When the dystopian Black Mirror series first premiered in the U.K. in 2011, the show's writers could not have known what was to come in the next decade. At first, the show felt predictive of the future, then, as it moved to Netflix, and the world started moving faster like it was capturing the zeitgeist of the now. With what feels like most of the western world under stay-at-home orders, the show's bleak humor might help viewers laugh at the current situation. But the latest Black Mirror Season 6 update warns that fans will be waiting a while for a new season.
It's hard to know when a dystopian series that reflects the current world will hit, and when viewers will turn away. For instance, one might think The Handmaid's Tale would have struck too close to home when it debuted within 100 days of Trump's inauguration. Instead, it was hailed as exactly the show the world needed right now, and showered with Emmys and Golden Globes.
Conversely, Westworld Season 3 arrived just as the U.S. went under stay-at-home orders, with a story of how even in moments of crisis, people cannot give away their private data for security. It's more timely than the showrunners could have foreseen, as government data tracking of phones and health data is on the rise in the wake of the pandemic. But instead of taking off, the ratings dropped, with the season finale off 18% from the Season 2 ending in 2018.
In the case of Black Mirror, creator Charlie Brooker has made the call to not move forward with a new season at this particular time, feeling that it wouldn't be what audiences wanted.
Speaking to the RadioTimes, Brooker said:
I’ve been busy doing things. I don’t know what I can say about what I’m doing and not doing. 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 any one of those [Black Mirror episodes]. I’m sort of keen to revisit my comic skill set, so I’ve been writing scripts aimed at making myself laugh.
That doesn't mean Black Mirror is done forever. Brooker has said before that the series could go anywhere after Season 5. Speaking to Digital Spy, he said:
I don’t think there’s anything to stop us. We could do one-offs, we could do an ongoing story, we could do spin-offs.
Fans can only hope that once the worst has passed, Brooker will see a way clear again to nothing stopping more Black Mirror.
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