Black Mirror is always looking for new ways to challenge how audiences think.
The Charlie Brooker award-winning sci-fi anthology series is exploring a concept where Netflix viewers can choose how a story progresses within the untitled episode bringing a unique interactive experience, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The choose-your-own adventure episode will be featured on the show’s upcoming fifth season as viewers will see how their selections at different points will affect the interactive narrative.
While the anthology is set within techno-dystopian societies, Brooker entertained the idea of making a video game-themed story interactive, but nothing concrete panned out. One such example was the episode “Playtest” with Wyatt Russell where a gamer gets immersed into a virtual haunted house and his encounters become all too real to him.
“We could keep one on an infinite loop! You could do that on Netflix—make one a Groundhog Day that literally never stops. And disable the ‘back’ button for viewers,” Brooker said in a 2017 THR interview. “That’s something to think about. We did talk to some of the tech people about things we could do. When we were doing ‘Playtest,’ the video game episode, I wanted to do it in nightmare mode where after you watched it once, if you watched it again, it was different.”
Brooker is always looking for different ways to reinvent the show.
“We’re experimenting with new genres,” executive producer Annabel Jones.
“We try to do things that are markedly different from what we’ve done before, so hopefully we’ve got that.”
While Black Mirror is hardly the first project to be using the concept, Netflix has also implemented similar experience with their children’s programming. HBO provided the interactive setting for Steven Soderbergh’s limited series Mosaic with a linear version while providing a “branching” narrative.
Do you have a favorite episode of the anthology series? How do you think this upcoming episode of Black Mirror will mess with your mind?