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. Welcome back.
The feature-length special will goes live, Friday December 28th, on Netflix. But it’s still not clear if the episode will be a choose-your-own-adventure experience, as per rumors earlier this year.
What we do know is that the special will have a distinctly retro feel, as well as a reality-warping plot. The action is set in 1984 and follows a young programmer adapting a “sprawling fantasy novel” — the titular Bandersnatch — into a video game. Pretty soon this task turns into “mind-mangling challenge,” because of course it does.
Judging from the trailer we can expect to see the virtual world and reality bleeding into one another as our hero loses his grip on what’s real. This makes sense given the special is named after a creature in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, a sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with similar themes of nonsense, twisted logic, and the surreal.
Back in October, Bloomberg reported that Netflix was planning to release a choose-your-own-adventure episode of Black Mirror some time this year, and many have speculated that this is Bandersnatch. The trailer certainly fits these expectations. It calls the episode an “event,” tells viewers to “change your mind” and “change your life,” and ends with a character stating via voiceover: “Your fate has been dictated.” And, of course, what is a video game apart from a particularly complex choose-your-own-adventure experience.
These are all strong indicators, but not clinchers. We’ll have to wait until Bandersnatch drops tomorrow on Netflix to find out for sure.