By now you’ve probably had a chance to make it through “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” enough times to see just about every possible permutation of the “Choose-Your-Own-Adventure” narrative. But what about the two actors, Will Poulter and Fionn Whitehead, who are at the center of the story?
Yes, both actors have watched/played “Bandersnatch” enough times to give their own takes on which endings were their favorites, and which have them concerned. If you need a refresher, click here for a brief explainer on just what those five main endings are.
“My favorite one is probably the ending where it zooms out and you can tell that it’s all a film set,” Whitehead tells TheWrap, pointing to the meta-finish that reveals the office of Dr. Haynes, his psychiatrist, is just a movie set and everyone — including Whitehead’s unaware Stefan — are all actors.
Poulter, however, said that he’s seen about 70 percent of “Bandersnatch” and while he doesn’t yet have a favorite ending, he definitely has one that’s keeping him up at night.
“The one I’m most worried about is the one where [his character] Colin chooses for Stefan and spikes him with acid, coerces him over a balcony and then just sort of casually strolls back into his office like nothing happened,” Poulter said, referencing how after a story ends it lets go you back to an earlier decision. “He deserves to go to jail for a long, long time. And the fact it’s like ‘try again’ is just bizarre.”
Whitehead interjected: “Then again, Stefan is so meek. Maybe that’s what he needed.”
Even so, Poulter thinks that at some point Colin would have some explaining to do. “I don’t know that the forensic science would be able to uncover exactly what happened in his flat. But certainly Colin would have a few questions to answer in that ending.”
Whitehead also expanded a bit on another ending, the one that sees Stefan finish “Bandersnatch,” which then gets a 5-star review from a gaming critic. But because this is “Black Mirror,” it doesn’t happen until Stefan decides to kill his dear old dad and chop him up (and keep his head in his room).
When TheWrap asked him his thoughts on if that was the “best” ending because it leads to the game being a success, Whitehead and Poulter launched into a brief philosophical discussion.
“Do you think that’s the best ending just because he’s successful in his career? Does that kind of correlate directly to success within ‘Bandersnatch?'” Whitehead pondered. “For me, one of the most successful endings for Stefan is when you get two-and-a-half stars and ends up on his sofa in the same house with his dad at Christmas, and he still has his whole life ahead of him.”
This “ending” happens within the first 15 minutes of watching “Bandersnatch” and it simply makes you go back and try again. But Whitehead argues the whole thing represents an interesting social commentary.
“Everyone automatically goes to the fact that the most successful ending is when you get the highest rating on the game, as opposed to looking at the mental health and the sort of quality of life of the character itself.” Poulter agreed that it should make us all look inward into what we really care about as a society, which, when you think about it, is kind of the whole point creator Charlie Brooker has been making with “Black Mirror” this whole time.
“It also does potentially teach us something about what we commit ourselves to and we value most,” Poulter said.