A hot trailer just dropped for Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and things are about to get crazy up in here. The hit series is back at it, delivering a multi-layered 90 seconds of intense twists and turns. If you haven’t watched yet, chances are you’ve at least seen a tweet or two, likely containing theories about the new Black Mirror trailer. In that case, what are you waiting for? Watch it now, then get back to me.
Ready? OK, great. You’re forgiven for not being up on this news because — in true Netflix fashion — the streaming service pushed the trailer out with little-to-no fanfare, letting fans soak in the head-scratching cerebral drama that has made the show a phenomenon. Netflix purchased the rights to the original two seasons of the UK series and put out the Emmy-winning third and fourth seasons to an international audience and worldwide acclaim. So yeah, there’s a lot to unpack here.
Bandersnatch has been a long time coming. Black Mirror Season 4 landed on Netflix a year ago almost to the day, but let’s face it, it’s been a *very* long year. The forthcoming fifth season was announced in March 2018, but the streamer has been essentially silent regarding any news ever since. In fact, the show’s Twitter account has been silent since May — at least, until now.
Clearly, the Frankie Goes To Hollywood song is of some importance here. After all, the time period is perfectly lined up with the official synopsis for Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, which reads, "In 1984, a young programmer begins to question reality as he adapts a sprawling fantasy novel into a video game and soon faces a mind-mangling challenge." But let's not waste any more time and dive right into the theories...
It’s Not Exactly A Movie, But It’s Not Just An Episode Either
On Netflix itself, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch has its own page, where it’s titled “A Netflix Film.” But others (including the trailer itself) are saying it’s more of an “event.” The Netflix press page puts it under the category of “Original Story.
The runtime (which is listed at 90 minutes) would be a good way to figure out how to classify Bandersnatch, but there isn’t really any consistency when it comes to Black Mirror episodes of the past: They run from anywhere between 41 and 89 minutes. What’s more, there’s even more content this time around, so it seems like the “event” is a confirmation of this second, long-standing theory...
It’s A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Story
This new form of interactive content has been put into action on the streaming service once previously, but most will get their first taste of the beloved book format brought into the digital age with Bandersnatch. It was first reported in October that a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Black Mirror episode was coming to Netflix. And while it hasn’t been confirmed yet that that’s exactly what this is, there are quite a few hints, especially this one:
Additionally, the text that appears during the trailer — “Change Your Mind” “Change Your Life” “Change Your Past, Your Present, Your Future” — definitely reads like the description of an interactive adventure. So this seems like pretty solid confirmation of that theory.
It’s Based On A Real Video Game
Here’s where things get really interesting. Black Mirror is all about showing of technology can be dangerous, and oftentimes, it’s a little too real. Tech and scenarios that have played out on the series’ most core-shaking episodes bare a striking resemblance to the those we’ve seen in the news.
Bandersnatch was a real video game that was, in fact, created in 1984, but never released to the public. It also has roots in literature: The Bandersnatch was a character from Lewis Caroll’s works Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, the basis for the Disney animated film Alice In Wonderland and subsequent related TV series Once Upon A Time In Wonderland and the live-action Tim Burton films.
But perhaps most revealing is the fact that Bandersnatch never saw the light of day, and instead the remnants of it became Brataccas, which was released in 1986 to poor reviews. Perhaps this episode is meant to be an exploration into may have happened during the failed creation process — or something even darker. Whatever it is, the ever-expanding universe of Black Mirror is sure to captivate audiences once again.
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