The Brookerverse is expanding as Black Mirror Season 5 has officially dropped on Netflix. Long gone are the days of the PM porking pigs and seeing a young Toby Kebbell have his memories replayed over and over again.
Creator Charlie Brooker has never made a secret that his episodes are all connected by a shared universe (à la American Horror Story), meaning fans are led on a merry dance as they look for the various Easter eggs and nods to other episodes.
In particular, Season 4’s “Black Museum” was a who’s who and what had come before. With the all-star Season 5 currently streaming, let’s look back at five of the best Easter eggs to put you in the mood.
Brooker’s Middle Finger
Proving that sometimes we’re a little too on it, Brooker decided to screw with us all. The grimy “Metalhead” was pretty grisly — even by Black Mirror — standards and starred Shameless‘ Maxine Peake.
As the apocalyptic survivors were chased by robotic dogs, fans zoomed in on the centre console of an escape van. Before one doomed character was offed, the console played the following message:
Oh Charlie, you got us good!
Dunts-on Checks In
“USS Callister” is undeniably one of the show’s best episodes as we blasted off into space in this Star Trek parody. However, there was a whole galaxy of stars hidden in plain sight. As well as Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul lending his voice to the angry gamer at the end, there was a Spider-Man cameo.
Fargo‘s Jesse Plemons played the malicious Roger Daly, but co-star Kirsten Dunst also popped up. Dunst is engaged to Plemons and just happened to be on the set during filming. She can be seen walking across the background as an unnamed employee at the Callister Inc. office.
Don Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
Easily one of Black Mirror‘s biggest A-list names was Jon Hamm. The strong-jawed star played second billing in “White Christmas”. The show’s first (and currently only) Christmas special trapped Hamm and Rafe Spall in a winter wasteland.
The pair’s twisted backstories unravelled to a typically morbid conclusion. When the two characters first meet, Hamm’s Matt asks Spall’s Joe to guess what he does for a living. Joe shrugs and says “advertising guy”. Anyone who knows anything about Hamm will remember his staring role as the smooth-talking “advertising guy” Don Draper on AMC’s Mad Men.
Music To Our Ears
While Black Mirror doesn’t technically have a theme tune, Irma Thomas’ “Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand)” has been melodically ear-worming it into our lives for years. The downtrodden Abi sings it on Hot Shots during Season 1’s “15 Million Merits” and Beth sings it at karaoke during Season 2’s chilling “White Bear”.
Elsewhere, it can be heard in Season 3’s “Men Against Fire” and numerous times in Season 4’s “Crocodile”. Co-producer Annabel Jones has said that Brooker simply liked the idea of knitting the episodes together with music.
Like a real-life Call of Duty, “Men Against Fire” played out as a platoon of army grunts went on the hunt for “Roaches”. The big twist comes that the roaches are actually migrants and the soldiers have had their minds altered to see them as hideous creatures.
Giving more than a little nod to Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, the episode echoed Cristoph Waltz’s Hans Landa and his persecution of the Jews — who he referred to as rats. When the soldier called Stripe goes on his first mission, his superior officer is interviewing a man in his kitchen about hiding Roaches from him. It’s a not-so hidden nod to the opening of Basterds.
Now that you know where to look for favourites, it could be time for a binger before diving deep into the Brookerverse and giving yourself nightmares with the tech terror. Considering Black Mirror is one of the most popular shows on Netflix, I’m sure there will be plenty more to come from Brooker and Jones’ warped imaginations.
[Featured Image: Netflix/Channel 4]