alternate reality

Black Mirror’s Charlie Brooker Wanted to Write a Sitcom About Time-Traveling Punk Rockers

Charlie Brooker. Photo: Tabatha Fireman/Getty Images

In the future, it might be helpful to imagine all the critiques of technology on Black Mirror coming from the mouths of disaffected 1970s punk rockers. Speaking at the BFI & Radio Times Festival in England, Charlie Brooker, creator of the sci-fi anthology series Black Mirror, revealed that he previously pitched a comedy about “a punk band that were basically the Sex Pistols” who are hanged by a Tory MP in 1977, and then magically end up in the present day — specifically 2004, when Brooker wrote the idea. What follows that elaborate setup was mostly going to be a fish-out-of-water comedy about the rebels confronting a happily sold-out society. “All the punks end up moaning about ringtones,” he explained. “God, that dates it!” The show, God Save the Queen, never ended up seeing the light of day, but if you added in a few more twists — the ringtones are actually… killing people? The whole punk scene was actually… a computer simulation? — it feels like it could work in the next season of Black Mirror.

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