As a late Christmas present, on December 29th Black Mirror season 4 dropped in its entirety onto Netflix, and eager viewers wasted no time in binging the whole thing. From the Star Trek influenced ‘USS Callister’ to the post-apocalyptic black and white ‘Metalhead’, it was as just as witty and damning of modern technology as ever.
But in amongst the ‘phones-but-too-much’ stories, fans noticed that some of the plot lines seemed uncannily familiar to several ideas that British comedian Karl Pilkington has previously pitched.
The final episode of the series, ‘Black Museum’, is a set of interconnected stories, including one about Jack, whose wife is left in a coma after an accident, and is persuaded to have her consciousness transferred into his brain. However several years back on the Ricky Gervais podcast, Karl Pilkington revealed he’d had an idea for a very similar film. His latest movie idea is about a couple, and when the husband is killed the doctor explains you have all this empty space in your brain, and suggests having their deceased husbands brain implanted into theirs.
But this isn’t the only similarity, another story in ‘Black Museum’ is about a doctor who can feel the pain of his patients – something else that Karl Pilkington suggested.
In another episode of the podcast Karl explains his latest film idea, saying: “sometimes I don’t know if I feel well…because I’ve been in my body for years.” He goes on to add: “if there was some sort of kit, that if the Doctor says “how are you feeling Mr Pilkington” and I say “I think I feel alright” and they say “oh, do you?” “I dunno” “step into the machine.””
“[you then] Get into the machine, and if he [the doctor] could somehow transfer my feeling into his body, so I could feel how he feels, and then he can feel how I feel, and he’ll go “Oh you’re not well at all, your heartbeat is irregular for a start”
Don’t believe how familiar they are? One YouTuber has kindly edited Karl’s ideas alongside footage from the Black Mirror episode, so you can see just how similar they are.
Just a coincidence? Or did Brooker realise the low-key brilliance of Pilkington’s ideas?