1:31pm PT by Jackie Strause
'Black Mirror': All the Season 4 Details
In a past interview with Charlie Brooker, the Black Mirror creator said he tried working with Netflix to create a surprise for viewers at the end of the season three episode "Playtest." The horror romp, which warned of virtual and augmented reality dangers, ended with a sinister plot twist. Brooker wanted to take that one step further and have the episode either play on infinite loop or delete itself after it was watched. "I wanted to do it in nightmare mode where after you watched it once, if you watched it again it was different," he told The Hollywood Reporter.
Unfortunately — or fortunately for viewers who are easily rattled — it wasn't possible. That intent, however, should tell fans of the Netflix horror anthology what Brooker has cooked up for season four, which launches Friday, Dec. 29.
In that same interview with THR earlier this year, Brooker, who writes every episode, and executive producer Annabel Jones remained categorically tight-lipped but promised to deliver on a few things when Black Mirror returns with six new episodes. The pair said the season will be littered with Easter eggs to previous episodes; the success of the Emmy-winning "San Junipero" episode might influence more happy endings (though there won't be a sequel — yet); and there will be new genres, tones and lengths in what the duo called "some of our most ambitious films."
As 2017 comes to a close and with the Black Mirror season four release date approaching, Netflix launched 13 Days of Black Mirror. Starting on Nov 24, the streamer dropped season four episode trailer bread crumbs that led to a 13th-day release of the full season trailer, along with its launch date. The full tease (below) is a montage of episode clips that span the emotional spectrum, fittingly set to the tune of Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World."
On launch day, Netflix counted down to the new episodes with a cheeky, politically-aimed mashup of the entire series. The past episode's stories were spliced with clips of the Black Mirror technologies becoming a reality in the news over the past year, along with resonating series messages from political figures from President Donald Trump to Steve Bannon and Sean Spicer. "What a wonderful year," begins the teaser as it says goodbye to 2017. "It's hard to imagine a bright future, but we can and we must," reads the tagline on the show's official Twitter account.
Happy New Year. pic.twitter.com/XvpfOzHAd1— Black Mirror (@blackmirror) December 29, 2017
Here is everything to know about new episodes, listed in no particular order below.
Stars Rosemarie Dewitt, Brenna Harding (A Place to Call Home) and Bloodline's Owen Teague; directed by Jodie Foster.
In what Brooker has referred to as a "mini-indie movie," a child goes missing at the neighborhood playground, and when she reappears, the mother (Dewitt) turns to an experimental technology called Arkangel, dubbed the key to good parenting, to make sure the terrifying mishap never happens again.
Stars Fargo alums Jesse Plemons and Cristin Milioti, along with Westworld's Jimmi Simpson, Michaela Coel (Chewing Gum); directed by Toby Haynes (Dr Who, Sherlock) and co-written by William Bridges.
Brooker decided to fling Black Mirror into space for the first time, and the result is a 74-minute cinematic sci-fi journey. Similar to "San Junipero," Jones called the episode a departure from the typical because it is such a visual feat. With its fleet uniforms, the episode pays homage to Star Trek but at its core is about "tyranny and abuse of power."
Stars Andrea Riseborough (Bloodline), Andrew Gower (Outlander) and Kiran Sonia Sawar (Murdered by My Father); directed by John Hillcoat (Triple Nine, Lawless).
The Netflix summary for "Crocodile" is: Memories can be subjective. The trailer shows a woman (Sawar) questioning several people about specific incidents and introducing a technology that accesses a person's memories.
Stars the previously unannounced Aldis Hodge, along with Catastrophe's Douglas Hodge, Letitia Wright (Humans), Babs Olusanmokun (Roots); directed by Colm McCarthy.
"This place ain’t for the faint-hearted," says Netflix of the Black Museum, which is a display of criminology artifacts, ones that come with devastating consequences. "If it did something bad, chances are it's in here. There's a sad, sick story behind most everything here," says the proprietor (Douglas Hodge) about everything except the main attraction.
Hang the DJ
Stars Georgina Campbell (Flowers), Joe Cole (Peaky Blinders) and George Blagden (Vikings); directed by Tim Van Patten (The Sopranos, Game of Thrones).
Black Mirror tackles online dating with a relationship-centered story that features singles aiming to find their perfect match. The app appears to match people together but also comes with an expiry tag, as Campbell and Cole's characters have a 12-hour clock hanging over their heads. "It must have been mental before the system," says Cole's character, as traditional rom-com music plays in the background. "Everything happens for a reason."
Stars Maxine Peake (The Theory of Everything, below), Jake Davies (The Missing) and Clint Dyer (Hope Springs); directed by David Slade (Hannibal, American Gods).
The black-and-white trailer for "Metalhead" leaves much to be desired, as Peake's character is heard speaking into a radio that she and her partner found an operational "dog" in an empty warehouse. "If I don't make it back, I've always loved you all," she tells whoever may be listening on the other side of the call as a high-speed chase sends her car spinning out near a cliff's edge.