‘Variety’ has confirmed exclusively that, according to internal company information, Netflix is preparing a new season of ‘Black Mirror’, the influential drama of dystopian stories from Charlie Brooker, after a fifth that lasted just three episodes. That was three years ago, and ‘Variety’ says that the pre-production of this new batch of episodes is already underway.
Apparently, this new season could come not in the form of independent episodes, but as feature films. It is a relatively unusual formula, but one that has already been experimented with in streaming, such as in the films of the ‘Welcome to Blumhouse’ series on Netflix or ‘The Street of Terror’ itself on Netflix.
However, this season can not be totally continuous with the previous ones, since it will be the first produced by Brooker and his partner Annabel Jones after his production company Broke and Bones was partially acquired by Netflix for $100 million. The ‘Black Mirror’ brand, however, was not in the deal as it was still owned by Endemol, owner of Brooker’s first company, House of Tomorrow. Finally, Netflix has reached a license agreement for the publisher with the Banijay Group, current owner of Endemol.
The need for ‘Black Mirror’
Frankly, we had forgotten about ‘Black Mirror’, and not because the five seasons we had seen were not good enough, rather the opposite. In fact, it was Brooker himself who, during the pandemic, said that “I’m not in the mood to see societies falling apart.” Which made all the sense in the world: when the planet began to experience an extremely dystopian situation, the fictions that had predicted it began to be viewed with suspicion.
In the case of ‘Black Mirror’, possibly no episode was more ahead of its time than ‘The Waldo Moment’, which spoke of the rise of a troll-president completely immersed in show culture. A few years later, Donald Trump was in the White House for an election phenomenon that season 2 episode 3 had preached with uncanny accuracy.
Many of the episodes of ‘Black Mirror’ have become terrifyingly familiar, especially those linked to social networks and how technology has changed our daily habits. In fact, ‘Black Mirror’ has come to be described as “soft Luddism” and Brooker reconoce that there are possibly those who see him as an anti-tech old man close to the Unabomber, when in fact he describes himself as quite the opposite.
The point is that some of the episodes, precisely because of this anti-technology edge, have remained somewhat naive. Our interaction with social networks is infinitely more complex than a mere case of narcissism adolescent, and the risks of the Internet go beyond a slight and momentary loss of privacy. That is why ‘Black Mirror’ faces a particularly difficult challenge.
Brooker and Jones not only have to recover the old flavor of the most aggressive episodes of the series (remember that the first, ‘The National Anthem’ was the most brutal of all), but reformulate their proposal. If you want to revalidate the relentless reputation that the header has, its criticism of social networks, the internet, connected appliances and, ahem, the platforms of streamingthe series cannot remain, this time, on the surface.