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.
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.”
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.