Home » Bandersnatch – Don’t choose anything…

Bandersnatch – Don’t choose anything…

Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch has been a much talked topic on the internet for the past few weeks, including a visit from Tuckersoft to our own fine city.

Bandersnatch
credit: Dave Massey / BrumHour

But what happens if you watch an interactive show without actually interacting with it? #BrumHour’s Dave Massey finds out…

Bandersnatch
Credit: Netflix / Black Mirror

<BACKGROUND>

Stefan has a passion for computer games and this is the Sinclair Spectrum generation, He gets a computer game commission and has his own mental health issues to deal with while he completes building the game. Doesn’t sound like a lot does it? No..

Since appearing just after Christmas 2018, Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch on Netflix is proving that streaming content can still bring new things. Do we make our own choices? or are they chosen for us? Instead of making choices I let the the episode play out without picking anything at all.

Here’s what happened: SPOILERS AHEAD! And auto-selections are in Bold Red:


<BEGIN>

In July 1984 Stefan (Fionn Whitehead) awakes to the sound of Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood takes his tablets and heads to breakfast, his dad (Craig Parkinson) offers him breakfast,

Choice: Sugar Puffs or Frosties?

I really want Frosties (The’re great!) but we’ll have to settle for Sugar Puffs. This time.Randomly a dog digs up the flowerbed outside their house but we then cut to Stefan gets on the bus, He picks what tape to play

Choice: Thompson Twins or Now 2?

Stefan head’s to an office in Croydon for his meeting with Mohan Thakur (Asim Chaudhry) and meets game creator Colin (Will Poulter).

Stefan is offered a game commission by Mohan, a team to support development and desk space at the games company.

Choice: Accept or Refuse.

He accepts the offer to work on the game from the office, and Colin tells him/us “Wrong Choice Mate”.

<ENDING ONE>

It’s Five months later and the game gets a terrible review. 

Bandersnatch
Credit: Netflix / Black Mirror

<RESTART>

Speeding through the first few minutes featuring Thompson Twins and Colin recalls some of previous events.

Choice: Accept or Refuse

Stefan refuses the offer to work within the office and work on the game from home on his own.

Stefan heads home and further cracks in his relationship with his dad are visible. On the TV Sefan sees Colin’s latest game get a 4 star review. Then Stefan is having a counselling session with Dr. Haynes (Alice Lowe) talking about something forcing him to decline working in the office.

He’s offered the chance to talk about his Mother…

Choice: Yes or No?

We learn about via flashback Stefan’s missing toy rabbit that he’s looking for as a child on the morning his mother is killed in a train accident. There’s a single No which is auto chosen for everyone. Stefan says he hates his dad over the events of that day.

Stefan heads to WHSmith which in the 1980s sold records along with its books, magazines and Parker pens. Which record should he pick?

Choice: Phaedra by Tangerine Dream or The Bermuda Triangle by Tomita.

Before taking Phaedra to he spots a book by about Jerome F Davies who is the writer of the Bandersnatch book. He takes the bus home and plays his new album.

Dad comes into Stefan room and disrupts his work, Stefan gets angry…

Choice: Throw Tea over Computer or Shout at Dad?

DEAD END Throwing the tea leads to a dead end with the game unfinished. Bandersnatch will automatically Go Back, returning us to the same choice:

Choice: Throw Tea over Computer or Shout at Dad?

Dad drives Stefan to Dr Haynes office. When leaving the car Stefan spots Colin in the street.

Choice: Visit Dr Haynes or Follow Colin?

In Dr Hayne’s office, Stefan starts to talk more about being controlled, making him more ad more stressed.

Choice: Bite Nails or Pull Earlobe.

Our control over Stefan is becoming specific. Stefan is driven back home and is in the bathroom with his latest pills prescribed by Dr Haynes.

Choice: Take Pills or Flush Them?

<ENDING TWO>

Time moves forward and Stefans game is out in the shops. On the TV is an average review of the game.

Bandersnatch
Credit: Netflix / Black Mirror

<RESTART>

We again speed through our original choices. And return to the point of post meeting with Dr Haynes.

Choice: Take Pills or Flush Them?

Time jumps forward again and Stefan is offered an extension on his game creation. The Sugar Puffs advert appears on a video given to Stefan by Colin followed by a documentary on Jerome F Davies. Stefan gets frustrated by another bug in the game.

Choice: Destroy Computer or Hit Desk?

DEAD END Destroying the computer leads to a dead end with the game unfinished. Bandersnatch will automatically Go Back, returning us to the same choice:

Choice: Destroy Computer or Hit Desk?

Stefan paces around the room in frustration and his eyes flit back and forth between a family photo with Dad, Mum and Stefan and a book called “Look Door, Get Key: A Guide to Writing Adventure Games” by J  Hereford

Choice: Pick up the Family photo or Pick up the Book?

He hugs the photo and its suddenly dark. Stefan gets the urge to climb through a mirror and emerges as the five year old we’ve seen looking for his rabbit. It’s a dream and he wakes in his room.

Working on his game it bugs out again.

Choice:  Throw Tea over Computer or Destroy Computer?

Stefan manages to resist throwing the tea and shouts at us. Meta! Who are we?

Choice: 

Netflix

or  

(The White Bear Symbol you may have noticed from  previous Black Mirror episode)

Stefan asks us What’s Netflix?

Choice: Tell Him More or Try to Explain?

