Black Museum is the fifth episode of Black Mirror Series 4 and is a place for the most bizarre exhibits you’ll ever see, but while it used to be popular, the place is set in the desert, times are lean, and eccentric proprietor Rolo Haynes (Douglas Hodge) is not getting the numbers coming in that he used to.
Hence, today, Nish (Letitia Wright) is his only customer, and she’s got nothing better to do, since it’s going to take three hours to charge her car up from the sun.
The episode gives us three exhibits, aka stories, the first about neural implants, to transfer data from one brain to another, which helps a doctor work out his patients’ problems sooner. For the second, Rolo has a device which can help new parents Jack and Carrie extract consciousness from one brain and place it in a ‘host’ brain, to help the first person see and feel what the second person feels…
…but as this is Black Mirror, downsides have to happen at some point – for the characters, but not for us, thankfully.
For the third story, I’ll leave you to discover that one.
Black Museum is a perfect example of an alternate Armchair Theatre of Tales Of The Unexpected. I loved the first two stories, but the third didn’t work quite as well, and you could see the resolution coming a mile off, but with a wonderful turn from Douglas Hodge as sleazy carny, I really think this could turn into a spin-off series if they structured it right. However, one little thing that might be considered a spoiler…
As an aside, I liked how Jack’s reading the comic book “15m Merits”, based on the second Black Mirror episode from series 1.
Now, for whatever comes in series 5, since some people have moaned that one series of just six episode every so often isn’t enough, should Charlie Brooker allow othe writers to craft entire episodes? Such an idea has its plusses and minuses.
Black Mirror: Black Museum is available on Netflix now. The series isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but you can buy a DVD boxset of Series 1 & 2 and the 2014 Special.
Running time: 69 minutes
Widescreen ratio: 2.20:1
Director: Colm McCarthy
Producers: Ian Hogan and Annabel Jones
Writers: Charlie Brooker (including “Pain Addict”, based on a story by and Penn Jillette)
Music: Cristobal Tapia de Veer
Rolo Haynes: Douglas Hodge
Nish: Letitia Wright
Dawson: Daniel Lapaine
Jack: Aldis Hodge
Carrie: Alexandra Roach
Clayton: Babs Olusanmokun
Madge: Emily Vere Nicoll
Emily: Yasha Jackson
Angelica: Amanda Warren
Parker: Kyros McGee
Paramedic: Raj Paul
Homeless Guy: Jan van der Black
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.