Black Mirror (2011) s01e01 Episode Script

The National Anthem

Just tell me what's happened.
And what is it? I'll be right down.
What's happened? Er, Susannah.
Susannah? Princess Susannah.
Is she all right? Don't know.
'Don't kill me.
'Please don't kill me.
' 'Read the statement.
All right.
'On this screen? 'That is correct.
'Duchess of Beaumont.
'Popularly known as Princess Susannah.
'I am in a place you er 'cannot find, held by one you will not trace.
'Prime Minister Michael Callow 'Prime Minister Michael Callow my life '.
my life depends on you.
'If you do not do precisely as instructed by 'by 4pm this afternoon, I will be '.
I will be executed.
' What are you doing? Keep it going.
Prime Minister, at this point, I think it's important to say that we are 100% certain that this is, indeed, Princess Susannah.
Her car was intercepted shortly after midnight, returning from the wedding of a college friend.
She'd insisted on going.
But you had security on her? Two PPOs, still unconscious.
Heavy sedative, close range, each with a single puncture wound.
No sign of struggle.
What do they want? Money? Release the Jihadi? Scrap Third World debt? Save the fucking libraries? We are convinced both the video and the demand it contains are genuine.
What demand? What Susannah says next It concerns you directly, sir.
Just play it.
'There is only one demand, and it is a simple one.
'At 4pm this afternoon, 'Prime Minister Michael Callow must appear on live British television 'on all networks, terrestrial and satellite, 'and No! 'On all British networks, terrestrial and satellite, 'and have full unsimulated sexual intercourse with a pig.
'I don't understand!' The video ends with a series of technical specifications for the broadcast.
Why are you doing this? "Mike!" It's real.
She said pig.
Sex with a pig.
They want me to have sex with a pig? Live on television this afternoon.
But what? Who? We're checking with embedded operatives, compiling a list of suspects.
Meanwhile, the demand has been made.
There's not long to formulate our response.
Well, I'm not fucking a pig! Page one, that's not happening.
Of course.
Absolutely, sir.
Well, have we established a dialogue with this? We can't.
There's no e-mail address, no code word.
No channel for negotiation.
So we focus on finding Susannah.
We get her back.
However it's done, I don't care.
We stop this now.
Everyone's working towards this.
Not everyone.
A dedicated core team.
This can't go wide.
Keep it so far from the press it's on the other side of Jupiter.
This only exists in this room.
It's already outside it.
If there are hacks sniffing around, Super fucking Godzilla injunction with ten-inch Whitehall fangs! This video came from YouTube.
What? It was uploaded via an encrypted IP an hour ago.
Well, get it off there! We did after nine minutes, long enough for it to be duplicated and spread.
Spread? How many people have seen this? We take down one, six clones pop up elsewhere.
How many people? 50,000.
That's our current estimate.
The news rooms have got it.
They're running this on air? No.
We put a type five D notice out and they're complying.
For now.
It's trending on Twitter.
For Fucking internet! What now? What's the play book? This is virgin territory, Prime Minister.
There's no play book.
Princess Susannah's been kidnapped! You scared the shit out of me! Go to work! '.
and have full unsimulated sexual intercourse with a pig.
' No way.
It's a piss take, man.
Look at it! 'I don't understand!' '.
Carlton Bloom's controversial exhibition 'closes three weeks ahead of schedule' How do we describe it? "An indecent act"? Everyone's seen the video.
They know the details.
If we mention bestiality Ofcom would be pissed off.
Fuck Ofcom! We're observing the D Notice.
Surely we're going to do something.
The voluntary D Notice! It may be a sportsman-like gesture but we are making it.
A woman's life is at stake! My timeline consists of viewers asking why we're not covering it.
How do I reply? You don't.
Not the Beeb, not Sky.
That is totally backwards.
Facebook's coverage is pretty comprehensive! It's like 9/11's happening and We're not a chat room! It's on CNN and Fox.
And MSNBC, Al Jazeera, NHK God! This planet! OK, Sarah, cover the snatch itself.
Simon, set tone with Standards.
We need to explain this without viewers sicking up their Weetabix.
Ken, the internet, new paradigm, Twitter, Arab spring, all that.
Dan, all graphics run past me.
Functional - no Peppa Pigs.
Malaika, update the princess obit VT.