It’s a streaming service. We’re give then option to elucidate further

Choice: Tell Him More or Stop the Conversation?

Stefan is being controlled by someone from the future. He visits Dr Haynes and explains about Netflix, a futuristic entertainment portal. Dr Haynes asked him if it’s entertainment wouldn’t it be better with more action?

Choice: Yes or Fuck Yeah?

Choice: Leap through the window or Fight?

<ENDING THREE>

A bell rings and “Stefan” is on a film set and his name is Mike.

Bandersnatch
Credit: Netflix / Black Mirror

<RESTART>

We speed through the choices and return to the point just before our appointment with Dr Haynes.

Choice: Visit Dr Haynes or Follow Colin?

The whole episode resets AGAIN, with mini flashbacks. Stefan follows Colin. At Colin’s flat he’s meets Kitty  (Tallulah Haddon) and Colin’s daughter Pearl and is offered the chance to smoke and then take LSD.

Choice: Yes or No.

Stefan is high, hallucinating whilst Colin explains his theory of multiple universes “Program and Control”. Colin takes Stefan out onto the balcony. Colin says one of them must jump to prove his theory, but who jumps?

Choice: Stefan or Colin? 

<ENDING FOUR>

Stefan is dead. His game gets a poor rating.

Bandersnatch
Credit: Netflix / Black Mirror

<RESTART>

Choice: Visit Dr Haynes or Go Back?

We return to the balcony.

Choice: Stefan or Colin

Colin is dead on top of a shipping container. Stefan sees PAX the monster from Bandersnatch and then wakes up in his Dad’s car. He’s back at Dr Haynes office anyway and asks for drugs. In the office, Colin has gone missing and an intern hands Stefan a video tape Colin has left for him..

The Sugar Puffs advert appears on a video given to Stefan by Colin followed by a documentary on Jerome F Davies. Stefan gets frustrated by another bug in the game.

Choice: Destroy Computer or Hit Desk?

Stefan paces around the room in frustration and his eyes flit back and forth between a family photo with Dad, Mum and Stefan and a book called “Look Door, Get Key: A Guide to Writing Adventure Games” by J  Hereford

Choice: Pick up the Family photo or Pick up the Book?

Stefan asks for a sign

Choice: 

Netflix

or  

(The White Bear Symbol)

In the kitchen Stefan says he is being controlled and he’s dangerous. Dad tries to calm him down.

Choice: Kill Dad or Back Off?

He hits his dad with an ashtray and his dad crashes to the ground. in a panic Stefan wonders what to do.

Choice: Bury Body or Chop Up Body?

As he considers this, the phone rings. Will the game be ready by the end of the day asks Mohan?

Choice: Yes or No.

Kitty is looking for Colin, She’s at the games office and then goes to Stefan’s house to look for Colin. Stefan is interrupted from dragging his dad’s body by Kitty knocking the door asking where is Colin.

Choice: No idea or He jumped?

He says he’s got no idea and closes the door and finishes burying the body in the garden. The dog digs it up a short time later

<ENDING FIVE>

Tuckersoft goes into liquidation and Stefan is arrested for murder

Bandersnatch
Credit: Netflix / Black Mirror

<RESTART>

The whole story resets with Stefan killing his dad again.

Choice: Bury Body or Chop Up Body?

Stefan chops up his dad’s body and time goes forward. Stefan rings Dr Haynes whilst his games company gets an engaged tone. He claims his dad his away after trying to saw up his body.

<ENDING SIX>

Stefan talks about free will but his dad’s severed head is sat in Stefan’s room. The game gets a five out of five rating and we appear to see credits.

Bandersnatch
Credit: Netflix / Black Mirror

Colin’s daughter Pearl is rebooting the game for a modern audience.

Choice: Does Pearl Throw Tea over Computer or Destroy Computer? 


<RESTART>

The whole story resets. Get Rabbit from Dad is our only choice.

Stefan picks up the book, gets a key from his dad’s jacket and opens a room with coded safe with a three digit password

Choice: TOY or PAC?

Stefan types TOY and his rabbit is in the safe. Stefan is a child holding his toy rabbit. He puts the rabbit under his bed. In the morning, Does he go with his mother to his death on the train.

Choice: Yes or No?

<ENDING SEVEN>

He dies in the present in the first counselling session with Dr Haynes

Bandersnatch
Credit: Black Mirror/ Netflix

 


<RESTART>

Program & Control is our only choice.

The whole story resets Stefan has taken the drugs and picks up the book.

He types PAC and in the cupboard is files with the Symbol on He finds photos of his whole life and tapes with his details on including when he was introduced to the family holding his rabbit.

He’s on a film set again. Then he wakes up in bed.

Choice: 

P.A.C.S

or  

(The White Bear Symbol)

He tells his dad that they are all controlling him and he kills his dad with an ashtray.

He hears Dr Haynes voice saying “Anytime you need me you know the number.” We then hear the number 20541 and a screen comes up to type them in. But we are still aren’t selecting anything. So he types a number that isn’t recognised. He finishes buying his dad again. Later the dog tries to dig the body up.

<ENDING EIGHT>

The game is released with 2.5 stars rating and Stefan is in prison for murder.

Bandersnatch
Credit: Black Mirror / Netflix

The final credits roll! Are there more endings. Of course. Are there more secrets? Obviously.

Find Dave at brumhour.co.uk

 


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