Smithereens – as in the phrase “smashed to smithereens” – is the second episode in Black Mirror Season 5, but early on, when we meet Chris (Andrew Scott), we see he’s a cabbie who’s overly demanding of his passengers.
He’s clearly got something off going on in his life, since he goes to bereavement counselling for reasons we don’t yet know, and meets a woman who talks about her daughter’s suicide, and struggling to get into her Persona account – the Black Mirror equivalent of Facebook.
Smithereen is the name of the company from which Chris appears to pick up most of his clients, with a view to needing to speak to a man called Billy Bauer (Topher Grace), who initially appears to be some big cheese in the company, but you’ll find out more as it goes on.
The whole situation soon leads to an armed police stand-off, but I can’t say too much about it because that would be to give spoilers. Location-wise, as well as Ewelve, South Oxfordshire, Smithereen also takes in California and Utah, but as a drama, it takes a hell of a long time to get absolutely nowhere.
However, Black Mirror is all about a dystopian world and how tech is involved, but there’s very little of either in this that’s anything new. It spends 70 minutes just telling us what a pain Facebook is. Charlie Brooker was so bloody lazy with this one.
Smithereens is now available on Netflix.
Widescreen ratio: 2:20:1
Director: James Hawes
Producer: Madonna Baptiste
Writer: Charlie Brooker
Music: Ryuichi Sakamoto
Chris: Andrew Scott
Jaden: Damson Idris
Billy Bauer: Topher Grace
Penelope Wu: Ruibo Qian
Chief Supt Linda Grace: Monica Dolan
David Gilkes: Daniel Ings
WPC Najma Haque: Ambreen Razia
Don: Quincy Dunn-Baker
PC Damien Bullen: Calum Callaghan
Shonelle: Mirirai Sithole
Thaila: Laura Morgan
Hannah Kent: Caitlin Innes Edwards
Maryam: Maggie Bain
Dibbs: Conrad Khan
Cosmo: Archie Rush
FBI Agent Ernesto Cruz: Jorge Cordova
Tipi: Crystal Clarke
Simon: Seun Shote
PC Wanson: Gareth Kane
WPC Roach: Sarah Ridgeway
Marksman Harris: Adam McNamara
Marksman Jones: Alice Bailey-Johnson
Joe: Roger Alborough
Recptionist: Hillary Connell
Bystander: Jim Quirke
Armed Police: Tobias James-Samuels
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.