The real-life tech horror story that inspired Black Mirror’s Nosedive

The first episode of the new series, starring Bryce Dallas Howard, is rooted in reality.

Bryce Dallas Howard in Black Mirror on Netflix.
Bryce Dallas Howard In Black Mirror Image Netflix

Charlie Brooker has lifted the lid on the real-life inspiration behind the first episode of the upcoming series of Black Mirror.

The dystopian satire anthology series is moving to Netflix for the third series of the show with bigger names, bigger budgets and bigger ideas on the agenda.

Creator Charlie Brooker will be hoping to start the series with a bang thanks to Nosedive, a special episode written alongside Parks & Recreation duo Rashida Jones and Michael Schur and directed by Joe Wright.

Starring Bryce Dallas Howard and Alice Eve, Nosedive tells the tale of a woman who exists in a world where “every interaction gets a zero-to-five star rating and your overall rating determines your social status.”

Now, if that concept sounds familiar to anyone out there, then Brooker has got news for you: it kind of is. Last year, an app known as Yelp for people was launched, allowing users to rate everyone they know in three specific areas: personal life, dating and professionalism.

Widely ridiculed by users online, the app flopped with many even labelling it stealth marketing for Black Mirror itself.

“Everyone’s reputation is quantified in some way,” Brooker explained in an interview with Rolling Stone, revealing another major source of inspiration behind the episode: Uber.

“I realized, ‘Oh, there are ratings for drivers and customers? Hmm, what does this remind me of?’” he added.

It’s not the first time the lines between fantasy and reality have blurred when it comes to Black Mirror.

In the very first episode of the show the Prime Minister was forced to have sex with a pig on live TV in a bid to foil a kidnapping plot something that was mirrored in the allegations, levelled at former PM David Cameron, claiming he indulged in similar antics as a student.

Though the allegations have always been rebuffed, Brooker was forced to dismiss any suggestion he had been inspired by real-life events.

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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.