The cast of Netflix’s shiny new series of 'Black Mirror' explain the frights that lie within four of its dystopian episodes
The last two seasons of Black Mirror have thrown up some weirdly believable dystopian scenarios, such as talent shows being used as social controls, or the UK’s Prime Minister being forced to fuck a pig. Will season three be just as good at predicting the future? We asked some of the cast members.
The setting: An Insta-ready dystopia where characters rate each other out of five.
Lesson: Life is like an Uber journey.
Bryce Dallas Howard, who plays an anxious office worker called Lacie: “It takes place in a world in which we all rate one another, and my character wants to improve her rating. What’s scary about that is that we’re sort of existing in that world already: Uber drivers, for instance. I get rated as a passenger, I rate the Uber driver myself. When I got this job I went into an Uber cab and I asked them what my rating was and it was 4.8 and I was devastated: ‘What’s the .2 that’s been docked off?’ This is the world that we live in and it’s intense. You’re being judged constantly.”
Shut Up And Dance
The setting: A thriller in which two cyber-blackmailed strangers are forced to work together.
Lesson: The secrets on your mobile could ruin your life.
Jerome Flynn, who plays a shifty victim of blackmail named Hector: “The two main characters get caught up in something – it’s terrifying and it’s easy to relate to the way they’re hoodwinked, because it could happen now. The technology is there: a couple of leaps and this could be me. These two guys are going to be judged quite strongly, and yet they’re pretty human.”
The setting: A neon-splashed surreal romance set in 1987.
Lesson: Living in denial is easy.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who plays a tourist called Kelly in a town of San Junipero, where everything is not as it seems, says: “Unlike some Black Mirror episodes that have a very chilling technological element to them, San Junipero offers a positive alternative to where life could take you. I think everyone is going to have their own opinion of it – I think it’s a positive and uplifting idea, but some people might find it disturbing.”
Men Against Fire
The setting: A military tragedy set in a futuristic world overrun by ‘roaches’.
Lesson: Soldiers can be easily manipulated.
Malachi Kirby, whose by-the-book soldier Stripe falls prey to doubt: “Stripe is fighting these ‘roaches’, which are disgusting. They’re weirdly human, but there’s something terrifying about them. The scary thing is when Stripe realises that the world he’s been living in is not what it seems. He ends up quite alone, with no one to trust.”