. In the future, Stripe returns home and sees a beautiful woman waiting for him, but this is revealed to be a figment created by the MASS implant.


Starring: Malachi Kirby, Madeline Brewer, Ariane Labed, Sarah Snook, and Michael Kelly.
136"Hated in the Nation"James HawesCharlie Brooker21 October 2016 (2016-10-21)

To counteract a drop in the United Kingdom's bee population, Granular has developed robotic bees, known as "ADIs". Detectives Karin Parke and Blue Coulson, together with the help of NCA agent Shaun Li, discover that hacked ADIs have caused the deaths of two people by getting inside their heads, causing unbearable pain. Coulson finds that the two victims had been targeted with the "#DeathTo" hashtag on social media, as part of the "Game of Consequences", where the person that leads the hashtag tables is killed every day. After a third person is killed, the hashtag starts rapidly growing in use. The analysis of the compromised ADIs proves the hacker to be former Granular employee Garrett Scholes. Police raid his location, yielding a disk drive that contains a list of every person who has used the hashtag. Parke concludes that these people are Scholes' real targets. Agent Li deactivates the system to bounce the hacker out, but when it comes back online, swarms of ADIs target a total of 387,036 people, resulting in a tremendous massacre. Sometime later, Parke is summoned to a hearing, where she talks about her involvement in the case. Coulson, who is presumed to have committed suicide, finds Scholes abroad and texts Parke "Got him".


Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Faye Marsay, and Benedict Wong.

Series 4 (2017)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
141"USS Callister"Toby HaynesCharlie Brooker & William Bridges29 December 2017 (2017-12-29)

Robert Daly, a reclusive but gifted programmer and co-founder of a popular massive multiplayer online game, is embittered by the lack of recognition for his work. He has created a mock Star Trek-like simulation on a private server, using DNA from his co-workers to create sentient digital clones of them, serving under himself their abusive captain of the starship USS Callister. When the digital clone of new hire Nanette Cole is brought into his game, Cole's clone encourages the other copies to revolt against Daly. After obtaining a in-simulation device that lets them communicate outside the private server, Cole's clone blackmails the real Cole to distract Daly long enough for the digital clones to take over Callister and escape off the private server, while Daly, trapped within the simulation at the onset of a game patch, ends up motionless in the real world.


Starring: Jesse Plemons, Cristin Milioti, Jimmi Simpson, Michaela Coel, and Billy Magnussen.
152"Arkangel"Jodie FosterCharlie Brooker29 December 2017 (2017-12-29)

Marie briefly loses track of her three-year old daughter Sara, and decides to have her implanted with the Arkangel system, allowing Marie to use a tablet to track her, monitor her health and emotional state, and censor sights she doesn't want Sara to see, such as blood. As Sara grows up, Marie recognises that Arkangel is hampering Sara's growth, but the tracking device cannot be removed; instead, Marie disables the tablet. As Sara becomes a rebellious teenager, Marie becomes distrustful of her and reactivates Arkangel, discovering her to be taking drugs with a boyfriend Marie does not approve of. When Sara sneaks off to spend the night with her boyfriend against Marie's orders, Arkangel warns Marie, and Marie secretly gives Sara emergency contraception pills, causing her to get sick at school. Sara returns home and finds Marie has reactivated Arkangel; Sara beats Marie with the tablet, unaware of how much harm she has done due to the censoring filter, and runs away, Marie calling after her in vain.


Starring: Rosemarie DeWitt, Brenna Harding, and Owen Teague.
163"Crocodile"John HillcoatCharlie Brooker29 December 2017 (2017-12-29)

Mia and her boyfriend Rob end up in a hit-and-run with a bicyclist, killing him; Rob has them dispose of the body and stay quiet on the matter. Fifteen years later, Mia is married with a son, and has a successful career. While on travel, Rob visits Mia and suggests they tell the truth about the bicyclist, but Mia, fearing this would ruin her career, kills Rob and hides his body. Meanwhile, Shazia, an insurance investigator, is following a trail of accounts on an unrelated accident, using a device that can visualize memories from eyewitnesses. Shazia sees one memory that has Mia as an eyewitness to the accident, and approaches Mia about her help in the investigation. Mia is unable to avoid helping, and Shazia sees Rob's murder in her memories. Though Shazia promises not to say anything even to her husband, Mia kills her, and then travels to her home to kill her husband and their infant child, preventing anyone from using a similar device to identify her presence. Police investigating the deaths find that the infant was blind and would have not seen the culprit, but use the memory device on the pet guinea pig, and close in on Mia as she watches her son's school play.


