Major spoilers below for the Black Mirror installment "USS Callister."
Before Black Mirror Season 4 finally reached fans' anticipation-filled brains, we were all teased with images of a very Star Trek-esque episode starring such TV vets as Jesse Plemons and Cristin Milloti. Titled "USS Callister," the lengthy installment revealed its true story to be far removed from cheesy sci-fi TV, but definitely still interesting enough to keep viewers invested. In fact, some of the episode's creative team have talked about ways to expand "USS Callister" into a full-on television spinoff, which we'd be more than interested to watch. Here's what director Toby Haynes had to say.
I was talking with Louise Sutton, who produced this and 'Metalhead,' and she cooked up a brilliant idea of spinning it off into a TV series. I'd love to do a TV series of 'USS Callister' --- it's probably one of the best pilots for a space show, ever. And I made it! So I'm keen to see it as a TV series. I think Charlie might revisit it as a Black Mirror. Whether I'm the one to do it, I don't know. Being a fan of the show as much as I am, and being a part of making it, I'd love to work with that crew and cast again. It's a gift for a director.
Toby Haynes was asked about the potential for a spinoff or future Black Mirror crossover to extend the "USS Callister" story, and while we'd be hoping for an episodic trip through both the episode's virtual and real worlds, I can't deny that even a single Season 5 return to Captain Daly's Space Fleet adventures would be worth the wait. It's clear that Haynes, producer Louise Sutton and creator Charlie Brooker had some conversations about ways to continue the duplicitous fun. so we're almost desperately hoping that those ideas don't get shoved to the side as Brooker crafts new and disturbing stories. We want to see the newly instated Captain Nanette Cole kicking some ass, and Cristin Milloti has already voiced her interest in a follow-up.
While many TV pilots out there have trouble making single scenarios engaging, "USS Callister" introduced two entirely different, though connected, universes that offer multitudinous avenues to take the story/stories. On the one hand, you have the completely computerized Space Fleet world, where Jesse Plemons' Daly is trapped as the boorish and overbearing former ship captain of a crew of his digitally cloned coworkers in the real world, as played by Jimmi Simpson and others. On the other side of things, you have the actual real world, where Daly works as a genius and manipulative coder. At least, that's what he was doing before Cristin Milloti's Nanette Cole assisted her digital self in setting him up, and Daly is "currently" locked into his game program, unable to return to his waking life.
As such, one wonders how Black Mirror would continue the "USS Callister" storyline for Cole and Daly. Toby Haynes, who directed the entire first season of Jonathan Stranger & Mr. Norrell, enjoys that bit of plot-fronted conjecture, too, and he teased to THR that Daly's real-world fate could get some follow-up focus.
That's the fun of it, isn't it? That's what this idea is. There is this brilliant idea that he is still alive and his attempted murder gets pinned on someone. Whose fingerprints do they find in the apartment? There's so much you could do. Fingers crossed, you never know.
I love the idea of bringing a cops-and-criminals angle to the world of "USS Callister," especially since Daly is probably smart enough to figure out a way around the wormhole trick that Cole used to trap him. But would he be quick enough to do it before others discover his plans? Also, would Jesse Plemons' former Breaking Bad co-star Aaron Paul be involved as more than just a voice cameo? That's the real question.
All four seasons of Black Mirror are currently available to stream on Netflix right now, and "USS Callister" is far from the only installment that has fans talking. Check out what we learned about why Black Mirror chose to go black and white for the episode "Metalhead," and then head to our 2018 Netflix premiere schedule to see what else the streaming platform will haunt us with in the new year. Then you can hop to our midseason premiere schedule to see all the other new and returning shows heading our way.