- A poster for the video game “Metl Hedd” — featuring what appears to be one of the mechanical dogs seen in the black & white episode — hangs on the wall of Tuckersoft. David Slade directed that episode as well as this one.
References from the Tuckersoft website:
- The actual “Metl Hedd” game description pretty much follows the plot of the episode “Metalhead” and includes that scary dog robot wielding a knife.
”Black Museum” references:
- Stefan’s therapist Dr. Haynes (Alice Lowe) shares the same surname as the shady Black Museum proprietor Rolo Haynes (Douglas Hodge). They could very well be related, which doesn’t bode well for Stefan’s therapy.
[Editor’s Note: Easter eggs for the episodes ”The Entire History of You,” ”White Christmas,” “Playtest,” “Shut Up and Dance,” and “Arkangel,” haven’t been found… yet.]
References to the Future of “Black Mirror”:
- In the Pearl Ritman ending, only one story on the news crawl was a head-scratcher: “Committee Grills Smithereen CEO Billy Bauer Over Russian Bots.” No character or company with that name has appeared on “Black Mirror”… but they might soon. Earlier this year, the communications office of Kent County in the U.K. tweeted “The #BlackMirror Season 5 episode Smithereens was filmed in Harrietsham in Maidstone and production also filmed on Church Road and a filed in Gravesend. The full series is on #Netflix on December 28.” The post has since been deleted, but one Redditor had the foresight to screen capture it first. Although it was only “Bandersnatch” that was released on that date, the rest of the information could still check out.
- There might be precedence for this sort of prognostication. In “Playtest,” Wyatt Russell’s character can be seen reading “Edge Magazine” that advertises a review of “Bandersnatch” coming soon.
Beyond the wealth of ‘80s music heard and listed in the episode (Colin sure loves his goth bands), knowing some history and the literary references Brooker drops is helpful to understanding the experiment with perception and reality at play.
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- “Through the Looking-Glass”: In an apparent dream sequence, Colin literally enters a mirror to cross into a new world (in this case, an alternate timeline). This is how Alice in Wonderland’s second adventure takes place in Lewis Carroll’s children’s book, “Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There.” The title of Davies’ book “Bandersnatch” is taken from a creature named in the nonsense poem “Jabberwocky,” which is featured in the book, and later in the poem “The Hunting of the Snark.” The monster apparently moves quickly and is “frumious,” a portmanteau word combining “fuming” and “furious.” It might be a stretch, but Stefan having a toy rabbit that played a pivotal part in his trauma and being “in the hole” while programming could be seen as references to Alice following the White Rabbit down into the rabbit hole into Wonderland.
- The Real “Bandersnatch” Game: The framework of the story is based on a real-life game named “Bandersnatch” that was being developed by Imagine Software with numerous ads touting its release in 1984. It was originally intended for release on the 8-bit ZX Spectrum home computer. Before its launch, however, Imagine Software went bankrupt, must like Tuckersoft does in one storyline. The episode’s opening date July 9, 1984 also coincides with when Imagine Software folded.
- ”The Doors of Perception”: When Mr. Thakur puts off Colin, saying that they can debate “Doors of Perception” later, he’s referring to a book Aldous Huxley wrote about his insights and experiences from when he took mescaline in 1953. This is likely the inspiration for Colin’s solution to Stefan getting out the hole through the use of a hallucinogen, most likely LSD. In one storyline it’s shown that Stefan’s father drops a mysterious liquid onto a cookie for his young son to eat before introducing him to a staged “trauma inception” event.
- ”Ubik”: A giant poster for Philip K. Dick’s acclaimed novel “Ubik” is on Colin’s wall when he introduces Stefan to psychedelics. The futuristic tale is open to interpretation but involves shifts in reality, time, and a substance known as Ubik that doesn’t conform to any one use or definition. Many attempts at adapting “Ubik” for the screen have been attempted, one by Michel Gondry. Its themes are in line with Stefan’s shifting perception of the world.
- Netflix: Besides having the viewer respond directly to Stefan about who’s controlling his fate, the Tuckersoft website also includes one more reference. Clicking through to a vintage 1984 ad featuring Mohan Thakur seeking video game programmers in turn links to listings for Netflix engineering jobs. Just think, you could make the next interactive tool for “Black Mirror.”
”Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” is currently streaming on Netflix with Season 5 due in 2019.