Six years ago, I wrote a blog post about the return of a fifth iteration of the Twilight Zone, the Rod Serling-hosted anthology series of science fiction and fantasy.
A quick recap. The original Twilight Zone lasted for five seasons and received much acclaim. The show was resurrected in 1985 as an hour-long CBS anthology series (Harlan Ellison wrote several of its best features), it re-appeared in syndication in 1988, and re-re-appeared in 2002 as an hour-long UPN network drama.
Now, with Jordan Peele as the mysterious narrator, The Twilight Zone will return this April on the CBS All Access streaming channel. Oh good. So now all that money I’m spending to watch Star Trek: Discovery will be worth it.
Here’s a commercial for the new show, as featured during this year’s Super Bowl.
This looks freakin’ amazing. And I hope that they do several things with this series –
1. I want brand new stories of horror and fantasy and wonder. I want the best stories by the best science fiction and fantasy writers. I want twists that hit me from out of nowhere.
2. I want new iterations and retellings of classic TZ episodes. Example – in 1961, one of TZ’s earliest classics, A Game of Pool, featured a billiards duel between pool shark Jack Klugman and afterlife pool expert Jonathan Winters (in a rare straight role). Klugman won the game, but now he has to play all the other billiards champions of all the other local billiards halls for the rest of his life – and beyond. In 1985, TZ2 redid A Game of Pool, with Esai Morales and Maury Chaykin in the roles played by Klugman and Winters, with the results of the final billiards matchup changed for the 1985 broadcast. Wow.
3. I want to see this new TZ go back and revisit some of the classic characters. Perfect example – one of TZ’s earliest creepy stories was It’s a Good Life, with Lost in Space star Billy Mumy as a tyrannical kid with god-like powers who terrorizes all that are near. In 2002, TZ4 brought us a sequel, It’s Still a Good Life, with Mumy’s character – now an adult – dealing with his character’s daughter’s growing powers. Nice.
I understand the appeal of reboots and reimaginings of classic television shows. But short of re-animating Rod Serling and filming the entire series in grainy black and white … this i the best possible avenue for Twilight Zone fans. I mean, Jordan Peele can do no wrong at this point. And that’s not even counting his head-turning creation Get Out.
Twilight Zone re-enters our lives on April 1 on CGS All Access.
Let’s do this.