Rod Serling created the original television series in 1959, and it’s been one of the first things the mundanes think of when they hear the words “science fiction”. It has always been our ambassador to the world at large, one of the rallying points around which fandom has gathered for generations.
CBS, the network that aired the original series and all of its revivals and spinoffs, has now reopened a doorway for us, enabling us to return to the dimension of imagination. Here is the new trailer for The Twilight Zone.
Now be honest. You imagined me standing there in a black suit and tie, holding a cigarette, while saying all that.
The trailer contains pieces of several episodes. One is a reimagining of Rewind from the early 2000’s Twilight Zone reboot, in which Sanaa Lathan’s character gains the ability to turn back time with her recorder — this time, it’s a video camera, which is also a callback to an old favorite, A Most Unusual Camera.
The people making the new series have a powerful grip on the material, and it shows. The scenes portray a hyperfocus on the details they want you to see. The color palette is tightly controlled. No risks are taken on ambiguity, which only further heightens the sense of mystery. You see everything exactly as it is, without hyperbole, or extension, or fluff — and yet, something is very definitely outside the normal realm of human experience.
Now rewind. Watch it again.
There’s the monster from Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, the one a terrified William Shatner saw out on the wing of his commercial flight, the one taking pieces off the plane, the one that nobody else could see. And it’s just washed up on the beach, like a child’s toy.
There’s the fortune-telling devil’s head on a spring, harking back to the classic episode Nick of Time.
This is going to be a fun and intriguing ride into the fifth dimension. To visit that middle ground between light and darkness, between science and superstition, you’ll need a subscription to CBS All Access. Hosted by Academy Award winner Jordan Peele, The Twilight Zone premieres April 1.