I’m currently in the middle of Black Mirror’s Season 4, I feel that despite it being probably the best show on TV, it starting to repeat the same themes in a way that makes it predictable: brain implants, immersive video games, Siri’s sister, &c.
Thus, I decided to think up a few episodes ideas myself. I felt that the show has not really explored the possibility of better mind-altering drugs, so a couple of random ideas follow.
The Dark Looking Glass Episode 1
Title: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
A new drug has the following effect: you take it and it has no effects until you go to sleep. Then, it erases the memory of what happened that day, except for vague feelings and emotional affect.
People start taking it for parties. Las Vegas hotels have these organized parties where everyone has to take the drug so that nobody will remember what happens (except for hotel security, who stays sober, but is sworn to secrecy). Society becomes more and more conservative, with wild behaviour confined to these forgetful parties, which themselves become wilder. You fly to Vegas for drug-fueled, sexual bacchanals every few months. Then you forget the details of everything that happened, but still feel liberated and relaxed so you live a conservative lifestyle the rest of the year.
At one of these parties, a group of friends (in their 50’s, typical middle-class Americans) have their regular sexual orgy (“do you think this is what we do every time?” asks a woman to a man who is not her husband while they have sex).
Then, a freak accident kills the sober security so that everyone at the party is under the forgetful drug.
Once they realize that they are now truly and completely free, a husband kills a wife; a wife kills her lover. Another man is left for dead, but survives. People run, scramble, hide. Eventually, everyone collapses of exhaustion; thus triggering the drug’s effect. The next day, they wake up afraid, terrified, but nobody knows why. The bodies are discovered, the police is called. Nobody knows who killed whom, who beat up the barely-alive man on the floor. The police cannot make any headway either: the whole house is a mess, everyone was there, the murder weapons are at the bottom of the pool.
The orgy participants know that some of them killed others, that somebody beat somebody up, but nobody knows who the killers are (if there is more than one). As local police are both stuck and embarrassed (they were supposed to provide security and failed), the survivors are let go from Vegas and fly back to suburban Atlanta. To help their teenage kids with their homework.
The Dark Looking Glass, Episode 2
Open with Lithium, by Nirvana.
Society adds a drug to the water that makes everyone be nicer. Crime becomes almost non-existent, wars disappear (diplomatic solutions are sought after and found), things are good. A group of natural water advocates, however, starts drinking normal, non-drugged water. Think organic-eating yoga mom, not gun wielding libertarian. They are accepted by society as everyone is so nice and tolerant.
As this group of hippies lives without the drug, they talk about having more complete feelings and the euphoria. It takes months to years for the drug to fully wash out of your system, though. As it does, it becomes clear that adults having strong emotions without a lifetime of learning how to manage them is not a good idea and they become violent. Society is completely unprepared for it. The police are not armed, even with a stick, as disputes were always dealt with by reasoning before. Psychologically, nobody knows what to do.
The only solution is to force everyone to take the drug. After thousands more deaths, the makeshift police force does overwhelm the rebels and drug them.
Peace is restored.