'Black Mirror' S4 interview: Politics move too quickly for the show to tackle (exclusive)

Black Mirror returns for a fourth series over the festive period, with six new episodes landing on Netflix on Friday, 29 December.

Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones’ sci-fi anthology series is beloved – and rightly so – for tackling our human fears over technology and the rampant march of progress, and the new series is no different offering terrifying looks at augmented reality, nanny states, and artificial intelligence.

One thing the show purposely avoids though, is tackling politics head on. 2017 has been a mad year in the world of politics, for many reasons, and Brooker himself had to cancel his annual 2017 Wipe review show after he “ran out of road”.

The show’s creators say the show moves too slowly to be able to offer a commentary on politics.

“There isn’t a ‘brexit’ episode for instance,” Charlie Brooker explains to Yahoo Movies.

Black Mirror S4 episode ‘USS Callister’ pays tribute to vintage Star Trek.
Black Mirror S4 episode ‘USS Callister’ pays tribute to vintage Star Trek.

“Because when you’re writing the show and we’re working on the show, it takes quite a long time to get it made, and the world is moving and changing so quickly at the moment, you might talking about 1956 by the time you get to the end of the month.”

“There’s sometimes a political bent to the stories,” adds Annabel Jones, Brooker’s longtime producing partner.

“It’s just not very top-heavy. The story doesn’t tend to be about politics and it tends to be a lot more subtle than that.”

Rory Kinnear in ‘Black Mirror’s debut episode ‘The National Anthem’ (Channel 4)
Rory Kinnear in ‘Black Mirror’s debut episode ‘The National Anthem’ (Channel 4)

Black Mirror famously tackled the world of politics in its very first episode ‘The National Anthem‘, in which the British Prime Minister was blackmailed into having intercourse with a pig to save a member of the Royal Family. This was all before rumours of a certain PM’s relations with a pig’s head surfaced in the tabloids.

“Thinking about ‘The National Anthem’… if we’d have known… if that was a few years later, we probably would have had to have dropped it,” laughs Jones.

“I know, imagine that!” adds Brooker.

“If we’d have been working on that and that story had come out, we’d have been going ‘what the…?!’”

All six episodes of Black Mirror S4 will become available exclusively to Netflix members on Friday, December 29, 2017. Watch a trailer below.

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