Black Mirror - In The Press
Main News Stories About 'Black Mirror':
I didn't have to starve for too long in search of equally gamey broth, in the reliable shape of Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror: White Christmas. Mr Brooker takes few prisoners when it comes to those possessed of pygmy imaginations, which is meet and right for grown-up telly. So within 90 minutes we were introduced to the concept of "blocking" an individual as one would an ex-Facebook friend, but actually doing so in real life (thanks to everyone in the near future having chosen to implant so-called Z-Eyes, hooked up of course to the net: do keep up); the blockee appears only as a greyed-out shadow and may neither call nor approach.
I'm not sure how much of a reward the Christmas special of Black Mirror would actually be and I think you'd have to be a rather strange individual to want a rather dark present such as the one Charlie Brooker conjured up. Subtitled White Christmas; the feature-length special of Brooker's dystopian fantasy anthology saw Matt (Jon Hamm) and Sam (Rafe Spall) hauled up in a remote shack in the middle of nowhere. We are told early on that Matt and Sam have barely spoke to each other in the five years they've lived and worked together. As you would expect with Black Mirror, the Christmas element become slightly eerie and from the first time we hear it Wizard's 'I Wish It Could be Christmas Everyday' takes on an ominous tone. Hamm initially plays up to his smoothie persona in the first story in which we learn of Matt's hobby which involves helping losers-in-love get dates. However, as we discover, his most recent client didn't have the best of experiences after he gatecrashed a Christmas party and ended up a reluctant part of a suicide pact. Whilst this first third was suitably shocking the second segment of the programme; in which we saw Matt at work was rather confusing. Although it did go some way to explain the episode's final act I found it to be rather rushed and also felt that it ruined the significant talents of Oona Chaplin. The real emotional core of the episode was provided by Sam as we learnt of his turbulent relationship with girlfriend Beth (Janet Montgomery) which ended when she wanted to abort the baby she was carrying. This story brought with it one of the episode's central ideas; what if we were able to block somebody in real life like we can currently do on Twitter? The answer was incredibly memorable and also provided some really vivid images which stuck with me long after the episode had concluded.
The performances were all very good, although I was surprised Jon Hamm almost reprised his Don Draper role from Mad Men. It felt like Charlie Brooker either needed a Draper-type for this suave role, and luckily managed to get the real deal, or Hamm was drawn to a part that wouldn't be much of a stretch but allow him to appear in a show he loves.
Written by Dan Owen. Dan's Media Digest, 17th December 2014
Black Mirror isn't really sci-fi, it's more like now after a couple of software updates - and it's quite terrifying.
Written by Sam Wollaston. The Guardian, 17th December 2014
Jonathan Ross is your host as the nation's comics get together and royally rip the mickey. No tears. No compliments. It's their way of saying they love each other.
Charlie Brooker's festive special shows a dark side to our digital obsession.
Written by Mark Monahan. The Telegraph, 16th December 2014
White Christmas' nightmarish tales of isolation might be dark, but they show sage concern about the kind of world we're building for ourselves. They ask us to consider the humanity of how we treat people online and in the real world. An extreme reflection it might be, but underneath it all, Black Mirror may well have the most charitable heart of any of this year's seasonal specials.
Written by Louisa Mellor. Den of Geek, 16th December 2014
"There's nothing in this that's as bleak as whatever the fuck EastEnders is going to do" claims Charlie Brooker in the casually scornful manner in which only he can. Speaking at the preview screening of White Christmas, last night's 'festive special' of his dystopian Channel 4 anthology Black Mirror, I have to disagree with Brooker. The ninety minute feature length special of his disconcerting dystopian drama was markedly more gloomy and disturbing than your average shouty, death-strewn festive soap instalment. But an incomparably more insightful, entertaining piece of television.
Written by Craig Heathcote. The Custard, 16th December 2014
This Christmas special of Charlie Brooker's techno-horror show manages to compact the show's usual three-part run into one, feature-length, portmanteau episode.
Written by Andrew Blair. Cult Box, 16th December 2014
Call me old fashioned, but I like my Christmas specials to have a bit of festive cheer. I only knew Black Mirror by its reputation as a dark satire of modern life, so I sat down to watch expecting to be both horrified and depressed.
Written by Vicky Prior. Metro, 16th December 2014
Black Mirror is great on our technology culture, but also just great.
Written by Ellen E. Jones. The Independent, 16th December 2014
Charlie Brooker's digital dystopia delivers a festive mystery in anthology form, with three connected stories about dark things in a twisted near-future. Jon Hamm and Rafe Spall lead the cast as two men sharing a Christmas meal somewhere remote and snowy. Where are they? And who are they, really? As the companions exchange stories, we see Oona Chaplin as a woman bedevilled by "smart" gadgets, and Hamm himself offering unconventional romantic advice.
A triptych of tech-tinged tales, just in time for Christmas. Jon Hamm and Rafe Spallp] star as Matt and Potter, two men sharing a turkey dinner in the middle of nowhere, who start to divulge stories from their past: Matt's time as a relationship guru with a twist, Potter's encounter with a social media-style blocker, and a woman's (Oona Chaplin) unfortunate encounter with some invasive "smart! technology. Of course, this being Black Mirror, there are some unforeseen twists along the way.
Black Mirror - Channel 4's mind-bending series of cautionary tales about our addiction to digital technology - is returning for a big-name Christmas special starring Rafe Spall, Oona Chaplin and Mad Men's Jon Hamm. Bryony Gordon asks them and the programme's creator Charlie Brooker what's in store.
Written by Bryony Gordon. The Telegraph, 13th December 2014
The Mad Men actor said there had been nothing like it on TV since the Fifties.
Written by Adam Sherwin. The Independent, 12th December 2014
Sentimentality offset with wicked wit. Charlie Brooker repeats Black Mirror trick, with feature-length festive special starring Rafe Spall and Mad Men's Jon Hamm.
The Guardian, 12th December 2014
The feature-length Back Mirror: White Christmas special is possibly the bleakest thing ever made for Channel 4's comedy department.
Chortle, 12th December 2014
The new episode of Charlie Brooker's satire stars Jon Hamm, Rafe Spall and Oona Chaplin and tells a chilling story about "blocking" people in real life - just as we do on Facebook and Twitter.
Written by Ben Dowell. The Radio Times, 24th November 2014
The Black Mirror holiday special will be aired in the US on Christmas Day.
Written by Justin Harp. Digital Spy, 16th November 2014
The Mad Men actor's role in Charlie Brooker's satire may surprise us...
Written by Huw Fullerton. Radio Times, 7th October 2014
Jon Hamm, Rafe Spall and Oona Chaplin are confirmed to co-star in the Black Mirror feature-length special due on Channel 4 this Christmas.
Channel 4 Press, 29th September 2014
Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror to return for a Christmas special on Channel 4 The one-off special, called Yuletide, is billed as "the most mind-bending Black Mirror yet".
Channel 4 press, 21st August 2014
Written by Ben Dowell. The Radio Times, 5th February 2014
Sci-Fi is at its scariest though, not when it transports us to faraway lands and presents us with the frightening or grotesque, but when it presents us with the frighteningly possible and realistic. That's the world presented by Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror, a series which presents a skewed version of our own reality in a set of cautionary tales that are both terrifying and frighteningly realistic.
Written by Oli Dowdeswell. So So Gay, 2nd February 2014
Charlie Brooker has promised more Black Mirror, saying that two 'helpings' of the Channel 4 drama are on the way.
Written by Christopher Hooton. Metro, 10th January 2014