Black Mirror season 5: When is it released? Everything we know so far

Prepare to have your mind boggled once more by Charlie Brooker’s dystopian series.

A new series of Black Mirror is always eagerly anticipated, so you can guess how excited we were when the new trailer was released today including the first-look at cast members Andrew Scott and Miley Cyrus.

Here's all we know about Black Mirror five so far, including who could be starring in it and whether there’ll be a San Junipero sequel.

When is Black Mirror season 5 released?

Black Mirror - First look at season 5

Black Mirror series 5 is now streaming on Netflix.

All three episodes, Striking Vipers, Smithereens and Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too, are available.

The running times for each episode are 61 minutes (Striking Vipers), 70 minutes (Smithereens), 67 minutes (Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too).

Creator Charlie Brooker promised that the new series was “imminent-ish” after the release of his stand-alone episode, Bandersnatch, at the end of 2018. Bandersnatch was originally planned as part of the new series.

Trailer - First watch


How many episodes are there?

The trailer confirms that series 5 will have three new episodes.

One appears to be about a man (Andrew Scott) struggling to cope with society's obsession with technlogy, who is involved in a police shoot-out.

The second features popstar Miley Cyrus and looks as though it may centre on an Alexa-style doll in a purple wig.

The final episode stars Avengers: Endgame actor Anthony Mackie, who plays a man who is using technology to deal with his underwhelming homelife.

There is also another computer game link in one episode, as the trailer features a Beat 'em up-style sequence, possibly inspired by classic games such as Street Fighter and Tekken.

Episode guide - Titles and previews

1. Striking Vipers

Striking Vipers - Black Mirror


Anthony Mackie stars as a husband who is being tempted to be unfaithful by a dating app, even though his wife is trying to get pregnant.

The Tekken-style computer game scene looks like it comes from the Striking Vipers episode, but it is not clear how this links in with the Tinder-style app storyline.

[Striking Vipers - Reviewed, reactions and all the Easter Eggs]

2. Smithereens

Smithereens - Black Mirror season 5



Andrew Scott and Topher Grace star in this episode about an Uber-style driver, who takes an employee from a company named Smithereen hostage. 

The title was referenced in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, appearing in one of the pathways was the rolling news headline: "Committee Grills Smithereen CEO Billy Bauer Over Russian Bots".

3. Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too

Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too - Black Mirror episode



Miley Cyrus playss a celebrity named Ashley who launches her own Alexa-like gadget. However, is there something more sinister about the 'Ashley Too' than first meets the eye?

The US popstar revealed in an interview with The Guardian that she's watched every episode of the anthology series.

Speaking about her film, the singer said:"I think it’s an important story that needs to be told... such a realistic take on what it’s like working in the music industry.

"It really portrays the overt exploitation of artists and that numbers usually eclipse the creative most of the time."

Commenting on the similarities between the episode and her own pop industry experiences, Cyrus added: "Eerily so... yes. You can see it playing out in the media right now. There's huge similarities with what we see in pop music today."

Who is in the cast?

Black Mirror - Andrew Scott

The cast in the trailer include Andrew Scott (Fleabag, Sherlock), Miley Cyrus, Anthony Mackie (Avenger: Endgame), Pom Kementieff (Avengers: Endgame), Topher Grace (Spider-Man 3)

How did Miley Cyrus get involved?

"After the script was written we were just discussing who could play the part of an international pop star and we thought in a dream world, well, it would be somebody like Miley Cyrus," said Brooker, speaking to press at the launch of season 5.

"But we thought that it was f***ing stupid talk and that we might as well be wanting to resurrect Oliver Reed or something.

"But it turned out that she'd seen the show and liked it and she read the script and liked it and then before you knew it we were having a Skype chat and then she said she'd do it.

"There were quite a few things in the script that she could identify with, and she’s got a very sarcastic sense of humour she's very acerbic, she’s very funny and she delights in subverting things.

"Her whole career has been about the Disney pop-star who tries to carve out her own identity and as a result has faced a lot of opposition from her label and her fans in some respect. She's been on that journey, so she found that hilarious, she was like, 'Oh my God, I can have so much fun with this'."

"I seem to remember she said: 'Oh, it'll piss people off and pissing people off is kind of my thing'."

