It’s Black Mirror Friday and this week we’re analyzing season one, episode three, The Entire History of You.
What if there was technology that allowed you to have a permanent recording of everything you’ve ever seen, so you could never forget anything ever again? Would you find that useful? Think carefully.
Synopsis: The Entire History of You is set in a future where most people have “grains” implanted behind their ears that record everything they do, see, or hear, and allow them to play back their memories in front of their eyes or on a screen. We follow the story of Liam, a man who starts suspecting that his wife Ffion might have had an affair. (Spoilers ahead!)
This Black Mirror episode was written by Jesse Armstrong – who British TV fans might know as the writer of Peep Show. This is the only episode of season one that was not written by Charlie Brooker (though there are only 3 episodes).
The story explores the moral implications of being judge, jury, and executioner as a result of being able to instantly access – and even display – any memory. While it might be helpful in some cases to have this recall, it would also lead a lot of people to obsess over their past and never be able to forgive, forget, or move on. This was sadly the case for the main character, Liam.
Fun fact: In 2013, Robert Downey Jr.’s “Team Downey” production company optioned the rights to this episode with the ultimate goal of adapting its technological premise into a feature film. The option seems to have lapsed.
A Look in the Mirror
How far off is this technology? Google actually filed a patent in 2014 for an implantable camera that could be used for recording AND broadcasting.
Sony and Google have both created plans for cameras that you could wear on (or in) your eyes. While the primary purpose would be for your own recording, it’s easy to imagine that, just like your private emails and texts, others could gain access to your recordings.
We’re rating every episode to help you decide which are must-sees, good to watch, or could be skipped.
Shannon: Good to watch
We’d love to hear your feedback on any Black Mirror episode! Chat with us online @StingerPodcast everywhere.