While we were all winding down from Christmas, Charlie Brooker and the Black Mirror gang were getting ready to mess with our minds yet again. December 28th saw the release of the one-off interactive Netflix special ‘Bandersnatch’ to mixed reviews. But no one can deny it was an interesting experiment, combining elements of video games, choose your own adventure stories, and TV.
In this episode, we explore the history of ‘gamebooks’, the inspiration for Black Mirror’s latest terror-inducing episode. The ‘gamification’ of books was just the first step, as the blurring of the lines between different storytelling mediums continues.
But perhaps most importantly, what did we think of ‘Bandersnatch’? And who killed the father immediately? Who resisted the therapist’s attempts to discuss Stefan’s mother? And who had no qualms about sending Colin over the balcony to his death?
While Black Mirror is often excellent at representing women and tackling uncomfortable issues, this episode stands out for its utter lack of female voices. Some may argue that being an interactive story told from the perspective of a male, women’s voices were bound to be relegated to the sidelines, but we feel a lot more could have been done to give women a voice in this fascinating television experiment.
Mentioned in this episode: