Black Mirror Season 5 – Full Breakdown Of The First Trailer
It's been nearly 18 months since the last full season of Netflix's acclaimed, sci-fi anthology satire Black Mirror was released, and expectations are high for Season 5. The interactive special Bandersnatch was released last December, but while that was a lot of fun, it was hard not to think of it as a gimmicky placeholder before we got back to the main show.
Thankfully, the wait is now over. Netflix has announced that Season 5 will be released on June 5. While previous two seasons have contained six episodes, according to Netflix this one will feature "three stories." This could mean longer, feature length episodes like the 2014 special "White Christmas," or even multi-episode stories. We'll find out in a few weeks.
But what we do know is that Season 5 has got some big names involved. The confirmed cast includes Anthony Mackie (Avengers: Endgame), Andrew Scott (Sherlock), Topher Grace (Blackkklansman), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Aquaman), Pom Klementieff (Guardians of the Galaxy), Nicole Beharie (Sleepy Hollow), and pop star Miley Cyrus.
The first trailer has now been released. It cuts all the stories together, and unsurprisingly doesn't give many details away about the direction each story will go. But as with previous seasons, the emphasis is on the dangers of technology and how our lives are increasingly controlled by the devices around us. We're gone through the trailer and pulled out everything you need to know while waiting for Season 5 to drop, so let's get back in Black...
The trailer opens with a familiar Black Mirror scene--a man looking nervous around technology. In this case it's Andrew Scott getting freaked out by the buzz of cellphones all around him. And who could blame him, turn off your keyboard sound effects, you absolute units.
Scott and cops.
The trailer then cuts to Scott in a car, being followed by police down a country road. Judging by the shaking hands tied up with cable ties, it looks like he's kidnapped someone. He's also got a gun.
Something happens and the onlooking media, including Black Mirror's in-universe news network, UKN, and public look shocked. Has he shot someone? Or was it just a warning?
The next section features Anthony Mackie with his pal, played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Mackie is a married man who is cooking a barbecue for his friends and family. But the voiceover "Family life is boring" alludes to trouble in paradise.
Secrets and lies.
It seems that Mackie also a secret. He's looking at pictures of girls who are definitely not his wife on what could be a dating site.
His wife, played by Nicole Beharie, clearly finds out. "What is it?," she asks. "Is it me?" Is this another look at modern dating culture? The heartfelt and funny Season 4 episode "Hang the DJ" also tackles this subject. This one looks a lot darker however, and the app looks different to "Coach", used in Hang the DJ..
The trailer now cuts to another story. There's a girl called Rachel sitting alone in a cafeteria, who we hear from her voiceover doesn't "have any friends." She's staring at something on her phone.
A creepy talking plastic robot doll, voiced by Miley Cyrus tells Rachel she "looks incredible."
We then see a character played by Miley Cyrus, who is told that she has "20,000 fans out there." Is this the same story as the one featuring Rachel and the weird robo-doll? I'm speculating, but Black Mirror has toyed with storylines involving people uploading their consciousnesses into a virtual world for a "better life". Think back to season 3's San Junipero, or the virtual game Infinity from season 4's USS Callister. Perhaps Rachel is so unhappy that she uploads her consciousness into a virtual world where her avatar is a famous pop star.
Future pop star.
Unsurprisingly Miley is playing said famous singer. It's possible she could also be e a virtual pop star along the lines of Japanese icon Hatsune Miku? Or perhaps it's cutting Black Mirror commentary about the real-life popularity of touring holograms of dead stars.
"You have to brace yourself" says the voiceover. This looks like the virtual video game stage we see later on in the trailer.
"That thing is poison."
Another creepy robo-doll. "It's not a doll," a voice says. "That thing is poison." We should definitely be afraid of it. There’s another teenage girl pictured, so perhaps there’s a whole range of them aimed at lonely kids. This girl is reading Stone Junction by Jim Dodge, a novel about a character named Daniel's journey into adulthood, amid quote "magic, mayhem, and mysticism". A key thing to note from the blurb of this book is that Daniel is taught the "art of becoming invisible" - possibly similar to these lonely teenage girls who are being marketed this robo-doll.
Back to Andrew Scott in the car. He's trying to get into some software called ‘Smithereen.' using the username @ChrisG - we see from later on in the trailer that this is his name. "Pull out everything we have on this guy," says a voiceover. He seems to be a dangerous man, but he’s hardly the first Black Mirror character to be driven insane by technology. From Liam in "The Entire History You" to Mia in "Crocodile," the show is packed with average people driven to the limits of sanity by the modern world. We see quick flashes of a woman: running, relaxing, on holiday: could this be what sparked Andrew Scott's madness? Being constantly reminded of this woman, whoever she is?
What's in the box?
Anthony Mackie opens up a box. It contains a small, round device, similar to the Callister Inc tech that players use to access the game Infinity, or the Grain from The Entire History Of You He puts it on his temple, and his eyes glaze over.
Someone is having a body scan. It's not really clear which story this is part of. Perhaps Rachel, being scanned for the digital version of herself?
Then we've got my favourite: A Montage. There's ladies dancing (Rachel's back up dancers, maybe?) a futuristic looking car chase, Mackie dancing, someone flicking through @ChrisG's Smithereen page, a British police officer looking through some binoculars, presumably at ChrisG's hostage situation. There's also Miley in the bath, perhaps on a music video shoot, potentially Anthony Mackie's character getting it on (hopefully with his wife), an awkward family dinner, a sinister-looking building that has the same logo as the 'Smithereen' app. Is this is the app that has driven ChrisG mad? Perhaps the man he has kidnapped is something to do with the company.
Who's that girl?
Slow it down enough and we get another shot of the woman that ChrisG seems obsessed with.
We can also see a quick shot of Guardians of the Galaxy's Pom Klementieff, walking in front of perhaps decommissioned robots? Or perhaps blank robots similar to the virtual Domhnall Gleeson from season 2's Be Right Back.
We also get the other side of the scan from earlier: three people staring through glass.
Topher's eyes roll back into his head.
Cheer up Topher.
Cut to a man we've not seen before, played by Topher Grace. He looks sad. We then get a shot of that fancy house on a hill that perhaps Miley was stood in front of earlier.
Hooked on tech.
ChrisG is ranting, shouting "everywhere you look, people are hooked on the things!" We're guessing he means cellphones. The kidnapped man looks understandably worried.
Scream and crash.
Time for another montage! Someone having a brain scan, a car crash - could this be the woman that ChrisG is missing? Abdul-Mateen II screaming, Miley crowd surfing at a concert, someone performing in a mocap suit….
Time to fight!
Which cuts to the most surprising shots of the trailer--a martial arts fight with an old school video game feel, featuring Guardians of the Galaxy’s Pom Klementieff. Perhaps this is some VR experience to do with the mocap a moment earlier? The man in shot is wearing the same cut off ripped pants we saw earlier in the trailer.
The trailer ends with confirmation of Season 5's release date. June 5 can't come quick enough.