black mirror

The Black Mirror: Bandersnatch Trailer Takes Us Down The Rabbit Hole

Christmas comes late with an all-new Black Mirror feature.

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Had your fill of feel-good holiday programming? Take a break from Christmas princes and comely winter villages with with an all-new feature length episode of Black Mirror. The synopsis for Bandersnatch reads, “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.”

The episode stars Fionn Whitehead (Dunkirk), Will Poulter (The Maze Runner) and Asim Chaudhry (People Just Do Nothing) and is directed by David Slade, who helmed last year’s bleak Metalhead episode. Slade has also directed episodes of Hannibal and American Gods, so he knows his way around the world of horror and fantasy. In fact, you can see a callback to Metalhead in a poster on the office wall (as a previous game from the company).

The trailer promises the same combination of paranoia and dread that we’ve come to expect from the award-winning series, with an extra dose of trippiness thanks to some colorful pills and the hallucinogenic world of Lewis Carroll. The Bandersnatch is a fictional creature that appears in Carroll’s 1872 novel Through the Looking-Glass and his 1874 poem The Hunting of the Snark. It’s first mentioned in the poem “Jabberwocky” in Through the Looking-Glass, where the narrator warns his son to “shun / The frumious Bandersnatch”.

The Bandersnatch has remained a cult figure in popular culture, making appearances in other novels, television series and even video games. The creature is referenced in the Final Fantasy series and Kingdom Rush: Origins. It is also a computer science term, meaning the subject of a difficult algorithm design project for an apparently NP-complete problem, which may come into play in the episode, given that it centers on programmers.

In the trailer, we watch Whitehead’s growing obsession with the fantasy novel and its mysterious author, Jerome F Davies, who was driven mad by his own creation. We also catch glimpses of a hand passing through a mirror (looking glass!) and red and yellow pills (no word on whether one will make you smaller/taller). We’ll have to wait and see how many more Carroll references show up in the episode, since Black Mirror loves including Easter eggs.

I’m also excited for the 80’s setting, which it shares with season three’s San Junipero (well, sort of), the best episode of the series. Black Mirror has also had great success with their feature-length entries, including last year’s brilliant riff on Star Trek, USS Callister. Hopefully Bandersnatch will be another compelling entry into the Black Mirror universe.

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch drops December 28th on Netflix.

(via Nerdist, image: Netflix)

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Author
Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.