‘Black Mirror’ Producers Hope “USS Callister” Is Seen As Homage To ‘Star Trek’ – Open To Spin-off Series

Black Mirror’s homage to Star Trek, “USS Callister” was nominated for a total of seven Emmy Awards this year, picking up three wins over the weekend at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, including Oustanding Television Movie. Like the contingent from Star Trek lead by William Shatner accepting the Governors’ Award, the lead actors and producers of Netflix’s darkly comic sci-fi anthology visited the press room to talk about “USS Callister”… and Star Trek.

Inspired by Star Trek, hope it wasn’t seen as “taking the piss”

When asked by the media about the inspiration, Black Mirror creator/executive producer, and “USS Callister” writer Charlie Brooker was clear:

I can talk about the inspiration for the movie, which was Star Trek, which was obviously celebrated a lot this evening.

Brooker went on to discuss their homage being honored on the same night as Star Trek:

Weirdly I have met William Shatner before, in Britain, he was hosting an episode of Have I Got News For You and, which is a long-running comedy show in the UK, and I was a guest panelist and it was the weirdest night of my life. He was brilliant…It was quite surreal seeing Star Trek unfolding in 3D in front of us [at the Emmys]. I was sitting there thinking, “I hope they don’t think we were taking the piss.” Because I would like to think we were paying homage. It was an homage. If you have seen the episode, Captain Daly has misinterpreted the progressive message of the show that he admires.

Executive producer Annabel Jones added that seeing William Shatner accept the award for Star Trek reminded her “what a great job Jesse Plemons did channeling William Shatner,” when he played Captain Daly. Plemmons is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie, which will be awarded at the Emmy ceremony on September 17th.

Jesse Plemmons in “USS Callister”

Would say yes to doing “USS Callister” spin-off series

When asked if they would like to see Netflix commission a spin-off series focussed on the USS Callister, Jones said:

I hadn’t thought of that, but I will be saying that later. Thank you. Netflix?

She added they would say “yes” if asked by Netflix to do it, and Brooker agreed:

We would never say never…we would say the opposite of never…Forever!

This isn’t the first time the subject of a “USS Callister” follow-up has been discussed. After the episode gained a lot of buzz following the initial release, the director, Toby Haynes, spoke to The Hollywood Reporter and suggested there may be more to come, saying “I’m keen to see it as a TV series. I think Charlie might revisit it as a Black Mirror.” And actress Cristin Milioti told THR “I would die if they turned this into a spinoff series because I do want to see that group of people figure it out, because it’s so real.”

Cristin Milioti in “USS Callister”

Sci-fi comedies, dramedies, and parodies seem to be a hot topic these days. Obviously, there is Fox’s The Orville which debuts its second season in late December. HBO is developing a comedy set in space with Veep creator Armando Iannucci titled Avenue 5, which recently cast Hugh Laurie to play the captain. Amazon has tapped Paul Scheer to adapt Galaxy Quest for their Prime Video streaming service. There are animated series including Rick and Morty and the new TBS series Final Space, and Hulu recently tapped Rick and Morty’s Justin Roiland to create a new animated sci-fi comedy titled Solar Opposites.

You can watch the “USS Callister” Emmy press room Q&A below.

Click here to see more of our coverage of the 2018 Emmy Awards.

 

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Gilberto J

Yes! Please! Was excited about this idea a year ago, still excited about it today!!

JAGT

Hehehe, I see an entire new TV show genre on the horizon: Star Trek tribute series.

Soren

I can’t possibily see how there’d be enough in that Black Mirror ep to sustain a series. Much less what CBS would think of it from a copyright point of view. Sounds to me like Jones and Brooker were just trying to be nice when asked a silly question.

Spock Jenkins

I’m surprised CBS hasn’t sued the Seth McFarlane one ( name escapes me now ) – it is essentially a wholesale lift of the premise and portrayal of the TNG era Trek. A “comedic” angle doesn’t make it a “parody” ( or even satire – which it is not ).

I recall reading – I want to say here actually – that Fox’s Lawyers are closely involved with The Orville to make sure that it doesn’t veer close enough to become an issue. That was one of the reasons that the Orville doesn’t have a transporter.

CmdrR

…or funny. What The Orville is is proof that audiences miss the candy-colored optimism of TNG.

