Back to blog

“Black Mirror” continues to excel at limited world-building

See blog

Readers' comments

Reader comments are listed below. Comments are currently closed and new comments are no longer being accepted.


Uq8Zzjab6d in reply to Tom Meadowcroft

My charitable interpretation of the bike episode was the people were not really powering their civilization with bikes but instead were fed that notion as a means by which to give their lives meaning in a world where all normal jobs (other than entertainers, and oddly enough, custodians) had been automated away.

zeldason in reply to zeldason

Ha! I had unwittingly eavesdropped on several episodes of Black Mirror. Such are the blessings of work on a laptop in the corner of the living room.

Is there a word for this second-order watching of Netflix?

Subseen? shoulderperched? backrowed? sideviewed? earwatched? squintched?

I would prefer it to be short, two syllables, or better still one.


All right, all right.
First the Weekend FT. Then my 17-year-old son. And now TE.
I'll look into it.

Tom Meadowcroft

There are some good episodes, but I find the show tends to bathe too generously in dystopia. Dystopia is very trendy, but science fiction as a way to explore the human condition is more interesting and less predictable if the writer doesn't always simply assume the worst. The most interesting science fiction makes some optimistic assumptions, and some threatening, and lets the story play out naturally. The least interesting assumes that we solve none of today's problems, but instead allow them to snowball to disaster. That's both predictable and depressing, while at the same time deeply unlikely.

The episode where the planet is powered by people riding exercise bikes was just ignorant in its lack of understanding of entropy and perpetual motion machines. That was truly as stupid as the premise for the Matrix. Science fiction that doesn't understand science just annoys me.


I think 'Black Mirror' uses the theme of people dwelling in computer-generated worlds which contrast with their sad realities too much.


I watched all the episodes of Season 4 and while some of them were good, the season did not pack the punch of the previous one where episodes like Nosedive and Most Hated in the Nation were so close to reality. The biggest draw of the series for me is that it takes a technology that is around already and takes it to its logical end (sometimes extreme end) and see how it impacts human behaviour. I did not get that in Season 4. USS Callister was good but if someone were to make digital clones and torture them without the awareness of the real world selves, it is sick but I am not sure how it impacts the people around him. Arkangel was good as it raised the point on controlled parenting to the extent of not letting a child experience some of life which may impact them in some ways. But again while the mother peeked into the daughter's personal life a bit too much, I am torn on the fact that she was doing it to protect her from a not so great company and from a drug overdose.Is that wrong? Hang the DJ started out as if it was going to bring out a dark side of apps like Tinder but the end looked like it actually blew their trumpet. The app so meticulously did 1000 pairings and simulated the right match. Wow!! The worst one of the season to me was Metal head. I did not follow the concept and the whole idea of robots taking over humans was too much. Also why the characters tried to steal a soft toy was unclear. Black museum was good. The episode could have been better had they not tried to somehow introduce white supremacists into the loop in the end. To torture a digital clone of a man ( even though he is a hardened criminal) is wrong and stirs up the wrong emotions in people is a good thought but there was no need to go any further. And finally was justice done by a Tit for Tat punishment?