Black Mirror is a British Television series that is unique in that is an anthology series, which means every episode feature totally different story and characters. It is created by Charlie Brooker and the base common theme across the episode is depicting modern society that suffers unexpected consequences from technologies such as the Internet.
The first episode features a Prime Minister, played by Bill Tanner, who is woken up forcefully to witness a video of a kidnapped princess. The kidnapper demands him to have an intercourse with a pig in international television channel to be broadcasted to the whole world. We are then shown the common human responses to such desperate situation as the PM tries to find the culprit before his deadline of 4pm on the same day.
Black Mirror plays with characters very well. It depicts how complicated and perhaps, slight evilness, of us all in such a situation. The PM, at first, refuses to entertain following the kidnapper’s demand at all and his advisors try to stage a fake CGI, but the plan is leaked due to an agent giving them out to the news station, which in turn released the info to the World Wide Web. This enrages the kidnapper and he sends a warning video apparently showing him cutting off one of the Princess’s fingers. Everything displays a sense of emergency resulting from the Internet. What has been posted there will always be available regardless of any government measures. This episode lets us appreciate the usefulness of the Internet in spreading news efficiently and quickly, yet it also warns us of the possible danger that anything leaks will be known to the public.
The characters are in their raw humaness. You will feel the same when you are in their shoes, either as the participant or the audience. It’s weird how we change our minds and look things at different perspective due to a single event. In the beginning, the public is receptive of the PM not doing what the kidnapper demands and his approval rate is high. Then, with just a single video release of the apparent Princess having her finger cut off, everything reverses. We humans are just so fickle in our life and thought. The PM is just as much of a victim as the Princess, and he pays the price till the end. As for the kidnapper, he, in its own sense, has achieved his goal and he paid the ultimate price with it. It’s just sad that there’s not much punishment for him, but this is real life, where things might just seem very unfair.