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  HOME | Arts & Entertainment

“Black Mirror” Creator Charlie Brooker: Show Is Not Anti-Technology

LONDON – Charlie Brooker, the creator of “Black Mirror,” said on Friday that the series is not anti-technology and his explorations are almost always the result of humans misusing it or allowing it to control them.

The popular television series, which delves into the relationship between humans and technology and is often set in a high-tech future with plots that twist into abstract but somehow believable narratives, is set to premiere three new episodes of the fifth season on Netflix on June 5.

“We get a bit annoyed sometimes when people perceive the show to be against technology, because I don’t think it is,” Brooker told Efe.

“In almost every episode we have, the characters are at fault, not the technology, the technology is neutral and it’s very powerful, and they are misusing it or they are on the receiving end of someone misusing it. But It’s usually a human causing the problem,” the scriptwriter, producer and critic said.

The writer joked that if he and his colleague Annabel Jones, the producer of the show, were anti-technology they would have the worst job in the world because they were having to think about and using technology all the time for the series.

Brooker had always been a fan of short stories with bizarre narratives that played with uncanny and dark thematics, such as “The Twilight Zone” (1958-1964) and “Tales of the Unexpected”(1979-1988), and the motivation behind “Black Mirror” was to update these narratives to the modern age by using technology instead of the supernatural.

The creative process Brooker and Jones take is a relaxed conversational approach.

“What we do is we just discuss things we’ve observed, genres we haven’t done yet, we have a wide-ranging conversation and then at some point, I will start thinking about an idea that makes me laugh and then hopefully you’ll find some aspect of it upsetting or ridiculous and then I’ll try and appall you more by making the idea more extreme and eventually we get to a point where suddenly we are writing and actors are having to do it,” Brooker said, pointing at Jones.

The three soon-to-be-released episodes titled “Smithereens,” “Striking Vipers” and “Rachel Jack and Ashley Too” feature American singer and actress Miley Cyrus.

“Rachel Jack and Ashley Too,” tells the story of how a child star turned pop star grapples with a music industry that is increasingly influenced by technology and of the effects of the sector on the star’s image, music and identity.

The pair immediately thought of Cyrus for the role although they were not hopeful about even getting a reply from her.

“You know, you have a script about an international pop star and the biggest fear is casting that role so that it feels credible and that it immediately feels credible,” Jones explained.

“We are not a long-running series, we have an hour in which to tell a story with lots of ideas so from the first scene you need the viewer to believe ‘that is an international pop star,’ so of course you hope, you dream, well the best person to take on that role would be Miley Cyrus, will she ever read the script?”

Brooker and Jones sent Cyrus the script and she replied saying she had heard of the show, which surprised them both, and that she liked the script.

“Which obviously she did, ‘cos I’d written it,” Brooker joked.

The singer flew out to Cape Town for two weeks of filming.

“I think it spoke to her, it spoke to her childhood, it spoke to her career trajectory from the anodyne Disney pop star all the way through to her now having made great efforts to distance herself from that image and recreate herself and try and find her own identity and manage her own music and image,” Jones said.

When asked what it was like to work with Cyrus, Jones said: “Miley is very anarchic and punky and has a great sense of humor, we did it through a very fast paced caper with lots of fun and humor because she doesn’t take herself too seriously as well so it’s a great film, we’re really thrilled.”

 

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