Starring: Andrea Riseborough, Kiran Sonia Sawar, Andrew Gower, Anthony Welsh, and Claire Rushbrook.
174"Hang the DJ"Tim Van PattenCharlie Brooker29 December 2017 (2017-12-29)

Frank and Amy are two of several that participate in the System, where they are instructed by a personal device called the Coach to meet other people and spend a pre-determined amount of time with them. Frank and Amy are matched for a short period but both find themselves attracted to each other. After several more assignments, the two are rematched by Coach, but Amy insists they not look at the time prescribed by Coach. They spend much time together, but Frank is drawn to look at the time given by Coach, and finds that initially lasting several years, his action caused the time to reduce considerably. They are both soon rematched, with Amy assigned to a new partner that will be her permanent pair. Amy asks Coach for her to see Frank one last time, during which she encourages to break the System, fleeing the area and climbing over an impossibly high wall. At the top, they discover they are one pair of nearly one thousand Franks and Amys that have escaped the system. This is all revealed to be the inner workings of a dating app being used by the real-life Frank and Amy, testing their compatibility by simulating their behavior over one thousand trials.


Starring: Georgina Campbell and Joe Cole.
185"Metalhead"David SladeCharlie Brooker29 December 2017 (2017-12-29)

Robotic guard-dogs have turned against humans, leaving the few human survivors to fend for themselves. While trying to retrieve supplies from a warehouse, Bella's companions are killed by the robots, but she manages to flee and evade their tracking devices. After eluding a sole robot by exhausting it of its power, Bella makes her way to a secured home, finding a shotgun and other weapons. However, the robot, after recharging, finds her trail. Bella manages to blind the robot and then destroy it with the shotgun, but not before the robot fires off more tracking devices, several of which embed themselves in her skin. Bella considers pulling them out but recognizes it is futile as she would sever her carotid artery in the process. As more robots swarm towards the house, she radios her base to let them know what happened. It is revealed Bella's team was trying to recover teddy bears for the survivors.


Starring: Maxine Peake.
196"Black Museum"Colm McCarthyCharlie Brooker29 December 2017 (2017-12-29)

Nish stops to recharge her car and enters the nearby "Black Museum", owned and run by Rolo Haynes. Rolo shows her various artifacts, all related to illicit technology that he had been involved with. He describes several stories connected to them. One involves Dr. Peter Dawson, a doctor who developed a device that allowed him to experience the pain of his patients to aid in diagnosis, but soon found pain giving way to addictive pleasure, and eventually killed a man to experience the sensation. Another case involves Carrie, a comatose woman whose consciousness was transferred into her husband Jack, but when Jack started seeing another woman, he forcefully transferred Carrie into a plush monkey for their son Parker who soon discarded the toy as he grew up; Carrie still is alive within the plush at the museum. Rolo shows Nish the star attraction of the museum, a holographic representation of the consciousness of convicted murderer Clayton Leigh that Rolo bought just prior to his electrocution, allowing visitors to electrocute him repeatedly. Nish reveals that her visit was not incidental, as she is the daughter of Clayton, who was wrongfully convicted. After poisoning Rolo, Nish transfers Rolo's consciousness into Clayton's head, much like Carrie was transferred into Jack's head, forcing him to live through the last electrocution which overloads Clayton's synapses and wipes the digital copies of them both. Rolo's agony is captured in a souvenir keychain which Nish takes along with the doll with Carrie's consciousness and shorts out the museum's electricity, starting a fire. Nish drives off with her mother, her consciousness living within Nish, tells her Clayton would be proud of her.


Starring: Douglas Hodge and Letitia Wright.

Interactive film (2018)[edit]

TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
BandersnatchDavid SladeCharlie Brooker28 December 2018 (2018-12-28)

Young programmer Stefan Butler begins to create an adventure video game called Bandersnatch, based on a "choose your own adventure" book of the same name. He pitches the game to Mohan Thakur, who works for video game company Tuckersoft, while Stefan works on the game at home on his own. Stefan begins to feel like he is being controlled and descends into madness in the same way that the book author Jerome F. Davies did. The viewer chooses his actions, which can lead him variously to discuss his mother's death with his therapist, take hallucinogens with game creator Colin Ritman, kill his father Peter, kill Thakur and experience vivid dreams, among other things.


Starring: Fionn Whitehead, Will Poulter, Craig Parkinson, Alice Lowe, and Asim Chaudhry.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brooker, Charlie (1 December 2011). "Charlie Brooker: the dark side of our gadget addiction". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  2. ^ Birnbaum, Debra (25 September 2015). "'Black Mirror' Lands at Netflix". Variety. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  3. ^ Brooker, Charlie (2 August 2016). "Two seasons of six". Twitter. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  4. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (5 March 2018). "'Black Mirror' Renewed For Season 5 By Netflix". Deadline. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  5. ^ Russell, Scott (5 March 2018). "'Black Mirror Refreshed for a Fifth Season on Netflix'". Paste Maagzine. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  6. ^ a b c "Top 30 Programmes". BARB. Retrieved 19 April 2015.

External links[edit]