First, an awkward phone call.
Least I can do is warn Tom.
We put a D Notice on it.
'It's gone global, Tom.
' Don't.
I'm begging you.
Don't run it, Martin.
'Look, I'm sorry.
I can't help you.
' You know how much help you're getting hereon in? Shove it up your arse you fucking Interesting.
A man.
Man? A man! Tom, so you're across it 'I briefed Callett.
' Mr Callett.
Noel, from Blue Eye.
Sea Of Tranquillity.
You won't find better.
Can you map a head onto a body live? Depends if your camera's moving.
Rule sheet specifies a single hand-held camera in a constant roving motion.
Gonzo style.
He knows his shit.
That's tough.
"Fruition to be transmitted in full"? Focus on the visuals.
Different face mapped onto a live performer.
Fringes of possibility Deadline's at four.
We need to know if it's workable by two.
Can't happen.
It has to.
Our embeds have ruled out the major players.
It's not AQ, not IRA.
This is what's left - radicals, hate groups.
People who've threatened yourself or the royals.
They're being pulled in as we speak.
For more than questioning, I hope.
Must be a hoax.
Or a black-out.
Heads up! 'Some major breaking news here on UKN.
'It's been confirmed that Susannah, Duchess of Beaumont 'appears to depict the princess pleading for her life.
'The video contains a bizarre ransom demand of a personal nature 'involving the Prime Minister, and a detailed list of instructions 'relating to the enactment of this demand.
'As police round up potential suspects' '.
this viewer video shows officers raiding an address in Bradford.
'A man thought to be connected with a religious pressure group, dragged to a waiting van' If it's terrorists, they'll take her head off.
For fuck's sake, man! Just saying.
They'll be asking for a million quid or something.
They want him to do it with a pig.
Telegraph has the whole video and an interactive timeline.
Tonally stark.
Brief mention of the ransom being "a sex act".
Nothing too gross.
Sun runs with "Taken".
Big grab of Susannah Of course I still want that drink.
Then give me something.
That won't be possible.
I'm friendly when I drink.
Very friendly when I'm grateful.
The Guardian are running a fucking live blog and a short piece on the historical symbolism of the pig.
only five hours away, 'UKN's Damon Brown analyses the public reaction to the crisis.
' 'The kidnap video has been watched by over 18 million people.
'While we wait for Downing Street to respond, 'the nation is voicing its opinion.
'I don't think anyone should concede to any humiliation under threat.
'I couldn't bear to watch that.
'I won't be tuning in.
Just thinking about it is horrible.
after that, he's gonna be hero.
'People will look at him like he's insane and take his position away.
'Nothing too abnormal for MPs.
'They're all sexual deviants, all MPs and Prime Ministers.
' We've been squeezing hard, but nothing concrete.
It won't come to that.
And if they don't find her? MI5 have got a name.
They're surrounding the place now.
Where? What? Where's the place? Truro.
Why are you lying? You're lying! Truro? Jesus! I don't want you worrying.
You've never patronised me.
Don't start now.
Whoever this is, is insane.
And has a princess.
We'll get through this.
Not any princess - the princess.
Princess bloody Facebook bloody eco-conscious national sweetheart.
I won't have to do anything.
Everyone's laughing at us.
You don't know that.
I know people.
We love humiliation.
Nothing is going to happen.
It's already happening in their heads.
In their heads, that's what you're doing, what my husband is doing.
Please! Jane.
What? Palace on the phone, sir.
Get Alex to stall them.
She's already been speaking to her for ten minutes.
"Her"? It's the Queen herself.
Go on.
'As the 4pm deadline draws nearer, the world holds its breath' Would they use a female pig? It's on the list.
List of rules, specifies camera angles and things.
It's not like Dogme 95.
What's Dogme 95? Cinematic movement.
Lars von Trier.
Rules for a director - no background music, only natural light, for authenticity.
Same as these, so they can't cheat, cut another guy's arse pumping away.
'I can't think of anything remotely like this.
'A new form of terrorism 'That's the point! Make love to a pig!' Make love? Steer them away from the grisly details.
'Let's not dwell on any of the details.
'This is already a huge national talking point.
'Isn't this precisely what whoever is behind this is looking for?' How's Her Majesty taking it? "I trust you'll do everything in your power to get her back.
" And we are.
