Yesterday, thanks to a presentation at the Television Film Critics' Association press tour, we learned that Netflix's highly-anticipated third season of Black Mirror would be arriving on October 21st. There was little to go on beyond that premiere date, but still: there was much rejoicing.
Today, we know a bit more. Here's a full episode rundown for Black Mirror, season three: episode titles, headlining cast members, and who's directing each episode.
- 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.
As previously reported, Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker is onboard as the lead writer for every one of the episodes...except "Nosedive". That one's been written by Parks And Rec's Rashida Jones and Michael Schur, both of whom are apparently big fans of the series (according to IndieWire, Brooker said "the feeling was mutual"). Raise your hand if you saw that coming.
Most of the season's plot details are being kept under wraps, but we do know a bit about a few of them: "Nosedive" is reportedly "a social satire about identity in the social media age", "Hated In The Nation" offers a new take on police procedurals, and "Playtest" is a video game-themed episode.
During the presentation, executive producer Annabel Jones noted that Netflix encouraged Brooker and company 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, saying: "Technology is never the villain. It’s always about human failures and human messes.”
As for this season's directors: Owen Harris previously directed the Black Mirror S2 episode "Be Right Back" (one of the series' best), as well as a 2015 film called Kill Your Friends. James Watkins directed Daniel Radcliffe in the surprise 2012 horror hit The Woman In Black. Joe Wright is, of course, the director of Hanna and Atonement. Jakob Verbruggen and James Hawes have mostly worked in television (respectively: The Fall, House Of Cards; Penny Dreadful, The Mill), while Dan Trachtenberg is best known for this summer's 10 Cloverfield Lane.
Aaand...that's about all we know at this time! This is, in fact, probably all we're going to find out before Black Mirror returns on October 21st, though we expect a season three trailer to arrive in the not-too-distant future. Stay tuned for that.