For five seasons, Black Mirror has mined human dependence on technology, exploring everything from social media (“Nosedive”), surveillance (“Arkangel”), gaming (“USS Callister”), and online dating (“Hang the DJ”). Most episodes of Black Mirror are depressing, a thematic throughline perfectly captured in this meme:
Black Mirror: it's cause you be on that phone
— Sylvia Wrath (@trillgore_clout) December 30, 2017
But every now and then, we get a Black Mirror episode with a happy ending, like the most recent season’s take on pop superstardom and artificial intelligence, “Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too,” which also gave us Miley Cyrus’ “On a Roll,” the undeniable bop of the summer.
And of course, we can never forget the best episode of Black Mirror, season three’s “San Junipero,” which explores how technology might simulate life after death through a love story between two women, Yorkie (Mackenzie Davis) and Kelly (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). “San Junipero” is an emotional roller coaster, but it has Black Mirror’s most unabashedly happy ending, with the lovers getting their simulated happily ever after as Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven Is a Place on Earth” plays them off.
And according to Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker, the show may return to the world of “San Junipero” in the future. During an interview at Latitude Festival this weekend, Brooker said the creative team has discussed revisiting that story. “With San Junipero we – but never say never – wouldn’t return to those characters … It feels to us, I think, that we told that story. It felt right to leave them where they were. The world of San Junipero, that backdrop – that’s quite a rich environment for whatever ideas we had that we didn’t use in the end.”
Brooker describes one scene cut from the episode that explored the larger implications of a digital Heaven. “For instance, there was a scene originally where Yorkie goes looking for Kelly and discovers Kelly in a kindergarten looking after some kids. Which, later on, when you work out everyone there is dead, becomes a very poignant scene and setting.”
But that scene was ultimately “too strong a flavor to just drop in casually in that story. That’s the sort of thing you could potentially return to. So we occasionally discuss it. We haven’t done it yet but we may do it in the future.”