Black Mirror—Season 1

black mirror season 1 review episode guide
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Smart, thought provoking stories with a good cast

Leaves you wanting more episodes

black mirror season 1 title screen episode guide

Who’s looking at you through the mirror?

Reach the edge of reality where everything reflected isn’t reality:  a world where a Prime Minister is pushed to make the ultimate public self-sacrifice to save a princess being held prisoner by a terrorist group, a reality where society is powered by people pedaling bikes and the only hope of escape is reality TV, or a world were everyone’s memories are recorded and can be replayed and studied.  Reality is slippery…reflections are everywhere.

Black Mirror—Season 1 (or Series 1) aired on the BBC’s Channel 4 from December 4, 2011 to December 18, 2011.  The sci-fi anthology series was made up of three hour long episodes.

black mirror season 1 episode 1 the national anthem pig sex rory kinnear

How far would you go for your job and country?

I love The Twilight Zone and there has never been a really good substitute for it.  Despite being original, The Twilight Zone was predictable…Black Mirror has a lot of The Twilight Zone’s twists, but it definitely isn’t predictable.

Black Mirror plays a lot with technology (the “Black Mirror” in the title is in reference to the reflection in things like computer screens and phones).  The idea also doubles for a mirror of society.  The stories feel very “real” despite being in a fantasy world.  They are satires of things in modern society like cyberterrorism, reality TV, and self-obsession.  They are smartly and tightly written…the only regret you’ll have is the shortness of the seasons.

black mirror season 1 episode 2 fifteen million merits hot shots jessica brown findlay

You can be a star…for a price

Like The Twilight Zone, Black Mirror picks a who’s who of current British actors this season (most on the cusp of being known).  Rory Kinnear of “The National Anthem” has appeared in Bond films.  “Fifteen Million Merits” casts Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya and Downton Abbey’s Jessica Brown Findlay with Rupert Everett playing the Simon Cowell stand-in judge.  The 13th incarnation of the Doctor and Attack the Block’s Jodie Whittaker appears with Toby Kebbell and Tom Cullen in “The Entire History of You”.  It is the solid casting which helps tell the stories which could be absurd (or obscene) with out strong actors.

black mirror season 1 episode 3 the entire history of you memory recall toby kebbell

All your memories in a flash!

Black Mirror also makes the plot realistic by having a very low key appearance.  Even “Fifteen Million Merits” which is the most sci-fi of the three stories has the appearance of a place and a location that could exist.  It is high tech but it also feels natural…adding to the horror.  Black Mirror could be set in the future but sometimes it could be today.

Black Mirror is a great sci-fi series that continues to evolve.  With rotating casts and short seasons, Black Mirror could have a long life if the people behind it choose to allow it to live on.  With the introduction of Netflix, the series has gained a larger audience and therefore could expand its audience as more and more people catch themselves staring into the black mirror…and the horror it reflects.

Black Mirror—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

black mirror season 1 episode 1 the national anthem rory kinnear lydia wilson

“The National Anthem”

1.1       The National Anthem Airdate:  12/04/11

Princess Susannah (Lydia Wilson) has been kidnapped.  The kidnapper has demands which includes the Prime Minister Michael Callow (Rory Kinnear) having publicly broadcast sex with a pig on air.  As the clock ticks down, the tensions rise…and the Prime Minister and the government must make a decision.

black mirror season 1 episode 2 fifteen million merits bing porn abi daniel kaluuya

“Fifteen Million Merits”

1.2       Fifteen Million Merits Airdate:  12/11/11

Pedaling is a way of life for Bing Madsen (Daniel Kaluuya), but he has a secret love for another pedaler named Abi Khan (Jessica Brown Findlay) who has a singing ability.  Saving his merits, Bing has a choice to use his credits to get Abi in a chance to be on the popular show Hot Shot to become the next star, but getting off the cycle might be harder than both Bing and Abi thought when Abi faces the judges Hope (Rupert Everett), Charity (Julia Davis), and Wraith (Ashley Thomas).

black mirror season 1 episode 3 the entire history of you memories jodie whittaker

“The Entire History of You”

1.3       The Entire History of You Airdate:  12/18/11

All memories are recorded and retained and available for a moment’s recall as a redo played through a piece of technology called a grain.  Liam Foxwell (Toby Kebbell) is an attorney struggling to find work.  When Liam meets a man named Jonas (Tom Cullen) at a party that had a relationship with his wife Ffion (Jodie Whittaker) in the past, Liam begins to become obsessed with uncovering his wife’s feelings for Jonas.

Related Links:

Black Mirror—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Black Mirror—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Black Mirror—Season 4 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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