Black Mirror’s Charlie Brooker Avoids Watching All Sci-Fi

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Photo: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for BFI

After five years of creating some of television’s most disturbing narratives about technology’s nefarious effect on our psyches, Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker has a strict edict when it comes to sourcing his inspiration. “I actively avoid all sci-fi shows and movies — if I can,” Brooker told Vulture over coffee — along with his co–executive producer Annabel Jones — at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, during their press tour for the series’ third season, out Friday on Netflix. “Anytime someone asks me something like, 'Have you seen Her?' I’m like, 'No, no no!'” 

Brooker admitted that he allowed himself a slip: Alex Garland’s 2015 robot horror flick Ex Machina, co-starring Black Mirror alum Domhnall Gleeson (the Irish actor played a reanimated dead boyfriend in 2013’s “Be Right Back” episode). “I really enjoyed Ex Machina. It was very Black Mirror,” said Brooker. “You can’t say that about someone else’s work, ‘It’s very Black Mirror!'” laughed Jones. “No, no, I loved it!” Brooker quickly added. “I’m jealous of it. If it’s great, I’ll go, I should have done that.”