Black mirror s2e1: Be right back

Black Mirror s2ep1

Black Mirror season 2 episode 1

Martha (Hayley Atwell) and Ash (Domhnall Gleeson) are a young couple who move to a remote cottage, where Ash’s parents used to live. Ash is a big user of social media, tapping away on his phone, just a bit too much. Martha doesn’t really mind, she loves him and they’re looking forward to their new life together. The day after the move, Ash is killed, returning the hire van. At the funeral, Sarah (Sinead Matthews), a friend of Martha’s, tells her about a new service that lets you stay in touch with the deceased. By using all his past online communications and social media profiles, a new ‘Ash’ can be created – disarmingly ‘real’ and a help to a grieving partner. Martha is disgusted by the concept and wants nothing to do with it. Martha decides to stay in the cottage, despite her sister, Naomi (Claire Keelen), being worried about her isolation. Then one morning Martha receives an email from ‘Ash’. Sarah has signed her up. Martha is furious and deletes the message. But then she discovers she is pregnant and in a confused and lonely state Martha decides to talk to ‘him’.

*Spoilers ahead, you were warned*

Excellent episode which involves a woman losing her partner. A friend sets up her with a special system which takes all the public data of that person and generates a avatar of the data. So all those public tweets, flickr pictures, etc. First it emulates the voice and then it starts to emulates other aspects. In the end the woman is lured into levelling up  to a physical avatar.

While it seems somewhat insane… Its not as far future as you may think.

When I first started watching it, I instantly thought about Weavrs

Weavrs are your alter egos crafted from the threads of the social web.

Imagine Weavrs + Google Now…! Yes be afraid, be very afraid… You think sleeping with your partner as weavr is bad, wait till you point it at someone eles’s weavr! Or worst pointing it at yourself!  Scary and freaky stuff!

Charlie Brooker did a preview showing of black mirror at the BFI last month, which I need to watch when I get a chance (can’t get it to play on my xbmc setup unforgettably). Thanks to tim dobson for reminding me of tomscott’s piece about this a while ago… well worth watching like most of his stuff


Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.