‘Black Mirror’ used books as clues in ‘Past the Sea’

It is fairly uncommon {that a} prop in Black Mirror is for mere present — and that features the books the characters are studying.

Season 6’s third episode, “Past the Sea,” wields page-turners as clues, foreshadowing characters’ fates and revealing their innermost ideas by what they’re studying. The episode sees Aaron Paul and Josh Hartnett as astronauts Cliff and David, who’re finishing a six-year mission in house collectively. As know-how would have it, they every have “Earth replicas” of themselves that allow them to proceed their lives with their households again house through the mission. Nevertheless it all ends in tragedy.


Each ‘Black Mirror’ episode ever, ranked by general dread

What clues may have helped us foresee this episode’s horrendous occurring? Look to the books!

This is all 4 books featured within the episode and why they have been included.

Airport, Arthur Hailey

After we first meet Lana, she’s sitting in her lounge devouring British-Canadian author Arthur Hailey’s 1968 Airport, a ebook set over one night time in a fictional Chicago airport. Within the ebook, the airport’s common supervisor Mel Bakersfeld has a tense relationship along with his spouse because of his demanding job, which is analogous to what’s occurring between Lana and Cliff.

Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann

Close to the tragic conclusion of the episode, Lana confesses to Cliff of her craving for bodily intimacy together with her husband and her emotions of isolation of their nation house. After all, in case you’re paying shut consideration, you already knew this based mostly on what she’d been studying.

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Earlier, Lana is engrossed by Jacqueline Susann’s deliciously lurid 1966 novel Valley of the Dolls. Whereas Dolls is understood for its portrayal of the seedier sides of present biz, its feminine protagonists additionally battle with tumultuous marriages, intercourse, loneliness, psychological well being points, and feminine friendship in New York Metropolis. Lana describes it to David as “the guiltiest” pleasure when he notices she’s studying it, and through this trade we study that not like David, “Cliff does not actually learn.”

In the TV show

Credit score: Nick Wall / Netflix

For Lana, Valley of the Dolls gives her an escape; it provides her a style of her previous life within the metropolis and all of its social interactions. Lana plainly exhibits her loneliness in her request to Cliff for a celebration at their home with the locals, which he dismisses. In actual fact, even David notices Lana’s isolation within the nation earlier than Cliff does.

“Cape Ann going to be cosmopolitan sufficient for her?” David asks Cliff whereas within the house station. “I solely met her the as soon as, however she struck me as fairly the butterfly.”

The Illustrated Man, Ray Bradbury

We all know David loves sci-fi as a result of he recommends it to Lana, however we additionally get a peek at a particular title that has extra to do with the sequence as an entire. Bored and anxiously awaiting David’s return from utilizing his Earth reproduction, Cliff finds a ebook on the management panel: Ray Bradbury’s traditional 1951 assortment The Illustrated Man, whose 18 brief tales indubitably share artistic DNA with Brooker’s sequence.

This ebook is clearly necessary sufficient to David to deliver with him to a six-year mission in house, however greater than that, that is Charlie Brooker’s nod to the dystopian fiction icon whose cynical view of the hazards of know-how are extra prescient than ever.

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, Robert A. Heinlein

Books grow to be the primary level of connection between Lana and David; they even go to a bookstore on the town collectively after Lana reveals, “There aren’t many books in the home.” David picks out a ebook for Lana and predicts she’ll prefer it —and he is proper, you’ll be able to see she’s already midway by it every week later.

The ebook is Robert A. Heinlein’s 1966 novel The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, a libertarian sci-fi tome a few lawless colony on the moon that leads a revolution in opposition to its Earth-bound oppressors to realize independence. This lunar society notably has two males for each one lady — type of like our protagonists in “Past the Sea” — and the narrative foreshadows the destiny of Cliff and David, who will each in the end find yourself unbiased from their Earth replicas by violence. 

So there you might have it! You ought to be judging books by their covers, a minimum of in Black Mirror.

How you can watch: Black Mirror Season 6 is now on Netflix.(opens in a brand new tab)

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