Spoiler alert: Do not read ahead if you haven’t seen the “Black Mirror” Season 4 episode “USS Callister.”
Season 4 of “Black Mirror” is going to boldly go where many have gone before with a fun wink at “Star Trek,” in its epic sci-fi episode “USS Callister.” However, the installment serves as more than just a tribute to the world’s most famous exploration of the final frontier.
“We’re not die-hard hard ‘Star Trek’ fans, but we’re absolutely in awe of the craft and the world of it and the execution,” “Black Mirror” executive producer Annabel Jones told TheWrap.
“But the show ‘Callister’ is certainly not meant to be in any way a satire on ‘Star Trek.’ You know it is about, on some levels, it’s hopefully a lovely classy sci-fi homage to ‘Star Trek.’ But on other levels it is about tyranny and it is about someone who has ultimate power — how technology can give us that power.”
The episode centers around the crew of the USS Callister, a ship not unlike the USS Enterprise, with the exception that the shipmates are (1) in a virtual reality game and (2) being held captive by one of their co-workers who serves as their “captain.”
Jesse Plemons plays Captain Daly, the fearless leader who has trapped those he feels have wronged him, including his business partner Walton (Jimmi Simpson) and the new object of his affection, Nanette (Cristin Milioti), inside the simulation by copying their DNA to create exact digital replicas for him to toy with.
The way Militoi’s character ultimately leads the crew to overthrow Daly makes for a tale that rivals even the best stories from the Enterprise.
“It’s sort of us wanting to play with genre and also to do something that’s a real romp,” Jones said. “I hope that, probably in the pacing of it, it’s the closest we’ve done to a blockbuster in terms of the drama.”
But the “Black Mirror” exec said the action also turns intimate. “It gets more and more personal and then becomes a sort of quest, you know, of who can win over the baddie,” she said. “And all of those tropes we play with. So that’s sort of an homage rather than a critique.”
“Black Mirror” Season 4 is available for streaming on Netflix as of Dec. 29.