Bandersnatch is the name Lewis Carroll gave one of his fantastic creatures in Alice Through the Looking-Glass, but this origin says nothing about this film (except, maybe, for the fact that in one pathway, Stefan literally goes through a mirror straight into his childhood). It was only later, after Bandersnatch inspired many later creators in different fields, when it became the title of an 80s video game that was never released (at least under that title) that it becomes relevant here. A vapourware project advertised in 1984 and released in 1986 under the title Brataccas, Bandersnatch was a video game that clearly influenced the basic plot, or setup, of the latest Black Mirror offering. Looking at the setting and gameplay of the real-life video game, it’s obvious that the influence was only on a meta level, as it does not feature a demon named Pax or a choose-your-own-adventure structure, and neither was it based on a novel. Black Mirror writers were instead inspired by the story behind its development and the halted release due to the bankruptcy of Imagine Software, the company developing it. It’s hard to determine why this connection needed to be so obvious in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, but beyond the shared title, the film’s beginning is set on 9 July 1984, the day Imagine Software closed its doors.
Before proceeding any further, you must decide: do you want to avoid spoilers?