'Black Mirror': Charlie Brooker Reveals Inspiration for "Hang the DJ"

Black Mirror Still Season 4 Hang the DJ Episode 1 - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of Netflix

The dating system featured in "Hang the DJ."

What if there was a Spotify for dating?

That was the question Charlie Brooker asked himself when thinking up one of the breakout episodes from the recent fourth season of Black Mirror, "Hang the DJ."

Starring Georgina Campbell and Joe Cole as two singles who are matched together by a futuristic dating system, "Hang the DJ" follows Amy (Campbell) and Frank (Cole) as they date endlessly in hopes of eventually finding their perfect match. 

In a new featurette released by Netflix, the Black Mirror writer and creator unpacks the stand-alone episode of his dystopian anthology series.

"What if there was a service that was a bit like Spotify for dates?" Brooker asks. "It could generate a playlist of relationships. It would tell you who you were going to be going out with next and for how long. The system is learning from your reaction to being paired with all these different types of people. Once it's figured it's learnt enough about you, it will then pair you up with the ultimate soulmate."

The online dating episode was described by Brooker's partner, executive producer Annabel Jones, as Black Mirror's first "rom-com" — which explained its romantic tropes and surprise ending. Black Mirror episodes always have a twist, but Brooker and Jones remained unpredictable with the well-received rebellious love story.

"In a way, ["Hang the DJ" is] a world in which all your romantic worries are kind of taken care of," says Brooker in the spoiler-free video. "It's like a codified version of real life."

Brooker discusses all the episodes in the new featurettes, offering behind-the-scenes looks and doling out a fun fact or two about each from the newest batch of stories. He tours the spaceship of epic "USS Callister" and Easter egg-heavy exhibits of "Black Museum," while also revealing the personal paranoia behind Jodie Foster's mother-daughter indie "Arkangel," the reasoning for the visually vast backdrop of thriller "Crocodile" and his intent for the nightmarish "Metalhead."

While walking through the "Black Museum" funhouse of tech-horrors, which proves the anthology exists in a shared universe, Brooker says: "That was a bit of a trip down memory lane. I think in every single cabinet there is something from a previous story."

Though Netflix has yet to renew the anthology for a fifth season, Jones sounded hopeful about making more episodes after the dust settled with the current season, which was released in late December (all six episodes are now streaming on Netflix).