Few TV series are as ‘sacred’ to me as The Twilight Zone. So I was extremely happy when it was announced last year that Jordan Peele – fresh off the success of Get Out – was helming a reboot of the seminal paranormal TV series. Because Peele, as best I can tell, gets it.
Peele, a lifelong fan of the original series – and now an icon of the horror genre himself courtesy of Get Out – appears to have similar feelings as myself about its brilliance, and the care that needs to be taken in doing right by it with any attempt at a reboot.
“I was terrified,” Peele says of the moment he was first asked to recreate the series. “Why would I ever jump into the most established, pristine shoes in all of the genre? I could rip ‘Twilight Zone’ off and call it something different and not be compared to Rod Serling.”
So he turned the request down originally. However, after being given time to think about it, he changed his mind. Why?
The realization, for me, was that it was an opportunity to attempt to continue with Serling’s mission. If we approach it without ego and sort of bow to Serling, that will hopefully suffice for our fellow ‘Twilight Zone’ fans but also bring back a show that I think is needed right now. Because it’s a show that has always helped us look at ourselves, hold a mirror up to society.
And now, after viewing the first trailer for Peele’s rebooted version of The Twilight Zone (premiering on CBS All Access on April 1), I’m really getting excited:
The trailer certainly captures the vibe, and (unsurprisingly, given Peele’s pedigree) hits all the right notes for the genre – from the soundtrack to the camera angles, all leaving the viewer with a distinct feeling of unease.
And there’s a few nuggets in there to delight Twilight Zone OGs, such as the gremlin’s head from the original, iconic “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” (starring William Shatner) floating in shallow water.
Whether’s it just a little tip-of-the-hat, or something more significant (there is an episode in the new series with title “Nightmare at 30,000 Feet”), we’ll have to wait and find out.