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Black Museum is such a perfectly structured and paced episode of Black Mirror that’s it’s almost a shame to talk about it before you’ve seen it.

So let’s keep this brief.

Charlie Brooker called this episode: “a bit like White Christmas, as it has three stories in one.

“It’s Tales of the F****** Unexpected!”

An American-set episode, Black Museum follows a young woman named Nish (Letitia Wright, Top Boy), whose electric car needs charging.

To kill the time, she pops into the only building in this bit of wilderness, the mysteriously-named Black Museum.

Rolo Haynes (played by Douglas Hodge, left) tells Nish (Letitia Wright, right) some very tall tales

Owner Rolo Haynes (Douglas Hodge, The Night Manager) greets her, searches her bag and gives her an intense one-on-one tour around his collection of “authentic criminological artifacts,” as he proudly claims. “If it did something bad, it’s in here.”

Rolo has a creepy charlatan vibe about him, and he makes several off-colour jokes to Nish, whose vulnerability as a lone woman on the road he’s already flagged up.

Thanks Rolo. Thanks for making it awkward and putting Nish’s safety in doubt.

Yup, it’s a museum of bad things, alright

Black Museum is an automatic repeat play – as soon as you’ve finished it, you’ll want to go back to the start.

Do not resist this urge. Go for it.

Only then will you notice all the subtle little details planted from the start, suggesting the way things will go.

Whatever she’s watching is giving her… the feels…

When we spoke to Charlie Brooker recently he told us: “Black Museum has a lot of Easter Eggs” – and it’s a delight to spot them.

The Black Mirror universe has been developed to a great enough extent over four seasons that the merest hint will set fans off on making a connection between two seemingly disparate worlds or stories.

Here’s a freebie: Rolo Haynes worked for TCKR, the company that runs the tech in San Junipero, keeping our favourite 80s-loving ladies alive in virtual form.

They made Heaven a Place on Earth. Yep.

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Black Mirror Season 4

Rolo’s past in medical technology informs the museum completely – it’s exactly the kind of science that holds vast potential to help people, but also the power to completely destroy.

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Judge for yourself which side Rolo falls down on: “Half of the assholes that roll in here can’t describe their symptoms,” he says to a doctor he’s trying to sweet-talk, in a downtown New York hospital named Saint Juniper’s.

And that’s him still keeping up a bit of a polite front.

“Leave it! He’s not worth it!!”

The three interlinked stories take in all of Black Mirror’s essential themes: parenting, relationships, pain, empathy, consciousness, punishment.

Oh, and there’s some tech stuff too.

Like the episode it’s most obviously linked to, San Junipero, Black Museum strives to be an “emotionally authentic” experience for the viewer, as Brooker and his co-creator Annabel Jones put it.

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Just when all your hackles are raised by Rolo’s tales of casual cruelty, a true burst of emotion will wrongfoot you.

Let it. That’s the best bit.

  • Watch Black Mirror Season 4 on Netflix from Friday 29th December

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