LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 18: Annabel Jones, Black Mirror Bandersnatch Co-Executive Producer attends BAFTA Los Angeles Garden Party at The British Residence on August 18, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for BAFTA LA)
Movies - TV
Black Mirror's Creators Had Two Major Concerns Going Into Bandersnatch
The “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” special offered a unique interactive experience where the viewer got to choose what decisions the main character would make, giving the feeling of playing a video game. While the episode faced many challenges from its eccentric format, showrunners Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones had two other concerns about the special.
One criticism of “Bandersnatch” was that the audience cared too much for the main character Stefan (Fionn Whitehead). Brooker responded, “Well, thank f*** you cared about Stefan. That was our biggest worry. I play computer games and I don’t give a f*** about the people in them. I don’t give a f*** about Mario because he’s not really a character and he does whatever the f*** I tell him to.”
The experience of playing god and manipulating Stefan raised another concern for the special: had they used the interactive format effectively, or would it be seen as a cheap gimmick used to draw in an audience with its novelty? Jones said, “Did we earn the right to use the interactive form? I think we did. Did we waste the form? We exposed it. We had fun with it.”
It’s unlikely that “Black Mirror” will attempt another special like it, as there are many writing limitations with the format, with Brooker advising those wanting to do something similar, “Run away. It’s harder than you think.” Season 6 of “Black Mirror” is currently in production and is expected to be “even more cinematic in scope.”