At the end of December Netflix released the fourth season of Black Mirror with the biggest episode being an homage to Star Trek titled “USS Callister.” In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the director of the episode (Toby Haynes) has suggested there may be a follow-up, saying:
I was talking with Louise Sutton, who produced this and “Metalhead,” and she cooked up a brilliant idea of spinning it off into a TV series. I’d love to do a TV series of “USS Callister” — it’s probably one of the best pilots for a space show ever. And I made it! So I’m keen to see it as a TV series. I think Charlie might revisit it as a Black Mirror. Whether I’m the one to do it, I don’t know. Being a fan of the show as much as I am, and being a part of making it, I’d love to work with that crew and cast again. It’s a gift for a director.
Getting the Star Trek right
Haynes, who has experience with sci-fi after directing a number of episodes of Doctor Who and is a self-confessed fan of Trek fan, also said that he “begged” the producers of Black Mirror to give him the job, fearing they would give the feature-length episode away to “some big shot Hollywood director.” He also talked to THR about how he tried to get the details right, noting:
I’m probably a bigger Star Trek fan than [Black Mirror creator] Charlie [Brooker] is. As a kid, I was a super-geek for all things sci-fi on TV, particularly Doctor Who. I knew the original ‘60s Star Trek show very well. I was such a fan that I’m kind of reverential about it, so I was happy to play fast and loose with this version. I knew stuff that Charlie didn’t know, which is why we put Michaela Coel in a red outfit. Michaela had to be in a red outfit because she’s the first of the crew to get killed
In addition, the director discussed how he worked with actor Jesse Plemons (who plays programmer Robert Daly and the computer-world fantasy “Captain Daly”) to get the right kind of Star Trek performance out of him:
It comes from a place of love. Clearly, Daly is such a fan that he is mimicking the way that his hero speaks. It was also a very fine balance about how Shatner-y we were going to get. We brought in a voice coach. We worked it very carefully. Jesse would say, “You let me know if you want to turn the dial up on Shatner.” We did it one or two times where he went full Shatner, like when he says “Fire” in the opening. That’s straight out of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. I love those movies. I’m quoting my heroes. So it comes from a place of love. We’re not punching down, we’re punching up.
If you haven’t seen it yet, here is the trailer for “USS Callister” from Black Mirror.