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Black Mirror-verse Theory

I can’t get enough of this show. Black Mirror is one of the most brilliant TV series ever made. There are only 19 episodes stretched out through 4 seasons, and creator Charlie Brooker always leaves his fans wanting more. The thing is, I have started to become suspicious that every single episode of Black Mirror takes place in the same fucked up dystopian future, just spread out on an ever expanding timeline. A Black Mirror-verse, you could say.

I first started to become suspicious after hearing the song Anyone Who Knows What Love Is repeatedly in my viewings of Black Mirror. Maybe it was the hauntingly addictive and deeply saddening way that Jessica Brown-Findlay sang this song that forever etched the lyrics into my brain, but whatever the case- I will always notice when this song is playing for the rest of my life.

So I noticed it… a few times. To be more specific, it is played during a karaoke scene in White Christmas, by a soldier in Men Against Fire, and it is played throughout the entirety of the new episode, Crocodile. This song has now been in every season of the series. This didn’t seem like a coincidence, so I decided to watch the entire series over, which I was planning on doing anyway. To give you a warning, this shit hurt my brain, and I loved every second of it.

Connections/ Easter eggs I have found along the way:

UKN:

UKN is a made up news network that was shown in The National Anthem, White Bear, The Waldo Moment, Hated in the Nation, Crocodile, and Black Museum. Having the same network always bringing the news to each new group of characters tells me its the same UKN every time.

Pictured above, is Michael Callow (Rory Kinnear). Michael Callow was the Prime Minister of England in the first episode, The National Anthem. His name was trending on Twitter during Hated in the Nation. He was also shown quickly on Kenny’s (Alex Lawther) computer in Shut Up and Dance when a news story broke about his divorce. Who broke this story? You guessed it… UKN.

Waldo:

A Waldo sticker is seen on Kenny’s desk in Shut Up and Dance. This points out that other characters from separate episodes know of each other.

Zed-Eyes:

In the episode White Christmas, Jon Hamm’s Matt says “We all got our Zed-Eyes in right?” This type of technology has been used a few times now in the show. It was used in White Christmas, Men Against Fire, and The Entire History of You. The tech has been a constant throughout the show.

Fences Pizza:

This Pizza Company is seen in both USS Callister and Crocodile. What? Not all of the connections are insanely in depth.

15 Million Merits:

This is my favorite connection thus far. I already talked about the song from 15 Million Merits, the title of the second episode ever in Black Mirror. Now we see a graphic novel with the same title. Jack (Aldis Hodge), in a segment from the season 4 finale, is reading the graphic novel with Bing’s (Daniel Kaluuya) exact line from the episode! The page shows Bing, with a piece of glass up to his own neck saying “No one stops me. Not till I’ve said my piece. Then you can do what you like.” MIND BLOWN. To me, this means Bing is a legend in the Black Mirror-verse for what he did to get out of “the bike”.

The Sunken Place:

Okay, so “The Sunken Place” is from the movie Get Out, which was also wonderful, but this concept kept reminding me of it, so I will call it that.

Carrie (Alexandra Roach) goes into a vegetative state, then enters Jack’s mind as a passenger. This completely mirrors whats Smart Elligence (Jon Hamm’s company from White Christmas ) would do when they “clone” a customer and place them in an egg (The Cookie) to control their own house.

At least when time goes by, she’s not eternally stuck in timeout like Hamm’s company would do. When Carrie would go on pause, time would just fast forward. This is also very reminiscent of what happens in USS Callister, with the digital clones being stuck in Robert Daly’s (Jesse Plemons) Video Game.

Rolo Haynes:

Rolo Haynes’ Black Museum is by far the biggest connectiion for the series to date. When he entered his Museum,  we saw all of the other items from different Black Mirror episodes, and I couldn’t handle my excitement. All of the wonders I had on this being a shared universe were answered right then and there. Here is what is in Rolo’s “collection”.

  1.           Killer Bee from Hated in the nation
  2.           Red outfit/ shotgun from White Bear
  3.           DNA cloning machine from USS Callister
  4.           Bathtub husband is murdered in from Crocodile
  5.           Child Monitoring “techPad” from Arkangel
  6.           Hallway into the Black Museum mirrors the hallway in Playtest
  7.           Tom Blice (the culprit from The National Anthem) mannequin is hanging on display, depicting his suicide.

