The acclaimed anthology show Black Mirror returns for a second series of three episodes on Channel 4 at 10pm on 11 February, and in the next issue of SFX (#232, out next Wednesday) we have a major interview with writer/creator Charlie Brooker in which he goes into detail about each episode.
To whet your appetite, here’s an exclusive extract from the interview:
Two things united the first run of three nightmarish stories. Firstly, they were all technology-related. Secondly, they were all suffused with dread: the rising sense that something truly terrible was about to happen very soon. This year, the balance isn’t quite the same.
“We’re trying something slightly different,” Brooker explains. “I didn’t want them to all just be bleakly depressing. One of them doesn’t have that much dread in it, and one of them has more dread than you’ve ever seen, so we’ve portioned out the dread in slightly different quantities! Last time there was always a point where someone smashes everything up in a rage, and they don’t all reach that point this time around. A couple of them are slightly more delicate, and then there’s one that’s a right old fist in the face!”
On season one, Brooker co-wrote one episode with his wife, Konnie Huq, while another instalment was scripted by Peep Show’s Jesse Armstrong. This year, all three are all his own work. The series kicks off with “Be Right Back”. Starring Captain America star Hayley Atwell and Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter’s Bill Weasley), it’s a more tender and personal piece than anything we’ve seen thus far.
”It’s much more of a love story between two people, which is something we haven’t done before,” says Brooker. “The sci-fi idea in it is there’s a service, initially a software service, which will emulate people’s personalities after they’re dead. So it will go through your tweets, emails and Facebook status updates and pretend to be you, for grieving relatives – much like the service mediums offer. Increasingly, in this day and age, there’s people you only communicate with via Twitter or Facebook, and I just thought, ‘Well, what if they were dead? If it’s somebody you’re not meeting in the flesh, what would happen if they continued to apparently exist in the online world?’ So that was the starting point.”
To read the full interview, check out the SFX 232, on sale Wednesday 6 February.