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Netflix's next Black Mirror may let you choose your preferred dystopian horror

One Black Mirror episode will have branching storylines that let you pick the plot, according to a report.

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Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
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  • Three Folio Eddie award wins: 2018 science & technology writing (Cartoon bunnies are hacking your brain), 2021 analysis (Deepfakes' election threat isn't what you'd think) and 2022 culture article (Apple's CODA Takes You Into an Inner World of Sign)
Joan E. Solsman
Characters in a Black Mirror episode satirizing Star Trek explore a planet

Black Mirror may be the first show for adults that gets Netflix's "choose your own adventure" interactivity. 

Netflix

Black Mirror may be Netflix's first grown-up show to get the choose-your-own-adventure treatment. 

There are plans for one episode to have an interactive, branching plot when the new season premieres, according to a report Monday by Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter. Season 5 of the sci-fi show is expected in December. 

The company introduced interactive episodes last year with children's specials, like a story about the Dreamworks' character Puss in Boots. The program let a kid pick whether Puss, for example, fights with a god or a tree, by choosing with a TV remote control or by tapping on a device's screen. It made Netflix one of the largest media companies to test the waters of interactive TV, a format that has held promise for years as television migrated to internet-based streaming but nevertheless remains niche. 

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Watch this: Netflix launches 'choose your own adventure' video

Among Netflix's main competitors, HBO beat the streaming giant to prestige interactive television last year with Mosaic, an interactive murder mystery by filmmaker Steven Soderbergh.   

Netflix decline to comment, other than to direct me to a YouTube video of crickets chirping and an animated GIF of Titus Andromedon casting a spell. 

Beyond Black Mirror, Netflix is working on a wider slate of TV shows and movies that let viewers pick the storylines they want to follow, according to Bloomberg, with the first set to arrive this year.