The fourth season of Netflix’s dark Emmy-winning sci-fi anthology series Black Mirror includes a Star Trek homage titled “USS Callister” and today Netflix released a trailer for the episode.
The episode stars Fargo alums Jesse Plemons and Cristin Milioti, along with Westworld‘s Jimmi Simpson and Michaela Coel (Chewing Gum). It is directed by Toby Haynes (Doctor Who, Sherlock) and co-written by creator and executive producer Charlier Brooker with William Bridges.
“USS Callister” will be the fourth episode in the six episode season and will be 74-minutes long. Charlie Brooker talked to The Hollywood Reporter about how the episode is inspired by Trek:
“I used to be terrified in Star Trek, of the face of Balok, the scary alien face that used to show up in the end credits. It used to chill me to the core as a child.”
Here is how executive producer Annabel Jones described the episode to the Independent:
‘USS Callister’ is a space opera. The challenges of trying to create that world, and obviously getting to play with the genre, opened a whole new opportunity. But I think we’ve put a clever spin on it. It’s a romp – it’s big and ambitious with lots of CG. It’s an absolute visual feast and really high octane. There are obviously more unsettling, poignant and slightly more melancholic moments, but at the same time, it is a romp. It’s such a treat for a filmmaker to be making a film this epic.
Talking to THR Jones describes the episode as being about “tyranny and abuse of power.” Brooker added the story isn’t “explicitly about anything political in the real world” but still noted “all of that real world stuff tends to seep in.”
Some Black Mirror fans have speculated that the “USS Callister” will actually be an in-universe episode of Sea of Tranquility, an effects-heavy sci-fiction show within the the show that was mentioned in season one’s “The National Anthem” and season three’s “Nosedive.” Will this be a loving “Galaxy Quest”-style send up or a damning critique with a horrible twist? Given that it’s Black Mirror, probably the latter.
Netflix has not yet announced a release date for season four Black Mirror beyond saying before the end of 2018. Some reports suggest it will actually be released by the end of this year and there may be a hint from the official Black Mirror twitter account which has recently liked a number of posts dated December 29th of previous years, suggesting they may release on December 29, 2017.