Years and Years
The plot of years and years begins in the present day (2019) and quickly moves forward into the not-to-distant future. With president Trump being re-elected in 2020, and later Mike Pence becoming president (as Trumps supposed puppet), as well as Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping both becoming life-long leaders of Russia and China respectively. There is also a Trump-esque figure on the rise in British politics, who goes by the name of Vivienne Rook, leader of the 4 star party.
One other key part of the fictitious political backstory is the launch of a nuclear missile against a Chinese man-made island in the South China sea. Killing many thousands of people.
Transhumanist & Future Tech Elements
Aside from the political/dramatic backstory, there is also a lot of references to transhumanism, with one of the key characters referring to themselves as "Trans" which her parents confuse with her being transsexual stating; "I'm not transsexual, I'm transhuman" during the first episode.
The same character mentioned above also implant a phone into her hand, and also goes on a trip with a friend to have a cybernetic eye implant, but after her friend's is botched, she decides not to continue with the procedure.
Some other references:
- Someone gets killed by a drone.
- Automation appears to be affecting the job market