Written by TV

Black Mirror: Series 3 Proposal

I really enjoyed the first episode of Channel 4’s new run of The Twilight Zone Black Mirror. It was a well worked tale of future possibilities, played out wonderfully by Hayley Atwell and Domhnall Gleeson as loving couple suddenly separated by death.
I watched the programme in near real time – starting about fifteen minutes late, but able to fast forward through the ads meaning I ended up seeing the end at about 11pm as it came to a close in live broadcast.
Then I went on Twitter to make snide remark about Channel 4’s regular drama sponsors having seemingly “opted out” of this particular programme. But by then #blackmirror was trending. A lot of people had clearly been Tweeting the whole way through the programme and not just at the end like I was.
This is the future.
In light of this, we do need to tweak the way dramas are produced.
So here’s my proposal for an episode of Series 3 of Black Mirror:
Title: Exposition
Plot: Damian and Sasha work in a digital media agency designing distracting online advertising that makes you want to click on it. They’re in a relationship, but Damian doesn’t know that Sasha is secretly sharing illicit Vines with Blade, the marketing director of Pzion their biggest client. And Sasha doesn’t know that Damien is also in a secret relationship with Eliza – someone he only knows via Twitter. But they DM each other all the time. Then Pzion releases a hot new Twitter client and all hell breaks loose…
(An exciting plot, I think you’ll agree!)
Visual Style: Characters will have identifiers permanently in vision hovering over each of them. You know, in the style that they use for text messages in shows like Sherlock or the US version of House of Cards. If you’ve ever seen Nascar you’ll know what I mean. Identifying characters makes it easier for viewers to share their favourite moments in social media.
No two major characters will have the same hair colour. Also, each character will wear a different primary colour for easier identification.
Each scene will get its own unique hashtag. It’ll fit nice and neatly, just below the Channel 4 DOG in the top left hand corner of the screen. It makes referencing scenes much easier. Animating the hashtags will enable the audience to pick up on them more easily, and allow them to engage with other viewers online.
Viewers who post a Tweet with the hashtag #wtfishappening will get an instant summary of what’s been going on so far. This facility will be prominently displayed on-screen throughout the drama.
A “Breaking News” style ticker will run throughout the drama highlighting major plot points in case you missed them.
The audio for the hard of hearing stream will be a little fuller than usual. So instead of the voice saying things like “Sasha walks into her bedroom and sees Blade,” it’ll be more like:
“Sasha – the blonde who’s going out with nerdy Damien – walks into her bedroom and sees Blade – her client through work who we know she’s been shagging from that bit in the first five minutes.”
After each commercial break we’ll get a proper “previously on Exposition…” re-cap of what’s been happening so far.
There won’t be any end credits at all. You know, like Spooks.
Funding: Channel 4 needs every penny it can get, so it’d be rude not to include some Product Placement. Mobile phones will prove an important part of this production, so there’ll be a mobile partner on board. But due to production deadlines and the mobile phone release cycle, it’s unlikely that the newest model will be available at time of production. Each actor will use a green block in their hand allowing the latest model to be dropped in just before broadcast.
If anyone at Channel 4 or Zeppotron wants to drop me a note, I can get cracking on a full script!