Black Mirror Season 5, Ranked

black mirror s5

After the truly mind boggling interactive film ‘Bandersnatch’ that presented audiences with nail biting decisions such as “Frosties or Sugar Puffs?” everyones favourite dark anthology series is back with a new batch of episodes. ‘Black Mirror’ series five consists of three episodes, all penned by show creator Charlie Brooker and each boasting an A-list name to front them. Below each episode is reviewed and ranked, some minor spoilers are discussed so go check out the episodes first and then come back to see if you agree with the order!


#3. Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too

ashley tooDirector: Anne Sewitsky
Written by: Charlie Brooker
Starring: Miley Cyrus, Angourie Rice, and Madison Davenport

Simultaneously exploring the life of a world famous pop star and one of her young, dedicated fans ‘Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too’ has a very ambitious concept that’s only somewhat realised. It offers some interesting commentary on fandoms and the pop industry, taking the term “manufactured pop star” to a whole new level. However it undoes much of its hard work and solid foundations with a jarring shift in tone in the episode’s final act. This change to a more comedic style of storytelling undermines the realism of the episode and shortchanges audiences who’ve invested in the far reaching concept of the writing. It’s a shame as the acting talent, including real life pop star Miley Cyrus, is good here but the cast also struggle with the shift in tone which may well take viewers completely out of the world they’d previously been immersed in. Not even a high energy pop bop from Cyrus can save this one.

Star Rating – ★★


#2. Smithereens

smithereenssDirected by: James Hawes
Written by: Charlie Brooker
Starring: Andrew Scott, Damson Idris, and Topher Grace.

‘Smithereens’ combines the technology of app based travel and various social media platforms into a thrilling hostage storyline anchored by Andrew Scott’s excellent leading performance. The episode features one of the simplest messages the show has ever communicated, highlighted even further by the clever use of the well known song ‘Can’t Take My Eyes off You’. The episode escalates brilliantly, beginning with an isolated point of view and ending on a worldwide scale. It superbly showcases the advances in social media in terms of gathering information for the purpose of criminal investigations, highlighting how useful it can be along side law enforcement. One critical plot point could have been delivered with more drama and the episode’s ending is sure to infuriate some viewers but the fact that the story at the core of ‘Smithereens’ is already a reality gives the writing so much more weight. Have fun the next time you’re booking an Uber…

Star Rating – ★★★★


#1. Striking Vipers

striking viperssDirected by: Owen Harris
Written by: Charlie Brooker
Starring: Anthony Mackie, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Nicole Beharie, Pom Klementieff, and Ludi Lin.

‘Striking Vipers’ once again sees Black Mirror return to the world of gaming, in this instance with the focus on the virtual reality element. The gaming sequences are brought to life with a wonderful creativity and give the episode an extra dimension. Furthermore, with the technology featured feeling like some of the most within reach the show has ever used it delivers on Brooker’s description of the series as a whole perfectly; …”the way we might be living in 10 minutes’ time if we’re clumsy.”. The episode is written with great pace, showing development for all the characters in an engaging way, exploring temptation, sexual morality and the boundaries of modern relationships. Like this season as a whole ‘Striking Vipers’ maybe lacks the really dark punch that fans have come to expect however it still delivers a fully realised concept resulting in a well rounded episode with a satisfying conclusion. It might just be the story from this season that stays with you the most too. Anyone fancy a game?

Star Rating – ★★★★


Written by Hamish Calvert


Thanks for reading, please let us know what you thought about Black Mirror S5 and tell us how you would rank the episodes! Leave us comment below or drop us a tweet over at @HCMovieReviews.

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