Are you enjoying Bandersnatch, the first choose-your-own-adventure interactive episode of the oft-delightfully dystopian Black Mirror? Good, because it may be the only new episode you’ll be seeing for a while. Executive producer and co-creator Annabel Jones has confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Bandersnatch took such an “enormous” amount of effort that it wound up pushing back Black Mirror’s fifth season.
Black Mirror Season 5 is now due in 2019, a Netflix spokesperson tells The Verge, without elaborating.
It’s not clear how long a wait we’re looking at. An entire year might make sense: The New York Times reports that showrunners spent a full year on the Bandersnatch episode alone, and the past few Black Mirror projects have each been released roughly a year apart (Oct. 2016; Dec. 2017; Dec. 2018). Producers might need to accelerate their timetable if they want to release earlier.
That said, Black Mirror has never been a traditional show — it jumped from just three episodes per season to six episodes per season in 2016, with a one-off Christmas special and now an interactive movie to round out the pack. For all we know, Black Mirror S5 might have fewer episodes than before. Netflix wouldn’t say when or how many.
Either way, it sounds like we may be coming back to a slightly different show come 2019. “We’re doing more optimistic episodes and stories, rather than just dystopian and negative ones,” co-creator Charlie Brooker told the NYT. We argued in January that Black Mirror would need to change to stay relevant, and it sounds like they’re taking that (not to mention the critical success of some of the show’s more optimistic episodes) to heart.