It’s official: Black Mirror is returning to Netflix for a surprise fifth season. And it seems as if Charlie Brooker has dropped a major hint about the upcoming episodes in this cryptic trailer…
Earlier this week, the official Black Mirror account tweeted a short clip with the message: “The future will be brighter than ever.”
The 17-second video focused on televisions playing some of the series’ best known episodes, before zooming out to reveal 12 screens in total.
It is at this point that every single screen freezes, before a loading symbol pops up on each one.
“Be Right Back,” the trailer promises eerily – which, while signalling the show’s return, also doubles up as a reference to the season two episode starring Domhnall Gleeson.
Cue a plethora of messages from excited fans…
In total, the trailer has received 389 comments, 8,353 retweets and 27,921 likes – and counting.
Which means that, yes, it was the trailer to end all trailers – but what does it all mean?
Well, plenty have pointed out that 12 screens suggests that the new series will contain a whopping 12 episodes (almost double the length of the previous run).
I think that might be 12 new episodes. But when? 🤔— Duquesa de Procrastinex (@luisakayser) March 5, 2018
More importantly, though, is the reference to the older episodes: what if the clips are a deliberate hint that those particular stories will be revisited?
The episodes that appear in the teaser are:
• Series 1: The National Anthem
• Special: White Christmas
• Series 3: Nosedive
• Series 2: White Bear
• Series 4: Crocodile
• Series 2: Fifteen Million Merits
• Series 3: San Junipero
• Series 4: Hang the DJ
• Series 4: USS Callister
• Series 3: Playtest
• Series 1: The Entire History of You
• Series 4: Black Museum
We already know that every single Black Mirror episode takes place in a single universe (here’s the proof if you don’t believe us) – and, as many on social media have pointed out, the specific episodes referenced in the trailer all see characters using very similar technology.
Similarly, each of the stand-alone stories had a pretty ambiguous ending – which suggests that the fifth season is going to do the previously unthinkable and revisit a series of established plots and characters
Did Lacie (Bryce Dallas Howard) stage a revolution after her Uber-style personality rating plummeted in Nosedive, for example? Did Amy (Georgina Campbell) and Frank (Joe Cole) manage to keep their relationship together after they found love in Hang the DJ?
What happened to Bing (played by Daniel Kaluuya) and Abi (Jessica Brown Findlay) from Fifteen Million Merits? Is San Junipero still the happy place it once was? Did Matt Trent ever get ‘unblocked’ after the shock events of White Christmas? How did they decide to punish Mia (Andrea Riseborough) after her crimes were exposed in Crocodile?
And, perhaps most importantly of all, are the avatars of USS Callister still enjoying their newfound freedom?
They could theoretically even do a full spin-off with the USS Calister.— Kat Amsterdam (@kat_ams) March 5, 2018
While this is certainly a good theory, it remains to be seen whether or not Brooker really does intend to revisit his past episodes. Up until now, he has focused solely on stand-alone stories and to change this approach would be an incredibly bold move.
But, then again, it has long been hinted that there are a series of spin-off episodes in the works.
As the director of USS Callister, Toby Haynes, previously told The Hollywood Reporter: “I was talking with Louise Sutton, who produced USS Callister and [season 4 episode] Metalhead, and she cooked up a brilliant idea of spinning it off into a TV series.”
Haynes added he’s “keen to see it as a TV series,” and the concept for the spin-off would be “this brilliant idea that [Plemons’ character] is still alive and his attempted murder gets pinned on someone. Whose fingerprints do they find in the apartment? There’s so much you could do.”
Brooker, similarly, suggested that there might be a chance to revisit San Junipero, one of Black Mirror’s most popular episodes to date.
“We’ve thought about it,” he said in a recent interview. “I think we almost might do it in a completely different form if we were doing a straight sequel, if that makes sense. Maybe not even as a normal episode.”
In short, the mastermind behind the dystopic drama is absolutely open to the idea of sequel episodes (but only if they’re done in true Black Mirror style).
Roll on series five, already…
Black Mirror seasons one to four are streaming on Netflix.