Black Mirror (2011– )
75 user 36 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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Release Date:

4 December 2011 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


This episode became the subject of discussion when, in September 2015, then-current Prime Minister David Cameron was alleged to have placed his penis into the mouth of a dead pig as part of a university initiation rite (with even some of the hashtags seen in this episode being used). See more »


When the PM kicks his desk, there are already marks from previous takes on the desk. See more »


Michael Callow: You've sent in a strike team to rescue a manikin!
See more »


Referenced in Black Mirror: Nosedive (2016) See more »


By Max Richter
From "The Blue Notebooks"
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User Reviews

Effective satire needs to at least be remotely plausible.
1 November 2016 | by TheCentralScrutinizerSee all my reviews

I gave this 3/10 and all three points are for the actors, who must have strained mightily to make this thing something other than a half-assed attempt at a 45 minute Monty Python skit, and not an especially good one at that.

To call this show ham-fisted(didn't realize the pun until I'd typed it) is to do a disservice to both pigs and fists. There is simply not even the slightest chance that any person in any position of leadership whatsoever would even begin to contemplate doing what this person(the PM of England, no less)agreed to do. No chance whatsoever. Period. Nor would anyone advising him even begin to think about suggesting it.

It turned what may have been an interesting statement about the poisoning of our collective societal well that is social media, and made it an asinine farce.

I gave this series a shot based on a recommendation. If episode two is as flatly stupid as episode one, I'm done.

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