Black Mirror Season 5 to Pilot Netflix Interactive Features

By Trixie Pacis | 4 Oct 2018 at 6:47pm


Netflix grew wildly popular by allowing viewers to control their own binging habits (or, you know, not). Now, the streaming service will let viewers dictate the narrative of select TV shows and films including
Black Mirror Season 5.

New Season, New Technology

In March, Netflix announced that Charlie Brooker’s Emmy-winning dystopian anthology would be returning for a fifth season. The latest update reveals that there will be an interactive Black Mirror episode where viewers will determine the ending.

Revolving around the relationship between human nature and advancing technology, it’s fitting that the series will be a pioneer of Netflix’s interactive features. It may also win back Black Mirror fans who took the upbeat endings in later episodes like San Junipero and USS Callister as a sign of the show losing its edge.

While the ‘choose your own adventure’ model will be new to Netflix’s adult programming, it follows experimentation with several interactive children’s shows including Puss in Book and Buddy Thunderstruck.

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Netflix seems well-suited for this type of innovation. It operates in a streaming environment via smart devices already equipped for viewer interaction. It also targets a demographic of existing viewers who are likely to enjoy having input on a show’s outcome. Specifically, those raised on interactive storytelling and ‘choose your own adventure’ video games. 

In addition to Black Mirror, Netflix has a handful of other interactive projects in the works. These will include adaptations of popular video games. While most details remain top secret, Bloomberg reports an animated series based on the popular ‘Minecraft’ will surface later this year.

Related: The Method Behind ‘Maniac’ & Plans for Season 2

When The Verge reached out to Netflix for additional comments, a spokesperson responded, “Thanks for reaching out! You have the ability to choose your own response from Netflix: this or this.”

Black Mirror Still
Still from Black Mirror Season 4. Credit: Netflix

What else do we know about Black Mirror Season 5?

It’s safe to assume the upcoming season of Black Mirror will continue to explore new technologies as an anthology series.

It’s also likely that independent episodes will continue taking place within the established Black Mirror universe. Creator Charlie Brooker has also hinted at the possibility that the upcoming season may revisit established settings.

“We’ve had ideas for sequels to stories as well, which is something we haven’t entirely explored,” Brooker said in an interview a year ago. “I wouldn’t be averse to it. There’s a couple of ideas already in mind but we’re sort of thinking about practically how we could do that and when the right time to do that would be.”

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As far as plot is concerned, Radiotimes reports at least one episode will be set in 1980s Britain, like San Junipero. Filming for new Black Mirror episodes began in March 2018. When fans spotted crew working in Croydon, photos of retro Chelsea Girl and WHSmith shop fronts surfaced on Twitter. Photos also raised speculation that the particular episode is called “Bandersnatch”, whatever that means. We’ll have to wait patiently to find out.

In addition to interactive features, we can also expect Black Mirror to continue evolving stylistically. Brooker also told media, “San Junipero proved that the show doesn’t just have to be depressing and horrible — which isn’t to say it’s sunshine and rainbows now, but we are certainly playing with the tone a little more.”

Who’s in the cast?

Details regarding the cast of Season 5 are still under wraps. As with previous seasons, we can expect updates closer to the air date.

The same goes for whoever’s behind the camera. With the likes of Jodie Foster directing Season 4‘s Arkangel, announcements regarding attached directors should prove equally intriguing.

When does Black Mirror air?

An official air date has not yet been announced.

Previous seasons aired in the fourth quarter (Season 3 in late October and Season 4 on December 29) so there’s a chance Season 5 will debut before the end of 2018. Early 2019 is also a possibility. 

Either way, Black Mirror promises to return “brighter than ever”…


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