This year’s Emmy Awards weren’t the slam dunk for genre fiction that we’ve gotten in previous years. The Handmaid’s Tale, which swept the awards last year with five wins, didn’t even make a dent this time around. However, as Game of Thrones continues to dominate as the world’s best drama series, we also got a surprise hit in the form of Black Mirror’s “USS Callister.”
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Black Mirror took a journey to the final frontier with its season four episode "USS Callister," a breakdown of fandom, entitlement, and totalitarianism that was also chock full of references to its inspiration, Star Trek. As the director has pointed out, many of them were purposeful, and one of them was actually a major hint.
Ever since I heard Netflix's Black Mirror was going to do a parody of Star Trek, with a focus on totalitarianism, a million ideas ran through my head. Was this going to be like Star Trek: Discovery, exploring the conflict between military might and scientific exploration - or, was it going to be the Mirror Universe brought to life, showing what a man like Captain Kirk would become if he'd been given more control? As it turns out, "USS Callister" was nothing like I expected, and it's an absolute must-see.