He added: "From the off, Miley had all sorts of little observations – opinions on the performance, on the music and it was interesting how many things she said rang true to her. In our film, Ashley is surrounded by a dodgy doctor feeding her pills, that's not that far-fetched from other pop stars."

Co-creator Annabel Jones added: "She talked a lot about her experiences and the details of her life have been engineered into the script. She had lots of thoughts about the music and the performance of the music and the look, and the relationship between the idol and the fan, which is a very interesting and powerful relationship in today’s world.

"Miley tries to be true to her fans, there are often lots of artists where it's all carefully managed and touch upon that in the film, also the idea of empowerment and the messages that pop stars give to their fans. We should be very careful how we manage that and the messages we give and you see Rachel following, believing everything her idol says. Does it actually help her? There are so many dark issues."

What will happen in it?

As ever with Black Mirror, who knows? It’s one of the most unpredictable shows on TV as it offers a surreal take on how technology could affect our future lives.

However, Brooker has confirmed that one thing he won’t be doing is giving in to the common temptation of making a Brexit episode.

Brooker told the Radio Times: “Last time I kept getting asked, ‘How do you do Black Mirror in a dystopian present?’ and I was saying, ‘Well I deliberately haven’t written an episode about Brexit, because you don’t know how that’s going to play out, so you’d have to wait and see, in a way.’

Bandersnatch - Black Mirror

“Because of the turnaround time that we have, we don’t want to be completely outmoded. We don’t tend to do things where we go, ‘Oh what’s happening today?’ and then write about that.”

Many fans were clamouring for a sequel to series four’s popular episode San Junipero, about two women managing to continue their romance forever in an alternate reality after their bodies gave up.

But Brooker told the NME: “In terms of a sequel to San Junipero, no, certainly not in its current form – I don’t think we’d revisit those characters unless we had a really, really good reason.

“And I very much doubt that we would do that as an episode. Maybe as a graphic novel or some sort of commemorative biscuit; but we wouldn’t want to pick that apart and tinker with it, as we’d like to leave Kelly and Yorkie where they are.”

So we’re left with the only definites being that the series will explore out-of-control technology, and will feature a mix of dark and comic episodes.

What is the new spinoff series Little Black Mirror?

Charlie Brooker - Black Mirror

The series will be used to promote next month’s premiere and is aimed at Spanish-speaking audiences.

Inspired by Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones'  anthology series, the three episodes of Little Black Mirror will star Maia Mitchell (The Fosters, The Last Summer), Rudy Mancuso, Juanpa Zurita, Lele Pons, Anwar Jibawi, Hannah Stocking, Jeff Wittek, Delaney Glazer and Alesso.

Netflix created the series by requesting ideas from Latin America for their own versions of the dystopian drama.

It will be on the Netflix América Latina YouTube channel on May 26, June 2 and June 6.

What was Bandersnatch?

Black Mirror - Bandersnatch

In late December 2018, Netflix streamed one-off Black Mirror episode Bandersnatch, which was only announced a few days before it became available.

Bandersnatch took the form of a choose-your-own-adventure story, a bit like the popular adventure books in which readers would pick what the main character’s next actions were.

The interactive series was a first for Netflix, and the service is now launching something similar with Bear Grylls series You vs Wild.

But Brooker told the Radio Times: “Characters are defined by what they do. If the viewer is saying what they do, then you’ve got a sort of problem there.

“Because this is interactive, and you need your remote control close by, you can’t ever forget that you’re there.

“When you’re watching a TV show or a film, most of the time you forget that you exist and you’re just caught up in it. In this, you’re reminded every so often.”

Will there be a season 6?

The success of the series means that a sixth series is almost certainly coming to Netflix, but the show has never followed a regular release pattern.

Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones have expressed a desire to make more episodes and Jones told the New Statesman that there are "certainly more ideas".

Commenting on the show's future to Digital Spy, Brooker said: "Black Mirror is a flavour, and a tone.

"We have some, fairly wobbly, internal rules about what it is and isn’t right for a Black Mirror episode that we never really articulate out loud, but it does feel pretty flexible.

"So I don’t think there’s anything to stop us, we could do one-offs, we could do an ongoing story, we could do spin-offs."

Black Mirror series 5 is streaming now.

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