Now that Black Mirror Season 5 is premiering, you may be wondering where you should start with the series on Netflix. Do you have to watch Black Mirror in order or can you just jump in on Season 5? No, you do not have to watch Black Mirror episodes in the order they aired, and that includes Season 5. You’ll miss some Easter eggs if you watch them out of order, but it won’t ruin your enjoyment of the show. The only exception is Black Museum, which is Episode 6 of Season 4. This one is still enjoyable if watched out of order, but you’ll get a lot more out of it if you watch Seasons 1, 2, and 3 before watching Black Museum.
When Black Mirror was first started, creator Charlie Brooker didn’t intend for the episodes to be in the same universe, he just wanted them to be thematically related. However, thanks to some Easter eggs he started hiding in episodes and then finally the Black Museum episode of Season 4, we now know they’ve evolved to all be part of the same universe.
The first two seasons of Black Mirror were made for Channel 4 before the show moved to Netflix. In an interview before Season 4 released, Charlie Brooker confirmed with Digital Spy that yes, Season 4 was going to provide compelling evidence that all the episodes are connected.
Brooker said: “It used to be that we would refer to other things partly because it was convenient… This season for the first time … one of our episodes, Black Museum, has got very specific references to previous stories we’ve done, and it is sort of filling in a bit of backstory there. You don’t need to have seen those to watch the show… But it does actually sort of now seem to imply that is actually all a shared universe, which was the opposite of the answer I used to give to this question.”
But despite this, you really only need to save Black Museum and watch it after Seasons 1-4. Everything else can still be watched in any order including the three episodes of Season 5 and the Bandersnatch movie. In fact, most Black Mirror fans agree that you should not watch the premiere episode of Season 1 (The National Anthem) first. Season 1 Episode 1 is actually one of the weaker episodes in the series, and many people are put off when they watch it first. So don’t start out with that one.
As far as the new Season 5 episodes go, those can all be watched in any order too. You can watch them first if you want before watching any other episodes in the seasons, or mixed in with other seasons. There are some very minor Easter eggs you’ll miss, but they’re not required to understand and enjoy the episodes. You could start out watching a random episode in Season 5 before you’ve seen Season 1 or Season 2 and be just fine.
A lot of people argue about which Black Mirror episodes are the best and how they should be ranked. But if you’re wanting to start with some of the top ones first, consider San Junipero (Season 3), White Christmas (Season 2), USS Callister (Season 4), Hated in the Nation (Season 3), Hang the DJ (Season 4,) Fifteen Million Merits (Season 1) and Be Right Back (Season 2.) Although I enjoyed the episodes of Season 5, I wouldn’t personally rank them higher than previous seasons, so there’s no need to start with them first unless you just want to chat about the new episodes with your friends right away.