It’s been three years since the fifth season of Black Mirror debuted on Netflix, and word on the sixth season has been very quiet… but we finally have some news.
According to Variety, Netflix has begun casting the show’s sixth season, though no names are linked with the series as yet.
The report also details that creator Charlie Brooker and Netflix are operating on a grander vision for this new batch, which is set to have more episodes than 2019’s three-episode run, and promises that they will be “even more cinematic in scope, with each instalment being treated as an individual film.” Color us excited.
Brooker has been tight-lipped on what’s next for Black Mirror in recent months. His most recent release has been Cat Burglar, which was released on Netflix earlier this year. The show is an interactive, old school Hanna-Barbera style cartoon, where the viewer answers questions to help a guard dog named Peanut protect a priceless work of art from a cat burglar named Rowdy.
Now though, it seems he’s back focused on his day job, which is especially welcome as the last time Brooker discussed Black Mirror with the Radio Times back in 2020, he cast doubt on whether the show would ever return, saying: “At the moment, I don’t know what stomach there would be for stories about societies falling apart, so I’m not working away on one of those. I’m sort of keen to revisit my comic skill set, so I’ve been writing scripts aimed at making myself laugh.”
Thankfully he’s changed his mind and we can look forward to Black Mirror’s sixth season.
Analysis: Will Black Mirror work as a feature-length offering?
Since their departure from Channel 4 for Netflix in 2015, Brooker and his producing partner Annabel Jones have enjoyed the benefits of Netflix and its lack of limitations on running times, but they have only gone feature-length twice; once in 2018’s choose-your-own-adventure Bandersnatch, and on Hated In The Nation, the final episode in the show’s first run on Netflix.
Even in those two cases, the running time hasn’t pushed 90 minutes, so if Brooker is feeling “cinematic” in the literal sense of the word, we could be looking at two hours plus. It’s no wonder it’s taken him so long to produce this new season, then.
It’s strange in one sense, because since his move to Netflix, you’ve never got the sense that Brooker felt inhibited by running times. Some, like the Maxine Peake-led Metalhead, are just 41 minutes, while the classic USS Callister ran to 76 minutes.
If the idea demands two and a half hours, let him have it. Every new season of Black Mirror is an event and we can’t wait for it to return.