Black Mirror, the dark, slightly twisted British anthology show, has been picked up by American streaming giant Netflix for a third series. The show, which originated on British television network Channel 4, has previously aired two three episode series and a feature length Christmas special. This third series (though I suppose we should switch to the American nomenclature of seasons now) will almost triple the show’s episode count, comprising of twelve episodes when it airs on a yet to be determined date.
The show is a classic anthology program in the style of The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits and Tales From the Crypt, but it has a more modern spin on it’s themes, focusing primarily on the intrusion of technology into every aspect of our lives. In an article he wrote for The Guardian when the show first debuted in 2011, series creator Charlie Brooker described the titular ‘black mirror’ as “…one you’ll find on every wall, on every desk, in the palm of every hand: the cold, shiny screen of a TV, a monitor, a smartphone.” He also described the episodes’ standalone nature, writing “…each episode has a different cast, a different setting, even a different reality. But they’re all about the way we live now – and the way we might be living in 10 minutes’ time if we’re clumsy. And if there’s one thing we know about mankind, it’s this: we’re usually clumsy. And it’s no use begging Siri for help. He doesn’t understand tearful pleading. Trust me, I’ve tried.”
In a statement following the show’s pick up by Netflix Brooker said “It’s all very exciting – a whole new bunch of Black Mirror episodes on the most fitting platform imaginable. Netflix connects us with a global audience so that we can create bigger, stranger, more international and diverse stories than before, whilst maintaining that Black Mirror feel. I just hope none of these new story ideas come true.”
The show has gained increasing popularity since it’s first episodes became available on Netflix and in 2013 Robert Downey, Jr. obtained the rights to make a film adaptation of the episode The Entire History of You with Warner Bros. Pictures.
No doubt the cast will continue to rotate in this new season and it’ll be interesting to see if the show lands some high profile guest stars (which was pretty common in the golden age of anthology shows). Previous episodes have included plenty of familiar faces including Rory Kinnear (Quantum of Solace, Broken), Lindsay Duncan (Rome, Alice in Wonderland), Daniel Kaluuya (Kick Ass 2, Johnny English Reborn), Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey, Winter’s Tale), Rupert Everett (My Best Friend’s Wedding, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe), Toby Kebbell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time), Jodie Whitaker (Broadchurch, St Trinian’s 2: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold), Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter, Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Domhnall Gleeson (About Time, Ex Machina), Lenora Crichlow (Being Human, Back in the Game), Michael Smiley (Spaced, The World’s End), Jason Flemyng (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Jon Hamm (Mad Men, The Day the Earth Stood Still), Oona Chaplin (The Hour, Game of Thrones) and Rafe Spall (Prometheus, Life of Pi).