Why interactive Black Mirror episode Bandersnatch won’t work on certain devices

Not everyone can watch the latest instalment of the Netflix series

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

After making fans wait all year for another helping of Black Mirror, Charlie Brooker surprised-dropped Bandersnatch earlier this week, a feature length ‘choose your own adventure’ episode that allows viewers to select the direction in which the story goes, with multiple endings available.

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But it seems not everyone will be able to enjoy the interactive elements of the film, with certain devices unable to play Bandersnatch.

As specified by Netflix, you cannot watch the latest instalment of Black Mirror on Chromecast, on the Windows App, on Apple TV or any browsers that still use Microsoft Silverlight, while viewers should ensure all Netflix apps are up to date to get the interactive experience.

The poster on the left hand side is for Manic Miner, a real 1980s computer game (Netflix/YouTube)

Why is this? Netflix has to cache and load two separate narrative pathways so the viewer can make their choice and the content can continue seamlessly.

Older versions of the Netflix app are incapable of this, whilst other technical reasons impact its effectiveness on some devices.

While Bandersnatch is not Netflix’s first foray into interactive viewing – with the streaming service’s kids movie Puss in Boots previously experimenting with the functionality – Bandersnatch is entirely ‘non-linear’ with no set definite ‘ending’.

According to Newsweek, if you try to watch the show through Chromecast, you receive an ‘I’m sorry’ error message, decorated with scenes from previous Black Mirror episodes, and are told to watch something else.

Pictured - Fionn Whitehead

Currently, it takes a viewer an average of 90 minutes to watch Bandersntach, which can be narrowed down to 40 minutes if they manage to complete the story without any do-overs.

While there are five ‘endings’, there is also a further secret post-credits scene which reveals further references to previous episodes of Black Mirror and even an interactive game titled Nozedyve.

Brooker told Variety that he was initially against the idea of an interactive episode of Black Mirror, even telling Netflix there was “no f****** way” he was going to consider it – until he came up with the narrative for Bandersnatch.

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Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is available to stream on Netflix now


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