The showrunners of Black Mirror have discussed the theory that Ross from Friends predicted the ‘San Junipero’ episode of the dystopian anthology series.
In the episode, two woman (played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Mackenzie Davis) fall in love at a beach resort called San Junipero, but the town is revealed to be a simulated reality where the elderly and dead people can reside as younger versions of themselves.
Last year, some pointed out that the plot was strikingly similar to an idea Ross Geller had come up with in the sixth season of Friends. In the episode ‘The One Where Phoebe Runs’ Ross recounts the plot of a book he’s reading to Chandler, explaining: “By the year 2030 there will be computers that can carry out the same amount of functions as an actual human brain. So theoretically you could download your thoughts and memories into this computer…and live forever as a machine.”
Speaking to NME, Black Mirror creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones denied that that episode had any bearing on their own show. “Most of our episodes are inspired by Friends,” Jones joked. “They’re all upbeat, guys having a good time.”
“I don’t think the notion of consciousnesses being uploaded to a computer – I don’t think that concept came from Ross from Friends,” added Brooker. “I’d certainly heard that concept before so I must have stolen it from elsewhere.”
The fourth series of Black Mirror was released on Netflix last week (December 29) and the opening episode of the season, ‘USS Callister’, has reportedly already been earmarked for a potential spin-off.
Director Toby Haynes has revealed that a return to the sci-fi world of the episode could be on the cards, as he’s discussed it with creator Charlie Brooker.