The TV series Black Mirror is, according to WikiPedia:

(...) a British television anthology series (...) that features speculative fiction with dark and sometimes satirical themes that examine modern society, particularly with regard to the unanticipated consequences of new technologies.

It also classifies it as "science fiction, satire".

I've only seen the first episode, "National Anthem". That didn't contain any science fictional elements. Perhaps later episodes do, so I'd like to know,

are questions about Black Mirror on topic?

Or are they only on topic if about episodes that actually contain science fictional or fantastic elements?

up vote 18 down vote accepted

Black Mirror, of which I have watched every episode, deals with themes that are very much within the bailiwick of science-fiction.

  • It includes social, cultural and technological effects on societies of the near-future. The show should easily be at home here and tasteful questions regarding the show would be welcomed.

Disclaimer: I haven't actually seen the show; this opinion is just based on reading the Wikipedia pages, so take it with as many grains of salt as you like.

Individual episodes should be on-topic, the show in general should not

Reading the plot summaries on Wikipedia, I do see a fair bit of undoubtedly sci-fi content; for example:

  • In a world where people can replay everything they do, see or hear, Liam Foxwell's (Toby Kebbell) life falls apart when he gets paranoid over his wife's past relationship with a colleague.

  • When Martha's (Hayley Atwell) boyfriend Ash (Domhnall Gleeson) is killed on the day they move in together, she is consumed by grief and signs up for a service where she can speak to a virtual avatar of her partner based on his online communications. Martha grows to rely on this, then finds out there may be a way to bring Ash back in body.

But I also see a fair bit that isn't:

  • When Victoria Skillane (Lenora Crichlow) wakes up in a chair to find she can't recall anything about her life, she quickly learns that she is in a world where almost everyone appears to be either a psychopath or a voyeur. However as she joins in an attempt to free the people, she finds the truth to be far darker than she ever could have imagined.

  • Jamie Salter (Daniel Rigby), a failed comedian who has found unwanted success by performing the voice and movements (via performance capture) of a blue cartoon bear named Waldo, reluctantly agrees to allow his character to stand in an upcoming by-election. What begins as a piece of harmless fun however soon spirals out of control.

While in normal situations I would here say that the whole show is on-topic because it exists in a universe where sci-fi things exist, that argument doesn't hold with Black Mirror; according to a Guardian article by series creator Charlie Brooker, different episodes emphatically do not take place in the same fictional universe:

[E]ach episode has a different cast, a different setting, even a different reality.

  • 7
    You are right in theory but I think both examples you list as not science fiction are science fiction. Victoria's mind is wiped daily which is a common sci-fi tech which cannot be done in real life yet. Waldo depicts the development of a dystopian future with cartoonish Big Brother characters. Most Black Mirror episodes are focused on the impact of modern tech on people: first episode the media, second: reality TV, third: recording devices, forth: online identity. The only episode that seems clearly non-sci-fi is the first despite simular themes. It is about a politician who becomes a pig f – kaine Nov 24 '15 at 15:46

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