Netflix Releases ‘Bandersnatch’, A Choose Your Own Adventure “Black Mirror” Episode

Netflix has been on an absolute heater of releasing some incredible content they’ve produced themselves. Black Mirror, premiered on BBC’s Channel 4, but was picked up by Netflix in 2015 and somehow managed to get even better. If you’ve never seen Black Mirror before, the easiest way to describe it is as a modern spin on shows like The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, and other anthology-based SciFi series. Like those shows, you can just pop into any episode of Black Mirror and it’s a self contained story that has no ties to other episodes in the series. (There’s some minor exceptions to this, with some episodes having subtle nods to other things in the Black Mirror universe, but whether or not you pick up on that fan service doesn’t matter a whole lot.) The one critique that I think holds a lot of water with Black Mirror is that each show has a twist, and far too often that twist is a predictable “Wow, technology is bad, isn’t it?!" Buuuttt… The ride getting to that twist is a lot of fun, so, whatever.

This year (or maybe they’ve always been doing this but it’s been more noticeable this year?) Netflix has released quite a few holiday specials that were entirely unexpected and very good. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, for instance, got a holiday special that was amazing, and, for the sake of today’s news, Black Mirror just got the interactive, choose your own adventure episode Bandersnatch. Watching and playing along is a lot like a Telltale game. The episode progresses and you’ve got a ton of branching paths with decisions you make. For instance, the first one you’ve got a few seconds to decide what kind of cereal you want. I really don’t want to get into more depth than that on what the episode is actually about as the best way to go into Black Mirror is totally blind but I’ve watched/played through it twice now and it’s really frickin’ good.

If you walk away from watching/playing this episode with any notion other than, “That was awesome, I want more of that," I would be very, very surprised. This isn’t the first piece of interactive content Netflix has released, last year they revealed some kids-centric content like Puss in Book which were pretty basic, but served as a really neat proof of concept. Now that this tech has been fully realized as a piece of fabulous adult content, it’s something everyone needs to experience.