The Morals of Black Mirror, Drinking Game Edition

USS Callister

Premise: Robert Daly, co-creator of a massively popular virtual online role-playing game, has a secret hobby… he creates digital duplicates of co-workers who displease him and imprisons them in a recreation of his favourite sci-fi show, where he can toy with them as he pleases goddamn it I have had so much whisky just, just, just, could we not–

The Tech: In addition to the virtual roleplaying game you plug your mind into, Robert has a device that can create perfect, cookie-esque replicas of people from any DNA sample–what? A fucking… a fucking saliva sample contains enough information to completely recreate someone, down to their personality and memories? Is that what you’re trying to… just… just blow past it, Me, this one’s got Jimmi Simpson and Cristin Milioti and it’s really good, don’t get hung up on… it’s just… they’d kept it all probable so far…

The Moral: Blah blah digital consciousness would be abused so badly I know, I know, I’m pouring, I’m pouring…

How are we doing with that? People play The Sims just to watch their creations die. Are you telling me that if we gave people the option of plugging in Karen from HR who wrote us up for taking long lunches, we wouldn’t do it?


Premise: A new technology allows an extremely anxious single mother to monitor everything her daughter is doing, and shield her from disturbing sights or sounds damn it–

The Tech: The Arkangel, an implanted chip that provides a live feed of everything your child sees or does, and the option to apply content filters to reality. Which they don’t… they don’t even pretend this one was a good idea. It’s, like, it’s in beta testing at the start of the episode, when the daughter is a toddler, and by the time she’s done elementary school it’s already been banned in every civilized country.

Moral: Don’t be a hella coopter… helochopper… helicopter parent. ‘S a bad idea. Making sure your kid can’t see blood or barking dogs doesn’t keep them safe ‘n’ happy, it’s like, it’s like… to borrow a phrase from Sir Terry Pratchett, it’s like not teaching your kids self defense so they won’t get attacked. Argh. Now I’m sad he’s gone again. Guess I can toast him, since there’s also a dollop of “Don’t let your perception of reality be hacked…” This… stupid Maudlin Whisky. This was supposed to be the Happy Whisky. Maybe shift from Japan to Ireland…

How are we doing with that? Wheres’ the… what’s the line between over-protection and just such as an appropriate amount of protection? I don’t know, it’s… who can… look, I’m just gonna close my eyes for a second. I’m not sleeping, just resting my eyes–


I’M AWAKE, I’m awake…

The Premise: Dark secrets from a woman’s past are threatened when an insurance investigator needs to scan her memories of an accident she witnessed right after doing some crime. She overreacts.

The Tech: A device which can read, display, and record a person’s memories.



To cover up being an accessory to involuntary vehicular manslaughter in her younger days, she graduates to second degree then first degree murder and she just, she keeps crying about all the murdering she’s doing once the latest body has been tossed in the frozen lake, but does not stop or flinch and maybe that’s why it’s called “Crocodile,” ’cause of all the crocodile tears… anyway trying to cover up a murder with lots more murders turns out not to be the best plan. Stupid evil murdering woman.

How are we doing with that? In the immortal words of Roy Trenneman, “People. What a bunch of bastards.”

At least this time the tech isn’t bad in any way, it’s just dangerous to use on people who think having a family is an excuse to murder their way out of their problems.

Hang the DJ

Premise: A dating app assigns people to relationships for set periods of time, theoretically to bring them to their perfect match, but there are twists and whatnot and stuff happens and–

The Tech: Just the weirdest dating app you’ve ever seen, just the weirdest…

The Moral: Look… can we… it’s a weird ending but not necessarily dark ending? Can we… I don’t wanna have another… maybe we don’t have to call this improper use of…

How are we doing with that? Man we wish Tindr had this kind of algorithm. Or anything. Social media has given algorithms such a bad name…


Premise: A woman struggles to survive when an unrelenting robotic attack dog begins hunting her across a post-robot-dog-apocalypse landscape. In black and white ’cause if you’re gonna make an episode this simple make a meal of the simplicity.

The Tech: Unrelenting robotic murder dogs.

The Moral: Don’t fucking build unrelenting robotic murder dogs. Or if you do, program a remote shutdown so that they don’t, for example, slaughter every moving creature in all of England to protect your stupid fucking warehouse.

Not that I’m clear how they managed that, they are far from bulletproof, they can be tricked and blinded and… it seems to me, right, seems to me that any decent military could bring down these fucking awful murder dogs, Unless said military was using the MASS system and the dogs were able to hack it no no NO the moral is not “Do not let reality be hacked” it is just “Don’t build fucking murder dogs you can’t stop,” nobody has to drink anything.

How are we doing with that? Um…

One more. Bring it home. Finish this off. We can do this, we own this, we got this…

Black Museum

Premise: A woman (Black Panther’s Letitia Wright) visits Rolo Haynes’ Black Museum, a crime museum featuring exhibits from a whole bunch of past episodes, and more notably, three exhibits from his former scientific career that prove this asshole should not have been allowed within 100 meters of neuroscience. It’s an anthology episode where all the stories are one story, everybody! And oh no the point is one of our favourites…

The Tech: Rolo Haynes developed a neural web that allows doctors to feel the pain of their patients for better diagnoses (but if something goes wrong and wires get crossed it gets ugly), a way to transfer a woman’s consciousness into the brain of her boyfriend, a way to transfer it out of his brain and into a stuffed monkey when that goes wrong…

FUCKING SERIOUSLY? A stuffed monkey? You figured out how to store and transfer human consciousness and “Sexy Android Body” wasn’t the next fucking thing on your to-do list?

…and way to provide digital immortality to people for just the worst, just the worst reason.

In “White Christmas” I had to imagine that a legal team would take down the tech involved, with help from Easter eggs (one of which is in this episode) saying that cookies were granted human rights (something major ass-dick Rolo Haynes scoffs at). In this case there’s much more evidence that some legal team just followed Haynes around making sure his life’s work was made illegal at every turn. Hence having to run a crime museum filled with his own creations.

Moral: Don’t let Rolo fucking Haynes near your brain. He will not be in any way responsible with… digital… transfer or recreation of… shit.

Stupid goddamn digital consciousness again fine I’ll have one more drink and we’ll just

How are we doing with that? People suck I mean not all people but so many do what was… what was my point…


Need empathy.

Need it so bad.

Join us next time when actually I just have to rest my eyes a bit again widq8iqhdfy8egu ytufedFEG

Image: Netflix

Author: danny_g

Danny G, your humble host and blogger, has been working in community theatre since 1996, travelling the globe on and off since 1980, and caring more about nerd stuff than he should since before he can remember. And now he shares all of that with you.

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