It’s been over two years since Netflix released ‘Black Mirror’ Season 5, and fans are clamoring for new episodes. Here’s everything you need to know about the show’s potential future.
Fan-favorite series Black Mirror hasn’t released new episodes since Season 5 dropped on Netflix on June 5, 2019. The long-running anthology series, which was created by Charlie Brooker and first aired on the British network Channel 4, is beloved by its fans and those fans want to know if there are any plans to release new episodes for a new season. So we’re here to help by providing you everything you need to know about the show’s potential future, including a possible Black Mirror Season 6 release date on the streaming platform and more.
The Show So Far
For those who may be unfamiliar with the series, Black Mirror is a show that features sci-fi stories in a Twilight Zone-style format. Black Mirror shows how modern technologies can backfire and be used against their makers, and every episode is set in a slightly different reality with different characters using different types of technologies.
Charlie first created the series, which often features notable celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Anthony Mackie, Andrew Scott, Jesse Plemons and Topher Grace, for the British network Channel 4 before it made its way to Netflix for Season 3-5. And over the years, since its 2011 premiere, the series has been met with critical acclaim and massive popularity, which is why it’s been difficult for fans to go without a new episode of Black Mirror since 2019.
Currently, there are 22 episodes and one interactive film, titled Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. The episodes all vary in length between 41 and 89 minutes, and they can be watched in any order since they’re all delivered as standalone stories. The actors also rarely appear in more than one episode. However, quite a few episodes make small references to previous episodes through the form of an in-universe news channels or briefly-seen text.
All installments of Black Mirror have spanned a variety of genres including drama, political satire, romantic comedy, and psychological horror.
‘Black Mirror’ Final Season
Since we don’t yet know whether a Season 6 of Black Mirror is happening or not, it’s very possible that Season 5 could have been the final season of the series. However, the show also hasn’t officially been canceled yet, so there’s still a chance for more seasons. But creator Charlie Brooker previously said that the horrors of 2020 may decrease audiences’ appetite for the dystopian series.
In an interview with the Radio Times in May 2020, Charlie admitted that he had put writing new episodes of Black Mirror on pause amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “At the moment, I don’t know what stomach there would be for stories about societies falling apart, so I’m not working away on one of those. I’m sort of keen to revisit my comic skill set, so I’ve been writing scripts aimed at making myself laugh,” he revealed.
Furthermore, there’s a potential issue with the rights to the show. In January 2020, Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones — the showrunners of Black Mirror — revealed that they were departing the show’s production company, Endemol Shine group. But, the rights to the show currently remain with that production company. And since then, Charlie Brooker and Annabell Jones created a new production company called Broke and Bones, which has a deal with Netflix for other projects. But because Endemol still holds the rights to Black Mirror, Charlie and Annabell may not be able to continue to make more episodes.
On a positive note, however, Banijay Group purchased Endemol in 2019, and Cathy Payne, who is the head of Banijay’s distribution department, told Variety that Season 6 of Black Mirror could still happen — so it’s likely that Banijay and Netflix will revive the series in the not too distant future.
But would Banijay then produce Season 6? And where would that leave Charlie Brooker and Annabell Jones? “I think there could be all different models, the way we work these days,” Cathy Payne said in Sept. 2020. “We’re exploring a few options.”
If Netflix and Banijay can come to an agreement by the end of 2021, it’s likely that Black Mirror Season 6 could be released by 2022 at the earliest. There was speculation that the show would return in June 2021, but that never happened.
And considering the first two seasons of Black Mirror — as well as Season 5 — have three episodes each, and Seasons 3 and 4 had six episodes each, it’s likely that Black Mirror Season 6 would have between 3 to 6 new episodes.
Bandersnatch is actually the reason why Season 5 is so short. According to an interview with Digital Spy, Charlie Brooker said, “Originally, Bandersnatch was part of season five. So ‘Striking Vipers’, we actually shot before we started shooting Bandersnatch. ‘Smithereens’, a little bit of that overlapped with Bandersnatch. … But then as we worked on it more, it became apparent that Bandersnatch was the equivalent of doing a whole season in itself.
‘Black Mirror’ Season 6 Cast
Since Season 6 hasn’t even been confirmed yet, it’s hard to tell who may be a part of the cast when the series potentially returns. And to be honest, there are no long-term cast members from Black Mirror. Each season of Black Mirror usually includes new cast members, who only appear in an episode or two. Cast members who have appeared in past episodes include: Daniel Kaluuya, Jon Hamm, Bryce Dallas Howard, Daniel Lapane, Hannah John-Kamen and more.
There’s also no new trailer for Season 6, since the show hasn’t been renewed yet, but you can watch the trailer for Season 5 above to remind you how awesome the show really is.
‘Black Mirror’ Cast & Crew Reactions
It’s also possible that instead of a Season 6, fans may get another one-off, interactive episode like Bandersnatch. The movie won three awards, including 2019’s Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media within a Scripted Program, 2019’s Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie, and 2019’s Nebula Award for Game Writing. However, Brooker joked in The New York Times and said that making Bandersnatch was very difficult, so he wouldn’t ever look forward to making another one.
“Run away. It’s harder than you think,” he said when asked what advice he’d give to someone considering the same format.
But, on the other hand, Bandersnatch did really well for Netflix, so it’s not totally out of the question. Netflix Vice President Todd Yellin said fans should expect more interactive storytelling from the streaming platform in the future. Of course, he didn’t necessarily mean that had to relate to Black Mirror, but it’s still a possibility.
“It’s [Interactive storytelling] a huge hit here in India, it’s a huge hit around the world, and we realized, wow, interactive storytelling is something we want to bet more on…We’re doubling down on that. So expect over the next year or two to see more interactive storytelling. And it won’t necessarily be science fiction, or it won’t necessarily be dark. It could be a wacky comedy. It could be a romance, where the audience gets to choose – should she go out with him or him,” he said, according to Variety.
There’s also a chance that a possible “USS Callister” spinoff could end up being Season 6 of Black Mirror. In 2019, Black Mirror star Jimmi Simpson said that Charlie Brooker has “f***ing awesome ideas for USS Callister” spinoff, according to an article from The Wrap. “[Brooker] said that it’s his favorite episode and he just wants it to live on.”
But, the last time that a follow-up to the “USS Callister” episode was even discussed was in 2019, so while it’s possible that a “USS Callister” spinoff could be in the cards for Season 6 of Black Mirror, it’s still unknown. And a follow-up episode would be a first for the series, since all episodes currently serve as standalone stories.
Anyway, if you’re aching for more Black Mirror, we strongly suggest you rewatch the Season 5 episode starring Miley Cyrus, titled, “Rachel, Jack and Ashley, Too.” The singer played a pop star (naturally, right?) named Ashley O, who launches a robotic doll based on her own personality. Things go awry, however, when Ashley gets poisoned into a coma by her aunt (Susan Pourfar) whose goal is switch out the real Ashley with a hologram.
When discussing the episode with Entertainment Weekly in June 2019, executive producer Annabel Jones said, “The whole film is about an artist and how they’re trying to find their own identity and break out from the commercial machine. And as we talked about, the tone gets increasing heightened and sarcastic and satirical, and Miley is all of those things. She has that attitude. She isn’t afraid to step aside and do something edgy. But what I love about the film is the vulnerability she brought amongst all of this. And then, of course, her observations about the world and her personal experiences and what it’s like to live that life and the demands that social media places on you and her relationships with her fans and how she tries to responsibly manage that. And she drew on all of that.”
Trust us — it’s worth a watch.