'Black Mirror' May Return to the World of 'San Junipero' in a Sequel Episode

Tuesday, 05 September 2017 - 7:54PM
Netflix
Black Mirror
Tuesday, 05 September 2017 - 7:54PM
'Black Mirror' May Return to the World of 'San Junipero' in a Sequel Episode
Netflix
The problem with an anthology show that tells a different story every week is that if you ever land on a really fantastic idea that resonates with audiences, it's not easy to return to that story for more adventures.

Such is the case with the world of San Junipero, which appears in an episode of the same name from the third season of Black Mirror, Charlie Brooker's ultra-depressing series of self-contained stories which share a consistent message that tech is slowly killing all of us and stealing away our humanity.

The dehumanizing influence of modern life isn't the only message the show espouses, though. Sometimes, as with San Junipero, it almost offers an optimistic message - albeit one that's wrapped in layer upon layer of snide cynicism. In the episode, we enjoy a wonderful Eighties-themed love story that ultimately (spoiler alert, although it won't ruin your enjoyment) turns out to be taking place in a computer simulation, where deceased people's brains have been uploaded into computers to live out eternity as a tiny blinking light in a server room.

It's a bittersweet story, but as it features sweetness at all, it's uncharacteristic for Black Mirror, and perhaps as a result of the way it stands out in contrast to the rest of the content on the show, it's become a fan favorite episode - a reminder that hope can exist even in an ostensibly very depressing world. So what other stories might Brooker want to tell if he were to revisit San Junipero, one of the most charming worlds he's created?



With a brief story about dead children, of course. At the end of the day, no well of human optimism can last long before Brooker turns up, eager to poison it with some home-grown maudlin depression. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Brooker said the following:

Opening quote
"There were aspects of the story that I took out. For instance, I'd originally written a scene where Gugu's character, Kelly, is in a kindergarten and there are children there and when you realize what's going on, it's that these are deceased children. It was too sad and too poignant of a note to hit in that story, but I kept thinking about how that felt like a whole world in and of itself.

I think we almost might do it in a completely different form if we were doing a straight sequel, if that makes sense. Maybe not even as a normal episode."
Closing quote


The idea of a "completely different form" of sequel does sound interesting - not least because it sounds like we'll be spared a full episode of Black Mirror that's all about the digital afterlife equivalent of kindergarten. We might get a full episode of the show that's a series of vignettes; small, quick gut punches of emotion that remind you that you're an awful person for using your phone when you should be paying attention to your family.

A "Where Are They Now?" styled episode of Black Mirror that follows up on a different threads within this show might be an interesting way to explore things. Alternatively, Netflix's binge watching release model would be perfect for a shorter snippet of content that almost plays out like a palate cleanser in between episodes; a quick reminder of mortality just when you're feeling like a crummy person for leaving the toilet seat up, or down, or somewhere in between.

The fourth season of Black Mirror is on the way now, and it's not hard to believe that maybe, while Brooker seems to be talking in abstracts here, there might actually be a solid plan for reworking some of his ideas for San Junipero that haven't yet seen the light of day.

Either way, one thing's for certain: don't take for granted any sliver of hope that this show appears to offer, because it's probably ultimately a trap. And already, none of the promos for season 4 look too charming right now.

Science Fiction
Sci-Fi TV Shows
Netflix
Black Mirror
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