This is why we can’t have nice things. An American adaptation of the excellent, mind-bending British sci-fi series Black Mirror is reportedly in the works. Per Variety, the new co-CEO’s and co-chairmen of Endemol Shine North America, Cris Abrego and Charlie Corwin, confirmed that “there is a plan” for a U.S. adaptation of the buzzed about U.K. series. While details are scarce at this point Corwin continued to say that Black Mirror scribe Charlie Brooker (Dead Set) has “really touched on something and I agree – we need more.”
He’s right, we do need more…from Brooker, his producer Anabel Jones, and their U.K. team, who are absolutely killing it with every episode. For those who aren’t yet familiar, Black Mirror is an anthology style sci-fi series, regularly lauded as The Twilight Zone for the tech age. Each episode is a standalone story, most of which revolve around a new technology and the perverse way that human beings put that technology to use. Here in the states, we finally got our chance to dig in late last year when the first two seasons popped up on Netflix.
Bear with me here, because this is about to get a little ranty. There’s a lot of hyperbole thrown around on the web, and I’m as guilty as any other, but I make no exaggerations when I say that Black Mirror is some of the best science fiction I’ve seen in my life. I would go even further and say Black Mirror is the only work that’s wreaked mental, emotional, and philosophical havoc on me to a level that’s on par with the works of Phillip K. Dick. It’s just damn good stuff.
We live in a time where everything, everything, is going to be remade at some point, and generally speaking, I’ve come to terms with that, but something about this one really rubs me the wrong way. Maybe it’s that I only just saw the series for the first time two months ago. Maybe it’s that an American version would inevitably soften the show’s edges. Maybe I’m just being a little cry baby because I love it so much.
If there’s a positive angle to this it’s that this could expose the series to an even broader audience. Also, Brooker stated in the past that he would be in charge of any Black Mirror remake and the original studio is involved in the adaptation, so hopefully they’ll maintain the characteristics that makes the show so special. But honestly, I just don’t see anything as provocative as “The National Anthem” ever landing on American TV – even HBO.