Antiviral Wipe: Black Mirror’s Charlie Brooker will air extra-special lockdown episode tonight

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Who better to see us through the unsettling age of coronavirus than the creator of Black Mirror, eh?

Updated on 14 May: Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror is one of the most addictive and thought-provoking shows on TV, with lengthy Reddit threads dedicated to uncovering its many spoilers, underlying messages, and Easter eggs.

With people struggling to come to terms with the reality of living through a worldwide pandemic (thanks a bunch, coronavirus!) and lockdown, it makes sense that Brooker isn’t about to drop a contagion-themed episode of his most twisted TV show.

He is, however, working on something to commemorate this dark period in our lives. And that something, you’ll be pleased to know, is a resurrection of his satirical Wipe series (which included Screenwipe, Newswipe, and Election Wipe).

And so, on that note, we have to ask: are you ready for Charlie Brooker’s Antiviral Wipe? Because it’s coming to our screens tonight – and Brooker says it was easier to make than ever in lockdown.

The Wipe shows don’t have a live audience, and there’s almost never more than two people on screen at once, and most of it is archive,” he says, according to Digital Spy.

“The edit and the dub have been the most challenging bits, but even that is in some ways easier than normal because there’s no commuting.”

As reported on 22 April: The BBC said the one-off special will allow Brooker to take “a typically sharp look at life in lockdown, in a show made during lockdown.”

This, in its most basic form, boils down to: how the nation has coped with lockdown, our viewing habits, the ways we’ve kept ourselves entertained, the rise in digital communications (hey there, Zoom), and all the other things we’ve enjoyed and endured during the coronavirus pandemic.

The show will also feature hapless regular contributor Philomena Cunk, played by comedian and Motherland actor Diane Morgan with her own special brand of in-depth reporting, alongside Barry Shitpeas, played by Al Campbell.

People on their phones GETTY
It remains to be seen how much of a part our fondness for viral tag challenges will play in Antiviral Wipe.

Speaking about the project, Brooker said: “The BBC asked me to supply a quote for the press release, which is what you’re reading now.”

Fair enough.

Charlie Brooker’s Antiviral Wipe airs at 9pm tonight (Thursday 14 May) on BBC Two. 

In the meantime, you can binge-watch Brooker’s Black Mirror in its entirety over on Netflix now (and find out the real meaning behind its creepy title here, if you so wish).

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Main image: Scheier.hr on Unsplash

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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