When is Black Mirror season 5 released on Netflix? Who is in the cast? What is going to happen?
Andrew Scott, Miley Cyrus and more star in the three new episodes of Charlie Brooker's sci-fi anthology series
But they're not stopping there.
June 2019 brings us a whole new season of Black Mirror, with three new episodes debuting slightly later than usual due to the work required on Bandersnatch.
“Doing Bandersnatch was like doing several episodes at once,” Brooker told RadioTimes.com, “so in one respect the other season five episodes are more straightforward, though they all come with their own challenges.”
Find out more about Black Mirror season five below.
When is Black Mirror season five released on Netflix?
Season five will be released at on Wednesday 5th June 2019 at 8am BST.
The season will be slightly shorter this year following the release of Bandersnatch, made up of just three new episodes.
Charlie Brooker had previously told RadioTimes.com that season five episodes were "imminent-ish" following the release of Bandersnatch.
Brooker explained that while some of the filming work was completed before the ambitious choose-your-own-adventure movie, work on the rest of season five would continue following Bandernsatch's completion.
“We’d already shot like, one of the episodes of season five before we did Bandersnatch,” Brooker said.
“At one point we weren’t sure whether we were going to make Bandersnatch part of season five.
“It was Netflix’s suggestion as well: ‘let’s do it as its own thing’. As it expanded and got bigger and bigger and bigger it became apparent that the way to do this was to do it as a standalone thing.”
Is there a trailer for Black Mirror season five?
The streaming service followed this main trailer with a series of episode-specific trailers, which you can see below.
Black Mirror episode titles
The season five episode titles, along with teaser trailers for each individual trailer, have now been revealed. Find out more about each episode below:
Black Mirror: Smithereens
Starring Andrew Scott, Topher Grace and Damson Idris
A cab driver with an agenda (Andrew Scott) becomes the centre of attention on a day that rapidly spirals out of control.
Black Mirror: Rachel, Jack and Ashley, Too
Starring Miley Cyrus, Angourie Rice and Madison Davenport
A lonely teenager yearns to connect with her favourite pop star - Miley Cyrus' Ashley O - whose charmed existence isn’t quite as rosy it appears…
You can check out a full Ashley O music video for On a Roll (a bubblegum pop interpolation of Nine Inch Nails Head Like a Hole) below.
Black Mirror: Striking Vipers
Starring Anthony Mackie, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Nicole Beharie, Pom Klementieff and Ludi Lin
Two estranged college friends reunite in later life, triggering a series of events that could alter their lives forever.
How dark is Black Mirror season five?
Charlie Brooker hinted to RadioTimes.com that season five would contain “a mix” of Black Mirror’s trademark nihilistic tone and some slightly lighter episodes.
“They’re all different tones, so [doing the full series] is quite similar to Bandersnatch in that respect,” added co-showrunner Annabel Jones.
They also explained that earlier suggestions that new episodes would be more overtly political in tone may be wide of the mark.
“Last time I kept getting asked, ‘How do you do Black Mirror in a dystopian present?’ and I was saying, ‘Well I deliberately haven’t written an episode about Brexit, because you don’t know how that’s going to play out, so you’d have to wait and see, in a way.’" Brooker said.
“Because of the turnaround time that we have, we don’t want to be completely outmoded. We don’t tend to do things where we go, ‘Oh what’s happening today?’ and then write about that. So I don’t know that that’s true."
There have been calls from some fans to return to previous Black Mirror stories with the new episodes, in particular the surprisingly uplifting episode San Junipero.
However, Brooker has sounded a note of caution when it comes to expecting any 'sequels'.
“In terms of a sequel to San Junipero, no, certainly not in its current form – I don’t think we’d revisit those characters unless we had a really, really good reason," Brooker told NME. "And I very much doubt that we would do that as an episode. Maybe as a graphic novel or some sort of commemorative biscuit; but we wouldn’t want to pick that apart and tinker with it, as we’d like to leave Kelly and Yorkie where they are.”
That said, it's becoming increasingly clear that Black Mirror's creators are keen to drop subtle references and Easter eggs linking previous episodes together. Whether this is all building to some huge revelation is unclear, but keep your eyes peeled for similar tricks when season five is released.
Who is in the cast of Black Mirror season five?
Along with everything else, the stars of Black Mirror season five at first were a closely guarded secret. But the first one to emerge was a biggie: Miley Cyrus.
The singer and actress's appearance had been heavily rumoured, with Cyrus herself even appearing to confirm the rumours in an interview with radio host Howard Stern.
"If you guess it, then I will shake my head 'yes' or 'no'," she said according to The Hollywood Reporter, before Stern told listeners that she'd confirmed the news.
She quickly backtracked, but later said mysteriously, "I'm really actually excited for everyone to watch the 'headshaking project' we said yes to."
The first trailer for season five confirmed that she would indeed feature in one of the three new episodes.
The other big reveal in the season five trailer was the appearance of Sherlock and Fleabag star Andrew Scott, who features heavily in the new footage.
Mackie is best known for playing Falcon in Avengers: Infinity War as well as in the Captain America movies and Ant-Man.
He is also taking on the lead role of Takeshi Kovacs in the second series of Altered Carbon.
Abdul-Mateen II, last seen as Black Manta in Aquaman, is in talks to take on the lead role in Jordan Peele’s Candyman sequel, and will be soon be seen in HBO’s Watchmen.
