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Netflix picks up British sci-fi series Black Mirror for 12 new episodes

In Black Mirror, those glowing boxes spell doom.
In Black Mirror, those glowing boxes spell doom.
Channel 4
Tanya Pai heads the standards team at Vox, focusing on copy editing, fact-checking, inclusive language and sourcing, and newsroom standards and ethics issues. She’s also a founder of Language, Please, a free resource for journalists and storytellers focused on thoughtful language use.

Much has been said about whether we're reaching the age of "peak TV" — but when it leads to shows like Black Mirror getting renewed, those concerns go right out the window. Yep, it's true: TV's freakiest anthology is getting brand new episodes, courtesy of Netflix.

On Friday, the streaming giant announced it has ordered production on 12 new episodes of Black Mirror, Charlie Brooker's brilliantly twisted sci-fi series. With just six episodes so far in its third season (plus a Christmas special starring Jon Hamm), the British show sucked in audiences with its tales of alternate realities that are different enough to be mind-bending but similar enough to be utterly terrifying (and sometimes eerily prescient: see "The National Anthem" and David Cameron's #piggate).

In case you're unfamiliar, Vox's Todd VanDerWerff has a great summary of the premise:

A kind of modern riff on The Twilight Zone, but focused tightly on the idea of our many screens — or "black mirrors" — this British series is six episodes, telling six different stories (with different casts), all with some sort of science fiction tinge. This can go from fully imagined future dystopias (as in the first season's second episode) to minor riffs on currently existing technology (as in the second season finale). The episodes are shepherded to the screen by writer and satirist Charlie Brooker, whose scripts are capable of hilariously dark humor, right alongside unexpectedly moving moments.

The show's exploration of the creeping unease many of us feel about how those "black mirrors" can feel like they're taking over every aspect of modern life, plus the endless possibility for reinvention afforded by the anthology structure, gives us high hopes for the new installments. And Brooker is promising big things: In a statement, he said the move to Netflix will prompt "bigger, stranger, more international and diverse stories than before, whilst maintaining that Black Mirror feel."

Brooker has begun writing the new episodes, which are slated to begin production in the UK in late 2015. There's no premiere date yet, but in the meantime you can catch up with the first six episodes via Netflix (see Vox's official rankings of the episodes here).