Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Frankie might say "Relax," but Black Mirror's new Bandersnatch trailer says "Freak the hell out"

Fans of techno-dystopia—and hey, who living in our current reality isn’t, at least to some extent, right?—are in luck tomorrow, with Netflix releasing its latest movie-length Black Mirror installment, Bandersnatch, onto its servers for admirers to enjoy, for a certain, very tense value of “enjoy”. Even better: The streaming service offered up a quick tease for the episode this morning, the better to have us all properly miserable and jittery by the time the special itself arrives.


Drenched in grim ’80s aesthetics, the film feels like a corrective to the show’s beloved-but-brief foray into feel-good nostalgia, “San Junipero”; rather than tapping into the euphoric sounds of “Heaven Is A Place On Earth,” Charlie Brooker and company instead drown the promo in the ironically nerve-twinging sounds of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s “Relax”. The story itself feels recognizably Black Mirror, too, tracking a young man (Dunkirk’s Fionn Whitehead) as he attempts to program a computer game adaptation of a classic sci-fi novel that may or may not have driven its author violently insane. Fun!

What the trailer doesn’t hint at, though, is what’s expected to be Bandersnatch’s biggest twist: This is supposedly the “Choose Your Own Adventure” episode that Booker’s been talking about for a while now, which is expected to feature branching paths, and way more available footage than any other “episode” the show has ever offered. We’ll presumably know more tomorrow, when Bandersnatch arrives.

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