Black Mirror - S01E01 (National Anthem), 2011
Signed up the 22/01/2018***SPOILERS***
Ever wonder how far the internet could reach into your world? How much impact one person with a laptop and a purpose could do? Black Mirror examines this in it's pilot, National Anthem.
We begin our story in the wee hours of the morning in Great Britain with the Prime Minister being called for an emergency - the Princess of England has been kidnapped. The room is a cold blue colour with the only lamp lit not being able to overcome the solemn mood. As the video plays the cabinet pauses multiple times to reiterate the validity of the video. The only ransom for the princess's release if for the Prime Minister to go on live television and f*ck a pig.
The Prime Minister calls for censorship of the kidnapping and ransom however the video was uploaded to YouTube and there was no way to keep the information hidden. The government is completely blindsided by the power of Al Gore's Internet as while the local news broadcasters may not publish the information, it was still out on the internet and of course social media.
The TV news broadcasters star airing the information as polically correct as they can, only revealing the kidnapping and showing polls favouring the the PM not to go through with the ransom. This is contrasted by opinions of people at home making curse remarks regarding the situation revealing the medias bias and lack of representation for all.
A plot to use a pornstar's body and a greenhood to CGI the PM's face on to it hatches and the producer called to make this happen scoffs at the government agent's complete lack of knowledge on how technology actually works. It is all for naught however as the information of the leaks and the princesses finger is severed and sent in to show that trickery is not an option.
Although the PM wasn't involved with the plan, the public turns on him for the level of deception they feel has occurred and his poll numbers drop considerably.
Another beautiful scene is where the government believes they have tracked down the kidnapper and a rescue mission begins. A journalist gets a hold of this information and tries to get footage of the rescue on camera. Of course this plan is also foiled and the government and media are left looking at each other in a standoff.
With time up and no other options, the Prime Minister prepares himself to preform despite his wife's protest. The streets are empty as everyone is in front of their screens preparing the watch their leader's very public humiliation. "It's time to go inside."
Close to an hour passes and not sole is present to see that the princess was released a half an hour before the broadcast. "He was making a statement!". The PM's sacrifice is for naught. This information is kept from the PM and public. The kidnappers identity is revealed to have been a famous artist who had successfully preformed " the greatest artwork of the 21st century".
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Our story continues one year after the incident with the princess engaged and being social and with the Prime Minister being regarded favourably by the public as a heroic figure however behind closed doors, his life is a mess as his wife can't stand to look at him.
Black Mirror forces us to look at the power of technology and how dangerous it can be. This pilot was absolutely brilliant to me as it did not give us the happy ending we expect but one way more realistic and I can't wait for more from Charlie Brooker.---
Watch it for yourself
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