An introduction to science-fiction series ‘Black Mirror’ and the shows that paved the way

The British sci-fi anthology series, “Black Mirror,” is set to debut its third season on Netflix.

With its dark social commentary, centered around the advances of technology, “Black Mirror” presents warning signs about the way humans live — or how they could evolve — in the 21st century.

Before diving into a brand new season of the show, here are a few things to know about “Black Mirror” and other classic science-fiction/horror anthology series that came before it:

The science-fiction anthology series features new characters every episodes and tackles dark subject matter concerning the effects of technology.BBC CHANNEL 4

The science-fiction anthology series features new characters every episodes and tackles dark subject matter concerning the effects of technology.

Technology is key

All of the episodes in “Black Mirror” focus not only on the way technology is used, but also how it creates a sense of paranoia for its users.

In “The Entire History of You,” its characters are able to replay past moments of their lives.

Of course, this becomes a major problem for lead character Liam, as he begins to obsess over his wife’s former relationship with a male stranger.

'The Twilight Zone' remains as one of the most significant science-fiction anthology series in television history.CBS

‘The Twilight Zone’ remains as one of the most significant science-fiction anthology series in television history.

“The Twilight Zone

Creator Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone” is considered one of the most important science-fiction anthology series in television history.

While the show originally ran from 1959 to 1964, it featured many subjects linking the effects of technology and paranoia.

In the episode “A Thing About Machines,” hermit Bartlett Finchley becomes irritated by his television woes.

Soon audiences can find Finchley taking his anger out on other appliances around the house once he believes they are hatching a plan against him.

Familiar faces

British actress Jessica Brown Findlay starred in 'Downton Abbey' as Lady Sybil Crawley/Branson.
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  • British actress Jessica Brown Findlay is photographed ahead of a screening of Albatross at BAFTA in Piccadilly, London Monday, Oct. 3, 2011, the debut feature of director Niall MacCormick (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)
  • LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 15:  Hayley Atwell  attends the 2012 Olivier Awards at The Royal Opera House on April 15, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)
  • IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR THE TELEVISION ACADEMY - Jon Hamm accepts the award for outstanding lead actor in a drama series for “Mad Men” at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

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British actress Jessica Brown Findlay starred in ‘Downton Abbey’ as Lady Sybil Crawley/Branson.

A slew of performers in “Black Mirror” may look familiar, especially for rabid entertainment fans.

If you have ever seen PBS’s historical drama “Downton Abbey,” you might be able to pinpoint actress Jessica Brown Findlay, who plays Abi in the episode “Fifteen Million Merits.”

Hayley Atwell, known as Peggy Carter in the television show “Agent Carter” and movies “Ant-Man,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and the “Captain America” franchise, stars as Martha in “Be Right Back.”

“Mad Men” American actor Jon Hamm appears in a special “Black Mirror” Christmas episode titled “White Christmas.”

“Perversions of Science”

'Perversions of Science' introduced a large amount of current recognizable film and television stars.HBO

‘Perversions of Science’ introduced a large amount of current recognizable film and television stars.

1990’s show “Perversions of Science” only lasted for one season.

Yet, a lot of recognizable film and television stars earned screen time on the program.

Actors such as Jeremy London (“Mallrats”), Elizabeth Berkley (“Saved by the Bell”), Kevin Pollak (“She’s All That”), Heather Langenkamp (“A Nightmare on Elm Street”), Jamie Kennedy (“Scream”; “Scream 2”), William Shatner (“Star Trek”) and Lolita Davidovich (“True Detective”) all performed in the 1997 science-fiction classic.

Life lessons

Each episode of “Black Mirror” is set up to teach viewers a thing or two about human nature.

“White Bear” swiftly dissects voyeurism, criminal punishment, and the need to take pictures of everything, whether good or bad.

The Waldo Moment” is a tale about a cartoon bear named Waldo who surprisingly becomes an electoral candidate and

Another episode about politics, “The National Anthem,” questions the power of media, public opinion, and the cost of privacy.

“Goosebumps”

Exported.;KERRY HAYES

Horror writer R.L. Stine’s ‘Goosebumps’ book series was translated into a beloved television series during the 1990’s.

The “Goosebumps” literary series — written by master of children’s horror R.L. Stine — was adapted for the small screen between 1995 and 1998.

It could have been written off as just another kids televisionshow, but became famous for its thought-provoking subject matter.

A full-length feature version — starring film actor and comedian Jack Black — is slated to arrive in theaters in October.

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