Black Mirror: Bandersnatch masterminds, Annabel Jones and Charlie Brooker, have confirmed that they are keen to return to interactive storytelling, in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter.
Bandersnatch, was the product of a two-year collaboration between Brooker and Jones, launching Netflix into a 1980s intricate choose-your-own-adventure narrative, which forced viewers to make difficult decisions for the story’s protagonist. These decisions ranged from deciding what cereal to eat, or whether to kill your father or not (dark I know).
The beauty of Bandersnatch was the prospect of uncovering the five alternate endings to the story. Each has a different viewing experience that may last from 90 minutes to two-and-a-half hours.
Carla Engelbrecht explained that data from the special episode proved it was “absolutely a success”. “We saw in the data that 94 percent of viewers were actively making those choices. We’re talking about decades of training that when you watch TV, you put on what you want, drop that remote and snuggle into the couch. And instead of snuggling back, people were actually leaning into make these choices”.
Curiously, the data provided an insight into the Netflix viewership’s capacity for decision making: Engelbrecht noticed that viewers had “deep, deep empathy” for Stefan (the protagonist), and that people were reluctant to pick the “Kill Dad” option.
She said, “I am very glad that humanity is generally good and that it did not go the way I feared it might”. Phew, so are we.