Black Mirror

Netflix is set to allow fans of its Emmy Award-winning hit ‘Black Mirror’ to choose their own adventure.  This December, one episode of the fifth season will allow viewers to select the storyline.  This will be the first of multiple live-action projects that Netflix is hoping to make interactive.  Considering that ‘Black Mirror’ focuses on the impact of technology on society, that makes this show the perfect starting point for this technology.

Netflix has already implemented a similar choose your own adventure feature for their animated Dreamworks series ‘Puss In Book’, which allows kids to choose which of two adventures to send the sword-slinging feline.  The upcoming ‘Minecraft: Story Mode’, developed by Telltale Games will be a bit more complex and ‘Black Mirror’ and other adult-skewing shows are expected to be even moreso, although details are being kept under wraps.

This is a major experiment for Netflix, as a show with alternate scenes and a flexible storyline means additional scripts, scenes to be shot over and over in different ways and other production costs.  All this equals much higher budgets.  So it remains to be seen if interactive television will prove worth the added cost.

Earlier this year, HBO’s Steven Soderbergh-created series ‘Mosaic’ aired in a traditional format on the network but was also available on an app that allowed viewers to follow alternate customizable storylines.  While users couldn’t change the main storyline they could view it from different perspectives and learn different facts while unraveling the show’s main mystery.  The app also allowed viewers to explore the world of the story, examining documents, emails, voicemails, etc.  ‘Mosaic’ was met with generally favorable responses and Soderbergh is currently working on additional interactive projects for HBO.

The Season Four episode ‘USS Callister’ recently won two Emmy Awards.  When added to the three won by the episode ‘San Junipero’ from the third season, that brings ‘Black Mirror”s total to five and makes this series the one to beat when it comes to original TV movies.

Will it now become the go-to destination for interactive television?

Source: Bloomberg