Black Mirror's going Trek: New secrets spilled ahead of Season 4

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Oct 7, 2017

Black Mirror is boldly going where no previous season has gone before: into Star Trek territory.

In a panel discussion Friday night at the annual media gathering known as PaleyFest New York, creator and executive producer Charlie Brooker let slip some secrets from the upcoming fourth season of Netflix's acclaimed anthology.

But the biggest news of the night was a special advance screening of one of the six anticipated episodes, which put a satirical spin on Gene Roddenberry's classic sci-fi series.

Titled "USS Callister," the 74-minute adventure stars Fargo's Jesse Plemmons and Cristin Milioti, Jimmi Simpson (Westworld), and Michaela Coel.

While critics were barred from reviewing it, by all accounts from those in attendance it's one of the most cinematic of Black Mirror installments, thanks to its epic production values — from sprawling desert locations and scenes set on the deck of the titular starship to the out-of-this-world outfits and expensive computer effects.

"The idea came up in conversation, and it struck us. We hadn't done a space epic before and we thought, how would that work in the Black Mirror universe?" Brooker told The Hollywood Reporter.  "What sort of tone would it have? We ended up in this strange place."

Naturally, the show tackles themes befitting its signature paranoid style and contains more than a few twists (and reportedly a few lens flares too, in a nod to the J.J. Abrams-helmed reboot).

Without giving away any spoilers, executive producer Annabel Jones noted the episode is about "tyranny and abuse of power." But Brooker was quick to add that while the story was conceived around the time of the presidential election, he denied any connection to Trump.

Reactions from media types were characteristically enthusiastic.

Per IGN: "It's a great example of one of Black Mirror’s chief delights: its ability to get the audience to fall for a head fake in one direction, only to make a sharp turn into unexpected territory."

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The Black Mirror braintrust also confirmed that Jodie Foster is directing a more intimate episode, Arkangel, starring Rosemarie DeWitt, Brenna Harding, and Owen Teague (see the teaser pic the streaming service released below).

Other episode titles include "Crocodile," "Hang the DJ," "Metalhead," and "Black Museum." Black Mirror's fourth season will blast off on Netflix sometime in late 2017.