Black Mirror season 6 review: Charlie Brooker's Netflix show is as terrifying as ever

The dystopian series returns on 15 June

Black Mirror S6 (Netflix)
Black Mirror S6 (Netflix)
  • 📺 Where to watch Black Mirror season 6: The show will launch as a binge release on Netflix on Thursday, 15 June

  • ⭐️ Our rating: 5/5

  • 🍿 Watch it if you liked: Utopia, Inside No. 9, Love Death + Robots

  • 🎭 Who's in it?: Annie Murphy, Salma Hayek, Aaron Paul, Josh Hartnett, Samuel Blenkin, Myha’la Herrold, Paapa Essiedu, Anjana Vasan.

  • How long is it? 5 episodes, between 42 minutes and 1 hour 20 minutes

  • 📖 What’s it about? The acclaimed Netflix series returns with five new stories that will delight but also terrify viewers ranging from the risks of using DeepFake technology to the dark side of fame.

Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror is back and it's better than ever as the dystopian series throws fans into the deep end once again with five captivating standalone episodes.

Joan is Awful, sees its titular character (Annie Murphy) see her life get turned upside down when it's used as inspiration for a new streaming hit starring Salma Hayek.

Read more: Black Mirror's 10 best rated episodes

While Loch Henry examines the danger of true crime obsession when couple, and aspiring documentary filmmakers, Davis (Samuel Blenkin) and Pia (Myha’la Herrold) are drawn to a shocking local case.

Black Mirror S6 (Netflix)
Black Mirror S6 (Netflix)

Beyond the Sea sees Aaron Paul return to the franchise as astronaut Cliff (Aaron Paul) who works on a spaceship with David (Josh Hartnett), the pair are able to link back to Earth using replicas of themselves, but things take a grim and unexpected turn.

Mazey Day follows its titular celebrity (Clara Rugaard) as she is hounded by paparazzi, including one played by Zazie Beetz, when she goes into hiding after a hit-and-run.

The show's final episode, Demon 79, is set in '70s Britain and follows shoe shop assistant Nida (Anjana Vasan) as she meets Gaap (Paapa Essiedu), who informs her that she's inadvertently agreed to a deal where she must commit acts of violence or unleash a terrible disaster on humanity.

Black Mirror S6 (Netflix)
Black Mirror S6 (Netflix)

Given the A-list stars that appear in this season fans may lean more towards the episodes with the big names, but the best stories are actually the ones without the glitz and glamour of Hollywood: Loch Henry and Demon 79.

Read more: Black Mirror Easter eggs that prove the shared universe theory

Both are shocking to behold, particularly when they reach their startling climaxes, and they also feature memorable performances from their up-and-coming cast members.

Vasan and Essiedu, in particular, are phenomenal scene partners in Demon 79 and they revel in the witty, surprising script co-written by Brooker and Ms Marvel creator Bisha K. Ali.

Black Mirror S6 (Netflix)
Black Mirror S6 (Netflix)

Loch Henry, meanwhile, takes some unexpectedly dark turns that viewers are unlikely to predict (and we would be remiss to reveal), with stars Herrold and Blenkin giving grounded performances that hold the shocking tale together nicely.

Paul's return to the franchise since USS Callister is also noteworthy as the Breaking Bad star gives a poignant portrayal of Cliff opposite Hartnett, who lends his character a subtle vulnerability that will make it hard for audiences to know if they should side with him or not.

It is gripping from start to finish, and proves that it was well-worth bringing Paul back for another round.

Black Mirror S6 (Netflix)
Black Mirror S6 (Netflix)

Brooker has a remarkable knack of examining society and all its failings within his writing, and season 6 of Black Mirror continues to do just that. These episodes feature stories that feel almost inevitable given the rise of AI technology and our fixation with celebrity, granted not all are plausible but that doesn't detract from their shock value

Read more: Black Mirror's Charlie Brooker shares how AI-written episode influenced season 6 (Digital Spy, 2-min)

The show creator's ability to point a mirror at society is what makes this show such an essential watch, even if it can be depressing at times, and season 6 is a fantastic new chapter for the series.

Black Mirror season 6 is out on Netflix now.

Watch the trailer for Black Mirror season 6.