The final episode of Key and Peele features the title duo looking back on the show. “A pure classic,” Jordan Peele calls it with relish. “Us, then Dallas, then… The Twilight Zone… there’s a list somewhere.”
While Peele currently has no plans to play J.R. Ewing1, his movie Us is less than a month away from release, which hits barely a week before the premiere of his own rendition of The Twilight Zone. Peele has taken the legendary Rod Serling’s job as showrunner, executive producer and host, and the first full trailer released this afternoon shows off the classical vision for the show:
The season will apparently intersperse new stories with “reimaginings” (their word, not mine) of legendary episodes. The trailer almost exclusively focuses on the latter, putting emphasis on names like Adam Scott, stepping into the shoes of William Shatner as the phobic passenger experiencing a “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” or Jacob Tremblay as the kid for whom “It’s A Good Life”.
While I’m excited for the show, I note that most of the show’s most enduring episodes, including the ones they’re remaking, weren’t original or remakes. They were adaptations. Speculative fiction, horror, strange morality plays —these are all genres that thrive in the medium of the literary short story. The original Twilight Zone‘s bread and butter was taking well-regarded SF/horror stories and translating them faithfully to the screen. Especially those of writer Richard Matheson, who wrote three times as many episodes as Serling did. I’m just a bit miffed that no one is doing the same thing when there’s such a wealth of great SF and horror stories that are ripe for a format like this.
The Twilight Zone (2019) premieres April 1st – no foolin’ – on CBS All Access. I would be shocked if it didn’t follow in the footsteps of its stablemate, Star Trek: Discovery, and have the premiere play on CBS proper.