The first episode of Black Mirror (Series 1) is National Anthem, telling a story that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was requested to have sexual intercourse with a pig on national television with the threat of the much-loved princess of the Royal Family by the kidnapers.
It doesn’t describe that why the kidnapers would like to do this. Instead, it aims to explore the reactions of the authorities and the public facing the huge and shock intimidations in this modern society. And the truth about human nature always makes people feel upset.
The authorities try to block the news the first time, but the video has already been uploaded onto YouTube and become the hot topic on social medias. And the second reaction of the leadership is protecting news from the media and hope to keep it in the stage of speculation, which becomes too difficult in an era when the power of newly social media has outrun the traditional media. The voice of the public push the broadcaster boasting high authorities to follow and cover the news.
On the other side, the public has been divided into two sides the first time. One side insists that the Prime Minister cannot do this immoral thing to give in to the kidnappers, while the other side thinks that the authorities should do everything to save the princess. In the plot device, the princess enjoys a high popularity among the public which makes the Prime Minister face a huge dilemma. If the PM guard his dignity, he will lose the public support. But nobody can be sure that the princess will be safe even he does what he is required to do.
The gathering reaction of the curious and bloodthirsty public is the disgusting key in the whole incident. Many people didn’t think from the aspect of the incident itself and purely want to see the PM’s embarrassments. The indifferent attitudes make things much worse.
The broadcasters hype the news that the princess may be cut down one finger to fight for the exclusive report without inform the Downing Street. It makes the public angry and emotional. They start to lose their empathy on the PM and support him to do the shocking thing to save the princess. If the press is not that bloodthirsty, then the kidnapers cannot manipulate the public so easily, and the dilemma for the PM can be solved in this circumstance. It is the bloody reflection that all the sides are just considering for their own interests.