What’s that creeping sense of existential dread? It’s the knowledge that Black Mirror season 3 comes to Netflix October 21! At the Television Critics Association press tour, Netflix shared not only the release date, but also episode titles, stars, and directors… including the surprising information that Parks and Recreation creator Michael Schur and Rashida Jones co-wrote one of next season’s episodes.
Executive producers Charlie Brooker (also creator) and Annabel Jones wouldn’t give too much away, but they did discuss the shifting tone of the show as it has moved from Channel 4 to Netflix. According to Jones, Netflix challenged them to be “ambitious in scale—bigger and crazier. But we hope they still feel very human and grounded. At the heart, there’s a human dilemma we’re solving.” Brooker agreed: “Technology is never the villain. It’s always about human failures and human messes.”
That said, it sounds like they’ve come up with some eerie thought experiments combining futuristic technology and that oh-so-reliable human failure that has made past episodes so chilling. They shared some hints, including that the episode “Nosedive” is “a social satire about identity in the social media age—quite a playful episode, but also quite nightmarish.” “Hated in the Nation” will comment on police procedurals, while the season finale “Playtest” tackles video games. Here’s the full episode list:
- “San Junipero” (season premiere) stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Mackenzie Davis; directed by Owen Harris
- “Shut Up And Dance” stars Jerome Flynn and Alex Lawther; directed by James Watkins
- “Nosedive” stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Alice Eve and James Norton; directed by Joe Wright
- “Men Against Fire” stars Michael Kelly, Malachi Kirby and Madeline Brewer; directed by Jakob Verbruggen
- “Hated in the Nation” stars Kelly MacDonald; directed by James Hawes
- “Playtest” (season finale) stars Wyatt Russell and Hannah John-Kamen; directed by Dan Trachtenberg
Poetic, noble land mermaid Jones and Schur co-wrote “Nosedive” with Brooker (lead writer on all episodes), and now we can do nothing but fantasize about how these devious bastards are going to twist social media around in a way that will make us simultaneously tweet our adoration for the episode and uninstall Twitter/Instagram/Vine/Snapchat/anything that connects us to other failures of human beings.
Top image from a delightfully twisted Black Mirror ad