It wasn't a collective "you".
It was a singular "you", ie me.
Sir, we may have something.
Jamie's been tracing the video's origin.
I thought it was untraceable.
Anyway, we also know it was uploaded at 3.
I ran a nationwide traceback on uninterrupted one-way uploads and the closest I can get is a postcode.
Looks like a campus.
Closed 2010.
It's been empty since.
Latest i-sat image on this area? 3am flyover shot from last night Looks like it had lights on.
We got him.
We got him.
Alert the local team.
Full squad.
I'll man it.
With helmet-cam relay.
We can watch the operation.
Yes! Right.
Confident? It's a kick-bollock scramble, but with finessing it should be OK.
Finesse quickly.
Our performer's on his way.
It's a new one for me, obviously.
I wouldn't normally You know.
You seen any of my films? No.
I'm pretty trad - bish, bash, bosh.
In, out.
What do I put on the invoice? That's what I'm wondering.
There won't be any invoicing.
Oi-oi, Rod! Oi-oi! Need to prep two statements Good outcome.
Bad outcome.
Rescue operation? Goon squad's heading for postcode in Buckinghamshire.
HP84TD, a college or something.
They should be there by now.
I've reduced the luminance Agent Callett, this is Mr Flynn.
AKA, Rod Senseless.
Stage name.
Well You need to get into this.
Is there a dressing room I can use? No.
Where's my co-star? Be rude not to give her a kiss beforehand.
Outside in the truck.
Full of joie de vivre, isn't he? You also need to wear this - on your head.
Board's been prised away.
That's where they got in.
'Target identified.
' Commissioner.
Thank you.
Continue reconnaissance and await instructions.
'With the 4pm deadline three hours away, 'time is running out for the Prime Minister' They got in, Do you think I'd be here if they had? Listen, coverage is very sympathetic.
Can't think about coverage now! But it's on-side? Strong undercurrent of sympathy.
Every poll indicates understanding, disgust with the captor, outrage at the whole thing, but not at you.
If Walker's team fuck up, I'm not saying they will, but if they do, the public anticipates non-compliance.
There'll be squawks from the usuals, If he kills her, there's no blood on your hands.
Bottom line.
'With hours to go, time is running out for the security services.
'Joining us is actress Lydia' Thought this was coming from IB7.
We trimmed the edges so it's coming direct.
Twinkle tits from? Actress, Downton Abbey, knows the princess.
This came for you, left at reception.
Courier dropped it off.
Know how to plug this in? Jack, call the police.
Take it! Get someone to shoot that first.
What the fuck is this? 'Some more breaking news, 'and a severed finger, thought to belong to Princess Susannah, 'has been delivered to UKN, along with a video 'apparently showing the kidnapper removing it from the princess.
'UKN News has passed all material to Scotland Yard' Fucking hell! God! I can't watch this! He's got to do what they want.
Yes, he fucking has! '.
which contained a statement 'This grim development comes just Jesus! Unless I'm mistaken, our mystery man specified no visual trickery in his original demand, didn't he? I considered it necessary FUCKING HELL! Mike! Don't! It's nor One word, I swear I will fucking! What did you do, Alex? I had a back-up plan.
A man prepared to do it and an FX company that would paint your head onto his shoulders.
You actually thought that would work? I believed it worth considering.
Then you're a stupid bitch.
With your interest at heart.
Who knew about this? A select few.
It seems some idiot at the studio recognised our designated performer, Tweeted a photo and the online hivemind did the maths.
It's not playing well.
With who? With, er anyone.
'A few hours ago, public opinion was behind Prime Minister Callow, 'he should fulfil the bizarre and illegal request.
'In the wake of these images, 'and the delivery of the princess's finger, the mood is shifting.
'It'll be humiliating, but nothing compared to her suffering.
'He's just got to do it.
'What's the alternative? 'We can get another Prime Minister.
We can't live without a princess.
'If he doesn't get her released, he's finished, isn't he? 'Online polls suggest that 86% of voters 'now believe the demand should be met.
'Damon Brown' When are Walker's team hitting the college? They need time No more pissing around.
Julian's advising against I'm advising for.
They go in now.
They go in now.
Where's my obit VT? What would you say if I said I was near where Susannah's being held? I'd say bullshit.
Then you'd be wrong.
Have you got a crew with you? I'm not stupid.