He also worked for TCKR- This Company was also spotted in Hated in the Nation and San Junipero. Furthermore, Rolo Haynes worked at San Junipers hospital, where San Junipero is based at. I know, it get’s confusing, but stay with me.

Chronological Order:

This discovery led me down a completely new rabbit hole, and I am here to share this with you. If they are all connected, what is the chronological order? Well, I gave that my best shot, and here is how I have them ordered.

The Waldo Moment -> The National Anthem -> Shut Up and Dance

Times seemed to be simpler then. As simple as this show can get, anyway.

Fifteen Million Merits -> White Bear-> Arkangel-> USS Callister

Crocodile-> Hated in the Nation-> Playtest-> San Junipero

Black Museum- I have this episode as a clear breaking point, with absolute signs of certain episodes being before, and after. San Junipero seems to be directly before Black Museum because of Rolo’s reaction to Nish saying “Like when they upload old people to the cloud”. He reacts as this is a newer form of tech.

The Entire History of You-  Behind the ear tech is perfected after Black Museum. We saw this technique done in the “Pain Addict” segment, with a rather large implant. The implants in this episode are very small.

Be Right Back- This technology did not seem to exist yet in time for Black Museum or Rolo Haynes would have certainly used it.

White Christmas- Seemed to perfect the “Sunken Place tech” more, with the release of “The Cookie”. Also at this point Zed-Eyes can no longer be removed, says Hamm’s character. He says, “You can’t even take them out”. This tells me White Christmas definitely takes place after The Entire History of You.

Hang the DJ- Virtual Reality/ Simulations seem to be perfected at this point.

Nosedive- This new app would have caused classes to become vastly separated. This would have caused a major divide, and would increase the wealth gap.

Men Against Fire- Zed-Eyes are even more perfected, leading users to misinterpret what human beings even look like.

Metalhead-  This is the current endpoint in the chronological order according to Scene Invaders. Things seemed to have continued to go to shit, changing the world into a post-apocalyptic wasteland.  I think Charlie Brooker’s main theme in the show is to be careful how much we rely on technology. This technology ends up taking over, ending in humanity fighting against robotic dogs.

Or all of these connections could just be a coincidence. Who knows really.

Personal Ranking:

One last list before I end this. I figured I would try and figure out my personal list of Black Mirror rankings episode by episode. Here it goes.

19. The Waldo Moment

18. White Bear

17. The National Anthem

16. Metalhead

15. Shut Up and Dance

14. Arkangel

13. Crocodile

12. Nosedive

11. Hated in the Nation

10. Playtest

9. Men Against Fire

8. Hang the DJ

7. San Junipero

6. Be Right Back

5. Fifteen Million Merits

4. Black Museum

3. USS Callister

2. The Entire History of You

1. White Christmas

This list was near impossible to construct, but I landed on White Christmas as my top episode of this wonderfully executed series. White Christmas just seemed to keep winning when I was pitting it against the other episodes, and I have to credit Rafe Spall (Potter) and Jon Hamm (Matt) for their performances as the reason why this takes my top spot. There are many performances worth praise in this series, but these two certainly left a lasting impression.

I cannot compliment Charlie Brooker enough for creating this show. He has come up with so many different captivating stories, and we are lucky to be witnessing this show live. I can’t wait to see where his mind goes next (hopefully for longer than 6 episodes next year), but I will take what I can get.

If you enjoyed reading this blog as much as I loved writing it, then you should check out our Podcast, Scene Invaders. We are on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever else you find Podcasts.

Need more Black Mirror? Listen to our Season 4 review, coming out Tuesday, January 9th.

 

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/id1289489168

3 comments

  1. Sean says:

    Arkangel has to be after men against fire though because they showed the little girl a scene from it as a way to scare her into blurring out the images.

    The most recent series seemed to mess with the chronology a little bit, and make certain episodes seem like they were separate fictions within the ‘real’ black mirror universe.

    1. admin says:

      Awesome take! Thanks for the comment, I will bring up this point when we record next weekend. Got to love a show that makes you think.

  2. Mike says:

    Good try, however, doing some research to back your the theories up could have helped figuring out that Charlie Brooker, the show creator, already stated that there are multiple universes in the series. You are right, though, some of the episodes exist within the same universes just at different points in time.

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