black-mirror-bandersnatch-interactive-script

Late last year, Black Mirror producers surprised fans by launching a special new episode dubbed Bandersnatch. The episode is special not just because it was released ahead of the upcoming fifth season of the show but also because it uses interactive storytelling in a very unique way. Bandersnatch plays out similar to a choose your own adventure game where viewers essentially take control of the main character and get to make decisions for him. This concept makes for a very fun viewing experience but it also turned the script into a bit of a nightmare for the actors.

Creating Bandersnatch’s branching narrative was no easy feat and required careful planning. On one hand, the script needed to take into consideration all the different choices that could be made by the viewer, as well as their possible consequences. On the other hand, the script also had to be easy enough to understand for the actors, which wasn’t the case initially. In fact, the original Bandersnatch script was apparently pretty confusing and difficult to follow. As a result, the writers decided to turn the script into a game of sorts in order to make it easier to understand.

The Producers Used Twine to Create an Easier to Understand Script

“[The script] was very, very confusing to read in its physical form”, actor Will Poulter told IGN. “But I later got the opportunity to read it in sort of Twine document format. So it’s a kind of software that allows you to effectively play the script and experience it in a similar way to how the viewer experiences it, and that helped to make sense of it.”

Twine is an online tool that has been used to create text-based video games for years. The software is sometimes also used in other forms of interactive storytelling but rarely for major projects such as Black Mirror. In fact, it’s safe to say that Bandersnatch is the most important project to involve the use of Twine. For now at least.

The Final Version of Bandersnatch Could Have Been a Lot Longer

According to Bandersnatch lead actor Fionn Whitehead, the physical script was considered confusing even by the producers, one of whom advised him to work with the Twine document instead. Whitehead also noted that the Twine version was likely more complex than the final product. Unfortunately, there was so much content that some of it eventually had to be removed before it could be sent to Netflix.

“I can’t tell you for certain, as I haven’t watched all of the different options, but I’m pretty sure we shot stuff that was not included in the end because there was just so much,” said the actor.

Black Mirror season 5 is scheduled to premiere on Netflix sometime later in 2019. The official release date has not been confirmed just yet but the new season seems likely to arrive before mid-2019. In the meantime, it’s worth noting that Bandersnatch has multiple different endings, some of which are well hidden, so make sure to track them all down before the new season launches.

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