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With a release schedule that's largely kept under wraps, Netflix has been a perfect fit for the nerve-grinding UK series Black Mirror, which also keeps its details behind locked doors. The latest collaboration between the two is the upcoming feature-length special Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, which has been the subject of fandom rumors since it was first teased. Now, the official '80s-soaked trailer has been released, along with news that the extended episode will be released on Friday, December 28. Check it out!
Regardless of how many times Frankie Goes to Hollywood tries to tell me to relax during that trailer, it's almost impossible. Though I'm admittedly not 100% sure of everything that's happening in the promo, my nerves have been successfully rattled, and I don't think I'll be able to relax again until I've watched Black Mirror: Bandersnatch in its entirety...and then subsequently obsessing over it until the point of full enlightenment. Change your own life by watching.
Though nothing has been confirmed just yet, it appears as if Black Mirror: Bandersnatch could be the "Choose Your Own Adventure" installment that has been heavily rumored in the months leading up to new episodes. The game-based narrative, combined with the constant use of "Change" in the trailer's text, seemingly support this argument, though we can't be sure.
Let's use Netflix's official logline as to go deeper into the '80s-leaning promo.
In 1984, a young programmer begins to question reality as he adapts a sprawling fantasy novel into a video game and soon faces a mind-mangling challenge.
Stefan, the young programmer at the digital heart of Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is played by Dunkirk breakout Fionn Whitehead, who looks quite distressed throughout the trailer's runtime. He apparently works for a computer gaming company run by Asim Chaudhry, with a uniquely coifed Will Poulter as his presumed supervisor, named Colin. Stefan is apparently on some kind of brain-related medication that he inevitably decides to stop taking, which is bound to have catastrophic results, right?
I mean, meds don't usually allow people to enter their own reflections, but maybe this was some strong shit.
For this unique one-off, the main characters are challenged with creating a playable adaptation of the dense novel Bandersnatch, as penned by author Jeremy F. Davies, who reportedly went a little batty and decapitated someone. It's clear that Davies' history will play a big role in this story, as he appears both in the videotape that Stefan watches, and in the book that he's reading. I always like a good mystery involving an outcast writer who seemingly lost his mind, so I have high hopes.
Speaking of that videotape, it appears to feature a visual element that's quite familiar to Black Mirror fans: that upside-down field goal post symbol that probably has an official name that I can't think of right now.
Beyond appearing on the "White Bear" masks, he symbol has shown up in other episodes as well, from "Black Museum" to "Playtest," with the latter also featuring the franchise's first "Bandersnatch" reference as part of a magazine cover. Will the symbol's meaning be explored, or will it remain another piece of enigmatic connective tissue tying all these episodes all together.
Careful viewers likely also noticed another major Black Mirror reference during the trailer. The moment when Asim Chaudhry's developer is talking to Stefan, the poster on the wall is for a game called Metl Hedd. That game wasn't a story point in any previous episodes, but its title and the four-legged bot on the cover are indeed a callback to the Season 4 black-and-white episode "Metalhead." It's definitely worth noting that David Slade was the director for both "Metalhead" and Bandersnatch, so we might very well see more easter eggs popping up.
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch will make its highly anticipated debut on Netflix on Friday, December 28, at 12:01 a.m. PT. Be sure to use medications responsible while watching, and be sure to bookmark our midseason premiere schedule to see when Season 5 and all the other new and returning shows will debut new episodes.