Fans of the Netflix sci-fi anthology Black Mirror live in a world of uncertainty. Rather than do things the traditional way, Netflix prefers to leave Black Mirror fans in the dark for as long as possible, keeping viewers on their toes about which of their favorite stars will make cameos, whether the episodes connect, or even when new seasons will be premiering. After Netflix dropped Season 4 with little-to-no notice back in December, fans are naturally wondering what's up with Season 5. So, when does Black Mirror Season 5 premiere? It's been too long since I've worried about which technology will take over the world next.
On Monday morning, Netflix announced that Black Mirror will definitely be returning for a Season 5, but they didn't provide any details about when it will premiere, how many episodes it will include, or which stars will appear in the new installment. In a cryptic video (would you expect anything less?) posted on the Black Mirror Twitter account, clips from previous episodes play on what looks like a large monitor. Suddenly, the clips start to buffer, and the 12 blank screens are left with nothing on them but a spinning circle of death (otherwise known as a buffering wheel). "Be right back," a Netflix title card reads at the end of the video. Netflix doesn't say when exactly the show will be back, but judging by the video's caption — "The future is brighter than ever" — fans should expect a super intense new season.
Season 4 of Charlie Brooker's anthology was incredibly popular with both fans and critics. The 6 episodes in Season 4 varied in subject matter and included episodes about a space station ("USS Callister"), and all-powerful dating app ("Hang the DJ"), and technology that can access people's memories ("Crocodile"). Season 4 will be eligible for the 2018 Emmy Awards, so fans will know in September just how strong the love for this anthology series is. But if last year's Emmys are any indication, the Television Academy isn't afraid to give the usual series big time awards. In September, the Season 3 episode "San Junipero" — a love story about two women who fall in love in a virtual world — won two Emmys: Outstanding TV Movie and Best Writing for a Limited Series, TV Movie, or Special.
The news of a Black Mirror Season 5 is particularly important because many fans thought that Season 4's final episode "Black Museum" doubled as the series finale. "Black Museum" features tons of easter eggs about previous Black Mirror episodes, including a reference to the virtual reality afterlife in "San Junipero" and one of the robotic bees from the Season 3 episode "Hated in the Nation." These thinly veiled references confirm that every Black Mirror episode takes place in the same universe, something that die hard fans on Reddit and other discussion boards have been investigating since the show's premiere in 2011. Many felt that Brooker wouldn't give away this major show secret until the series finale, but the news about Season 5 quickly relieved the worries of fans questioning how to live in a world without more Black Mirror episodes.
Not only will there be a Black Mirror Season 5, there may even be a "USS Callister" spin-off series. After Season 4 hit Netflix, the episode's director, Toby Haynes, told The Hollywood Reporter that he'd "love to do a TV series of 'USS Callister' — it’s probably one of the best pilots for a space show ever." He added, "I’d love to work with that crew and cast again," especially Jesse Plemons, who he describes as an "incredible actor." "USS Callister" star Cristin Milioti echoed Haynes' sentiment, saying, "I would die if they turned this into a spinoff series because I do want to see that group of people figure it out, because it’s so real." Obviously, nothing is confirmed, but with episode's director and lead actress on board, things are looking good for a "USS Callister" spin-off.
There's no confirmed premiere date for Black Mirror Season 5 yet, so why not watch Season 4 on repeat until then?