Earlier this week, Black Mirror and gaming fans alike were treated to the newest episode of the series, Bandersnatch. The first of its kind choose-your-own-adventure episode saw the main character, Stefan Butler (Fionn Whitehead), struggling to make choices while creating his own choose-your-own-adventure video game in the 1980s.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bandersnatch might not be the last we’ll see of one of the episode's best characters. Apparently, Colin Ritman (Will Poulter), the enigmatic game designer who is “both dead and not dead” could turn up again.
During their conversation with Black Mirror’s showrunner, Charlie Brooker, and partner, executive producer Annabel Jones, THR learned that the process of making the ambitious episode “started expanding a bit like an inflatable life raft in a small room”. When the subject of Colin came up, it was revealed that the “impactful character” became the “most time-consuming” part of the episode.
"Ostensibly, he could go on forever, because he’s both dead and not dead," Brooker exlained. "I like the idea that he could show up anywhere. I could see him popping up in 'San Junipero' or running around in 'White Bear.'"
San Junipero is the Emmy-winning romantic episode that chronicles what happens when you’re uploaded into the afterlife. White Bear follows a woman who is being watched by bystanders as she struggles to remember the details of her life, ultimately discovering that she’s in a nightmare prison geared towards people’s amusement.
According to the article, “the biggest challenge for Jones was creating a cohesive world that had multiple endings that could all coexist for the protagonist, so viewers stayed emotionally engaged with his character.” There were a lot of things to consider and it took up a lot of the creator's time.
"Something like this is obviously a massive undertaking and bizarrely, the really time-consuming thing is holding onto that truthfulness," Jones added about making the episode’s various endings. "You could have created something like this where there were very dramatic and very big, disparate decisions for Stefan to make. But you might have ended up with a sprawling and incohesive story, which wouldn’t have been very satisfying. A lot of the craft comes from keeping the world as small as possible, but also keeping the world as emotionally impactful for Stefan as possible."0comments
In fact, the complexities of making the episode are what caused Black Mirror's fifth season to be delayed.
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is currently streaming on Netflix.