When is Black Mirror season four released on Netflix? Who is in the cast? What is going to happen?
Charlie Brooker's dystopian series will be back with six new episodes, including USS Callister, Hang the DJ, Metalhead, Crocodile, Arkangel and Black Museum
Charlie Brooker's dystopian anthology series debuted its third season on Netflix last year to widespread acclaim, and, after picking up a couple of Emmy awards in September (including best writing for that incredible San Junipero episode), expectations are higher than ever for season four.
Updated 6th December 2017
Find out everything we know about the upcoming season below.
When is Black Mirror season four released on Netflix?
Black Mirror season four will be released on Friday 29th December. The perfect way to see out the end of 2017... Check out the full trailer below.
Is there a trailer?
Yes, plenty. As well as the full trailer above, in August, Netflix released a short teaser to announce the episode titles, which also gave us a very, very brief glimpse into the worlds created in each episode. Check it out below.
Since Sunday 26th November, Netflix has been releasing individual episode trailers for season four, beginning with a promo clip for Jodie Foster-directed episode Arkangel. Check out all the other trailers here.
The second, a promo for Crocodile, seems to show a young female detective (Kiran Sonia Sawar) attempting to piece together a crime with the help of some sort of technology that can access people's memories. Check it out below.
Who's in the cast for the new season?
As usual, each episode will introduce us to an entirely new dystopian version of our world, with a brand new cast of characters. Check out the cast – and directors – for each episode below.
Crocodile stars Andrea Riseborough (Birdman, Nocturnal Animals), Outlander's Andrew Gower and British actress Kiran Sonia Sawar. It is directed by John Hillcoat, who directed the grim, Viggo Mortensen-led adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's post-apocalyptic novel, The Road.
Arkangel stars La La Land's Rosemarie DeWitt, Brenna Harding and Owen Teague (Bloodline), and is directed by veteran actress Jodie Foster, who has previously directed a couple of episodes of Orange is the New Black.
Jodie Foster will direct Arkangel
Hang the DJ stars Georgina Campbell (Broadchurch), Peaky Blinders' Joe Cole and George Blagden (Vikings). It is directed by Tim Van Patten, a television director with an illustrious back catalogue which includes 20 episodes of the Sopranos, 18 episodes of Boardwalk Empire and two episodes of Game of Thrones. We should be in for a treat.
USS Callister stars Jesse Plemons (Black Mass), Cristin Milioti (The Wolf of Wall Street), Jimmi Simpson (Westworld, House of Cards) and Chewing Gum's Michaela Coel. It is directed by Toby Haynes, who directed a few episodes of Doctor Who season six.
Chewing Gum's Micaela Coel stars in USS Callister
Metalhead stars Maxine Peake (Three Girls), Jake Davies (The Missing) and Clint Dyer (Unknown). It is directed by David Slade, who has previously worked on episodes of Breaking Bad and Hannibal.
Black Museum stars Douglas Hodge (The Night Manager, Catastrophe), Letitia Wright (Humans) and Babs Olusanmokun (Marvel's The Defenders). It is directed by Colm McCarthy, who has directed episodes of Peaky Blinders, Doctor Who and Sherlock.
Rosemarie DeWitt will star in Arkangel
What is going to happen in series four?
Check out the synopses from Brooker's co-creator Annabel Jones below.
In an interview with The Independent, Jones explained that the overall tone for the series is different to what has come before it: "I think all the new episodes in the fourth season all feel very different – there are things we’ve not yet explored and genres we haven’t tackled," she said.
"Crocodile is a beautiful, more personal study. It’s set in Iceland which introduced a totally new palette – one of the privileges of doing Black Mirror is the opportunity to create different worlds and moods and tones. It’s a film set in the near future where your memories are no longer private so they can be dredged – sometimes in helpful ways. It’s very different to [season one episode] ‘The Entire History of You’ in that they’re not accurate – they’re memories rather than recordings. We follow Andrea Riseborough, a woman trying to solve a dilemma..."
Arkangel: "This one’s like an indie movie set in blue-collar America, even though we filmed it in Canada. It follows a mother who has a young daughter and faces that perennial question of how to look after a child in an increasingly technical world; it taps into helicopter parenting… I always hope that whatever we tackle, it’s never on the nose and just more in the background but this episode asks how do you be a responsible mother in a world in which you can be all-powerful and omnipresent? How do you exercise responsibility? How do you ensure you give your child independence in a world in which you can have a lot of control? Charlie’s very technical – I’m a little bit technical – but none of these stories really ever have technology screaming down the lens. ArkAngel is a very human story. It was a really harmonious production and watching [director] Jodie Foster with the young actors was just a joy to behold."
"Hang The DJ doesn’t look contemporary but some of the observations and scenes that it tackles are… pertinent to the contemporary dating scene. It involves a lot of comedic moments. There’s quite a lot of sex in it – not a huge amount, but come on, who’s complaining? It’s funny, it feels real, and has that ‘Nosedive’ feel – a very alternative reality visual to it. You don’t know where you are or what world it is, but very quickly that becomes background – you’re just there with the characters, you’re seeing what they’re experiencing. I think there is a lot of comedic wry observations in the protagonist’s story that people will enjoy. It’s beautifully acted by Georgina Campbell and Joe Cole. People will enjoy this one with a little smile."
"USS Callister is a space opera. The challenges of trying to create that world, and obviously getting to play with the genre, opened a whole new opportunity. But I think we’ve put a clever spin on it. It’s a romp – it’s big and ambitious with lots of CG. It’s an absolute visual feast and really high octane. There are obviously more unsettling, poignant and slightly more melancholic moments, but at the same time, it is a romp. It’s such a treat for a filmmaker to be making a film this epic."
Metalhead: "This film is in black and white which is a new thing for Black Mirror but it feels the creative decision was earned by the world we’re portraying."
"Black Museum is absolute popcorn. It’s three stories in one – a portmanteau-type thing – but absolutely full of ideas that whip along and before you know it you’re at the end of a 90-minute film and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, can you please stop? This is horrendous – stop throwing me these things!” It’s just unrelenting. It was the last we did in terms of shooting."
In March, Brooker told the Telegraph that the series will take a tonal shift, saying the new episodes will have “some strikingly different tones and looks”.
"There's a limit to how much constant, nihilistic bleakness I can take," he said. So there will be some light relief in one episode that’s “overtly comic, much more overtly comic than anything we’ve done.”
But while they've got some humour in store for series four, it does have “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.”
Black Mirror will return to Netflix soon (we hope)