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Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018)

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In 1984, a young programmer begins to question reality as he works to adapt a fantasy novel into a video game.

Director:

David Slade

Writer:

Charlie Brooker
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Fionn Whitehead ... Stefan Butler
Craig Parkinson ... Peter Butler
Alice Lowe ... Dr. Haynes
Asim Chaudhry ... Mohan Thakur
Will Poulter ... Colin Ritman
Tallulah Haddon ... Kitty
Catriona Knox Catriona Knox ... Leslie
Paul Bradley Paul Bradley ... Robin
Jonathan Aris ... Crispin
A.J. Houghton ... Young Stefan
Fleur Keith ... Mum
Laura Evelyn ... Pearl Ritman
Alan Asaad ... Satpal
Suzanne Burden Suzanne Burden ... Judith Mulligan
Jeff Minter Jeff Minter ... Jerome F. Davies
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Storyline

1984. Stefan is developing a computer game based on the book 'Bandersnatch', a novel where you get to make choices and this determines the story. He has an opportunity to take his game to Tuckersoft, a software company, and have them release it. However, the more he works on the game the more his life emulates the game, with choices being made that are out of his control. Stefan appears to be going insane. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Official page on Netflix

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 December 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch See more »

Filming Locations:

Croydon, London, England, UK

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Stefan's father drives him to the psychiatrist (after pretending they were going to have lunch at a pub), we hear the XTC song "Making Plans for Nigel", including the words "We're only making plans for Nigel / We only want what's best for him". This reflects Stefan's situation in the scene, as his father is deciding what's best for him by tricking him into a therapy session. It also reflects Stefan's status as a pawn of the viewer; the viewer makes plans for him. See more »

Goofs

Both of the programmers are seen to be working exclusively in ZX BASIC. By 1984, very few established software houses used BASIC as a coding language - most worked in Z80 assembler. Colin Ritman's games in particular showed a fluidity and responsiveness that would be very hard to achieve with the use of assembly language. See more »

Quotes

Colin Ritman: There's messages in every game. Like Pac-Man. Do you know what PAC stands for? P-A-C: "program and control." He's Program and Control Man the whole things a metaphor, he thinks he's got free will but really he's trapped in a maze, in a system, all he can do is consume, he's pursued by demons that are probably just in his own head, and even if he does manage to escape by slipping out one side of the maze, what happens? He comes right back in the other side. People think it's a happy game, it's ...
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Alternate Versions

There is no single narrative or version. There are five different endings, each with multiple pathways to them. See more »

Connections

References Jetpac (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

O Superman
Written and Performed by Laurie Anderson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Black Mirror Bandersnatch: Mixed bag
4 January 2019 | by PlatypuschowSee all my reviews

As I write this I'm hugely torn, Bandersnatch is a wildly unique experience yet is a mixed bag of genius and unrivaled stupidity.

A Netflix original interactive movie Bandersnatch tells the tale of a video game programmer and his gradual mental deterioration.

First of all let me say I adore interactive movies when they're in video game form, from the Tell Tale epics to Heavy Rain (2010) and Beyond Two Souls (2013). The concept really suits me and opens up new doors within the entertainment industry so I'm surprised that this isn't done more often.

Sadly if you think this is the start of something on Netflix then think again, the interactivity gimmick is part of the entire thing. I can't say more without going into spoiler territory but it's a real shame that it won't proceed from here.

The interactivity within Bandersnatch is at a decent frequency, not too much and not too little. The problem is that ultimately your decisions don't mean anything, at all. If you're expecting multiple story arcs you'll be sorely disappointed.

Which poses new questions, such as why create such a movie with this gimmick if they aren't going to fully utilize it? They had an opportunity here to do something really special and the thoroughly blew it.

When you take a step back however and don't focus on the interactive element what you'll find is an interesting enough feature. Starring Will Poulter it looks the part, has a solid 80's feel and soundtrack and was a great trip down memory lane for a person of my generation.

Reminding me oddly of The Butterfly Effect (2004) I have to say that the movie (Taking away the interactive element) isn't the most engaging tale but certainly comes together in the end and delivered what I would consider a freight train of a finale. I'm not going through it again to see if there are alternate endings, but based on what happens throughout and how ultimately choices are meaningless I'd be surprised if there is more than 1 additional.

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is potential wasted and a grand scale.

The Good:

Some great writing

Very nostalgic

Solid 80's soundtrack

Incredible finale

The Bad:

Gets very repetitive

The decision based gameplay is ultimately pointless


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