Black Mirror Is Heading Back to the 1980s With a Chilling New Holiday Special

Someone’s about to go down the rabbit hole.
Someone’s about to go down the rabbit hole.
Image: Netflix (YouTube)

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Netflix has just released the first trailer for a new Black Mirror special, and the standalone movie is coming tomorrow. This latest venture into technological terror is a retro tale of fantasy and video games called Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.

The one-off special shares its name with the Alice in Wonderland creature, as well as an actual video game project from the 1980s that never came to fruition. The episode is directed by Black Mirror alum David Slade and stars Fionn Whitehead (Dunkirk), along with Will Poulter (The Revenant), and others.


Just like the critically acclaimed San Junipero,” this episode is also a 1980s retro story. Here, it tells the story of a computer programmer in 1984 who begins a descent into madness as he works on adapting his favorite fantasy novel into a video game.

Bandersnatch will be a first for Netflix—possibly in a number of ways. The episode is the first standalone movie that Black Mirror has produced (the show has had movie-length episodes before, but as part of a larger season). However, there are also rumors that this film could be the Choose Your Own Adventure-style project that the series has been working on with Netflix. This hasn’t been confirmed, but if that was for this project, it would make it the first live-action film project that let adult audiences choose their own ending.

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch debuts on Netflix December 28.

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Beth Elderkin

Also, given how the woman in the TV screen tells us we’re “not in control,” I’m guessing this really is the CYOA-style narrative.