Good luck sleeping tonight after watching the new ‘Black Mirror’ trailers

Screengrab via Netflix/YouTube

‘This is the future we are in right now.’

Season 3 of Black Mirror was the first time that American audiences were able to consume the show as it aired. That collision of buzz and binge model meant the third season’s carcass was picked dry in less than a weekend.

The third season continued the series’ mantra of blurring sci-fi satire with reality, highlighted by the episode “Nosedive,” wherein people rate each other constantly, leading Bryce Dallas Howard to the looney bin. The hit-to-miss ratio was similar to that of prior seasons, but the excitement that tingled as each episode starts remains intact. A nice twist was that mastermind Charlie Brooker eased up on the show’s trademark darkness for the lovely, wondrous “San Junipero.”

Here’s what we thus far about the show’s imminent fourth season.

Black Mirror season 4 trailer

On Aug. 25, the first teaser trailer for season 4 debuted. It offers a look at the season’s six episodes: “Crocodile,” “Arkangel,” Hang the DJ,” “USS Callister,” “Metalhead,” and “Black Museum.”

On Nov. 25, a teaser for the episode “Arkangel” was released. It is directed by Jodie Foster and focuses on an experimental technology that lets parents track their children, for better or worse.

On Nov. 27, a teaser for “Crocodile” was released. John Hillcoat (The Road) directed this episode about a device that allows memories to be accessed.

On Nov. 29, the teaser for “Black Museum” was released. It contains three stories in one episode, much like the “White Christmas” special, and focuses on an isolated museum that displays bad tech from the past.

On Dec. 3, the trailer for “Metalhead” hit the web. It’s directed by Charlie Brooker and shot entirely in black and white. It features a creepy, possibly lethal and genetically re-engineered dog.

On Dec. 5, the series released the trailer for “U.S.S. Callister.” The episode is a Star Trek riff that unpacks perhaps the most timely theme yet: workplace harassment and the abuse of power.

Black Mirror season 4 cast

As the show has grown in stature, so has the profile of its cast. Season 3 featured work by Rashida Jones and Parks and Rec showrunner Michael Schur, collaborating on the script for “Nosedive,” which was directed by Oscar nominee Joe Wright. Other contributors included the aforementioned Howard, Wyatt Russell (Everybody Wants Some!!), director Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Beyond the Lights), and Mackenzie Davis (Halt and Catch Fire). So we expect some recognizable faces to drop by in the new episodes.

Jodie Foster and Rosemary DeWitt are confirmed as a director-star tandem for one episode, but other casting details are scarce at the moment.

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Black Mirror season 4 plot

There has been speculation about a sequel to “San Junipero” bandied about, but let’s hope that doesn’t come to pass. Not that it wouldn’t be good, but Black Mirror is the kind of show where bleakness is the only outcome over time, and a sequel would undoubtedly end in a crushing manner. Meanwhile, Brooker has tweeted a few stories he’s found particularly interesting, so those are a few options. Whatever the show comes up with, it will almost certainly be a mix of ripped-from-the-headlines or far-fetched-stories-soon-to-be-headlines material.

On Tuesday, Brooker told the Telegraph about how he was mapping out season 4’s episodes.

“We’ve got one that’s overtly comic, much more overtly comic than anything we’ve done,” he said. “It’s got fairly mainstream comic elements, but also some really unpleasant stuff that happens. I haven’t even seen the rough cut of it yet.”

He added that other episodes thus far sketched out include a crime thriller, one about love, and about five or six that the team is still mapping out.

Black Mirror

Black Mirror season 4 release date

Black Mirror season 4 will be released on Dec. 29.

Jon Hamm in Black Mirror's 'White Christmas'

 

Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance. 

Eddie Strait

Eddie Strait

Eddie Strait is a member of the Austin Film Critic Association. His reviews focus primarily on streaming entertainment, with an emphasis on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and other on-demand services.