Saturday, 14 February 2015
Black Mirror: Be Right Back
"Are you sitting down? This might sound a bit creepy.."
It's been a while since I did the first season of Black Mirror, but now I can gradually catch up through the wonder that is Netflix.
This is a typically well-executed piece of Twilight Zone weirdness from the great Cjarlie Brooker, as usually extrapolating from current trends to give us a disturbing yet plausible near-future. It's hard science fiction with wit and weirdness.
Here we have Martha, grieving her suddenly gone partner Ash, a social media addict. This being the near future, there's a program to mimic his online persona from his social media footprint, expanding in believable increments to a simulacrum of even his body. Yet this can never be enough, culminating in the sex; the simulated Ash has no record of his sexual response, just a "set routine, based on pornographic videos". It all plays out naturally, believably and very weirdly. I can understand why the critics loved this.
Hayley Atwell is superb in a part very different from Agent Carter, but Domhnall Hleeson is extraordinary as the still, awkward android Ash. Also worthy of praise is the stark, Scandinavian use of light throughout.