If you love Black Mirror the way almost half a million people voted on IMDb love it, then you’ve probably heard of Amazon’s super-fresh Download (2020) series, which is an extended version of the San Junipero episode of the same “Black Mirror”.
Action “San Junipero” is centered around the innovative technology of the future, which allows you to transfer human consciousness into a system of imitation of reality, where he can live forever. This place looks like a fun resort town, and is intended to become a paradise for all those who do not want to die completely.
Unlike most of the Black Mirror episodes, San Junipero has a happy and romantic ending. In the episode, there is almost no satire over the modern way of life, and the reality shown in it does not cause an oppressive feeling of emptiness.
The plot of the series “Loading” unfolds according to the same pattern as “San Junipero”. 2033, people may not die, but boot into various virtual realities to choose from. The central virtual world of the series becomes Lakeview paradise, in which Nathan Brown, injured in a car accident, is loaded. Soon the hero learns that living on the server of paradise is not cheap, and if you have not left behind a huge multimillion-dollar inheritance, then you will have to live even worse than during life.
Of course, expanding and complementing the idea of transferring consciousness to iron is the first step to success, but not “San Junipero” alone. Having carefully studied the first season of “Download”, we found at least five allusions not episodes of “Black Mirror”, the most striking of which will be described below.
The most obvious after San Junipero was the copying of the idea of Diving, in which your social position depends on the rating based on the assessments of other people. The main character of the episode is promising 4.2. But she wants higher, because the higher the number, the more privileges. But gaining points is difficult, but losing is easy.
A clear personal (on the example of a dating site) and working social rating can be traced in the “Download”. It is applied according to the same principle as in “Dive”. For example, Nora Anthony’s angel rating (4.7) does not allow a girl to receive an employee discount for her father’s workload, because it is issued only from 4.8.
“15 Million Merits”
One of the central themes of the “Download” was the demonstration of the ubiquitous class inequality that was able to overcome death and awaits you even in paradise. The episode “15 Million Merits”, which some critics have decoded as a demonstration of the afterlife in a new way, depicts a post-apocalyptic degrading world in which everything has to be paid for.
“Loading” adheres to a similar idea. Getting into the Lakeview hotel, Nathan discovers completely inhuman prices for food, entertainment, clothing and the stay itself, which, in the absence of impressive capital, are forced to pay for the remaining family members. The question arises, is eternal life in Lakeview so long if the future relatives of the busy one simply cannot or do not want to pay for the stay of their, for example, great-great-grandfather?
One of the most obscure comparisons between the series can be found in the New Year’s special “White Christmas”. The plot of the episode tells about the future, where for a crime or just like that, your digital copy can be put in a virtual room and forced to spend hundreds, if not thousands of years there.
The two-gig, underprivileged people mentioned in Download, who have only two gigabytes of information capacity for a month, spend their afterlife almost as despondently as the copies of the people in Black Mirror. They don’t have access to fun, good food, or any kind of emotion. At the end of the allocated two gigabytes (they can be spent in a day), the downloaded ones freeze and live the rest of the month, waiting for the next one.
“I’ll be back soon”
One of the saddest episodes of Black Mirror, I’ll Be Back Soon, tells the story of Martha and Ash, a young couple in love who, deciding to live away from the bustle of the city, move to a private house. Ash is an avid social media user.
He dies shortly after the move. Martha, out of herself with grief, decides to master a new program, which, based on information left by Ash on the network, will imitate the intellect of her beloved and allow her to communicate with him. First, this happens in the form of correspondence, after calls, and in the end – a live meeting. But the question arises: is a complete imitation of life – is it life?
The same question can be asked to the creators of “Download”, who not only copied the love line of Martha and Ash, as well as all the difficulties that arise in a relationship with an already dead person, but also assured the audience that the consciousness of the loaded Nathan is not a complete copy of consciousness already meter Nathan, namely he, the real one, which, of course, is not true.
This question is answered in more detail in the episode “USS Callister” in which engineer Robert Daly, stealing and scanning the DNA of his colleagues, puts copies of their consciousness into the world of his favorite game. But the catch is that the real prototypes of the imitations (Daly’s colleagues) remain alive and are not transferred to the ship along with the copies. Moreover, when death overtakes the virtual copy, it does not return to its real body and does not transfer the experienced experience into the person’s memories.
Answering the question if there is something different in the “Download”, I would like to answer that yes, of course there is. To reduce the pace of similarity with the “Black Mirror” the series was turned into a comedy, completely low-quality special effects, abrupt plot lines and a far-fetched plot that did not cause anything but misunderstanding were added.
The only plus of “Downloads” is that after watching it there is an undeniable desire to revise “Black Mirror”, which we wish you too.
The numbering of the mentioned episodes of the series:
San Junipero (3.4)
15 Million Merits (1.2)
White Christmas (special edition 2014)
I’ll be back soon (2.1)
USS Callister (4.1)