Black Mirror Explained: A Shared Universe

every installment of black mirror

unfolds in a world unto itself

each self-contained story presents its

own slanted reality so when we think of

black mirror we think of something

unified as if all these separate glass

mirror worlds connect into the same

galaxy as creator Charlie Brooker said

at a Baptist screening in 2016 in New

York they're all in the same

psychological universe black mirror has

a quote flavor he said it's a box of

chocolates and they are all dark

chocolates there are all stories in

which we do fling you into a pit of

despair and then piss on you because

people seem to like that on a literal

level the black mirror stories also have

many overlapping details that suggest

some or all episodes could be to some

degree in a shared universe the

creator's like to have fun with Easter

eggs and call-outs between episodes

many of the Easter eggs are planted via

a ukn a made-up TV news channel that

dominates news coverage throughout the

black mirror galaxy it's not only the

primary news source for black year

residents and viewers who needed dose of

explanation or exposition but it's also

the primary place to look for hidden

references to other episodes so in shut

up and dance season 3 episode 3 qkn

reports on the divorce of the prime

minister from the very first episode

he's the one who had a humiliate himself

with the pig in white Christmas season 3

episode 7 it reports that victorious

Colleen the child murderer from season 2

episode 2 has had her appeal rejected

the same shot includes a report that the

MP Lea Munroe from the Waldo moment

claims his twitter got half life in the

Waldo loom in season 2 episode 3 this

headline has been seen before on the UK

n news ticker in calais episodes the

national anthem this could be a subtle

cue to imagine Waldo and the national

anthem happening simultaneously in the

same world since they're both

politically focused episodes that warn

about relevant social trends they

naturally align and it's worth noting

perhaps that both are eerily close to

our own little

landscape and even that he took part in

a bizarre initiation ceremony for a

dining club involving a pig a genuinely

thought that's too big a coincidence

that can't be a coincidence therefore

reality must be some kind of computer

simulation designed to mess with my head

whereas the National Anthem shows

politicians at the mercy of public

attention and media has been Waldo shows

the rise of a trump-like cartoon that

disrupts the status quo a first steaming

of funny phenomenon the fast growing

into a very serious display of corporate

power Bobby he's quite handsome isn't he

I was hoping he'd knock me up want to

see how it panned out I never attacked

him on his look and believe me there's

plenty of subject matter right there

white bear the story of the Jayanti

justice turning into mass entertainment

also receives references throughout

Black Mirror if it's interesting Wiley

forensics the run of a kick and it's

another one the critiques are current

world's media in a close to home fashion

as the series goes on UK an is a near

ubiquitous voice appearing in almost

every episode of season 3 in nosedive in

3 episode 1 we get another update on

that errant prime minister we've been

thrown out of the zoo again according to

his social update lazy also runs into

fans of an HBO Moon Western called Sea

of Tranquility which is what the SFX guy

is working on before he's called on to

manufacture fake footage to save Calvin

embarrassment no won an Emmy for his

effects work on that HBO Moon Western

thing be tranquillity yeah you won't

find that another striking repetition is

the song anyone who knows what love is

it first featured in season 1 episode 2

15 million merits an x-factor or

American Idol inspired dystopia where

people either have to

themselves to fame on the show hotshot

or spend their lives on stationary bikes

harassed by the mandatory watching a


new from race beef the haunting song a

brief moment of humanity in the episode

shows up again in karaoke and white

Christmas and it's sung in manic

inspires me jack both hotshot and winner

Abbie appear again in the Waldo moment

and white Christmas we also see some

technologies that resemble each other

the Zi is the augmented reality devices

implanted in eyes in white Christmas

Fair a striking resemblance to the grain

the ear implants that record everything

from the entire history of you the VI

seemed to be an improvement on the

grains which Chris suggests that white


takes place later in the same universe

as the entire history of you still while

the writers like to make connection for

chris says he doesn't like to hold to

that religiously because he feels it

would limit what they could do so now

let's talk about the black mirror flavor

if they're all set in separate universes

what is it that identifies an episode as

last year or in the black mirror galaxy

we're dropped into a situation that's

not immediately explained the episodes

generally don't fall all over themselves

to give us exposition who want is people

who are you know them they wait for the

facts of the universe to be revealed

gradually through events often what we

gather in the opening minutes is far

from the whole picture as they attempt

to be a twist or major reveal in the

later minutes of the show

usually the show is set in the future or

an alternate world involving some

advanced technology that's central to

the story so these characteristics

alignment with sci-fi but the setting

doesn't immediately appear to be light

years away from our world they look like

our world but with a slight twist or

flange that over the course of the

episodes grows larger at the same time

the alternate world reflects and

magnifies some real element of ours

nosedive shows that the world in which

our current climate of social media

obsession escalates until all of society

is engulfed in the pressure to maintain

high social scores online for one open

I'm on to four sorry Cass Tenley simply

from stars please there's also an

element of work or dystopia as Brooker

says it's dark chocolate at first the

world seemed promising or intriguing but

they expose their dark underbelly

like the title suggests is a mirror of

our society but a black one it holds up

a reflection of how the path we're

currently heading on could lead to

misery and dystopia fastest cars and

double damage please remove yourself on

the airport immediately as we begin

watching an episode we find it changed

with foreboding we are waiting for the

shoe to drop we almost come to expect

the twist and we know it won't be good

but what exactly that twist is and its

moral light catches side surprise thus

our intellectual suspense keeps us

wanting more what if those rates really

target the people in the list everyone

you took part the message common to all

black mirrors is more or less beware

let's think about all this a little more

carefully and look before leaving we

should examine the snap choices we make

in the name of progress without thinking

through the long-term consequences

Bryce Dallas Howard the star of

nosedives spoke about that episode in

relation to the terms intelligence

invented by Michael Crichton in the

Jurassic Park novel she describes the

intelligence this way they see the

immediate situation they think narrowly

and they call it being focused they

don't see this around they don't see the

consequences this concept applies to

most black mirror episodes and they're

critiquing a realized mentality that

most of us are familiar with we

immediately begin using our cool new

technologies so we don't think about the

lasting effect after a time suddenly the

black mirror characters find themselves

in transformed world that they don't

feel they agreed to yet step by step our

small choices as a society bring us to

these very places Howard said she hopes

people take away from those guys quote a

healthy dose of fear regarding these new

technologies Black Mirror feels like a

collection of cautionary tale designed

to heighten our awareness about how

short steps from our current world could

lead to a drastically different reality

and one that we might not like very much

usually lasts for what like an hour when

they leave it going price of progress I

suppose even if they're all different

each episode might be described as a

thought experiment designed around a

clever what is it speaks to something

very close to us the anthology series is

a rare and challenging format to pull

off in a visual medium almost all TV

relies largely on our emotional

investment in recurring characters we

care what happens to them week to week

Black Mirror gives us no recurring

characters it asks the viewer to come to

each episodes lined every installment is

like a mini movie it has a beginning

middle and end and a catharsis rather

than the unending plot of most

television according to broker one of

the pleasures of doing this kind of in

Sala Jizo of standalone worlds

if the power it gives to each director

every episodes director gets to create a

whole new world Brooker compares the

series to a short story collection which

now that it's on Netflix where viewers

can watch in any order is a quote short

story collection being delivered into

the magic cupboard of your house like

with a box of chocolates he says you

never know what you're going to get