Black Mirror Reflection: APT

By Katherine Johnson

The world is divided. There are the “APT’s” and the “NON’s” all over the world. If you fall into the APT category, you have a genetically modified aptitude to be good at your passion. If you are a NON, what you enjoy doing is different than you genetic aptitude.

The fate of the process is in the hands of the parents. When a baby hits the five month mark during pregnancy, the pair goes in for their aptitude meeting with their doctor. The office is bleak with stainless steel covering every inch of the space that reeks of medical antiseptic. A large chart covers one wall, giving the parents every aptitude option that is available. Their job is to pick one.

The parents debate this decision for months in advance. The daunting pressure of this moment even keeps some adults from having children at all. The immense fear that their child will turn into a NON dominates the entire pregnancy. No parents want that life for their child, especially because it would be their fault.

When the parents finally come to a decision, the doctor injects the fetus with hormones and a concocted serum that will set the baby’s aptitude. This will determine what genetic skills the boy or girl will possess.

Now all there is to do is wait…

The parents carry on but have a recurring fear that they might have chosen wrong. What if they made their child apt to be a doctor, but they end up not being smart enough for that career path? There is no way of knowing what any person will want to do with their future, so the APT injection is totally blind.

The episode follows a teen who is discovering his path. He does not yet know if he is APT or NON, but he will know soon. Kids go to classes to educate them on all sorts of careers to give them each a chance to pick on their own. As they graduate from their equivalent of high school, the decision must be made. A kid does not know what his or her APT injection was, for parents are not allowed to influence the choice of the minors.

After completing their education, the teens must decide what they want to pursue. If they like being a doctor, they go apply at a general office. The interviewer searches the profile of the individual and if that is not their APT, they are immediately declined. If that is the career they are passionate about, yet they are not allowed to pursue it, he or she ends up a NON. They reside in a separate part of town and are cast out from the rest of society. They are seen as less than the APTs.

As the main character of the episode figured out his future, viewers meet his parents. They are desperately trying not to give away what his injection serum was, but they struggle to keep the secret because they want him to be successful. If they let it slip, however, they know they will be taken away for defying the process. The protagonist consults his older brother, who is a lawyer. He was lucky, his APT and his passion lined up. Now it’s his turn. Maybe he’ll get lucky too…

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