Black Mirror may or may not have already jumped the shark in terms of its relevance and impact, but that doesn’t mean fans aren’t eagerly anticipating the fourth season of the dystopian anthology show. After an initial two-season run on the UK’s Channel 4, the show’s rebirth on Netflix last year had some great episodes (“San Junipero,” “Nosedive”) but it also included arguably some of the show’s worst to date (“Men Against Fire,” “Playtest”).
We can quibble over what the best and worst Black Mirror episodes so far are, but the six upcoming episodes are sure to stoke the same analysis and emotional responses as so many before them.
Netflix has been doling out teaser trailers for the fourth season of the show over the last two weeks an all six are officially up. They still haven’t announced when the season will premiere but let’s take a look at each teaser in order to suss out what little details show creator and writer Charlie Brooker has given us.
The first teaser released was for the episode titled “Arkangel” and includes the tagline, “The key to good parenting is control.” If that doesn’t sound like an ominous premise for a Black Mirror episode, we don’t know what does.
The episode stars Rosemarie Dewitt and Brenna Harding and is directed by Jodie Foster (yes, that Jodie Foster). Producer Annabel Jones has previously said that the episode “follows a mother who has a young daughter and faces that perennial question of how to look after a child in an increasingly technical world.”
If we had to guess, we’d say that the daughter in question is going to be implanted with…something. And we all know how well that kind of thing usually turns out on this show.
The second teaser was for “Crocodile,” and includes the tagline, “picture what you saw.” It stars Andrea Riseborough, Andrew Gower, and Kiran Sonia Sawar.
Jones describes it as a“beautiful, more personal study” and seems to revolve around a woman who can tap into other people’s memories in order to find out what happened in the past. It looks like this particular instance concerns a potential murder, but the possibility that she can see all memories, including ones that a person might not want her to see, will almost certainly have some negative effects.
Up next is “Rolo Haynes’ Black Museum” starring Letitia Wright, Douglas Hodge, and Babs Olusanmokun, directed by Colm McCarthy. If there’s an episode that remains extremely elusive and disconcerting, it’s this one. Wright (who will be in the upcoming Black Panther movie) shows up at Rolo Haynes’ Black Museum seemingly in the middle of nowhere chocked full of “authentic criminological artifacts.” As Mr. Haynes says, “if it did something bad, chances are it’s in here.”
Of course, that immediately makes us think about how that might apply to him, not to mention her. And that’s before we see images of random people doing some Hostel-esque things to themselves and others. According to Jones, this episode mirrors the Jon Hamm-starring “White Christmas,” featuring three separate stories that weave together behind a focused narrative.
According to Jones, “Hang the DJ” has “quite a lot of sex,” so you’ve just been sold on that one. Of course, that usually ends up being a bad thing in the Black Mirror universe. Starring Georgina Campbell, Joe Cole, and George Blagden, this episode puts the focus on online dating and appears to focus on an app that either predicts or decides for you when it’s time to get intimate. It also acts as a Siri-esque guide along your date that answers questions about you and your date’s potential.
This one is a bit of low-hanging fruit for the tech-focused show, but it also the potential to be a solid companion to season three’s highly enjoyable “Nosedive.”
“Metalhead” will be the first Black Mirror episode to be entirely black-and-white, a stylistic choice we’ll assume makes more sense when we see it. Starring Maxine Peake, Jake Davies, and Clint Dyer, this episode’s premise appears to involve one of those super-creepy Boston Dynamics robots that run, falls over, and gets back up.
Honestly, it’s strange no one has explored this premise before because people seem genuinely unnerved as it is about those robots. Showing us the worst-case scenario that we fear is sure to make for one creepy-as-hell experience.
Finally, the episode that we think most people are looking forward to, is “U.S.S. Callister.” Make no bones about it, this is a straight-on homage to Star Trek, but there’s obviously going to be a very dark twist coming.
Jones describes the episode as the show’s most lavish production to date, sharing that “there are obviously more unsettling, poignant and slightly more melancholic moments, but at the same time, it is a romp.”
It looks like Jesse Plemons is going to have a field day as the Kirk-like Captain Daly while Cristin Milioti, Jimmi Simpson, and Michaela Coel make up the ship’s crew. The trailer looks really fun and campy but you just know there’s something weird waiting for us. We can’t wait to find out.