The excellent Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is about a 1980s computer game programmer who goes mad working on a complex choice-driven adventure title. In a winning twist though, the episode’s interactive and lets the audience decide what choices our hero will make, which can result in some seriously weird and surreal consequences in the narrative.
But while fans are eagerly digging into the branching story and have begun to map out how to reach certain scenes, director David Slade has claimed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that there are moments so rare that almost nobody will ever see them and there’s at least one scene that they don’t think anybody will ever reach.
“There are scenes that some people just will never see and we had to make sure that we were OK with that. We actually shot a scene that we can’t access.”
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It certainly sounds mysterious, but what does “a scene that we can’t access” actually mean? Presumably, it’s sitting on a hard-drive somewhere so at a minimum, the show’s creators can watch it if they want. If they mean that it’s hidden away in the version provided to Netflix, but it’s impossible for a viewer to make the choices that would lead to it, then I’d imagine it’s only a matter of time before some enterprising hacker cracks the code. After all, people have already reverse-engineered Netflix’s in-house movie categorization codes to allow them to watch films not listed in the catalogue, and saying something like this to the obsessive fans of the show is like waving a red rag in front of a bull.
Also of note in the interview was the explanation of Netflix’s bespoke software for creating experiences like Bandersnatch. Given how much of a roaring success this has been for the streaming network, coupled with the pressure to innovate as the streaming market becomes ever more competitive in 2019, I’d imagine that we’ll see many more interactive shows in the near future.
In the meantime, if you haven’t seen Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, I’d highly recommend it, as I loved every crazy second.