Note: This story discusses spoilers from the Black Mirror episode “Crocodile.”
Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker takes a few burning questions about the season 4 episode “Crocodile,” an Icelandic-set thriller where an executive (Andrea Riseborough) spirals deeper and deeper into a murderous pit while trying to cover up a secret from her past, while an insurance investigator (Kiran Sonia Sawar) uses a tech innovation that Alfred Hitchcock would love — a device that can visually reveal a subject’s memories if they’re properly recalled.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: This was a nasty piece of work with great performances. What was the inspiration for choosing the Icelandic setting?
CHARLIE BROOKER: Originally, the first draft of the script said “Scotland” and then I think Netflix actually suggested Iceland as a stunning backdrop and we went, “Yeah okay! That sounds good.” Actually, the night we shot the accident with the pizza truck, they had their biggest snowfall in 40 years. So we got around a continuity problem by having a character say they think it’s starting to snow at some point. Nobody’s noticed, but it got us around a massive problem because suddenly there was a snowfall after we turned the cameras the other way.
As an American, I have to say the automated pizza truck is the best Black Mirror innovation ever.
I like to think that it must make your pizza in the truck.
That’s what I was assuming. It’s like a traditional food truck, except fully automated. And I love that even your pizza truck isn’t entirely benign technology — it still manages to take out a pedestrian here and there.
Yeah. You order the pizza using an app, and it comes and finds you like an Uber. There was another sequence with the truck in it — it’s the same pizza company that comes and delivers a pizza in “U.S.S. Callister,” if you’re eagle-eyed. Because once we’ve named a company it’s easier to just re-use it. We had lots of debates about the design and look of that truck, but I think they did a really good job creating it.
About the ending: How would they get the hamster* to recall a specific memory — in this case, a murder — and not just keep showing them images of food pellets and shavings?
Now there is a good question. I think they would do what we saw Kiran character doing throughout the episode where she uses odors and sounds to evoke memories.
I so want to see a trial where a hamster is the star witness.
[Laughs] That was the darkest twist. That was one where I was going, “I don’t know if I’m going to get away with this.”
More Black Mirror season 4 postmortem interviews:
— Black Mirror creator explains that ‘Metalhead’ robot nightmare
— Charlie Brooker reveals a secret inspiration for ‘USS Callister’
— Black Mirror creator reveals what Jodie Foster changed in Arkangel
— Black Mirror showrunner reveals the ‘Hang the DJ’ ending you didn’t see
— Black Mirror: We rank all 19 episodes
Black Mirror season 4 is streaming now on Netflix.
*Yes, I now know the pet was a guinea pig, not a hamster; I apparently don’t know my domesticated suburban Rodentia very well. I deliberately left the text unchanged to maintain the accuracy of our conversation. Besides, “hamster” is funnier.