This article contains spoilers for the Black Mirror season 4 episode, “USS Callister.”
The twisted tribute to Star Trek in the Black Mirror season 4 premiere episode, “USS Callister,” was hard to miss, and in an era where abuse of power, particularly by men, is at the forefront of our current culture, not to mention the existing homage of Fox’s The Orville, the episode was primed for eager audiences to clamor for more. Fortunately, in a recent interview with THR, the episode’s director Toby Haynes hinted that further exploration of the idea behind the USS Callister.
“[Producer Louise Sutton] cooked up a brilliant idea of spinning it off into a TV series,” says Haynes. “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 [creator Charlie Brooker] 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.”
The potential for a “USS Callister” spinoff lies in the virtual world of the Infinity software featured in the episode, and in the wide-open potential for the liberated crew of the ship once they survived the update singularity. This would seem to leave out Jesse Plemons’ Captain Kirk-like character, but the idea of the encoded personalities co-existing with their oblivious real counterparts is enticing enough on its own.
Haynes doesn’t rule out a return for Plemons, however. “There is this brilliant idea that he is still alive and his attempted murder gets pinned on someone,” says Haynes. “Whose fingerprints do they find in the apartment? There’s so much you could do. Fingers crossed, you never know.”
Although Plemons’ William Shatner-style delivery while enacting Captain Daly was spot on, he was, after all, wearing a red shirt, the traditional color for a Star Trek fatality. Will Daly or the USS Callister live on, either through future Black Mirror seasons or as its own tale? Time will tell.