It didn’t start out that way, but it’s becoming more and more clear that Black Mirror is a shared universe. With the release of Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, the evidence is piling up in favor of this theory. That said, Bandersnatch has thrown into question the very nature of this reality. However, each episode has tied more and more, seemingly innocuous strings together to form a tightly-knit, complicated shared universe. Don't believe us? Here are 10 hints that Black Mirror is a shared universe.
*Warning: spoilers ahead*
10. Raiman's Milk
In the episode “Men Against Fire,” a soldier named “Hunter” Raiman, played by Madeline Brewer, reveals in passing that her family owns a farm. Later, in the episode “USS Callister,” we see that chocolate and strawberry flavor Raiman-brand milk are favorites of Robert Daly, the disgruntled CTO and co-founder of Callister Inc. While it’s not clear what amount of time, if any, has passed between the events of these episodes, it is clear the Raiman family farm is successful.
9. UKN News
Featuring prominently in the series’ first episode “The National Anthem,” UKN appears to be one of the larger news networks located in the United Kingdom. First seen covering the events of that episode, UKN is later seen in “Be Right Back” in a broadcast regarding the scientific breakthrough of creating lifelike human skin. As well, UKN reporters are on the scene during the events of “The Waldo Moment” and “White Bear.” UKN is featured once again in “Hated in the Nation” covering the events of the #DeathTo movement.
After the climax of “The Waldo Moment,” the titular cartoon personality is separated from its creator and used ostensibly as a capitalistic cash cow by large organizations. This is seen throughout the Black Mirror series as either the face or name of Waldo appears in multiple episodes thereafter. In “White Christmas,” Joe is channel surfing and briefly flips to a channel featuring Waldo. Also in that episode, there is a visible user ID that reads "I_Am_Waldo." Waldo’s face is also seen as a sticker on a laptop in “Shut Up and Dance” and on a lunchbox in “Arkangel.”
The full plot of “The Entire History of You” revolves around technology that is only referred to as “grains.” These grains are small implants behind the ear that record everything a person sees and hears. With this technology, you can replay and even delete memories. In “Arkangel,” we see the next step in this technology, and we know it’s the same technology as the user interface is practically identical.
6. TV Shows
In the episode “Fifteen Million Merits,” we see programming for several TV shows. Some of them, like Don't Scare the Hare and The Whole 19 Yards, are actual British TV shows. However, Botherguts, Hot Shot, and WraithBabes are fictional. The show Hot Shot also appears in “White Christmas” and we learn in “Crocodile” that one of the judges was caught in a hotel room “with a rent boy.” Continuing on with the presumed shared universe, in “Crocodile” Mia is creating her alibi, and we see WraithBabes as a pornographic option.
5. Saint Juniper
The events of the fan favorite episode “San Junipero” makes lots of appearances throughout the Black Mirror series. In “USS Callister,” Robert Daly plugs into his virtual world using an uplink device very similar to design and function as the technology seen used by Yorkie and Kelly in “San Junipero.” In “Metalhead,’ a postcard advertising San Junipero can be seen when Bella is rifling a drawer. Rolo Haynes references the conclusion of San Junipero in Black Mirror when he talks about “uploading old people to the cloud.” It is also revealed that Haynes previously worked at a hospital named Saint Juniper. In Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, another Dr. Haynes is seen working at a building named “Saint Juniper’s Medical Practice.”
First introduced in “White Christmas,” a Cookie is the name given to the digitally replicated consciousness of a human being. Cookies serve as a major plot point in the episode and first raise questions about their legality and the morality of their existence. At the end of “Shut Up and Dance,” an advertisement for the cookie-run home automation service from “White Christmas” is seen quickly on an online news website. In addition, a section of newsfeed seen in “Hated in The Nation” reveals that the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Cookies have human rights. Cookies show up again in “Black Museum” as a major plot point.
3. TCKR Systems
TCKR Systems is a neural research and technology company that we first see in the episode “Playtest.” Early in the episode, we see Cooper reading Edge magazine with a headline that reads: “Inside TCKR: Turning Nostalgia Into A Game.” In “San Junipero,” it is revealed that TCKR Systems is the developer behind the creation of a simulated reality that is San Junipero. In “Metalhead,” the letters TCKR are seen on the side of a truck driven by Bella. The episode “Black Museum” reveals that Haynes’ work at the previously mentioned Saint Juniper Hospital was for TCKR Systems. In Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, the name of the software company is Tuckersoft. This company has made several games whose titles allude to previous episodes of Black Mirror, but none are more obviously paralleled than “Metl Hedd.” — a direct copy of the episode “Metalhead.”
2. The Glyph
Previously known as the “White Bear,” this symbol has been separated from our first viewing experience by Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’s reference to this symbol as “the glyph.” We first see this marking on the hunter’s ski mask in the episode “White Bear.” We later see this symbol again in “Playtest.” When Cooper is testing the VR game’s configuration, we see the glyph as one of the symbols that turns into a gopher hole. In Bandersnatch, we learn that the glyph represents branching pathways. In Bandersnatch, visions of the glyph drove Stefan (and author Jerome F. Davis before him) insane with the ideas of free will and determinism.
1. White Bear
Aside from being the best Black Mirror episode so far, “White Bear” is one of the most referenced episodes within the Black Mirror universe. In “White Christmas,” a news ticker reveals that Victoria Skillane, the protagonist sentenced to the White Bear Justice Park, has had her appeal rejected. At the end of that episode, we learn that Joe Potter is being held at White Bear facility, implying that there is possibly more than one such vigilante justice machine. In “Hated in the Nation,” Blue says she left the force because of the Iain Rannoch case. This is the same one that put Victoria Skillane behind bars in “White Bear.” The planets Skillane IV and Rannoch in “USS Callister” refer to the child killers Iain Rannoch and Victoria Skillane in “White Bear.”