The Black Mirror universe teems with connections between episodes. BRB petrol stations, TCKR systems, Irma Thomas’ Anyone Who Knows What Love Is … for fans who know where to look, fun references to other stories abound.
In new season five episode Rachel, Jack And Ashley, Too, starring Miley Cyrus, there’s an Easter Egg that goes back even further than the first Black Mirror story – all the way to Charlie Brooker and Chris Morris’ 2005 comedy Nathan Barley.
Since it aired, the cult Channel 4 series about the titular East London-based self-facilitating media node and trashbat.co.ck brand originator (played by Nicholas Burns), has been lauded for its uncanny ability to predict cultural trends. Part of Nathan Barley’s world is edgily ironic print magazine Sugar Ape. As editor Jonatton Yeah? would have it, “Stupid people think it’s cool. Smart people think it’s a joke – also cool.”
In the trailer for Rachel, Jack And Ashley, Too, a framed copy of Sugar Ape magazine, with the episode’s fictional popstar Ashley O as its cover star, can be spotted on the wall behind this desk.
Sugar Ape magazine, as spotted in the trailer for Rachel, Jack And Ashley, Too.
At a London press screening of the episode, Heat Magazine Entertainment Director Boyd Hilton asked Charlie Brooker about the magazine’s cameo. “Deep cut Easter-Egg!” said Brooker.
Is the mag still going then? “It’s still bloody going. Unless this is set in the past, it’s still going. Jonatton Yeah? is still at work there, still being ironic and flippant,” said Brooker.
“Actually, no, that must have gone under years ago because it’s a paper magazine. Somewhere in another dimension Nathan’s taken over the editorship, that’s what’s happened.”
Keep it chopped out, yeah?
Black Mirror season five arrives on Netflix on Wednesday the 5th of June