Other stars confirmed by Netflix include Topher Grace, Damson Idris, Nicole Beharie, Pom Klementieff, Angourie Rice, Madison Davenport and Ludi Lin. Check the episode titles above to find out which episodes they feature in.
Will there be any more Black Mirror choose your own adventure episodes?
Having done one interactive episode, Brooker has had plenty of ideas about what could happen next when it comes to choose your own adventure TV – but don't expect them to feature in Black Mirror anytime soon.
“I could also see a true crime documentary where you’re sort of investigating leads… and you’re eventually killing someone," Brooker said. "No, not really!
“There’s loads of scenarios you could think of. You could do an action thing – there’s all sorts of different genres where you could see where it would apply itself.”
The plot of Bandersnatch was closely aligned to the format, but Brooker has warned that there are issues when making interactive TV that anyone wishing to take the format on would have to deal with.
"Characters are defined by what they do. If the viewer is saying what they do, then you’ve got a sort of problem there,” he explained.
“It’s a tricky one, in that on the one level Bandersnatch allows you hopefully to sit back and sort of watch it as a piece of drama,” Brooker continued.
“On the other hand, we were also acutely aware that because this is interactive, and you need your remote control close by, you can’t ever forget that you’re there.
“When you’re watching a TV show or a film, most of the time you forget that you exist and you’re just caught up in it. In this, you’re reminded every so often, and you had to be.”
Read more about how Black Mirror: Bandersnatch came together by pressing 'next' below
As long rumoured, Bandersnatch is an interactive film allowing users to choose their own adventure. It starts off with a choice as simple as deciding on a brand of cereal...
...Or a decision to hit play on either the Thompson Twins or Now 2.
The two options hover at the bottom of your screen and you use your mouse to pick one, with the transition into your chosen adventure taking place seamlessly.
BUT once you've gone past a particular choice, you can't simply rewind and change your mind – there’s no option to skip back to before your most recent decision. Having said that, the story does give you the chance to travel backwards and choose differently once you’ve reached the end of various story strands so you get the option to explore the film’s multiple pathways.
Fionn Whithead and Will Poulter lead the cast as Stefan and Colin. They are joined by Craig Parkinson as Stefan's dad Peter, Asim Chaudhry as Mohan Tucker and Alice Lowe as therapist Dr Haynes.
What is Bandersnatch about?
Well, this is a tricky one as the plot plays out differently depending on who is watching.
But we can tell you: it's set in 1984, and is about 19-year-old game developer Stefan (Whitehead), who is turning a choose-your-own adventure book into a fictional video game. Early on he starts to realise he has lost his free will, and that some force beyond his control is making his decisions for him...
Beyond that, we won't dig into exactly what happens (if you're after spoilers, click here instead) – but before the film's release, internet users were quick to theorise about what the title 'Bandersnatch' could refer to. A bandersnatch is a character in Lewis Carroll's Through The Looking Glass and nonsense poem The Hunting of the Snark.
However, perhaps more intriguingly, fans realised the title also referred to a 1984 computer game project that never saw the light of day.
And even more intriguingly, the game has already featured in a previous episode of Black Mirror: the title was spotted on the front cover of a gaming magazine in season three's Playtest.
How long is Bandersnatch?
According to a Wired piece, there are two and a half hours of footage in Bandersnatch, but most of the Netflix employees who tested out the film did so in between 60 and 75 minutes.
What devices can Bandersnatch be watched on?
According to Netflix, interactive content – including Bandersnatch – can be watched on newer devices including "smart TVs, streaming media players, game consoles, and iOS devices running the latest version of the Netflix app."
BUT the episode does not currently work on Google Chromecast, Apple TV, the Windows App and browsers using Silverlight. No word yet on when that will change, but it's believed that Netflix did not have time to optimise their content for those platforms before Bandersnatch's release.
These are Netflix's official guidelines:
- Chromecasts, the Windows App, browsers using Silverlight and Apple TVs do not support interactive content at this time.
- Sometimes a device update is needed to ensure your TV has the newest Netflix app. If you're not sure how to update the system software on your TV, you can check your owner's manual or contact the manufacturer. Please note that an update does not guarantee that your TV will be compatible with interactive content.
- For steps on updating the application on an iOS device, see How do I update the Netflix app on my iPhone, iPad or iPod touch?
- Playback on Android is only supported with Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout (Android 6.11 or later) and Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (Android 6.19 or later).
How was Bandersnatch created?
Charlie Brooker had previously stated that season five features “the most complicated thing we’ve ever done" – seemingly referring to his groundbreaking interactive episode.
According to Wired, the process saw Brooker create a seven page outline which became a 170-page script – the equivalent of four episodes' worth of work – with Netflix building its own software in order to bring it to life.
The total footage is divided into 250 segments all hidden behind the web of decisions presented to viewers. There are also 41 recaps which will play when the viewer lands on any one of the episode's many endings, giving an overview of the decisions made.
The episode is not available for Netflix users to download thanks to the large files required for the multiple versions of the same scene.
Is there a trailer for Bandersnatch?
Yes, there is – you can watch it below and read our trailer breakdown here:
Where was Bandersnatch filmed?
The Black Mirror production crew and cast were spotted filming in south London Croydon in April. Residents were informed of this via a letter which confirmed the show would be occupying the roads of "beautiful" Croydon.
Set pictures gave a sneak peek of the 1980s Britain seen in Bandersnatch. Several of the shots show a retro WHSmith kitted out with old school magazines, books and classic vinyl. Check out the pictures below for a gust of nostalgia.