Black Mirror (2011– )
43 user 26 critic


An American traveler short on cash signs up to test a revolutionary new gaming system, but soon can't tell where the hot game ends and reality begins.


Dan Trachtenberg


Charlie Brooker




Episode cast overview:
Wyatt Russell ... Cooper Redfield
Hannah John-Kamen ... Sonja
Wunmi Mosaku ... Katie
Ken Yamamura ... Shou Saito
Elizabeth Moynihan ... Cooper's Mum
Jamie Paul ... Rick Peters
Jessica Neil Jessica Neil ... Scared Girl on Plane (as Jessica Nell)


An American traveler short on cash signs up to test a revolutionary new gaming system, but soon can't tell where the hot game ends and reality begins.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller


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Release Date:

21 October 2016 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

House Of Tomorrow See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (5.1)



Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


At one point, Cooper (Wyatt Russell) is seen reading The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe, who was famous for writing in unreliable narrative, the same way this episode was written. See more »


While Sonja is preparing breakfast for Cooper in her flat's kitchen the kitchen clock is shown, which is not working. The second-hand does not move either time the clock is shown. See more »


Katie: We're going to commence with deactivation.
Cooper: Oh, that's great news.
Katie: We need you to follow instructions and make it to the access point.
Cooper: The access point? Great. Where the fuck's the access point?... Oh, fuck! More stairs? Come on!
See more »


References Need for Speed II (1997) See more »


Mama Liked The Roses
Written by John L. Christopher
Performed by Elvis Presley
See more »

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User Reviews

A disturbing vision of gaming's future
6 November 2016 | by Knife ForkSee all my reviews

"Playtest" shows a terrifying vision which could actually be a reality in the future. At its core, it's just a man walking around a house screaming a lot. But despite its deceptive simplicity, it becomes a lot more than that due to some disturbing twists.

The episode clearly appeals to gamers, apart from the video game theme there are some blink-and-you'll-miss-it moments (I saw Dark Souls 3 in Sonja's game collection). Although non-gamers will understand the terrifying concept, it would resonate more with gamers, especially those who have tried horror games with VR headsets. It touches on why people play horror games at all when they are, as the name hints, horrible, but the main point of the episode is to show how far VR could go. The twist in this episode is that Cooper has technology inserted into his brain to make him see things are aren't really there. This allows the technology to play with his mind and his senses.

Much of this episode is made up of Cooper walking around the house and while it is tense, and while the sole protagonist's acting is very good and while there is a tone of dark humour, the plot at first is simplistic and predictable.

The real twists come one-by-one near the end of the episode and the final twist changes everything, completely turning what you thought you understood was happening upside down. Brilliant, intense and a shocking ending.

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