Using his unique abilities to anticipate and manipulate people's reactions, psychological illusionist Derren Brown wields his powers of perception over the unsuspecting.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Derren Brown: Mind Control UK - How to Control the Nation - Netflix
“How to Control the Nation” is the second special in British psychological illusionist Derren Brown's The Events television series. It features Brown playing a short “subliminal film” intended to make viewers who watched the programme unable to stand up from their seats. Although most segments were pre-recorded and showed Brown investigating and performing subliminal techniques, the show was partially broadcast live, and Brown spoke with viewers who had been affected by the film on the telephone. The programme was broadcast on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom on 18 September 2009, when it was viewed by over 3 million people. It received media attention due to Brown's previous stunts, as well as viewers' stories and videos of them being “stuck” by the broadcast.
Derren Brown: Mind Control UK - Broadcast and reception - Netflix
The programme was first broadcast on Channel 4 on 18 September 2009 at 9 pm, and later made available on the channel's catch-up service, 4oD; it ran for one hour, including three advertising breaks. It was watched by 3.1 million people, a 12.8% share, with an additional 600,000 people watching on the timeshift channel, Channel 4 +1. “How to Control the Nation” attained the second-highest viewing figures of the night on British terrestrial television, but was beat by BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing. The first episode of Peep Show's sixth series was broadcast immediately following the special. Heidi Stephens of The Guardian called the show “really interesting”, but said that its ending was “somewhat underwhelming”; she commented on the programme's competition with Strictly Come Dancing and speculated that Brown's instructions beforehand were more important than the film itself. Approximately one quarter of viewers are estimated to have been affected by the film, and Channel 4 stated that over 50,000 calls were received within three minutes of the film being shown. Numerous people who were stuck recorded their reactions and posted them online: Derren Brown mentioned them on his blog and posted viewer Vicky Green's video of her struggling to stand up. Some viewers reported being immobilised for extended periods of time following the broadcast: Johnathan Whitfield told the Daily Star newspaper that he was stuck for 12 hours, and could only stand when his partner played a recording of the clearing video at the end of the programme.
Derren Brown: Mind Control UK - References - Netflix