Black Mirror Season 3

November 18, 2016 by Amara D. Angelica

I just caught up with Season 3 of Black Mirror, the dystopian science-fiction British television series on Netflix. I found the six episodes riveting, but often sort of nightmarish. Think high-tech, R-rated Twilight Zone.

Spoiler alert: the following mentions some things that are not immediately revealed in the episodes, similar to the trailers below (but does not give away endings).

I found “Playtest” — an Inception-style episode featuring a gamer hired to test a top-secret, highly immersive augmented-reality game — the most interesting. Rather than an AR display, an implant is used to neurally alter the gamer’s perceptions.

Implants are also featured in “Men Against Fire,” in which soldiers have access to combat information, and in “San Junipero,” a touching love story.

Hated In The Nation” is closest to the gross “The National Anthem” episode in season one. An autonomous drone insect (ADI) system, developed to counteract the acute collapse of the bee population, is used by a hacker to allow Twitter users to vote to kill a hated public figure — with the victim selected by the most tweets with the #DeathTo hashtag.

(credit: Netflix)

Social media is also the focus of “Nosedive” — about a bizarre (and hilarious) society in which most people give each other continual up/down-rankings via smartphone.

Mashable points out the similarity to Baihe, China’s premier matchmaking service, which says it will “promote clients with good credit scores, giving them prominent spots on the company’s website” and social credit will “forge a public opinion environment that trust-keeping is glorious” — warning that the “new system will reward those who report acts of breach of trust.”

Shut up and Dance” is another throwback to season one: a secret group of hackers installs malware on laptops to blackmail and otherwise punish people for their objectionable behavior.

Amara D. Angelica is Editor of KurzweilAI