Charlie Brooker’s dark drama Black Mirror is returning to Channel 4 in 2013 for a second series, which will consist of three disarming, suspenseful and satirical films.
Described by Brooker as a series in which “each episode has a different cast, a different setting, even a different reality”, Black Mirror is concerned with examining “the way we live now – and the way we might be living in 10 minutes' time if we're clumsy.”
The first of the new Black Mirror films, Be Right Back, stars Hayley Atwell as Martha and Domhnall Gleeson as a social media addict named Ash. They’re a young couple who move to a remote cottage, but tragedy strikes the day after they move in when Ash is killed returning the hired van.
At the funeral, Martha’s friend Sarah (Sinead Matthews) tells her about a new way to stay in touch with the deceased and reveals that, by using all his previous online communications, status updates and the like, Martha could create a new, alarmingly ‘real’ Ash to help alleviate her grief.
While Martha is initially disgusted by the idea and wants nothing to do with it, she soon discovers that she is pregnant and decides to respond to an email she receives from “Ash”.
Next up in the series is The Waldo Moment, about a failed comedian who voices a blue bear on a children’s educational show that teaches youngsters about reality by interviewing politicians and establishment figures.
Daniel Rigby stars as bitter comic Jamie Salter, the voice behind Waldo the bear who, far from being a cute mascot for a kids’ show, is actually a character on a late-night topical comedy programme that delights in ridiculing its unknowing interviewees.
The bear proves popular enough for the channel to give him his own pilot and the production company, which is run by Jason Flemyng as a character named Jack Napier, comes up with the idea of having Waldo stand in a By-Election against one of his victims, Conservative Liam Monroe (Tobias Menzies).
At a ‘Meet the Politicians’ election hustings, when taunted by Monroe, Jamie lashes out at all the politicians present and accuses them of being more artificial than Waldo. His rant proves something of a YouTube hit, and generates a lot of commentary in the newspapers about the state of modern politics. Could the blue bear actually end up winning a By-Election…?
The last film in this series of Black Mirror will be White Bear (which, despite the title, has nothing to do with The Waldo Moment). It stars Being Human’s Lenora Crichlow as a woman called Toni who wakes up suffering from amnesia in a house she doesn’t recognise.
Confused, she leaves the house and stumbles onto a deserted street where no-one answers their doors. She finally senses some movement behind a curtain and is surprised to see a man filming her on his smartphone.
Toni soon spots another man in a car and approaches him before noticing that he's pointing a gun at her. As she flees, she’s pursued by a mob of people from their houses who run out of their houses to film her.
Taking refuge in a petrol station with two people she meets en route, Damien (Ian Bonar) and Jem (Tuppence Middleton), Toni learns that this strange state of affairs has been the norm for months.
It turns out that a mysterious signal being transmitted has turned most of the population into mindless voyeurs, and this mass apathy has allowed those strong enough to resist the signal's influence to do what they want and go on the rampage becoming, in Jen’s words, “Hunters”.
These Hunters exist solely to eradicate people like Jem and Toni, so the pair decide to destroy the transmitter responsible for brainwashing the populace. But when they arrive at the broadcasting facility, they’re suddenly found by Hunters. Will they be able to save humanity and put things back to normal?
The first series of Black Mirror, broadcast in December 2011, won a Golden Rose at the prestigious Rose d’Or Television Festival in May 2012 and scooped Best TV movie/mini-series at the International Emmys last November.
While Black Mirror’s second series doesn’t yet have an airdate, Brooker recently revealed on Twitter that it would be coming to Channel 4 “soonish”.