Charlie Brooker’s explosive techo-thriller anthology series, Black Mirror, has developed something of a cult-like following in the past four years.
It’s no coincidence that Belinda Carlisle’s 1987 hit Heaven Is A Place On Earth enjoyed an unexpected renaissance after featuring in season three’s beloved San Junipero. With more Easter eggs than a Kmart in early April, we thought we’d sift through season four for the must-have songs to succumb to technology to. [WARNING: semi-spoilers ahead].
The Smiths — panic
In a series that’s relentlessly bleak, it’s a major relief when Brooker hits us with a mildly happy ending. Last year it was the queer-friendly love story of San Junipeno and this year it’s Hang The DJ, set in a magical world where Tinder actually works. The episode takes its name from the 1986 indie pop anthem by The Smiths which also plays over the end scene and credits. Get ready for its catchy refrain to be stuck in your head until season five comes out.
Dionne Warwick — (there's) always something there to remind me
Final episode, Black Museum, is anthology-within-an-anthology type schtick with this soulful Dionne Warwick tune (from 1967) bookending the bright desert scenes while letting the dank museum action fester in-between. No spoilers, but anyone who’s seen the episode knows that the lyrics have a more literal meaning than one would expect. And if you can't get enough of this Bacharach classic may we also suggest the original by Lou Johnson, or one of our fave covers by Sandie Shaw or, in French, Eddy Mitchell.
The stranglers — golden brown
The Stranglers 1981 new wave ballad carries on Black Mirror’s long tradition of songs playing over car radios. It’s one of the very few parts of Metalhead that won’t have you on the edge of your seat or constantly looking over your shoulder just in case a robotic dog drone is bounding up behind you. A BBC2 poll once voted this the fifth most popular song to peak at number two in the UK charts (Ultravox's Vienna topped the poll).
Sigur Ros — run
Let’s wash the memories of Metalhead by going back to the happier times of Hang The DJ. This stunning Sigur Ros number has the honour of scoring a classic Black Mirror reveal. Lucky for us it’s a happy, maybe-the-world-isn’t-that-bad reveal instead of an oh-wait-we-live-in-a-nightmare one. In fact, Sigur Ros scored the entire episode with composer Alex Somers, releasing a 30-minute soundtrack for your listening pleasure.
Irma Thomas — anyone who knows what love is (will understand)
Mega fans will have recognised the eerie riff of this 1964 tune the moment it started playing in Crocodile. That’s because its appeared in every single season of Black Mirror. First sung by a doomed Hot Shots contestant in Fifteen Million Merits, it popped up in a karaoke bar during White Christmas and also featured in a tense moment of Men Against Fire. Look out for it in season five being played from a hologram gravestone (probably).
Forum Theatre, Melbourne
The Tivoli, Fortitude Valley
Enmore Theatre, Newtown
Thebarton Theatre, Torrensville
Astor Theatre, Mt Lawley