As the rate of technological advancement continues to increase, people are becoming more and more concerned with the implications of technology’s role in our society. Indeed, it’s a brave new world out there as new innovations open up new areas of concern regarding privacy, security, and, in some cases, even the nature of humanity. Technology and the innate fear of change have, after all, always walked hand in hand.
This all works perfectly for Charlie Brooker, whose show Black Mirror made waves on the UK’s Channel 4 before debuting last December on Netflix. The anthology series has brought some of the biggest names of film and television, including Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), and Domhnall Gleeson (Ex Machina), into dystopian worlds rocked by the integration of new, and often terrifying, technology.
After producing two widely acclaimed seasons and a Christmas special of the sci-fi anthology season for Channel 4, the show may be finding a new home at Netflix. Radio Times is reporting that the streaming giant and Black Mirror series creator Brooker have reached a deal which would have the series reach audiences as a Netflix original. While neither Netflix nor Channel 4 commented on the supposed agreement, the move could mean huge things for Black Mirror, if the news is true.
As the title suggests, Black Mirror functions largely as a reflection pointed towards our society - one that showcases the potential dangers of our increasingly technologically dependent world. Though wildly hyperbolic, like all good dystopian works the worlds presented by the series are full actualized and extreme versions of our own world and brings up interesting questions regarding what it means to be human in these changing times.
The marriage between Netflix and Black Mirror already makes sense, given the show’s American success after its debut on the streaming service. Fans have been clamoring for more of the dark anthology series since last year and it has been gaining more and more traction thanks to positive word of mouth. While rumors swirled regarding a potential American remake, bringing on Brooker and his production company, House of Tomorrow, adds an air of legitimacy to the revitalized effort. Brooker, after all, wrote or co-wrote 6 of the series' 7 episodes, and it was his voice that provided a large portion of what made the series such a breath of fresh air.
Though the series was largely unhindered by standards of decency that American network shows are held to, moving to Netflix opens Black Mirror to seemingly limitless possibilities. The risk here comes from a potential temptation to go simply for shock value rather than providing thought provoking commentary on modern trends. As shocking as the show can often be—have any of us been able to think of pigs the same way?—the series has always balanced that with intelligence. This dynamic is often a hallmark of British TV, and surely the desire to cater to American sensibilities would be present.
Still, if Black Mirror’s Netflix success tells us anything, it’s that American viewers aren’t terribly different from their British counterparts. And besides, as it stands Black Mirror is a work of art whose genius has proved to cross any cultural barriers that may stand in its way. Any fears regarding too much tinkering of the formula by Netflix are easily dismissible when considered in this light. After all, you don’t purchase a work of art just to add your own paint. The formula clearly works, so you can expect more of what you already love should the deal be confirmed.
We'll keep you posted on all Black Mirror-related developments as more information is made available.
Source: Radio Times