Video streaming giant Netflix today released an interactive special edition of the hit series Black Mirror that allows viewers to choose how the story develops and, eventually, ends.
On 28 December at 10:03am South African time, Netflix released an extended 90-minute episode of Black Mirror, titled Bandersnatch, to showcase its new interactive technology. Depending on choices made by the viewer, running time can be even longer.
The episode provides a tutorial when accessed for the first time, instructing the viewer to “keep your mouse or trackpad close at hand” in order to select the storyline options when they arise. For Smart TV viewers, the TV’s remote control can be used to select the options. If viewers choose to leave halfway, all plot choices are lost, so choosing a comfortable platform to watch the show is essential. The show can be rewatched to select different paths and outcomes.
Keeping the format simple, Netflix has restricted the episode to a few options per scenario, for now, in what the character should do.
Black Mirror focuses on fears linked to rapid development and adoption of technology in a dystopian alternate reality. The latest episode follows a young coder who helps create a computer game based on an adventure novel.
Bandersnatch is also the title of a real computer game made in 1984 but never released. Made by Imagine Software for the ZX Spectrum computer, it was renamed after being sold by its creators.
According to early feedback, fans of the series should “expect to have their minds blown”. They should also expect to revisit the beginning several times to experience different outcomes.
*The episode is available to stream now on Netflix. It is available on computer, Smart TV, gaming consoles and the latest Smart TV boxes. If you don’t see the star icon shown in the image below, it means your device is not capable of the interactive story experience.