Having been a fan of Black Mirror since it’s humble 3 episode series’ on Channel 4, I have been delighted to watch it blossom into a genuine modern television phenomenon.
Now on its new home on Netflix, Charlie Brooker’s terrifying technology themed mini masterpieces have grown in scope and along the way, found an even bigger audience. With its thoroughly potent themes, hidden episode easter eggs and mind-bending messages, Black Mirror truly is the TV show for Social Media and tech-obsessed millennials.
For a show to consistently break new ground is an impressive feat but Brooker has done it once again with the latest episode ‘Bandersnatch’; a “choose your own adventure” style episode which hands full control over to those with the remote controller in hand at home.
I had initial concerns that this episode would feel gimmicky but I needn’t have worried. It maintains everything we know, love, and fear from Black Mirror and yet offers something completely different and one of the most unique and brilliant TV experiences in recent memory. Those used to video games that follow this format will find familiarity as we’re presented with a simple ‘this or that’ option, starting off as straightforward as choosing a cereal to, well, slightly more sinister choices; to spoil which would not only be unfair but also impossible as everyone is certain to have different experiences with this episode
And that is the absolute beauty of this episode. It is so expertly crafted that as soon as it is over you’ll want to go back to it and see if those seemingly inconsequential early decisions have potentially drastic and different consequences later on. There is a fairly straightforward path you can take through this episode but there is also much to uncover and I wholeheartedly recommend spending about 90 minutes with it to enjoy the full experience. There are several stops in the story that let you go back and do-over a certain scenario and it is at these points that you can pick something completely different.
There’s an event seen in a flashback early into the episode that I thought held the key to everything but as my episode and my decisions played out, it went in a completely unexpected direction and this totally floored me.
Breaking the fourth, the fifth, and every other wall possible, Bandersnatch is expert storytelling and Black Mirror at its most ground-breaking.
Watch, watch again, and be amazed each time.