‘The Entire History of You’ has a different feel to the first two episodes of Black Mirror. Definitely sci-fi and set in an alternative world that could still be ours, except everyone lives in houses with large windows, this was more of a Sunday night drama.
So the conceit of this episode was a world where people have these electronic chips (behind their ears) that allow them to rewind and view everything they’ve seen and done in their lives. A redo. They can delete memories they don’t like. They can watch them in slow motion/triple speed. They can also zoom into images in their brain for close-ups. And you can show your memories on screens to others, so friends, and enemies, can watch your old memories. But they can’t alter these memories otherwise.
The hero was played by Toby Kebbell – whom I’ve never seen before but appeared to be a very good actor. And it’s all about his relationship with his wife, played by Jodie Whittaker, and how the ability to rewind over memories has an effect on their relationship. There were quite a few other familiar actors as well, like Jimi Mistry, and as I’ve said it had the feel of a Sunday night drama. A Channel 4 drama, not a costume drama. With these houses with large windows, it had the feel of being on a stage, and was almost like a play because so few characters were really involved. It was a good episode, but there was more that could have been explored with the conceit.
Watching ‘The Entire History of You’ I kept on thinking that Charlie Brooker was a very mature writer. There was something about the script that felt more solid and less of a vehicle for a diatribe by a Brooker character. And then the credits rolled and I saw that the writer was Jesse Armstrong. Half of the Peep Show and Fresh Meat writer/creator combo. So it wasn’t even a Brooker-penned episode. He was the producer, but I’m not sure whose concept this was based upon. Brooker’s or Armstrong’s?
Anyway, Black Mirror is over. I’ll probably watch another series if Brooker decides to do more and still has fresh ideas for new episodes. But it’s not something I’m eagerly waiting for.