Netflix, how do you do it? You bring back possibly my favourite show on your platform with the choose-your-own-adventure format and I admittedly had a great time watching this epic. With many choices, both seemingly meaningless but fun and the more tough and game-changing decisions blend well to create a tale which is as fun to watch as it is to play.
We are taken to 1984 in this film/special when we meet Stefan, a programmer who is attempting to make a video game of Bandersnatch, a book that allows its reader to choose the path they take. While Stefan looks to take this idea to the video game company Tuckersoft, he also begins to develop a friendship of sorts with creator extraordinaire Colin Ritman. While the story starts off fairly relaxed, the mystery and the intrigue behind the characters and the world they live in slowly takes you as your choices truly shape the world you see.
I really don’t want to give too much away, but even from the first mundane decision you make, it will impact on what you are seeing from that very moment. From choosing the music you hear and even the way you deal with some big revelations is just hard to think you are actually making a right decision. This film is possibly best described as in the same vain as a release from Telltale Games, most notably The Walking Dead and Batman: The Enemy Within.
While the storytelling method may be unconventional, it does keep you hooked throughout. Though Charlie Brooker’s writing is as sharp, funny and terrifying as ever, you can’t ignore the impressive cast involved. Fionn Whitehead impresses as Stefan and the ever-fantastic Will Poulter really does a great job in a role I wish I could describe more. Also, Craig Parkinson (one of the greatest actor’s in Britain and awesome in ‘MisFits’) takes the role of Stefan’s Dad and his story also can be made dependent of what you decide.
The episode is also crammed with easter eggs and references to the past, with more than a few mentions used in the video games presented and even a couple of images that will be familiar to fans who have stuck around since the beginning. Similar to the episode ‘Black Museum’, the episode likes to remind you of the show’s past and not cram it down your throat.
While we may not have Season Five just yet, this is the perfect taster to prepare us for the next lot of episodes that will be unleashed upon the world in 2019. But until we get this next lot, I will happily keep that tape cassette playing that certain band and I look to see every option that is possible.
Final rating: 9/10
Written by Jonjo Cosgrove