Black Mirror (2011– )
116 user 38 critic

The National Anthem 

Prime Minister Michael Callow faces a shocking dilemma when Princess Susannah, a much-loved member of the Royal Family, is kidnapped.


Otto Bathurst


Charlie Brooker, Charlie Brooker (creator)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Rory Kinnear ... Michael Callow
Lindsay Duncan ... Alex Cairns
Donald Sumpter ... Julian Hereford
Tom Goodman-Hill ... Tom Bilce
Anna Wilson-Jones ... Jane Callow
Patrick Kennedy ... Section Chief Walker
Alastair Mackenzie ... Martin
Chetna Pandya ... Malaika
Alex Macqueen ... Special Agent Callett (as Alex MacQueen)
Jay Simpson ... Rod Senseless
Helen Fospero Helen Fospero ... Lucinda Towne
Lydia Wilson ... Princess Susannah
Sophie Kennedy Clark ... Lauren
Andrew Knott ... Brian
Allen Leech ... Pike


In a run-up to Christmas the British Prime Minister Michael Callow is woken up and shown a disturbing video. On it he sees that people's princess Susannah of Beaumont has been abducted and will allegedly be murdered unless he has sex with a pig on live television. An effort to trace the kidnapper on a deserted campus proves to be in vain and Michael dismisses his aides' suggestion that a porn star perform the bestiality with the PM's face digitally superimposed. News coverage and Internet tweeters go into overdrive as Michael ultimately does his duty, in a deserted room with one camera man and a seemingly contented pig. Despite being ordered not to look, millions of people tune in though their amusement soon turns to horror at what they see. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller


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Did You Know?


Charlie Brooker stated in an interview that he went "all through the farmyard" deciding what animal Callow (Rory Kinnear) would have sex with and even briefly considered a block of cheese. See more »


In the opening scene, a telephone rings with the single tone used in North America; British phones ring with a double tone. See more »


Pike: No Peppa Pigs.
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Spoofed in The Simpsons: Thanksgiving of Horror (2019) See more »


By Max Richter
From "The Blue Notebooks"
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User Reviews

A brilliant satire about human psyche
9 May 2018 | by AnsangoSee all my reviews

I can see why people are so pissed of with this episode? I get it. But giving 1 and 2 star to this episode is far from acceptable. There is a detestation club running on for this episode, sorely for the purpose of diminishing its rating.

While the core idea might seem implausible, its presented in such a neat way that it starts to look feasible. The narrative is very good, and most of the performances are also decent. The screenplay is clever and satirises sharply on obsession of technology and its ill effects.

With such type of preposterous idea the episode could have easily turned into an awful course, but deft direction makes sure that it's on point and stays witty and perspicacious. Yeah, the climax was a bit disappointing as the motive is not much very much compelling, but from the narrative and thematic point of view, it makes sense. The whole idea is to test whether a population would like to watch such an indecent act or not. And surprisingly, they do. That's what the whole point of the artist to show our obsession with technology and public figures. It also explores the fragility of society's mindset under such huge threats.

So, overall a very unique idea explored in an incandescent manner. A nice watch...

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Release Date:

4 December 2011 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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