The complexity of making the latest Black Mirror episode, “Bandersnatch” was such that it delayed the next full season of the show, but I’m convinced it was worth it. I absolutely adored playing/watching the episode, with my experience being a two hour plus surreal nightmare of looping timelines and increasingly bonkers imagery and plot twists.
For those who don’t know, “Bandersnatch” concerns Stefan, a 1980s video game programmer attempting to create a game with a complex branching narrative and slowly going insane as he grapples with all of the potential choices. By the various endings of the episode, our hero’s room is festooned with detailed charts showing the results of each decision, with the recurring motif of a branching path appearing in unusual places around him.
Based on this, you’d think that trying to map out all the cause and effect decisions on it wouldn’t be a smart move. But ‘smart moves’ has never been what Reddit’s about, so why not check out what they’ve come up with below?
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Now, this chart is still a work-in-progress, but at least it gives people re-watching the episode an opportunity to specifically hunt down sequences they might’ve otherwise missed. One of my favorites was when you get the chance to communicate directly with Stefan in order to tell him that his life’s being broadcast on Netflix and that he’s being controlled by viewers in the early 21st century.
It also gives people the chance to hunt down the secret ending, in which Stefan listens to a ZX Spectrum computer tape, the audio from which can be used to compile one of the games featured in the episode.
All this just goes to show that Bandersnatch was one of the most exciting and novel television experiences in a long time. Given its enormous popularity, I’m going to assume that Netflix will develop many more shows with branching narratives, and I can’t wait to see what they bring us next.
Source: The Verge