Black Mirror‘s latest installment really broke the mold when it dropped – after its surprise announcement the previous day – on December 28th. The interactive movie, “Bandersnatch,” allows the viewer to choose how the story plays out, with every decision creating ripples that affect how the narrative develops down the line. Even when you seemingly reach a dead end, the route you take informs what comes next.
It’s an incredible achievement from Netflix and the production team, blurring the lines between the mediums – is it a TV episode? A movie? A video game? – while also providing a dark, psychological thriller that stands apiece with the rest of the sci-fi anthology series. But how did “Bandersnatch” come about? Well, this new featurette allows us a peak behind the scenes.
An interesting tidbit that comes from the video below is that creator Charlie Brooker was initially not just reluctant to do an interactive episode when the idea was first pitched to him by Netflix, but he outright dismissed the notion. However, Brooker reveals that, despite this, he came up with an idea for an interactive story that excited him. Having the plot come first was important to the team, too, as producer Annabel Jones explains that they didn’t want the interactivity to be a gimmick.
The featurette also makes clear the colossal amount of work across the board that “Bandersnatch” took to complete, from Brooker’s scripting to David Slate’s direction to the key contribution of editor Tony Kearns, who calls the episode “the biggest editing challenge of [his] career.” No wonder season 5 had to be delayed several months because of it.
Right now, we only know that Black Mirror‘s next outing will arrive sometime in 2019, but we’ll keep you posted if and when any new info comes to light.