When Star Trek Meets Black Mirror
When the question of who wanted to review the “Star Trek” episode of Black Mirror was posed, I jumped at the chance, as I love anything Sci-fi (Star Wars/Trek, especially) and I love the macabre and interesting take Black Mirror has on life in general, so it was a no-brainer. Star Trek inspires and supplies intrigue while finding new discoveries throughout the universe and sometimes within the characters themselves. While Black Mirror places society up to a (pardon the play on words) mirror and shows us the dark side of what we can, are and sometimes scarily most likely will be. So, when these were going to be mixed together, my assumption was that it could only lead to a nostalgia fuelled honest look at society. I kept away from hints and spoilers about what to expect and I’m glad I did, as it was nothing like I thought and was pleasantly surprised.
Straight from the get go, the episode opened with a classic feel “Star Trek” themed cold open and brought you straight into the Sci-Fi world that its semi based around. They even had the opening in a classic 4:3 aspect ratio with a terrible old school TV filter and it brought me nothing but joy. This was misleading as the space adventure lead to a very dark revelation that I wont spoil now but about halfway through the episode, I felt bad for liking it…
I’ve mentioned my enjoyment of depressing endings and realistic dark scenarios before and it’s probably one of the main reasons why I enjoy Black Mirror, and this episode was no exception when it came to me having a sinking feeling in my stomach, pretty much the entire time. The real-world situations that exist are done with honesty and realism, so much so that I couldn’t really fault them. They were believable and a little painful at times which lead to me becoming even more invested in not just the main protagonist but the whole supporting cast. This was also done well in the space parts equally as well and cleverly so.
This brings me to the acting; which is fantastic. The Sci-Fi parts are played with a tongue in cheek feel when it needed to be, and overly played when its needed. This gives the “show” an authentic feel and made the characters emotions genuine. Speaking of genuine!! The design and sets on the show were top notch as they exude that old school Sci-Fi feel, while having interesting and modern dialogue within. Included in the design was the score, which was never underplayed. There were the occasional retro musical stings that brought a flutter to my heart as it borderline copied the sounds and music right from Star Trek.
This show is always great, and I’ve been blessed with getting the opportunity to review probably the best episode of the newest season. It’s real and it’s grandiose while showing an unfortunate look at what would probably happen if we had this specific virtual reality and AI. I 100% agree with their sad estimation but that’s another reason I enjoyed this so much. Everything was done how I thought it should’ve been done, and there were parts that surprised me while having me on the edge of my seat and I was even surprised on how it ended, but that’s Black Mirror for you. I recommend you watch this episode, then if you haven’t go back to season 1 and binge the whole thing, it’s all worth your time.