Black Mirror season 4 is arriving soon on Netflix, and the streaming giant is treating to a series of trailers and posters for each new episode, like the upcoming 'Crocodile'. Last week offered a glimpse at another technological nightmare in 'Arkangel', a familiar tale about the severe downside to modifying the human body with physical implants to make things "safer." The episode stands to be the season's most talked about, as it not only stars Rosmarie DeWitt, as a helicopter parent willing to let a lab tech stick a syringe in her daughter's skull in order to better protect her, but the installment is also directed by Jodie Foster.
The newest trailer presents what looks to be a much more bleak and dreary story. 'Crocodile' is part criminal investigation, part examination of just how far technology may one day peer into our private lives. As the trailer shows, an investigator played by Kiran Sonia Sawar is trying to track down the perpetrator of a hit-and-run, and employs witnesses' actual memories in order to find the culprit. Although vague as to what else she uncovers, the trailer hints that Sawar's character stumbles onto something a woman played by Andrea Riseborough (Oblivion) would rather not be revealed.
Though it's short and tantalizingly ambiguous, 'Crocodile' looks to be about much more than a simple police investigation using cutting-edge (and, because this is Black Mirror, naturally intrusive) technology. The tagline for the episode that was released on Twitter along with a poster reads, "Memories can be subjective," implying that although the technology allows others to view an event through another person's eyes, it's actually that person's unique recollection of the event that's being broadcast. As Sawar says, memories "may not be totally accurate, and they're often emotional." That makes for a very interesting premise, but where the story seems to take a more fascinating turn is when Sawar says, "I don't care what you do in your own time. Private stuff is private stuff" as images of what looks like a cover-up, flash on the screen.
The trailer suggests that 'Crocodile' will blend several genres and themes together as it combines a murder mystery/police procedural with a philosophical question of "what is the truth?" and raising a red flag with regard to society's waning sense of privacy, as the tech on display seems capable of uncovering and exposing the most personal parts of someone's life.
Directed by John Hillcoat (The Proposition, The Road), 'Crocodile' also looks dramatically different from Foster's 'Arkangel', which is one of the benefits of Black Mirror being an anthology – especially one that attracts top-notch talent like those two. The imagery here is dark and bleak – something Hillcoat is well versed in – turning the investigation of a hit-and-run into a stylish technophobic nightmare.
Black Mirror season 4 does not currently have an official release date.