Charlie Brooker conceived new ideas for episodes of his dark and satirical show Black Mirror during the pandemic.
The sixth season of Black Mirror, returning after a four-year hiatus, features episodes that explore the uncomfortable relationship between turning real-life atrocities into entertainment, Brooker revealed to WIRED. The season turns the camera on itself and examines the content machine, he added.
Brooker discusses how the new season of Black Mirror was written during the pandemic and against the backdrop of an increasingly dystopian world.
He aimed to avoid repeating previous episodes and wanted to explore new themes beyond technology.
"I started in a way thinking, “Well, I don’t want to write another episode about what I’ve already written lots of episodes about.” One way to stop yourself from doing that is to almost delete from your head the idea of what a Black Mirror episode is and think “f**k it” and start writing something else."
Brooker acknowledges the temptation for writers to turn personal experiences into content but emphasizes that once it's done, there's no going back.
Brooker, known for his concerns, admits worrying about artificial intelligence (AI) but also regrets not being able to explore AI in a standup comedian episode for the new season.
"The worry at the moment is that executives will use it to generate a list of crap ideas that have been mulched together from actual humans’ unpaid ideas: hoovered up off the internet and then mushed together into a mash. Great, I own this IP, now I’ll hire in human writers cheaply to actually make this serviceable, because ChatGPT cannot do that at the moment. That’s certainly a valid concern."
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