Charlie Brooker on a change of tone for Black Mirror series 4: “There’s a limit to how much constant nihilistic bleakness I can take”

Don't worry though, there's still “some really unpleasant stuff that happens”

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Black Mirror is returning to Netflix for a fourth series, and the dystopian drama’s creator Charlie Brooker has revealed that the new episodes will have “some strikingly different tones and looks”.

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Brooker is currently working on the new season, and is about to start filming the third episode in Iceland. “If we were trying to predict the real world,” he told The Telegraph, “ We’d have to think about where the real world’s going to be in another six months or so. That’s either going to be disgrace or war as far as I’m concerned, and that genuinely frightens the s*** out of me quite a lot.”

But it’s not all doom and gloom, as Brooker admitted there’s only so much “constant nihilistic bleakness” even he can take. So there will be some light relief in one episode that’s “overtly comic, much more overtly comic than anything we’ve done.” 

It does have, however, “some really unpleasant stuff that happens” – it is Black Mirror, after all. “The world is in a place at the moment where I think maybe people appreciate things that aren’t so unremittingly horrible. But you also don’t want to short-change people on the unremitting horribleness.”

Speaking about the Jodie Foster-directed episode, Brooker explained that it’s “got the tone of an indie movie, an indie drama. There’s a mother and daughter relationship in it.”

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He also revealed that one of the episodes will be a crime thriller with relationships at the heart of it.