Exclusive: Black Mirror’s Callister Spinoff Is Actually Happening

We've exclusively learned that a Black Mirror spinoff series is happening. Here's what we know about the USS Callister project so far.

By Faith McKay | Updated

black mirror

Coming up with a fresh idea for each individual episode of the anthology series Black Mirror has many challenges for the writers behind the show. One of the hardest parts for a TV writer can sometimes be letting go after just that one episode. When it came to the season four opener, USS Callister, the struggle was particularly rough. The episode premiered on Netflix in December 2017, and since 2018, we’ve heard people claim to have heard wild ideas for a spinoff series based on USS Callister. Writer Charlie Brooker has shared his thoughts with actors and others involved in that episode. But will he ever actually do it?

Finally, steps are moving forward for the spinoff series. Our trusted and proven inside source has shared that a full spinoff for USS Callister is really happening on Netflix. This is the first time that one of Black Mirror’s episodes has gotten a spinoff series, though many of the show’s episodes could have warranted such treatment. So what’s so special about USS Callister?

Well, for one thing, it’s been said to be Charlie Brooker’s favorite episode. Charlie Brooker is the co-creator and showrunner of Black Mirror, and while our source didn’t say so, it seems safe to assume that he will be involved in creating the spinoff series. Brooker has been talking to others involved about his ideas for a series based off the episode ever since it came out.

But that’s not all that makes USS Callister a natural spinoff choice from the available Black Mirror episodes. This episode was memorable for a lot of reasons. It opened up season four with a whopping 76 minutes. The episode immediately stood out as it came on screen because it took place in space. The beautiful footage looks like something from a Star Trek episode. Of course, it gets much darker and stranger. The episode takes on the feel of something from the Twilight Zone. Another thing that has always made USS Calister standout is that when the episode begins, the protagonist is the character played by Jesse Plemons. A little ways in, the main character we’re rooting for becomes Nannette, played by Cristin Milioti.

While our source knows that the Black Mirror spinoff series is happening, they don’t know who will be working on it. Again, it feels safe to assume that writer Charlie Brooker is on board. In 2018, actor Jimmi Simpson shared that he’d heard little buzzes with TheWrap, mainly around Charlie Brooker’s ideas. Then in 2019, TheWrap wrote about it again. Actor Jimmi Simpson said that the ideas he heard were awesome. He added that Charlie Brooker had said he wanted the ideas from USS Callister to live on. Now, of course, they will be. So, if Charlie Brooker is on board, who else will be?

Hopefully, actress Cristin Milioti will sign on. She was an unstoppable force in that episode. USS Callister was her only episode for Black Mirror, which makes her role all the more memorable. She has shared previously how excited she was to get to take on the role of Captain in that episode. Charlie Brooker has been quiet about his ideas though, so it’s possible his spinoff series will take on some of the same ideas from USS Callister but with all new characters. We’ll be watching and waiting to see what Netflix says about this soon.