Black Mirror Season 6 Gets June 15 Release Date: Analysis of the Trailer and Episode Descriptions

Annie Murphy has dark hair with a blond streak to the front in the trailer for Black Mirror Season 6

It’s been a long time since new episodes of Black Mirror have graced our screens, with Season 5 having released back in 2019, which feels like a century ago. Even if some thought we didn’t need Black Mirror during the distressing times that have followed, and even if Charlie Brooker was one of those people, I can’t say that I ever really agreed. We need Black Mirror to give an incisive look into the world we inhabit, and into ourselves, and it’s always provided that more than any kind of comforting fiction. So I’m happy to see Season 6 on the horizon, with a release date of June 15, 2023.

Black Mirror Season 6 promises five new episodes of the anthology series. No matter what the trailer says, they aren’t films—they are episodes of TV—but I suppose this isn’t the place to quibble over that.

“Joan Is Awful”

“Joan Is Awful” (written by Charlie Brooker and directed by Ally Pankiw) features Annie Murphy, Ben Barnes, Himesh Patel, Michael Cera, Rob Delaney, and Salma Hayek Pinault, and would seem to center around an ordinary woman who has her life turned into a streaming TV show. It’s an intriguing premise, that should resonate with previous entries of the series like “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too” and “Fifteen Million Merits.”

Two people sit at a bar with an open laptop displaying Joan is Awful on Streamberry

Black Mirror has always been interested in interrogating who we are, how we present ourselves, and how we’re represented, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what “Joan Is Awful” has in store for us. Also, I’ve always found those episodes of Black Mirror that are technologically possible right now to be among the most compelling, and indications are that this one will fall into that category.

“Mazey Day”

“Mazey Day” (written by Charlie Brooker and directed by Uta Briesewitz) may fall into a similar space, as far as Black Mirror episodes go. This one, featuring Clara Rugaard, Danny Ramirez, and Zazie Beetz, promises to center on a troubled celebrity who is being hounded by the paparazzi after a hit-and-run. With the trailer suggesting a reward being offered for the first photo of her, I’m put a bit in mind of how previous episodes like “Hated in the Nation” played with the aggregate effect of social forces.

A young woman looks frightened in the Black Mirror Season 6 trailer

“Loch Henry”

“Loch Henry” (written by Charlie Brooker and directed by Sam Miller) features Daniel Portman, John Hannah, Monica Dolan, Myha’la Herrold, and Samuel Blenkin. According to the episode description, it’s about a couple that sets out to make a nature documentary in Scotland but find themselves drawn instead to a local story about shocking events in the past.

That doesn’t immediately sound like a Black Mirror episode, but I’m inferring from the trailer that “Loch Henry” is going to provide some commentary on the popularity of true crime stories, and may have some other surprises in store for us. Though we should perhaps also note that Brooker has indicated that he views Season 6 as something of a soft reboot for the series, so we shouldn’t be too surprised if these stories feel a little different from what’s preceded them.

A young man and woman stand in an alley in Scotland

“Beyond the Sea”

The last two episodes on our list, in particular, feel like they’re stretching the premise of Black Mirror a bit. “Beyond the Sea” (written by Charlie Brooker and directed by John Crowley) is said to be set in an alternate 1969, and this is the first time that an episode of Black Mirror is explicitly billed as happening in a world other than our own.

The show has always had science fiction elements (though some episodes really don’t), but I’ve always thought of it as set in a near future that I hope doesn’t come to be. So setting a story in an alternate past definitely feels like a turn for the series. But I don’t want to prejudge it, and indeed the clips included in the trailer look compelling.

Aaron Paul looks at his hand, which has been shaking

We’re told the story is one of two men on a perilous mission (in space) who have to wrestle with the consequenes of an unimaginable tragedy, and I have to speculate that this relates to the historical setting of 1969. That’s the year we went to the Moon! So maybe in this version they fail to get there, or something like that. Or discover it’s home to a jabberwock. I don’t know.

Regardless, “Beyond the Sea” features Aaron Paul, Auden Thornton, Josh Hartnett, Kate Mara, and Rory Culkin, so we’ve got that going for us. Aaron Paul has been in Black Mirror before, but it was just his voice in “USS Callister” so I’m not sure we should jump to positing that it’s the same person unless that’s fun to do.

“Demon 79”

Billed in the trailer as presented by Red Mirror, I expect “Demon 79” (written by Charlie Brooker & Bisha K. Ali and directed by Toby Haynes) will be treading into the space of horror more than Black Mirror has in the past (though I wouldn’t argue with some previous episodes being put in that genre).

Featuring Anjana Vasan and Paapa Essiedu, it looks like “Demon 79” will also feature a lot of murder, which sounds like a good time. We’re told that in this one a meek sales assistant is told she has to commit terrible acts to prevent disaster, which is a little reminiscent of “Shut Up and Dance,” but in the trailer it kind of seems like she just kills a guy for being skeezy (fair!).

A young woman appears to have Zed-Eyes in the trailer for Black Mirror Season 6

What’s more intriguing is that the trailer would also seem to show our protagonist in this one with Zed-Eyes, which seems in tension with its 1979 setting. My best guess is that the rationale for that setting will have to do somehow with the “Winter of Discontent” which saw widespread strikes in England and presaged the election of Margaret Thatcher, but I’m not sure how I feel about futuristic technology being injected into a story in the past.

I guess I’ll just have to accept it! Black Mirror Season 6 looks to be as compelling as the show has ever been, and I’m excited!

Check back for analysis of each episode after the June 15 premiere date. And in the meantime, perhaps you’d enjoy reading what we’ve written on the show so far.

Written by Caemeron Crain

Caemeron Crain is Executive Editor of TV Obsessive. He struggles with authority, including his own.

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