Given how generally terrible the real world has been in recent years, you may not have actually noticed that we haven't had new episodes of the dystopian science fiction series Black Mirror on our screens for going on three years now. But, apparently, Netflix is finally working on changing that.
The series, an anthology that's basically a modern, more technologically savvy version of The Twilight Zone, explores the ways that things like social media apps, online home security systems, dating services, smart assistants, and other devices that we freely and unquestioningly give our data to have all had unanticipated (and generally negative!) effects on modern society. Each episode is a standalone story and the series can be watched in pretty much any order. (Though there are hints that some of the tales may exist within a larger shared universe.)
Season 5 premiered in June of 2019 and featured stories starring famous faces like Miley Cyrus and Anthony Mackie. Previous installments have featured everyone from Hayley Atwell and Jessica Brown Findlay to Domhnall Gleeson and Jon Hamm.)
Creator Charlie Brooker, who has penned all but two installments of the show, took a break from the world of Black Mirror in the wake of its fifth season release, questioning whether the we all really needed to see more stories about societies falling apart while the real-life news emerging all around us was so bleak. (And, remember, this is before the global coronavirus pandemic arrived.) Fans feared his decision to focus on other projects meant we might never get new episodes again. It's nice to be wrong!
But what, specifically, has inspired him to return to the series now is anyone's guess. Maybe he's been galvanized by the global lockdowns and lightspeed healthcare developments of the past few years. Maybe he's decided the world needs simply more escapism, regardless of its tone. Or maybe he's just realized that everything is going to be horrible for a while so he might as well entertain us along the way. Who can say? Regardless of the reason, we're getting more Black Mirror, and that's what really matters.
According to Variety, Season 6 will have more episodes than Season 5, which featured just three installments ("Striking Vipers," "Smithereens," and "Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too") and will continue to embrace the more cinematic approach we've seen in recent seasons of the show, with each episode clocking in at over an hour and boasting high production values. Though casting is said to be underway on the new season, there's no word yet on what sort of stories it might tell. So start your dystopian speculation engines I guess. (Tik Tok episode or we riot, is all I'm saying.)
Seasons 1-5 of Black Mirror are currently streaming on Netflix.