Black Mirror: every Easter egg and reference in Season 6, from The Callow Years to the White Bear logo
Every hidden Easter egg and reference in Black Mirror Series 6, from the Streamberry suggestions to the White Bear logo - did you catch them all?
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Black Mirror is an anthology drama, with each episode telling a distinct – and discrete – story. Sometimes, though, there’s a little bit of crossover between episodes, and you’ll see the occasional Easter egg and reference crop up across different instalments of Black Mirror.
Season 6 is no different in that regard, with the latest series of the Netflix hit calling back to fan-favourite episodes like The National Anthem and White Bear. There are even, from time to time, references to episodes you won’t have seen yet, with the opening episode of Season 6 alluding to scenes from later in the series.
Here’s every Easter egg and reference you might’ve missed in Black Mirror Season 6 – did you spot any of them?
Joan Is Awful
When Joan and Krish first pull up Netflix – sorry, Streamberry – there are a couple of references to Black Mirror episodes past and present. One of the title cards shows a picture of Will Poulter in Bandersnatch, while another (which Joan and Krish discuss watching before deciding not to) is “Scottish murder thing” Loch Henry, the second episode of Black Mirror’s sixth season.
One of the other options is a documentary called The Callow Years, a political retrospective about Michael Callow – Rory Kinnear’s Prime Minister from the very first episode of Black Mirror.
Plus, there’s also the option to watch the cartoon Rowdy and Peanut – not another Black Mirror allusion, but a reference to Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones’ Tex Avery-inspired interactive cartoon Cat Burglar from last year.
While Sandy is at the bar watching an episode of Joan is Awful, she gets a notification from her Smithereen app – the Uber-esque rideshare company featured in the Black Mirror Season 5.
Joan reads a newspaper article about Streamberry CEO Mona Javadi, discussing the Joan is Awful show. Next to that, there’s a second smaller article talking about the neurological implants Grains going out of fashion – it’s a reference to one of Black Mirror’s earliest episodes, The Entire History of You, which explored how the ability to constantly access and replay memories could destroy a life. (Fun fact: that episode was written by Succession’s Jesse Armstrong.)
When Davis and Pia take a meeting at the Historik production offices, they’ve got a poster on the wall for The Callow Years, suggesting it’s a documentary of theirs.
There are several references to Streamberry throughout, calling back to Joan is Awful.
At the BAFTAs, Kirsty Wark lists the nominees for best documentary. One of them is called Euthanasia: Inside Project Junipero, referencing the Black Mirror episode San Junipero, which saw the dying minds of the elderly uploaded to a virtual reality.
Beyond the Sea
In an early scene, David and his wife are watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the cinema, listening to Dick Van Dyke’s character Caractacus Potts discusses transmitting moving pictures by wireless – not entirely dissimilar to how David and Cliff transmit their consciousness.
Lana reads a lot throughout Beyond the Sea, and each book has a certain thematic relevance to the episode. Arthur Hailey’s Airport (1968) follows a group of travellers stranded in an airport after a storm shuts the entire airport down, while Jacqueline Susann’s novel Valley of the Dolls (1966) tells the story of, among other things, a woman who becomes dependent on amphetamines and barbiturates to cope with life.
Meanwhile, David recommends Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress to Lana. Again, there’s a broad (if admittedly strained) connection between that novel’s story about a lunar colony rebelling against absentee rule, and Beyond the Sea’s story of similarly distant command and control.
He also reads Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man (which features on the episode’s poster), a collection of short stories that feature a number of tales with similarities to Beyond the Sea.
Justin Camley, the actor that sells photographs of and publicly outs in a newspaper, is described as a former star of Sea of Tranquillity. That’s one of the shows that Joan and Krish consider watching on Streamberry, but ultimately decide not to.
There are a handful of Easter eggs and references to other Black Mirror episodes in Demon 79 – more than you’d probably expect, given the episode is set decades before most of the rest of the series. They’re all part of Nida’s vision of Michael Smart’s future, which sees the Conservative politician rise to become leader of the fascist Britannia Party, and eventually Prime Minister of Britain.
The logo for the Britannia Party is the White Bear logo, previously seen in both White Bear and Bandersnatch – a recurring visual shorthand for sadism and suffering across Black Mirror – while Smart’s rise is reported on by the UKN news network, who have been seen in previous Black Mirror episodes like The National Anthem and Smithereens.
There’s also a brief glimpse of a robotic guard “dogs” from the Series 4 episode Metalhead, which can be seen when Smart is talking about war.
In terms of references to things outside of Black Mirror, there’s a scene where Nida is watching the first episode of the science fiction series Sapphire and Steel. The fact that she’s watching the series on election night in May 1979 – two months before the show first aired in July 1979 – is a subtle clue that time is breaking down. (More seriously, it’s a nod to a show that Brooker grew up watching and enjoying, and Demon 79’s ending for Nida and Gaap isn’t entirely unlike Sapphire and Steel’s own eventual fates in the ITV series.)
Couldn’t tell you what the Smash Martians are meant to symbolise, though.