LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Charlie Brooker attends the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards 2019 at The Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Black Mirror’s White Bear Twist Was Added In At The Last Minute
Spoiler Warning!
The following story contains spoilers for the “White Bear” episode of “Black Mirror.”
The twist in the “White Bear” episode of “Black Mirror” revealed a convicted murderer serving a sentence of reliving a torturous day in perpetuity as customers paid to witness it.
The stunning revelation, which commented on mankind's bloodlust, elevated the episode to a standout; however, creator Charlie Brooker revealed that the twist almost didn’t exist.
In 2016, Brooker said his first idea for the episode “was a straightforward apocalypse story. [...] A woman wakes up and there's a signal going across the world affecting people.”
Brooker also revealed his initial idea for the episode’s dramatic conclusion. He divulged, “The original ending had a public crucifixion.”
The twist that ultimately completed the story didn’t actually occur to Brooker until they were location-scouting for the episode and discovered a former U.S. Air Force base.
He said, “We were looking around at what we could use … I saw the housing, a gas station, and I saw this fence running around outside the place. I was like, 'That's interesting.’”
Brooker had an epiphany, recalling, “‘There's a fence. A fence. A fence!’ And the twist suddenly occurred to me. I ran off and wrote it in a couple days in a bit of a fever dream.”
It's a surprising explanation because upon re-watching the first two thirds of the episode, it’s hard to believe the entire thing wasn’t written with the eventual twist in mind.
Brooker explained, “It was Darwinian in that such a better idea came along.” The new idea for the episode killed the earlier, weaker idea, for the benefit of the show as a whole.