Fans of Black Mirror have waited long enough for a sixth season, which is finally arriving on Netflix this June. Series creator Charlie Brooker has promised that these six will be the most unpredictable of them all. That is a tall order, given how many mind-bending stories have already been told in this series.
Brooker mentioned that reinventing an anthology series is the best way to maximise. He told Tudum, “I’ve always felt that Black Mirror should feature stories that are entirely distinct from one another and keep surprising people — and myself — or else what’s the point? It should be a series that can’t be easily defined and can keep reinventing itself,”
There will be five episodes this season all written by Brooker except the last episode, which he co-wrote with Bisha K Ali.
Here is the star cast of each of the episodes of ‘Black Mirror’ season six:
‘Joan Is Awful’
Directed by Ally Pankiw
Cast : Annie Murphy, Salma Hayek, Michael Cera, Himesh Patel, Rob Delaney, Ben Barnes
Schitt’s Creek star Annie Murphy’s Joan is a proverbial regular Jane who discovers one not-so-fine day that her life has been adapted into a TV drama. Salma Hayek Pinault plays an exaggerated version of Salma Hayek Pinault, who plays Joan in this show! While it might be a dream for some to have Hayek play you in a film or show based on your life, it isn’t so for Joan.
But Hayek had a lot of fun playing this character, as she said, “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play an interpretation of myself. I got to explore the concepts and clichés people have about me and be self-deprecating. It’s as if I created an alter ego where I could do the most disgusting, grotesque things that you would never do in real life, and have permission to do that.”
Cera plays the character of Beppe, who reveals in the trailer that “Joan Is Awful” is “an adaptation of Joan’s life.” His role has not been revealed, but we assume it will be pivotal and quirky.
The Walking Dead actor Avi Nash plays Joan’s fiancé, Krish. Yesterday and Avenue 5 actor Himesh Patel plays Krish’s TV version. Rob Delaney plays Mac, Joan’s ex, who is trying to get back into her life. He said, “Mac is the catalyst for what goes wrong in Joan’s life. Then we eventually discover what he is really like deep down, and it’s not great.” But that’s okay because the Darkling, aka Ben Barnes, who plays his TV version, is adept at playing tremendously good-looking, evil guys.
Directed by Sam Miller
Cast : Samuel Blenkin, Myha’la Herrold, Daniel Portman, John Hannah, Monica Dolan
Samuel Blenkin, as Davis, plays a film school student who aspires to be the next Kubrick but is insecure about his interests. Myha’la Herrold as Pia plays Davis’ girlfriend and fellow filmmaker, who joins him in making a documentary in a sleepy Scottish town. They stumble upon an intriguing local story that is meant to shock.
Daniel Portman (Game of Thrones’s very own Podrick Payne) plays Stuart, a Scottish guy and friend of Davis. The Mummy and The Last of Us actor John Hannah plays Stuart’s father, and Monica Dolan plays Davis’ mother.
‘Beyond the Sea’
Directed by John Crowley
Cast : Aaron Paul, Josh Hartnett, Kate Mara, Auden Thornton, Rory Culkin
Set in an alternate past, this episode is based in 1969 when two men are sent on a high-tech mission where things go awry.
Emmy-winner Aaron Paul portrays Cliff Stanfield as an astronaut two years into a six-year-long mission in deep space. Kate Mara portrays Lana Stanfield, Cliff’s wife, left behind on Earth. Brooker described her performance as “heartbreaking”.
Josh Hartnett, a fan of the series for a long time, plays Cliff’s fellow astronaut on the mission, David Ross. Executive producer Jessica Rhoades explained how 2000’s heartthrob Hartnett puts a spin on his leading man image, “we get to see a different side of how viewers have typically experienced his work. With this episode, he gets to explore a leading man charm, which audiences have seen before, but then things take a twist in a way that I don’t think will be expected.”
Elementary actor Jessica Ross portrays David’s wife, and Rory Culkin, seen wielding a knife in the trailer, plays the as-of-now mysterious character Kappa.
Directed by Uta Briesewitz
Cast : Zazie Beetz, Clara Rugaard, Danny Ramirez
Clara Rugaard plays the titular troubled starlet in this episode. Paparazzi are hounding her after a hit-and-run incident. The breakout star of Atlanta and Deadpool 2, Zazie Beetz, plays one of the intrusive paps hounding Mazey. Beetz’s character Bo might be crossing boundaries, but she brings more complex notes to the character as we have come to expect from her performances.
In this episode, Danny Ramirez of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, On My Block, and Top Gun: Maverick also plays a paparazzo.
Directed by Toby Haynes
Cast : Anjana Vasan, Paapa Essiedu, Katherine Rose Morley, David Shields
Another episode that takes us back to the past, ‘Demon 79’, is set in Northern England in 1979. The episode features a meek sales assistant, Nida (played by Anjana Vasan), who must do terrible things to prevent a disaster.
Paapa Essiedu plays a disco demon Gaap, based on an occult figure mentioned in demonological grimoires such as The Lesser Key of Solomon and the Munich Manual of Demonic Magic.
Bisha K Ali told Netflix she didn’t want Gaap to feel like a stereotypical trickster. She explained, “He always had a sympathetic core to him. There was this thread of softness to him,” she said. “There is a point of connection between Nida and Gaap, in that when they first meet they both accept their lot in life and operate from a sense of oppressive inevitability.”
Vasan and Essiedu are joined by Katherine Rose Morley, who plays another sales assistant named Vicky, and David Shields, who plays conservative politician Michael Smart.
Black Mirror season six sounds dizzyingly awesome, even though we are prepared for some highs and some lows. The series starts streaming on Netflix on June 15th.