The 'Black Mirror' Easter Eggs In 'Bandersnatch' Will Make Any Superfan Happy
The first four seasons of Black Mirror have held up a mirror to society's engagement with technology, but the show's interactive movie Bandersnatch takes it to a whole new level by allowing the viewer to directly interact with the events onscreen. While this level of involvement may chart a new course for the anthology series, the Black Mirror easter eggs in Bandersnatch prove that the show has not forgotten where it's come from. There are so many variations among Bandersnatch's diverging paths that one would have to watch the entire thing multiple times to see every possible iteration of every scene, but only those viewers with a keen attention to detail will notice the callbacks to some of Black Mirror's most beloved episodes.
Bandersnatch, like all other Black Mirror episodes, can be enjoyed completely independent of one another, which is part of what makes the series so accessible. However, longtime Black Mirror viewers surely recognize the themes of control and free will that have popped up time and time again in Black Mirror history on episodes like "U.S.S. Callister" and "Fifteen Million Merits". While Bandersnatch shares an undeniable thematic DNA with episodes of Black Mirror past, the episode also features some plenty of deliberate nods to the show's history.
Here are some of those callbacks.
An Easter Egg Years In The Making
Bandersnatch takes its title from the video game being made in the show, but it's not the first time that a Bandersnatch game has been mentioned in Black Mirror. In the Season 3 episode "Playtest", a magazine cover is briefly seen promising reviews of new games, including Bandersnatch. This creation is explained by one of Bandersnatch's endings which shows a modern-day programmer developing a new adaptation of Bandersnatch.
"Metal Hedd" Isn't Just A Game
Tuckersoft, the video game company that is making Bandersnatch already has one massive hit under their belts at the beginning of the film — Metal Hedd. The game's cover art and the brief amount of gameplay seen indicates that the game is about someone running from a bloodthirsty mechanical dog, just like the Season 4 episode "Metal Head," which was also helmed by Bandersnatch director David Slade
'Black Mirror' Takes A 'NOHZDYVE'
Superstar game developer Colin Ritman may have a lawsuit on his hands if Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker finds out he's stealing all his episode ideas and turns them into best-selling games! Colin's second game he releases during Bandersnatch is named after the Season 3 premiere "Nosedive," although the gameplay doesn't seem to have much in common with the social-media obsessed episode.
Rolo Haynes Makes An Appearance In Name Only
The finale episode of Season 4, "Black Museum," introduces one of Black Mirror's most deplorable and twisted characters — Rolo Haynes. While Rolo Haynes doesn't make an appearance in Bandersnatch, it seems that the sadistic museum curator served as the inspiration for the name of Stefon's therapist, Dr. R Haynes.
Welcome To San Junipero - Kind Of
While the technology it would take to build the virtual utopia of "San Junipero" seen in Season 3 is still possibly centuries away from the rudimentary computer graphics of Bandersnatch, the '80s-set film features a reference the '80s-inspired masterpiece in the form of the therapist's office that Stephan visits. When he's meeting with Dr. Haynes, he's meeting at Saint Juniper's medical facility.
The Show's Defining Symbol Finally Gets An Explanation
The symbol for diverging paths, resembling an upside-down "Y" with right-angles plays a huge role in Bandersnatch, but the symbol has been kicking around the Black Mirror-verse since Season 2. The symbol originated in the episode "White Bear" where it was used to haunt the protagonist, a subtle reminder that the symbol had been tattooed on her partner's body. It then turned up in Season 3's "Playtest" and on the cell doors of the Christmas special "White Christmas." Bandersnatch reveals that the symbol was imagined by Bandersnatch author Jerome F. Davis, who saw the symbol as representing "multiple fates, potential realities splitting in two.”
Bandersnatch is chock full of Black Mirror references, and with so many divergent choices and storylines to follow it's possible that fans will be finding easter eggs for weeks after the film's debut. Now that Bandersnatch has entered the Black Mirror-verse, expect plenty of easter eggs referring to Stefon and ther other characters introduced in Bandersnatch when Season 5 of Black Mirror eventually rolls around.