An Apple Watch that forced your hand to punch people in the butt? Headphones that strangle you if you don’t pay for your downloads? A Segway that, um, stabs people? All excellent ideas, but no. According to their Reddit AMA yesterday, the one scene Black Mirror creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones deemed too dismal for the most stark, unsettling show about technology to date deals in human emotion, and not, say, a branded nanotechnology that seizes control of your mind and forces you to spend your money at Jamba Juice. If you thought Black Mirror’s holiday episode “White Christmas” was tough to watch already, rest assured it was originally a lot worse. Brooker and Jones explained on Reddit that a key part of Oona Chaplin’s character, who makes a small digital clone of herself to personally monitor her house and daily rountine, was altered because the emotional weight it would have inflicted on her clone was almost too much to bear:
“In an early draft of ‘White Christmas’ Oona Chaplin’s character (Greta) had a kid — there was a scene in which ‘Cookie Greta’ saw ‘Real Greta’ reading a story to her son, and then realised she’d never hold or truly ‘be with’ her kid again. But it was so totally bleak it overpowered everything else so we GOT RID OF THE KID. (She was called Greta because there were two of her and ‘Greta minds think alike’. Ha. Ha.)”
Only the creators of Black Mirror would rectify a narrative problem by erasing a child. Hey, there’s a reason the show’s not called Regular Mirror.