Black Mirror dropped on Netflix over 12 hours ago, so by now you’ve probably binged the whole series twice over, right?
Well, even if you haven’t made it through the whole series yet, you’ll at least have noticed that the anthology’s fourth season features a lot of strong women in the protagonist role – and now Black Mirror producer Annabel Jones has opened up about how that came about.
And, as it turns out, they didn’t even notice it happening (which is definitely how it should be, by the way).
“Charlie and I don’t tend to think about the stories that way. Sometimes, it just comes out,” Jones said to The Hollywood Reporter.
“But it’s great — great! — that they’re all strong female protagonists. I think what’s lovely about the show is that it’s not a strident statement. It’s more: Why not?
“We don’t even think about it from a gender perspective and I hope that’s progress. It’s more that we explore the best story and the best way to tell it.”
Among those stories being told is the Rosemarie DeWitt-fronted ‘ArkAngel’, about a single mother and her daughter, which was directed by Jodie Foster, as well as ‘Metalhead’, which sees Maxine Peake take on the storytelling more or less by herself for 38 brilliant minutes.
“‘ArkAngel’ just felt right that it was a single mother with a daughter,” Jones explained. “It could have been a single father, but because of the way the plot turned out, we felt stronger that it should be a female parent.”
There was one story in the anthology series that was written with a male lead in mind though, according to Jones, until Andrea Riseborough came along and challenged it.
So, yes, we’re talking about ‘Crocodile’ here.
“Andrea read for one of the other parts and she really liked the journey of the protagonist and she challenged us and said, ‘Do you think it could be a woman?'” Jones said.
“Then we sort of said, ‘Oh, hold on.’ We hadn’t quite thought about that. We questioned it and worked it. Apart from the physicality element of it — a requirement that plays out in the episode’s first few minutes — we thought, ‘How often do you see a mother reduced to this level of desperation?’
“Then we thought that was actually quite interesting, and that’s the result of Andrea’s role.”
Black Mirror season four is available to stream on Netflix now.
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