Black Mirror’s run of cryptic season four episode trailers continues with a first look at upcoming story Black Museum, which sees a young woman (Letitia Wright) exploring a grisly American museum of crime overseen by a mysterious and slightly sinister proprietor (Douglas Hodge).
Atmospheric with a creeping sense of dread, it looks like another great addition to the Black Mirror world – but perhaps most excitingly of all, the trailer also suggests that the new episode will take place in the same world as a previous episode: specifically season two’s White Bear.
In that episode (first broadcast in 2013 on Channel 4) a kidnapper and accomplice to murder called Victoria Skillane (Lenora Crichlow) is unknowingly subject to a horrific public punishment every day: the memory-wiped Skillane is chased around a suburban area by masked murderers until she’s captured, forced to relive her crimes and then memory-wiped again for the next day.
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It seems that her crimes (and possibly the severity of her punishment) are commemorated in this most chilling of museums, with a picture of Skillane glimpsed in the background of one shot (see main image) and a variation on the costume of one of her tormenters (specifically Michael Smiley’s Baxter) on display as well (below), sporting the trademark white symbol of the episode on its balaclava and holding another shotgun.
Generally speaking, every Black Mirror episode is a standalone story with little to nothing linking them, so this kind of overt in-universe connection is a bit of a first – although it’s also not the first time the series has thrown in references to previous episodes in its later series.
For example, references to the first ever episode of the series were glimpsed on computer screens in 2016’s Nosedive and Hated in the Nation, with the latter episode also including a news item about White Bear’s Skillane on a website.
Meanwhile, the White Bear symbol – those three linked boxes – also cropped up in Playtest, as many fans were quick to notice at the time. Still, this is definitely the most overt connection between episodes that the series has shown to date, and given how prominently these exhibits turn up in the trailer it seems possible they even have some relevance to the main story.
For now, it at least seems confirmed that a minimum of two Black Mirror episodes take place in the same universe, albeit in very different time periods. It’s beginning to look like this series of Black Mirror could be an even bigger gamechanger than we realised.
Black Mirror season 4 returns to Netflix soon