Picard Let’s See What’s Out There ✨

Exactly….Disco is so dark in its portrayal that’s it in itself is very bland and boring…The new Picard series will (I hope) set things straight.

DIGINON

The Black Mirror episode worked so well because of that twist with the Captain Daly character. Without that, you end up with a show mimicking Star Trek. I can imagine that this would still be appealing to a writer: You can basically write your dream Star Trek(-like) story but can ignore whatever Trek element you don’t like. Given its retro-Trek elements, such a show might also appeal to some Trek fans who don’t like the current iteration of official Trek – and of course, also to fans of current Trek. However, unless they strike some kind of licensing deal with CBS, a show just set on USS Callister sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Derf

That’s kinda my thought. Unless the ‘whole’ thing is about tackling tropes, toxic masculinity, entitlement, privilege, etc…and not like in a cute, safe, Star Trek way, but in a … Black Mirror way, then there wouldn’t be much point to it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Callister#Analysis

Sarah

I’m much more interested in exploring toxic feminism. It’s very obviously a much bigger issue these days.

GQMF

What is “toxic feminism”? And how is it a bigger problem than toxic masculinity? (Let’s not forget the vast majority of sexual assault and violence today is caused by toxic masculinity).

Aaron

Actually, those are caused by criminal behavior. It has nothing to do with beards, trucks, muscles etc; you know those stereotypical manly tropes.

PaulB

Beards, trucks, and muscles are not the same as toxic masculinity. Stereotypical manly tropes are not the same as toxic masculinity.

It’s hard to tell if your comment was an attempt at humor or just utterly ignorant.

Aaron

The point was once you put “toxic” as a qualifier in front of anything you automatically pass judgment on whatever the following word is. Being a man is not a crime but instead of addressing the behavior of sexual violence which is heinous in its own right it must just come down to masculinity. Hypothetically, would you be so quick to defend it if it were “toxic [insert ethnicity here].”

GQMF

No, those are masculinity. We’re talking about toxic behaviour here.

And what is “toxic feminism”?

PaulB

Sarah – LOL! Oh, that’s funny…hahaha…toxic feminism…yeah, that’s caused SO MUCH ABUSE AND DEATH…oh, you’re a riot.

Congratulations on the dumbest comment made since whatever Trump last tweeted! You should be proud!

Spock Jenkins

Sheesh, do we need yet another STAR TREK parody ( nee rip-off )?? We’ve already gor that Seth McFarlane one, a proposed Galaxy Quest TV series, and now this Black Mirror one being mulled.

No thank you.

Tiger2

I doubt they are very serious. But then they could be suggesting it because it got a high viewership. Hell, it’s the only Black Mirror episode I’ve ever seen lol.

And it just proves how much people love the concept. But the concept here may be too dark and, excuse the pun, warped. But I guess that’s what BM is normally like.

DIGINON

Oh, this episode definitely fit with the rest of Black Mirror. Some of the episodes are closer to our present day, some are more off into a speculative future but they are always cautionary tales of what might happen if certain technologies/social trends are taken too far.

Gary

Do you think Marvel feels it’s making too many comic book movies? If it makes money, no one cares how many series are made.

Phil

When a genre gets hot, everyone hops on. When it flames out, everyone hops off just as fast. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all.

Fabio

It is very similar to the first chapter in which Reg Barclay appears: “Hollow Pursuits”

khambattafan

Could a USS Callister series work? Possibly. It depends on how much they’d be willing to address PTSD.

Darmok

Waiting for Black Mirror S4 DVD next January. Although I have not seen the USS Callister episode, my opinion at this point is to avoid diminishing Black Mirror, one of the best anthology series ever produced, if not the best…

jonboc

It was great, hopefully it will become a regular series. Much better “Trek” than what they’re passing off as Trek over on CBS.

werwe

I definitely seen it as a homage and not taking the piss. Well done. But new series based on in.. Wont work.

Antonio Wilson

So…at last, ST gave birth to a long line of children!

Danpaine

This was a great ‘one-off’ homage, just fantastic. Do I think it deserves a series? No. But I do find it interesting so many people are interested in one. Homages like this, and the success of The Orville as someone else already pointed out, kind of gives a look into the current state of real Trek in the sci-fi fan community, I think.

Tiger2

Well this episode managed to do something the real Star Trek couldn’t do this year and win an Emmy! Congrats. Well deserved!