What really marks the end of the year? The trees finally losing their succulent leaves, laid bare for in the cold weather? The first soft flake of snow that winter brings? The chiming bells that signal that Christmas is here? Or the ten thousand end-of-year lists that websites (us included, don’t think we’re above it) insist on pushing onto your tired, tired eyeballs?
Well, I suppose they all signal that one year is coming to an end and the rich promise of another year of disappointment and failure is nearly upon us, but for many people the true and only way to bring 2017 to a close would be with an episode of Charlie Brooker’s legendary Wipe.
It’s existed in various forms - weekly, electiony, screeny, gamey - but the end-of-year closer is usually a banger, as Brooker goes through the various crazy events of the year with his usual fine toothcomb, finesse and general incredulity.
However, disaster, for this year: no Wipe.
The man announced it himself yesterday via ‘The Twitter’:
Got some good news and bad news. Bad news is no 2017 Wipe. Was set to do it but ran out of road. Am way behind on scripts / dev elsewhere and contrary to my optimistic delusions it turns out I can’t do 400 things at once. [1/3]— Charlie Brooker (@charltonbrooker) November 27, 2017
The good news (or bad news depending on POV) is we’ve just delivered CUNK ON BRITAIN (a 5-part history of our glorious nation starring Philomena) to the BBC, and that will be on *soon*. [2/3]— Charlie Brooker (@charltonbrooker) November 27, 2017
More good news to follow soon. That’s it! Now enjoy Christmas / life / Royal Wedding mania. [3/3]— Charlie Brooker (@charltonbrooker) November 27, 2017
(Just to add, Cunk on Britain covers the WHOLE of British history from the Big Bang to Brexit. In five half-hourly chunks.) [4/3]— Charlie Brooker (@charltonbrooker) November 27, 2017
And for those wondering why he couldn’t just do a shortened version if he was low on time?
We explored possibility of doing a 30m version but realised cramming it all in to half the runtime would be impossible madness, take longer, and prob be a bit shit.— Charlie Brooker (@charltonbrooker) November 27, 2017
Which is fair enough really isn’t it?
Fans took the news fairly well.
While others made other not-unreasonable requests:
Still waiting for you to announce 2017 was an extended Black Mirror episode. Please.— Ant Walker (@Antichthon) November 27, 2017
So yes, for those of you who are bitterly disappointed, console yourselves with the ‘imminent’ arrival of the fourth series of Black Mirror - and if you can’t even wait for that, you should read Brooker rate real life Black Mirror events right here.