Black Mirror

Season 1 Episode 1

The National Anthem

Aired Sunday 11:55 PM Dec 04, 2011 on Channel 4
out of 10
User Rating
63 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The National Anthem

When a princess of the Royal Family is abducted, the kidnappers make an unusual ransom request: the Prime Minister must have sex with a pig on national TV.

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  • Wait - this is the brilliant show I've been hearing about?

    I can't write a proper review of this episode, because I only watched about 10 minutes before I turned off. Mildly curious, I did read an online synopsis and took a quick look at the end.

    But I have to say, this didn't work for me. Basically it seems to be a serious drama about an absurd situation. I actually started getting annoyed even before it got ridiculous because of the way the cabinet kept drawing things out for dramatic effect - really? you're going to turn off a kidnapping tape in the middle to make some cryptic remarks before you let your boss the Prime Minister see the rest of it? Then the big twist came in and I was like, really?

    From what I've read there are other issues of sense . the finger). Of course, satire doesn't have to make sense, but in spite of the premise, it isn't filmed like satire. And if you film it realistically, you need to give it a feel of realism, at least in the beginning (for example, Dr. Strangelove, which established a sense of reality before getting absurd). If the first five minutes had been done better, I wouldn't have been so put off by the central premise that I couldn't bring myself to continue.

    I just don't get the appeal of this show at all. is making me give a score so I'll just give it a 5).

  • 123jhhg

    123ehgfghn hh hhn gfv
  • Is this supposed to be shocking?

    I'm completely missing what others find fascinating about this show. I heard it was a modern day Twilight Zone. This episode had a completely ridiculous/random premise which I guess is supposed to have shock value because of bestiality. Were we supposed to be amazed that the internet is an almost instant news medium and influences people that care about public opinion? Really? Was that the 'twist'? Or is this simply PM, pig, sex.. OH WOW!? Sorry, that's just inane. I have liked almost every British show that gets highly rated on and this is the first one that has me really scratching my head about what the attraction is.moreless
  • What a stomper!

    Amazing first episode for a show! Incredibly disturbing considering there is no use of gore or violence.

    Will literally leave you astounded!

    Amazing television.
Rory Kinnear

Rory Kinnear

Prime Minister Michael Callow

Guest Star

Lindsay Duncan

Lindsay Duncan

Alex Cairns

Guest Star

Donald Sumpter

Donald Sumpter

Julian Hereford

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Alex Cairns: Meanwhile, the demand has been made, and there's not long to formulate our response.
      Michael: Well, I'm not fucking a pig. Page one, that's not happening.
      Alex Cairns: Of course.

    • Tom Blice: Don't run it, Martin.
      Martin: I'm sorry, I can't help you.
      Tom Blice: You know how much help you're getting from here on in? Multiply nothing by shit all. UKN is dead to us. Shove it up your ass, you fuck...
      Alex Cairns: Interesting?
      Tom Blice: A man.
      Alex Cairns: Man?
      Tom Blice: A man.

    • Michael: I won't have to do anything.
      Jane: Everyone's laughing at us.
      Michael: You don't know that.
      Jane: I know people. We love humiliation. We can't not love.
      Michael: Nothing is going to happen.
      Jane: It's already happening in their heads. In their heads, that's what you're doing. What my husband is doing.

  • NOTES (1)

    • International Airdates:
      Australia: October 8, 2012 on SBS
      Canada: April 22, 2013 on Super Channel 2
      US: November 12, 2013 on DirectTV