‘Black Mirror’ Season 4 pays tribute to ‘Star Trek’ through ‘USS Callister’

Black Mirror (Facebook/Black Mirror)

Black Mirror (Facebook/Black Mirror)

“Black Mirror” Season 4 premiered on Netflix on Dec. 29, Friday, with the episode “USS Callister.” It is an homage to “Star Trek” using a similar set design to the NBC sci-fi series that debuted in 1966.

Toby Haynes directed “USS Callister.” It was written by Charlie Brooker and William Bridges similarly to “Black Mirror” Season 3 episode 4 “San Jupirero,” which was released on Netflix on Oct. 21, 2016.

Unlike most “Black Mirror” episodes, “USS Callister” has overt comedy. The episode talks about make abuse of authority and is considered the most cinematic episode of the British sci-fi anthology series to date.

“USS Callister” started with Robert Daly (Jesse Plemons), a socially awkward tech genius who has modified an online virtual reality (VR) game called “Infinity” to resemble his favorite sci-fi TV series titled “Space Fleet.” He is then outsmarted by his own creations and consequently left stranded alone in his digital world.

The true protagonist of “USS Callister” is Nanette Cole (Cristin Milioti), a new employee who is earnest and resourceful. Wearing a scanty 1960s space outfit in Daly’s video game, she wakes up on a spaceship where the crew praise their all-knowing and fearless captain.

At the end of “USS Callister,” the virtual Cole and her crew steal Daly’s omnicorder, the controller of their virtual world. They fly away and head towards a wormhole related to a game update which they believe will kill them all.

Coming back into the game, Daly chases after Cole and her crew, who manage to escape through the wormhole. They then find themselves in “Infinity” and interact with a user of the multiplayer version of the game named Gamer691 (Aaron Paul).

Later, the modded version of Daly deletes itself while the real Daly is still inside it and unable to exit. Limp and unmoving, Daly’s body is almost lifeless in the real world.

Joining Plemons, Milioti and Paul on “USS Callister” are Jimmi Simpson as Walton, Michaela Coel as Shania, Billy Magnussen as Baldak, Milanka Brooks as Elena Tulaska, Osy Ikhile as Nat Packer, Tom Mulheron as Tommy and Paul G. Raymond as Kabir Dudani. Joe Thomas’s “The Festival” co-star Hamid Animashaun also appears as a pizza guy.

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