Black Mirror season 4 may include sequels to previous episodes. Since debuting back in 2011, the anthology series has been widely hailed for its mind-bending standalone narratives, all of which twist modern trivialities like social media and technology into futuristic nightmares both thought-provoking and terrifying.
The show ran on Britain's Channel 4 from 2011 to 2014, but quickly accrued international acclaim when Netflix picked up its past seasons and commissioned Black Mirror season 3. Thus far, each episode has featured a different cast, premise, and setting in either the present or near future, so the addition of potential follow-ups would mark a major departure.
During an interview on Variety's “Remote Controlled" podcast, show creator Charlie Brooker hinted at the possibility of sequels for some of the previous episodes, including season 2's "White Bear", in which a woman with sudden amnesia attempts to put a stop to a sadistic regime, only to discover her world isn't what it seems. As he told the outlet:
"We've had ideas for sequels as well, which is something we haven't entirely explored. I wouldn't be averse to it. We've got a couple ideas in mind, but we're sort of thinking about, practically, how we could do that and when the right time to do that would be. So potentially. But then in a Darwinian way, a new idea pops up and that wins the knife fight for the slot."
Elsewhere, he explained the the real challenge in crafting new storylines is staying ahead of the real world. He said:
“Because things are changing so much at the moment, you kind of need a bit of dust to settle. Any crazy idea I could think up this morning about the state of the world could be out of date by lunch.”
But fans needn't worry about writers running out of fuel any time soon: "As long as you remain a nervous wreck, we’ll be fine,” added executive producer Annabel Jones.
The concept of sequels is certainly intriguing, but, as Brooker noted, would need to be approached with caution. Some of Black Mirror's most compelling efforts - "White Bear" included - have ended with remarkable twists, and that kind of magic can be difficult to replicate when operating within the same universe.
Still, there are certainly episodes with the sort of staying power viewers might not mind returning to. Season 3's "San Junipero", for example, was recently nominated for two Emmy awards, and though its ending was quite final, it could be interesting to dig deeper into a backstory or re-explore it from a different perspective. There's no word yet from Netflix about when to expect another Black Mirror run, but Brooker confirmed to Deadline last month that he was currently filming new episodes, so it's only a matter of time. And perhaps when they do arrive, they'll look a little familiar.