Malaika? Are you getting this? Don't put yourself in any danger.
Still getting this? Just stay safe, Malaika.
Be careful! If this doesn't work we need Armed police! Lay down on the floor! Lay down on the floor! Move! Fuck! It's a decoy.
They must have bounced the upload from here with a proxy.
I'm sorry.
Jesus! They're looking right at her! They can't see her.
'Malaika, make sure they can't' Stay down! Don't move! Run, Malaika! Run! Get out of there.
Come on! Armed police! Is it him? Advance! Advance! Advance! Get down! UKN.
It's Malaika something or other.
She's from UKN.
You press? Yes.
There goes your RTS Award.
There must be something.
There's nothing there, Mike.
There'll be a clue.
We've done all we can.
You rescued mannequin.
I'm sorry, Michael Fuck off, Julian! 20 past three.
We're out of time.
We're not out of time! We're not out of time.
It's not going to happen.
To the public Fuck the public! To the public, this would be one man of questionable popularity putting personal embarrassment over the life of a girl.
She's probably already dead.
If she isn't, he'll kill her and upload the video.
Everyone will see it.
The world will see it.
The mood will border on insurrection and you will be destroyed, I guarantee you - utterly destroyed.
The polling bears that out.
You won't just be a disgraced politician, The public, the Palace and the Party insist on compliance.
Fuck the Party! Refuse, and I've been advised that we cannot guarantee your physical safety.
Or that of your family.
I've made arrangements for the broadcast.
I can't I'm sorry, Michael.
It's out of your hands.
'Let's take you live 'as we see the Prime Minister's car travelling across London' He's got to do it.
appears to be heading west to Bankside Studios.
' We've ratified the law - after midnight, it'll be a criminal offence to store any recording or images of the event.
They're doing an announcement to warn people off even watching, some sonic tone that causes nausea.
when public opinion has very much hardened, 'following the delivery of the princess's severed finger.
'As the 4pm deadline approaches, the nation is at a standstill 'watching the extraordinary situation play out.
'Just to remind you, this is now a story of global significance' "Michael Callow has displayed incredible bravery "in what was a matter of life or death.
" That's how it opens, then we should move on OK.
Everything prepared? Yes, ma'am.
It's docile.
It's time to go in now.
an unprecedented nature.
' 'This is an official announcement.
'The Prime Minister will perform an indecent act on your screens.
in the hope that it will ensure the release of Princess Susannah.
'Recording or possessing a copy of this broadcast will become illegal.
'All viewers are advised to turn off their televisions immediately.
'The broadcast will commence after the following tone.
' .
you'll have to see it through to the end.
We've placed visual aids in your eyeline, which might help if you get into trouble.
The suggestion we're getting from psychologists is that you should take as long as you need.
If you rush, it might be misinterpreted as eagerness or even enjoyment.
It's just a skeleton crew inside.
Closed set.
There he is! 'I trust this will bring about the safe return of Princess Susannah.
' 'I 'I love my wife.
' 'May God forgive me.
' No! Jesus! Poor bastard! But it's been on for nearly an hour.
It's history, this.
We've got her.
They released her? Stumbling about in the city.
Not hers.
DNA shows it's male.
What? It seems he let her go 30 minutes before it happened.
Why? So it's a statement.
That's what this was all about, making a point.
Should we, er? Lose that page of the report.
No-one sees it, especially the PM.
Of course.
Good news, Michael.
You saved her.
Susannah's alive and well.
'On the one-year anniversary of his humiliating ordeal, 'an apparently unconcerned Michael Callow put in an assured performance 'at a public appearance, accompanied by his wife Jane.
'The other central figure in events was also before the camera 'at last night's Children Of Valour Awards.
'Princess Susannah made her first public appearance 'since announcing her pregnancy.
'It was one year ago that the Turner Prize-winning artist, 'Carlton Bloom, 'coerced the Prime Minister into committing an indecent act.
'As the anniversary arrived, one art critic caused controversy 'by describing it as "the first great artwork of the 21st century".
'While cultural commentators debate its significance, 'with a global audience of 1.
3 billion, 'it was an event in which we all participated.
'The incident failed to destroy a Prime Minister, 'who holds an approval rating three points higher than last year.
'Damon Brown, UKN.
' Jane.
Jane, please.