Are you back at work today? Are you struggling, like me, to crank your brain back into gear after an indulgent Christmas? The holidays just past are all about, well at least for me anyway, gorging on good food, great TV and a surplus of books.
And the TV really was pretty great last year. We had the Molly Goddard-wearing psychotic Villanelle in Killing Eve, Jamila Jamil coming into her own on the Good Place and, of course, Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror continued to shock and chill in equal measure.
But it’s the latest episode of this last show which has captivated audiences once more. Bandersnatch, named after a mythical creature in Lewis Carroll’s the Jabberwocky poem, is an extended episode of Black Mirror recently released on Netflix. But it’s TV with a twist because, in this episode, the audience decides the plot; you choose what the main character will do next.
It is an enlightening and brilliantly created sequence, which allows the audience full control over the story they wish to see. You’re no longer simply a passive viewer but rather an active participant in the drama that is unfolding on the screen in front of you.
Since it’s debut in 2011, Black Mirror has terrified us with its depictions of modern life, of a futuristic world which is often only a few shades darker than our own. From the all consuming nature of technology to our right to privacy and free will, Brooker harnesses our very real fears and creates a world of TV which, now, we can have a little bit of a say in.