Black Mirror is back. From an 80s lesbian romance to a murderous choose-your-own adventure, here are the essential dystopian stories you must watch before the new season drops next week
Be Right Back
Season 2, Episode 1
Starring the wickedly talented duo of Hayley Atwell and Domhnall Gleeson, Be Right Back was the first Black Mirror episode to tackle death and grief, topics that would pop up again in later instalments, and which are ripe for the kind of existential, brain-scrambling tales that Brooker and co do best. Atwell plays Martha, who resurrects her late boyfriend Ash (Gleeson) as a chatbot and then later as a seemingly realistic AI robot who shares Ashs appearance but sadly not the subtle details of his personality. Dealing with issues as varied as cloning, what happens to our online profiles when we die and whether one should purchase a placid, fingerprint-less replica of a dead partner, Be Right Back is Black Mirror at its best: creative, melancholy and just a little bit twisted. Youre just a few ripples of you. Theres no history to you, Martha tells Ash, invoking not accidentally, you imagine the title of another Black Mirror episode, series ones The Entire History of You. Whereas, there, a history represented something to be pored over by an obsessive husband convinced his wife had something to hide, here it meant something more profound: the memories treasured by a partner aiming to recreate the past, no matter the financial or emotional cost.
Season 2, Episode 4