By Corrine Passman
On this episode of “Black Mirror,” it’s the 100th year anniversary of human removal from Earth’s terrestrial elements. Human existence is limited to an extensive network of high-tech submarine like tubes that line and extend from the ocean floor to about a mile from the surface.
The air is contaminated. It is completely saturated with pollution from centuries of human environmental abuse. Scientists have figured out a way to extract the oxygen from water and marine plant-life to supply humans with breathable air. However, the submarines are becoming overpopulated, and the Earth is getting colder (a sign of an upcoming ice age).
With these colder temperatures, more and more water is being trapped in glaciers, and usable ocean water levels are dropping at an alarming rate. To solve this problem, leaders of colonies (segments of submarine tunnels that reflect the continents that use to exist on land) ask for volunteers to send a group to land to access its liveability.
Volunteers are under the impression that they are guaranteed an adventure. Among the volunteers is Mikelah, 24 and seemingly ordinary. She, along with 30 others, are ejected from the submarines in a dispatch sub and sent to the surface.
The story follows her closely with flashbacks of her life growing up in the sub to give an impression of what life was like. As they get closer to breaking through the top of the water, the water begins to turn greener and dense with trash, leaving the viewer with the ominous feeling that land is still unlivable.
When they finally break the surface, it’s nighttime so the selected group floats around and begins traveling in the direction that the GPS-like navigation takes them. By morning, they reach land, which appears to be off the coast of Florida close to St. Augustine, which ironically reflects the first city in the “New Land” during the Exploration Era.
Once they reach shore, the group suits up and leaves the sub. Note that the submarine tubes maintained the constant pressure from Earth while humans lived on land, so gravity had no effect on the transition from water to land. After 100 years of no living inhabitants, the landscape is completely barren and has a desert-like quality with no vegetation in sight.
As the group takes in the obvious unlivable state of the land, they head back to the sub to find it gone.
They were sent on death mission as a solution to the over-population and depleting oxygen levels.