Over the course of three seasons, with a fourth on the way, Black Mirror has developed a reputation for being able to predict the future.
There’s only one thing more impressive than that, of course: predicting Black Mirror itself.
But it would take an absolute genius to do that, surely. Someone like… oh, I don’t know, the smartest sitcom academic ever?
In the Friends episode ‘The One Where Phoebe Runs’, which first aired back in November 1999, the world’s most famous fictional palaeontologist, Dr Ross Geller, gave his predictions for the future.
“By the year 2030, there’ll be computers that can carry out the same amount of functions as an actual human brain,” Ross says.
“So theoretically you could download your thoughts and memories into this computer and live forever as a machine.”
Sound familiar? It should do, because the same basic plotline drives ‘San Junipero’, the stand-out episode of Black Mirror’s third season.
So, what happened? Is it now Friends canon that Ross travelled into the future and, instead of doing anything meaningful, just laid around watching a bunch of TV?
It would make sense, seeing as someone whose entire life revolves around the past might struggle to conceive of what to do if sent in the opposite direction.
So yes, we’re going with that. Ross travelled forward to 2017, saw that ’San Junipero’ had won an Emmy, read a bunch of articles about Black Mirror predicting the future and projected a date for Brooker’s fiction becoming reality.
Either that or it’s just pure coincidence, but that’s no fun.