If Black Mirror has always been able to challenge and surprise fans, the anthology series has struck even harder at the end of the year. With its interactive episode idea, the viewer is integrated directly into the episode by making decisions in place of character. Decisions that are not without consequences on the directions that the scenario can take. Here’s how this new way of watching an episode on Netflix works.
The American SVOD platform has planned everything before offering you to play Bandersnatch. Indeed, a short introductory video explains how to proceed. Thus, using your mouse or trackpad if you are watching the episode on your computer or via the TV remote control you can choose the different directions.
Regularly, the video is reduced and two choices are proposed at the bottom of the screen. You have a few seconds to select one of the two options. If you take too long in your thinking, Netflix will choosefor you.
At the beginning, the choices are rather simple: you are asked to choose between two brands of cereal that the character will have for breakfast or which music tape he will put in hiswalkman. Then, little by little, the choices become more and more difficult and immoral. So as not to spoil you, we won’t reveal them here.
But be aware thatdepending on your decisions, the scenario can radically change direction. However, if, as you choose, the scenario moves too far away from the original, Netflix will keep control by making you go back and point you in another direction.
While Bandersnatch caused a sensation with the public (according to the more than positive comments on social networks), some people had the unpleasant surprise of not being able to test theexperience. Indeed, if your television is too old, you won’t be able to try this interactive episode. Netflix will show you a two-minute video featuring various characters from season 4 of Black Mirror apologizing. To take advantage of it, you have to pay attention to the small red banner in front of episode in the catalogue which means that the interactive choices can be displayed.
But other owners of so-called smart TVs have had the unpleasant surprise of not being able to experience Bandersnatch. As Numeramapoints out, viewers with Apple TVs were disappointed to see an incompatibility between their device and the special Netflixepisode. This is not the first time that the streaming service has deprived Apple of its interactive content. This had already been the case with the children’s film L’épopée du Chat Potté, prisoner of a tale.
For Variety, this problem would be due to the fact thata smart TV is not powerful enough to download both the episode and anticipate by preparing the following sequences according to the user’s choice.
Note that episode interactivity will not be available on Google Chromecast, BT YouView box, Amazon FireStick, older Samsung smart TV models or Virgin TiVo. On the Netflix side, we confirm that this bug was known in advance. Vice President of Products Todd Yellin explains that subscribers will still be able to watch Bandersnatch on another device such as a tablet, computer or iPhone. Be careful though, remember to update your Netflix application if you venture on iPhone or iPad.
In any case, good viewing and if you want to go through the different arcs, plan quite a lot of time because it will take you at least 5 hours!