Black Mirror is without question one of the best and most influential sci-fi and dystopian works of the modern era. From the pen of Charlie Brooker, the anthology series tells many different stories of technology, often in the near future, and how it does, could and may at some point intersect with our human lives.
A fantastically well crafted series which has attracted some of the biggest names in the TV and movie industry to get involved in more recent times, Black Mirror began on Channel 4 in the UK before being snapped up as a flagship show by Netflix and given a huge global audience by the streaming giant.
And although there are plenty of Black Mirror episodes for you to enjoy if you’re a fan of the show, the reality is there will always be a time when you’d like to try something different. So, what shows will you like if you love Black Mirror? That’s our mission to find out, so sit back, relax and enjoy our journey through some of the best Black Mirror-alike productions that you can watch and stream right now on your telly box…
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Starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill this offbeat Netflix show made quite an impact when it landed on the streaming service in 2018. directed by the excellent Cary Joji Fukunaga, this is a story of two people who brought together through a pharmaceutical trial that will take them on an extraordinary and at times bewildering journey. Just like Black Mirror this dystopian tale mixes mysterious technology and faceless corporations with the lives of humans and takes the viewer on a journey that will ask as many questions as it will answer. A must-watch for those who enjoy this genre.
Charlie Brooker has made other shows beyond Black Mirror, and before he came up with the anthology series that would spawn some of the most brilliant stories, he made Dead Set. The show centres around the set of Big Brother, which was huge at the time of production in 2008 in the UK, and imagines a zombie apocalypse on the ‘outside’ which traps the cast and the crew in this artificial environment. In many ways this is a very long episode of Black Mirror and therefore if you are a fan of the show you’ll find plenty to like in this horror with comic twists.
Ben Stiller’s dystopian thriller tells the story of Mark (played by Adam Scott) who has chosen to be severed after the death of his wife, a controversial operation that separates the brain into to states, one that is always at work, and one that is always at home – and never do they meet. At first the curious world of Lumon industries where he works seems strange, but quickly things turn sinister as it becomes clear that leaving isn’t really an option. What do Lumon want from its employees, and what happens when the staff start challenging the system? Well a brilliant dystopian thriller kicks off – which will feel very familiar to those who love Black Mirror.
A sitcom rather than an anthology, and far lighter in tone than much Black Mirror, Upload, which is created by Greg Daniels, the man who adapted the UK version of The Office for an American audience, does however have some very futuristic themes that should resonate. Based in the near future, this dystopian show tells the story of a young man who is killed at a time when you can be uploaded to your own chosen after life depending on how much money your family has to spend. However, all is not as good as it sounds when he arrives, especially when the tech is being controlled by his girlfriend in the living world.
A series of stories inspired by the works of Philip K. Dick, yes, the writer behind The Man in the High Castle and inspiration for movies including Total Recall, Blade Runner and Minority Report, this is an eclectic show with many different stories that range across different areas of science fiction. Although some of the shows are possibly a little more “hard sci-fi” in feel to Black Mirror, there are plenty of brilliant ideas and concepts to explore for those who like to think about the world in a slightly different way.
An anthology series that first appeared on YouTube in 2019, this comic dystopian show is based in an American city in the near future where the occupants have been physically separated into two groups, the haves and the have nots. The series focusses on a different character in each episode from one of the different socio economic groups and tells their story and experiences in this weird city. As you might expect the show is filled with many questions about where society may be headed and the relationship between humans, technology and each other.
What would it be like if we were living in a society where robots that looked and acted like humans lived amongst us and served our every need and want? Well, this is the questions that Channel 4’s Human’s asked in this excellent sci-fi series starring Gemma Chan. When it turns out that not all “synths” are happy with the way they are treated, this series goes off on a philosophical journey that asks many questions about artificial intelligence, free will and the role of technology in our lives. This will certainly pique the interest of Black Mirror fans.
and a bonus entry…
OK, so this may not be a dystopian story that will chill you into worrying about when your mobile phone will be running your life (if it’s not already!) but this is a programme created by Charlie Brooker, the mastermind behind Black Mirror. If you enjoy the lighter side of Black Mirror (and we know there’s not much of that!) then this brilliantly addictive show / game will certainly give you a different side of Brooker’s exceptional talents. Just like Bandersnatch, the episode of Black Mirror where you hose what happened next, you will need to keep your finger on the remote if you want to get the most from this great animated adventure.