What to Expect from Jodie Foster's Black Mirror: Season 4 Episode

More playful and more horrible episodes are on the way.

After debuting a full episode at PaleyFest New York a few days ago[2], Netflix brought even more new footage from the upcoming season of Black Mirror to New York Comic Con. The footage was introduced as part of a panel featuring creator Charlie Brooker and executive producer Annabel Jones, who spoke about what fans can expect from the fourth season of the dark sci-fi anthology series. The footage came from the episode “Arkangel.” The episode was directed by Jodie Foster, who also served as the moderator of the panel.

The clip starts in an immaculate high-rise medical facility. A nervous mom and her four-year-old daughter wait in the reception area until a doctor arrives to explain that they’ll be part of a free clinical trial. The doctor talks about some kind of subscription model for the child’s care, which, given Black Mirror’s history, should immediately set off alarm bells for fans.

A scene from the season four episode Arkangel.

The kid gets an implant in her brain, delivered painlessly through an injection she doesn’t even notice. The result is that now mom can monitor her location and vitals through a connected tablet. But then the doc shows off the app’s ability to let users see through the child’s eyes and things veer into very creepy territory.

The app can also detect when the child is scared and “paint out” any offending stimuli. She demonstrates this feature by blurring out a violent TV scene, which fans will recognize from the season three episode Men Against Fire. We learn that money is tight with the family, so sooner or later that subscription model has to come into play.

The rest of the footage shows mom using the app to delight in her daughter’s view of the world during a game of hide and seek, and later to block out a barking dog. So far so good, but that’s just the set up for the episode, so obviously things are going to take a turn. Brooker talked about how Black Mirror[3] is a hard show to promote because there are no recurring characters whose stories are still in progress.

But also, he said, “You don’t want to know, because it’s kind of like an unboxing video. It’s like a box of chocolates. You don’t know what the filling is going to be…but you know it’s dark chocolate.

We can say that again we’ve delivered lots of different genres, lots of diff tones. We’ve tackled different worlds than we have before. It’s more ambitious.”

The overall tone of the fourth season is said to be an even split between darker and lighter themes with episodes ranging in length from 74 minutes for one to barely half that for the episode Metalhead, which Brooker said “is like a punk single if you imagine the season as an album”. “We’ve toyed with the tone a little bit. Occasionally this season we’ve gotten a little more playful, because looking at the world there’s a sort of 3D Black Mirror episode going on all around us and I thought don’t know how much nihilistic bleakness I can take.

But on the other hand, we haven’t skimped on the incredible bloody dark bits. So it’s some of the most playful and some of the most horrible stories we’ve ever done.” Fans have often asked if all the disparate Black Mirror stories take place within a shared universe.

While Brooker said that’s not the case, he promised that this season would contain direct links to previous episodes. “In this season we do have explicit references to other stories,” he said. “We turned on the ester egg hose.” No news yet on a release date for Black Mirror: Season 4. In the meantime, you can check out what we thought of Season 3 right here[4], and stay tuned for all of IGN’s coverage coming out of New York Comic Con.

Would you like to know more?

Follow @FireballMcPhan[5] on Twitter.

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References

  1. ^ Adam DiLeo (people.ign.com)
  2. ^ a few days ago (www.ign.com)
  3. ^ Black Mirror (uk.ign.com)
  4. ^ right here (www.ign.com)
  5. ^ @FireballMcPhan (twitter.com)

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