Charlie Brooker, writer and showrunner of the megahit Netflix sci-fi anthology Black Mirror, has just sat down with Telegraph and revealed, among other things, plot hints for most of the Season 4 episodes. He also revealed the probable release date for the season itself and talked a bit about how scary accurate many of Black Mirror’s “predictions” have turned out to be.
First, a bit of context. Season 3 of Black Mirror, which debuted last October, was the first to be released on Netflix. During its first two seasons, the show had been aired exclusively on British television, which is why it was not until the king of TV streaming bought the rights and brought it worldwide that Black Mirror — a show in which each episode focuses on an isolated story about technology overstepping its boundaries and negatively affecting human interactions — took the internet all over the world by storm.
Brooker’s Plot Hints For Black Mirror Season 4
One of the reasons people love Black Mirror so much is because it is so varied. Almost every episode takes a different tone and, while still maintaining interesting and believable storytelling and writing, focuses on topics that are almost completely distinct from what Black Mirror has covered before. Brooker’s team acknowledges this and plans to carry it on into Season 4.
“When we did previous seasons, we realized after we’d done the first two that basically each one was a slightly different genre, and we actively approached the first Netflix season like that,” Brooker told the site, referencing the fact that the third season was the first to be on Netflix. “We’re carrying that forward [into Season 4], so we’ve got some strikingly different tones and looks.”
Black Mirror’s Season 3, for example, contained a dystopian road trip episode, a virtual reality horror story, a more straightforward blackmail thriller, a sci-fi romance, a look at the future of warfare, and a next-gen crime procedural. And although he didn’t say exactly what Season 4’s episodes would bring, Brooker did give quite a good idea in the interview.
“We’ve got one that’s overtly comic, much more overtly comic than anything we’ve done,” he revealed. “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.
“Then, Jodie Foster’s done one, that’s more got the tone of an indie movie, an indie drama. There’s a mother and daughter relationship in it.”
Black Mirror fans certainly have something to look forward to with the entrance of Jodie Foster, a veteran director but Black Mirror first-timer, into the show’s world. That’s not all, though.
“The one we’re about to shoot is a crime thriller,” Brooker continues. “And we’re doing one that’s got relationships at the heart of it.
“And then five and six are slightly still up for grabs.”
Brooker also reflected that the season is taking yet another step up from its predecessors in terms of richness of ideas.
“As [Black Mirror] has gone along,” he comments, “it’s probably become more high concept in many ways – partly because we’re trying not to repeat things we’ve done before, so it gets slightly more difficult.”
Only the season’s actual release will tell for sure, but it sounds like it’s shaping up to be something that will not disappoint.
Black Mirror Season Four Release Date
Speaking of the season’s debut, Brooker mentioned a probable time of release… almost. He said that work on the episodes is underway but not finished, which means the ETA for the upcoming season of Black Mirror should fall in autumn. That makes a lot of sense, as Netflix tends to release consecutive seasons of its shows on an annual basis and, as mentioned above, Season 3 was first seen in October 2016. Black Mirror doesn’t look to be an exception.
Brooker On Black Mirror’s Uncanny Predictions
Probably one of the reasons Black Mirror has gained such an excellent reputation online is that real-world news developments have started to act as guerrilla marketing campaigns for the show. In other words, current events have all too often actually mirrored the events of the show — even if the Black Mirror episodes in question were produced much before they came true.
For example, Brooker noted, there was an episode in Season 2 of Black Mirror focusing on a cartoon character who rose to political dominance as a trash-mouthed candidate who supposedly sympathized with the little man. Many fans have pointed out it is eerily reminiscent of Donald Trump’s political reign.
And then there was Black Mirror’s Season 3 finale, which proposed half-drone worker bees that flew around pollinating flowers. Almost precisely the same thing is now actually happening in Japan, Brooker continues, citing recent news stories such as that by Bustle.
Or there’s Black Mirror’s first-ever episode, which envisioned the leader of Britain being blackmailed into having sex with a pig. It was later discovered that the same thing happened a long time ago to real-life UK Prime Minister David Cameron. Brooker insists he had no idea at the time of writing that such an incident had taken place.
He told the online magazine that he was only bemused how closely Black Mirror could come to predicting the events of the real world.
“This morning someone tweeted me a thing where they’d looked at the top three or four stories on a news website and said ‘I pity anyone who’s trying to think of near-future sci-fi at the moment,'” Brooker chuckled. “It was all things that sound like Black Mirror storylines.”
Black Mirror fans have a lot to be excited about if Charlie Brooker is a reliable source (and he definitely is). Leave your thoughts about the upcoming season in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Putu Sayoga/Getty Images]