God is an algorithm: free will, authenticity and meaning in Black Mirror

Helena Bassil-Morozow*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror (2011-) paints the world in which the god of a technologically sophisticated late capitalist society, the omniscient and omnipresent algorithm, has complete control over human thoughts, actions and even bodily functions. The question Brooker addresses in his bleak, often satirical, sketches is as old as human consciousness itself: do we have authentic existence in an environment full of screens, reflections, copies; where technology is pervasive and ubiquitous, and encroaches onto our agency, invades and takes over our identity? The capacity to act and determine one’s own actions in an increasingly technologised world is the most prominent theme of the show.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Moral Uncanny in Black Mirror
EditorsMargaret Gibson, Clarissa Carden
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783030474959
ISBN (Print)9783030474942
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2020


  • Black Mirror
  • Netflix
  • Uncanny
  • Dystopian
  • Morality
  • Television Studies
  • Social Commentary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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