Black Mirror season 6 trailer breakdown: Everything we know so far

A still taken from the trailer of season six of Black Mirror of Paapa Essiedu
(Image credit: Netflix)

The wait is finally over. The highly anticipated Black Mirror season six is officially arriving in the coming weeks, and it’s probably safe to say that following our first look at the trailer it will likely be one of the best Netflix shows this year.    

The trailer for the sixth season of everyone’s favorite dark-side-of-technology-series Black Mirror is now available, a day after the show’s Twitter account broke its four-year long silence, and it’s everything we hoped for, with a big new cast including the likes of Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul and Atlanta’s Zazie Beetz. 

Netflix, which confirmed that the show would premier in June 2023, has promised that the latest chapter in the satirical anthology series will be the most “unpredictable, unclassifiable and unexpected yet”.    

Watch the trailer below: 

If you’re wondering what the shots of Aaron Paul looking lost in space are about or why Zazie Beetz looks to be back in the ’90s and wrestling with a dial-up internet connection, then we’ve got you covered. 

Even though the trailer is only 87 seconds long, there’s quite a lot to unpack from our first glimpse of the show. Looking at the different characters and settings, we think there could be as many as 10 episodes in the latest season – Variety had confirmed in May that there would be more feature-length episodes than season five. 

Here’s what we could work out from the trailer of season six of Black Mirror and what we know so far.

Black Mirror returns to space

One of the most striking things from the trailer is the star-studded cast. In the opening moments of the trailer, we get a glimpse of a large space station moving through a starless cosmos.  

The only other scene with a space setting, which is later shown in the trailer, reveals that the shots are likely part of an episode with Aaron Paul. It shows the Breaking Bad actor wandering through the spaceship alone.

For a show that has a habit of sparking existential thoughts over technology’s unchecked exponential growth, there haven’t been that many episodes set in space – there was only ever one notable episode set in space, and that was the Star Trek riff ‘USS Callister’ from season four.  

A still taken from the trailer of season six of Black Mirror of Aaron Paul

(Image credit: Netflix)

Zazie Beetz episode features dial-up 

The futuristic technologies featured throughout Black Mirror, such as uploading an consciousness to a computer and advanced social credit systems (looking at you, China), are often showcasing innovations that aren’t yet available to us. While there are exceptions to this, namely virtual reality and deep fakes, there isn’t often a focus on archaic tech.    

That looks like it’s set to change in season six, with the trailer revealing a favorite pet peeve from the ’90s: dial-up. For those that remember having to unplug the phone line to be able to surf the web, it looks like we’re all going to be reminded of these (not so) fond memories.  

In the trailer, we see Zazie Beetz opening up a laptop to wait for a dial-up internet connection, giving us a throwback to the charms of its insistent ringing tone. Expect a somber tone for this episode judging from what the Joker and Bullet Train actor told The Guardian last year. 

“I wouldn’t say my character is having a lot of fun,” she said. “But I think there’s a really great tongue-in-cheek dark element to it, [a] premonition kind of element. The mirror reflecting back on us.”    

A still taken from the trailer of season six of Black Mirror of Zazie Beetz

(Image credit: Netflix)

Sneak peek of Salma Hayek 

Black Mirror has done well to attract the attention of Hollywood stars and the latest chapter in the series looks set to feature quite a few compared to previous seasons. Among the cast is Frida and From Dusk till Dawn actor Salma Hayek. 

There’s not a lot to unpack about what the actor’s episode will look like or even be about from the trailer. Only one short scene is included from Salma Hayek’s episode and it cryptically has her saying “don’t do it”. Your guess is probably as good as ours as to what that is suggesting.

Fans of Schitt’s Creek and Russian Doll will also be pleased to hear that Annie Murphy will be joining the season six cast. Scenes from the trailer show the actor walking down what looks to be a wedding aisle dressed as a manic cheerleader waving pom pom in one hand and a fog horn in the other. 

A still taken from the trailer of season six of Black Mirror of Annie Murphy

(Image credit: Netflix)

A 'surprisingly' packed new season 

Another major feature-length episode looks set to feature Gangs of London and I May Destroy You star Paapa Essiedu. The actor makes a dramatic appearance in the season six trailer, wearing a striking silver, feathered jacket. While there are only two very short shots from his episode, Paapa Essiedu’s wardrobe exudes showmanship with feverish disco flair.   

Other stars that have been confirmed to feature in the show include Anjana Vasan, Auden Thornton, Ben Barnes, Clara Rugaard, Daniel Portman, Danny Ramirez, Himesh Patel, John Hannah, Josh Hartnett, Kate Mara, Michael Cera, Monica Dolan, Myha'la Herrold, Rob Delaney, Rory Culkin and Samuel Blenkin. 

If the A-list cast surprises you, you’re not alone. The creator behind the show Charlie Brooker told fans at the Netflix Tudum event that he even surprised himself while making it. “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,” he said. 

“Partly as a challenge, and partly to keep things fresh for both me and the viewer, I began this season by deliberately upending some of my own core assumptions about what to expect,” he added. “Consequently, this time, alongside some of the more familiar Black Mirror tropes we’ve also got a few new elements, including some I’ve previously sworn blind the show would never do, to stretch the parameters of what ‘a Black Mirror episode’ even is. The stories are all still tonally Black Mirror through-and-through — but with some crazy swings and more variety than ever before.”

Amelia Schwanke
Senior Editor UK, Home Entertainment

Amelia became the Senior Editor for Home Entertainment at TechRadar in the UK in April 2023. With a background of more than eight years in tech and finance publishing, she's now leading our coverage to bring you a fresh perspective on everything to do with TV and audio. When she's not tinkering with the latest gadgets and gizmos in the ever-evolving world of home entertainment, you’ll find her watching movies, taking pictures and travelling.