We take a look at our five favourite episodes of Black Mirror so far
Season 5 of Black Mirror is on its way! A new trailer was revealed yesterday, teasing what’s to come in the upcoming fifth series of the Netflix show which is set to star some big names. Miley Cyrus, Andrew Scott and Anthony Mackie have all been cast in roles for the three-episode season which is set to hit the streaming service on June 5.
What’s most special about the show is that each and every episode is completely different. From its cast and story to its themes and setting, with each new episode of Black Mirror, you never know what you’re going to get and that’s played a big part in its growing success.
Season 1 Episode 2
We begin in Season 1 when the show was still being broadcast on Channel 4. The second episode of the series starred Daniel Kaluuya, years before his big appearance in Jordan Peele’s breakthrough horror Get Out, and is set in a futuristic prison almost where his character, Bing, must ride a stationary power-generating bicycle in exchange for merits which can be used to buy things.
The episode is a far cry from the series’ opener The National Anthem, which upon first viewing was a surprise to say the least. However, Kaluuya’s performance in the episode, which features a great speech where he rants about the system that keeps him imprisoned, really elevates the episode to one of the best in the series.
2. San Junipero
Season 3 Episode 3
We jump ahead now to Season 3, the first series to be shown exclusively on Netflix and we come to arguably the best episode in all of Black Mirror, San Junipero.
The episode follows Yorkie, a shy young woman, through different periods in time and explores her relationship with Kelly, an outgoing woman who’s always found partying on nights out. It is revealed later in the episode that San Junipero is actually a computer network where people can upload their consciouses to when they die and it turns out that Yorkie (Mackenzie Davis) and Kelly (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) are both old women with not long left in the real world.
It’s a truly bonkers concept when you see it written down but the episode itself is a wonderful thing and the revelation that San Junipero is in effect the afterlife leaves your mind well and truly blown.
Season 4 Episode 1
Season 4 arrived with a bang with the very much Star Trek-themed episode USS Callister. The episode centres on Nanette Cole (Cristin Milioti), a recent hire at a video game company with a boss who’s a little odd and not very well liked. As it turns out, the boss, played by Jesse Plemons, has created his own simulation on a private server at home, which sees him command the USS Callister, a ship not too dissimilar to Star Trek’s Enterprise, where he has created clones of his work employees to be the crew of the ship, whom he can then abuse at his will.
The Star Trek crossover sections are a brilliant high point of the episode that still very much focuses on the abuse of technology that the show has centred on frequently in recent years.
4. Hang the DJ
Season 4 Episode 4
Hang the DJ is one of only a few Black Mirror episodes that actually end on a high note, San Junipero being another. The premise of the episode is effectively asking what happens when Tinder and other online dating sites get a bit too advanced, most prominently in their search to find compatible matches.
It’s nice to see an episode of Black Mirror that doesn’t leave you totally shellshocked for the next few hours. The concept on show here is a fascinating one as the episode reveals itself to have been a simulation all along as what we’ve watched has actually been a dating app working out the compatibility between two of its users.
Interactive standalone film
And finally, on our favourite episodes of Black Mirror, we come to Bandersnatch. The interactive film was released at the tail-end of 2018 and was a way for Netflix to push the boat out in an effort to introduce interactive storytelling to its service. The episode, if you like, follows Stefan, a hopeful young video game designer looking to make it in the industry by creating a ‘choose your own path’ game, much in the same guise as the episode itself.
Bandersnatch was a fascinating experiment and offered viewers an amount of control in the viewing experience they might not otherwise have had.
The way the story of the episode is told is easy enough to digest on one watch through but if you sit there trying to find every ending on offer then it can get a bit much, especially as it could take several hours to find each ending.
Bandersnatch simply has to be included for its inventive way of including the audience in the story while still telling a story that very much fits with Black Mirror’s themes.
And that brings us the end of our rundown. Which episode of Black Mirror is your favourite?
Season 5 of Black Mirror is set to release on June 5, 2019.