By now you've probably seen some hype about Netflix's new Black Mirror film being a total game changer - and it is.

The streaming service's latest foray into choose-your-own-adventure entertainment is a viewing experience unlike anything I've seen, or rather, taken part it in.

Set in 1984, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch follows a young programmer named Stefan Butler as he adapts a choose-your-own-adventure novel into a computer game.

As Stefan's story plays out you, the viewer, are asked to choose his path - from seemingly inconsequential choices, such as breakfast and music options, to potentially fatal decisions.


At first, it all seems simplistic and linear but as you progress into the story it becomes clear that every choice matters.

Black Mirror is famed for its dark and twisted futuristic takes on how technology is changing society, and Bandersnatch is no different. The real twist is how it makes you a part of it.

You control Stefan, but the tables are turned on you, too, as you're forced to accept your choices aren't your own either and sometimes, no matter how much you wish you could choose differently, you can't.

Fans have already taken to the web to discuss the Black Mirror-type implications for the real world; from what Netflix is learning about us from our choices, to how product placement and brand promotion could infiltrate our viewing experiences as never before.

This is the beauty of Bandersnatch: As much as it's a new frontier, it still has the essence of Black Mirror. It still challenges you and makes you think, and scares you in a way that your average ghost story never could - because it could become reality.

In Bandersnatch, viewers become characters. Photo / Netflix
In Bandersnatch, viewers become characters. Photo / Netflix

And like Black Mirror, Bandersnatch is full of hidden messages, Easter eggs and more.

Although the general direction of the story is pretty set in stone, there are said to be five main endings to uncover, including a bloody shock ending, a mind-bending Inception-esque ending and a sad but satisfying emotional ending.

But compare your experience to others' and you'll know there's far more to be uncovered along the way.


You thought Game of Thrones had unpacking to do? It ain't got nothing on Bandersnatch, which has saturated the internet with everything from recaps to tutorials. Yes, tutorials.

This is a show that requires detailed walk-throughs to discover certain secrets and sometimes even specific skill sets to crack open the hidden Easter eggs, and it's entirely probable that we will never know the true extent of it.

Director David Slade has said: "There are scenes that some people just will never see and we had to make sure that we were okay with that", and showrunner Charlie Brooker has confirmed there will never be a linear version of the film so the only way to see all of those scenes, is to follow every path.

That could take a while. My initial watch-through took me about an hour and a half but it could easily have lasted longer had I had the time to pursue all the options I wanted.

That and the patience.

For everything that's great about Bandersnatch, it can quickly become a chore to sit through multiple resets and recaps, no matter how craftily-cut the montages.

Even the most innocent scenes can take a sharp turn. Photo / Netflix
Even the most innocent scenes can take a sharp turn. Photo / Netflix

That's not the only downside. As a Black Mirror instalment, it's mediocre. A game creator coding various scenarios is swept up in a mental illness episode in which he becomes a character in someone else's game - classic Black Mirror fodder.

That said, the technicalities of what Netflix has pulled off here are insane; when you think about the storyboarding, writing, shooting, acting, production and editing that would've gone into this, it is mindblowing.

That's why - once I've taken a break - I will definitely be returning for round two, simply to see what else there is to see.