Netflix's first Black Mirror season 6 trailer packs Salma Hayek, Aaron Paul and more

Salma Hayek in Black Mirror season 6
(Image credit: Netflix)

Black Mirror has always surprised us, but Black Mirror season 6's first trailer is accompanied by an extra word of caution from creator Charlie Brooker. And whether that's overkill or not, the atmospheric and haunting look at the season has us wishing it was June already. 

Oh, yes, this trailer also announces that the series (one of the best Netflix shows) returns this June.

In the trailer, we only get teases of big stories, including a space satellite that seems to contain Aaron Paul's character. Later, we see Salma Hayek Pinault ask, "Oh, do you?" to someone off camera. Black Mirror hasn't always needed an all-star cast, but they're joined by actors such as Michael Cera, Zazie Beetz, Rory Culkin, Josh Hartnett and Kate Mara.

In possibly the scariest moment possible, Beetz is seen opening an ancient-looking laptop and using — gasp — dial-up to connect to the internet. Later, a woman's head is used to shatter a glass display pane, paparazzi photographers furiously click their cameras and more general chaos happens. And, of course, someone asks, "What the f**k is this?"

But about that warning. Brooker, speaking to Netflix's Tudum, revealed "I’ve always felt that Black Mirror should feature stories that are entirely distinct from one another, and keep surprising people — and myself — or else what’s the point? It should be a series that can’t be easily defined, and can keep reinventing itself."

Brooker even says he's surprised himself, noting "Consequently, this time, alongside some of the more familiar Black Mirror tropes we’ve also got a few new elements, including some I’ve previously sworn blind the show would never do, to stretch the parameters of what ‘a Black Mirror episode’ even is. The stories are all still tonally Black Mirror through-and-through — but with some crazy swings and more variety than ever before."

Analysis: Black Mirror had to rethink itself

It feels like we're going to learn what happens when the the tech doomsaying originator sees society lapping him.

Yes, pop culture has been hot on Black Mirror's trail for the last years, not only with the unaware-self-parody known as Mark Zuckerberg's Meta avatar, but Apple TV Plus' phenomenal Severance. The phrase "like Black Mirror, but ... " has popped up a lot lately, and Brooker's promise of reinvention matches this eerie trailer.

That said, this is what all long-running shows need to do: somehow threading the needle of staying authentic to the show's roots and keeping things fresh.

Brooker, of course, has had the benefit of working at his own pace, as June (Black Mirror season 6's release month) will mark four years since season 5 dropped. A four year hiatus? Must be nice.

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Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.