Black Mirror – Season 3 Episode 6 Hated in the Nation

hated-in-the-nationDirector: James Hawes

Writer: Charlie Brooker (Screenplay)

Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Faye Marsay, Benedict Wong, Jonas Karlsson, Joe Armstrong, Elizabeth Berrington


Plot: In near-future London, police detective Karin Parke (Kelly McDonald) and her tech-savvy sidekick Blue (Faye Marsay) investigate a string of mysterious deaths with a sinister link to social media.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Great New Serial Killer Idea


Story: Hated in the Nation starts as we flashback to what had been happening through Karin Parke’s (Macdonald) story, she gets shadowed by Blue (Marsay) with the first victim being a hated public journalist Jo Powers.

When a second celebrity starts getting hate from the nation it starts to become apparent there is some form of serial killer taking out the hated people but it has a connection to how the world is reacting on social media.

Hated in the Nation gives us one of these brilliant crime thrillers as we see how once again social media to show the danger of what we could be putting on it. The selection of who is being targeted is great to see because we needed something like this to show the real fear that can be created in social media issues and how easily it can all become out of control. This is the longest of all of the stories and could easily have been its own feature film rather than just another chapter in this clever selection of stories.


Overall: The best all-around film of the series but slightly too long for the casual viewer.





Black Mirror – Season 3 Episode 5 – Men Against Fire

men-against-fireDirector: Jakob Verbruggen

Writer: Charlie Brooker (Screenplay)

Starring: Malachi Kirby, Madeline Brewer, Ariane Labed, Sarah Snook, Michael Kelly, Kola Bokinni


Plot: Future soldiers Stripe (Malachi Kirby) and Raiman (Madeline Brewer) must protect frightened villagers from an infestation of vicious feral mutants. Technologically, they have the edge – but will that help them survive?


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Fun But Slow


Story: Men Against Fire starts as we meet new soldier Stripe (Kirby) who gets assigned on his first mission to find out whether a village was attacked by creatures known only as ‘roaches’. We see his unit led by Medina (Snook) go on the hunt for this roaches.

As the hunt continues we learn that the roaches are feral mutants that have been terrorising the local villages, but the question comes to how the disease is transmitted. After his first encounter with the roaches Stripe starts to have different reactions to everyday tasks that the military can’t find any issues with. With his ability to see the truth we get to see how Stripe has to try and convince the rest of what is going on in the world.

Men Against Fire is one of the most original twists on what starts off as a zombie concept but it soon turns into a fresh look at how to train soldiers to be the most efficient they can possibly be. This offers plenty of morale questions about how soldier are trained and what they are capable on the battle field if certain parts can be removed from their decision-making process but otherwise this is one of the weaker stories in the series so far.


Overall: The slowest of the series so far.




Black Mirror – Season 3 Episode 4 – San Junipero

san-junDirector: Owen Harris

Writer: Charlie Brooker (Screenplay)

Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mackenzie Davis, Denise Burse, Raymond McAnally, Gavin Stenhouse


Plot: In a seaside town in 1987, a shy young woman and an outgoing party girl strike up a powerful bond that seems to defy the laws of space and time.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Slow Burning Brilliance


Story: San Junipero starts as we follow quiet girl Yorkie (Davis) who is having a night out at the arcade where everyone hangs out in 1987. When party girl Kelly (Mbatha-Raw) stumbles into her they start a conversation as they are from worlds apart.

One week later the two meet again and it becomes apparent that Kelly is different to the rest of the woman in the town of San Junipero. We see how the two get involved in a wild night as Yorkie returns searching for Kelly week after week, year after year without any success. The story takes a dramatic twist when we learn that this San Junipero is a place where sick and elderly can re-live their youths for a limited time.

San Junipero is one that I struggled to enjoy the first part of the film as I really didn’t know where the story was going but once you look back at everything in the story this is right up there with the best in the series. The final outcome of this story is both amazing and heart-breaking because of the story of endless love and potential but we never know where people really have come from before we meet them.

Overall: While I found it very slow I loved how the final outcome really came around.




Black Mirror – Season 3- Episode 3 – Shut Up and Dance

shut-up-and-danceDirector: James Watkins

Writer: William Bridges (Screenplay) Charlie Brooker (Story)

Starring: Alex Lawther, Jerome Flynn, Susannah Doyle, Frankie Wilson, Jimmy Roye-Dunne, Hanna Steele


Plot: When withdrawn Kenny (Alex Lawther) stumbles headlong into an online trap, he is quickly forced into an uneasy alliance with shifty Hector (Jerome Flynn) – both at the mercy of persons unknown.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Much Better Version of Nerve


Story: Shut Up and Dance starts as we meet quiet young man Kenny (Lawther) who just gets through the days minding his own business and his job. When Kenny decides to pleasure himself he finds himself caught in an online trap being forced to follow instructions or his video will be made public.

Kenny following the instruction ends up with a fellow victim Hector (Flynn) as the two must work together to complete the tasks to be made free of the people holding their darkest secrets.

Shut Up and Dance is very similar to the film Nerve which came out this year (2016) where people get tasks to complete from someone they don’t know. This does take it to the next level as it is pushed into blackmail territory which does work as these people all have secrets they don’t want loved ones to know. We get to see a string of secrets which all works really well because we learn that the person next to us on the street might not be the person we think they are. I think the final twist in this story is what makes this stand out.


Overall: Edge of the seat episode makes you wonder just what will happen next.




Black Mirror – Season 3 Episode 2 – Playtest

playtestDirector: Dan Trachtenberg

Writer: Charlie Brooker (Screenplay)

Starring: Wyatt Russell, Hanna John-Kamen, Wunmi Mosau, Ken Yamamura, Elizabeth Moynihan


Plot: An American traveler short on cash signs up to test a revolutionary new gaming system, but soon can’t tell where the hoot game ends and reality begins.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Twist Filled Story


Story: Playtest starts when America Cooper (Russell) decides to just pack his bag and see the world he has the time of his life with the final leg of his trip being England. While in England he has his card cloned and must wait for a chance to afford a ticket home when local girl Sonja (John-Kamen) suggests taking a quick paying job.

Cooper takes a job working on a prototype game which pushes him to look at virtual reality gaming to a level never known before but this is only the beginning of his nightmare as all of his fears get projected within the game he has to play.

Playtest plays into the idea that we always want to push the limits to what we can experience in video games and that we will always need to learn what could make things more intense for the player. This story has one too many twists for my liking but otherwise is a very enjoyable one without being the best in the series. The idea of playing into fears works really well because it is a level that people like to reach as they face their fears.


Overall: Solid addition to the series but I feel this is only one certain people will enjoy.