We still don’t know exactly when Black Mirror Season 4 will premiere, but luckily, Netflix has taken pity on us and released a couple of images from two of the upcoming installments so that we can occupy our time with wild speculation until the show returns.
First up is “USS Callister,” the only episode of the new season that creator Charlie Brooker co-wrote, pairing again with William Bridges, whom he previously collaborated with on the Season 3 episode “Shut Up and Dance.” The episode is directed by Doctor Who and Sherlock helmer Toby Haynes.
If the title wasn’t enough of a clue, the photo certainly is: the episode seems to be channelling the outer space hijinks of classic Star Trek, from the color palette to the retro hairstyles to the wildly impractical costumes.
The episode stars Friday Night Lights and Fargo MVP Jesse Plemons; How I Met Your Mother‘s titular mother, Cristin Milioti; Westworld scene stealer Jimmi Simpson; British thesp Michaela Coel (creator of Netflix’s awesomely awkward Chewing Gum); and The People v O.J. Simpson‘s Billy Magnussen, who just landed a role in Disney’s Aladdin remake as the token white guy.
In the first teaser trailer for the season, we see that all is not well aboard the eponymous spaceship, with Milioti’s character seemingly being engulfed in a glowing yellow light that looks like it’s disintegrating her. Also there’s an asteroid field, because this is a sci-fi spoof.
The other photo comes from “Arkangel,” directed by Jodie Foster and starring Mad Men‘s Rosemarie Dewitt, Bloodline‘s Owen Teague and A Place to Call Home‘s Brenna Harding. Interestingly, Harding doesn’t appear in the teaser trailer or the new image, which features Dewitt as a protective mother watching her daughter undergo some kind of procedure.
The teaser offers us a few extra clues, since we see Dewitt’s character with the young girl in the photo, then later with a slightly older blonde girl who seems to have blood on her cheek — implying that perhaps her daughter underwent some kind of accelerated aging procedure.
Since Harding is also blonde, and considerably older than the two girls in the teaser, it would make sense if she was playing another older iteration of Dewitt’s daughter. Given the way Dewitt’s character snatches a pencil from her kid (and seems to be hiding in a closet at one point), it looks like whatever the doctor did to the little girl didn’t go quite as planned.
As with every episode of Black Mirror, the less you know before you watch, the better, but it definitely looks like Brooker and his collaborators are continuing to push the thematic boundaries of the series during its Netflix run.