To make today’s seemingly apocalyptic world even scarier, it was recently reported that an all-new season of Black Mirror is in the works at Netflix. Described as this generation’s Twilight Zone, the Charlie Brooker series has given us some jaw-dropping episodes over the span of five years, with some of them eerily foretelling of the events and technological advancements that we see today. We take a look at five such episodes where ‘Black Mirror’, sort of, predicted the future.
You don’t need to look further than the recent list of presidents to see the events of ‘The Waldo Moment’ being reflected in real life. The episode starts with an interesting premise, asking us the question: ‘What would happen if a cartoon character got into politics?” The answer to this is less Loony Tunes and more of an Aaron Sorkin political drama.
An episode that seems to deal with the dark side of the internet — where a 19-year old is hacked and blackmailed into doing a ton of unsavoury things — devolves into something a lot more sinister. But before the shocking twist at the end, we are made to feel bad about Kenny, our lead protagonist, who seems to be the victim of a “webcam blackmail” hack.
What seemed like a terrifying thought back then seems to have transformed into reality, with multiple cases of ‘sextortion’ hacks, where victims are forced to pay hackers large sums of money in exchange for the sensitive images they claim to have access to.
What a way to make an impression! While the latter seasons of Black Mirror focused more on technological horror elements, the pilot episode settled for a shock value, one one could’ve imagined would have a place in real life.
The episode starts with a member of the British Royal Family being kidnapped by terrorists whose only demand is that the Prime Minister has sex with a pig on live television. While we’re happy to report that no member of the Royal Family was harmed by terrorists, the episode eerily predicted the David Cameron Piggate scandal quite accurately.
While we might be a good amount of years away from the Skyney reality, Black Mirror’s ‘Metalhead’ gave us a glimpse of what it might look like if we don’t have Arnie to save the day. Considered to be one of the scariest episodes in the series, ‘Metalhead’ follows Bella who’s on the run from a relentless robotic…dog, and it’s not the cute kind. This one can tear through walls, jump great distances and act give T-1000 a run for his money.
What’s scarier though is Boston Dynamics recently revealed their new creation, a robotic dog similar to the one seen hunting Bell. We don’t doubt the intentions of the folks at Boston Dynamics, but we’re just saying we should be on the lookout in case artificial intelligence gains consciousness.
Considered to be perhaps the best episode of the series, Nosedive features Bryce Dallas Howard as Lacie navigating in a world which is operated on social validation. As the episode progress, Lacie starts receiving fewer and fewer likes which leads to a complete deterioration of her mental health.
While the episode serves as an allegory of our increasing use of social media and the risks involved, the Chinese government seems to have taken it quite literally. A few years ago, the CCP launched a Social Credit System, which essentially operates as the Uber or Zomato like rating system but for individuals. The downside here is in case you do manage to score less than favourable stars, you’ll be ineligible for any government assistance like subsidies and loans.
(Image credits: Netflix)