By Roy Mathur, on 2019-04-05, at 23:33:59 to 23:52:19 BST, for Captain Roy's Rusty Rocket Radio Show
2019; CBS All Access has rebooted the old show. It is now hosted by Jordan Peel. It's the same stories, new, updated, or completely rewritten, retaining only the bones of some of the original scripts, and that's good.
I worried that it might just be a boring rehash of the original, which is impossible to pull off because nothing can live up to the original Twilight Zone (CBS 1959 to 1964), which is a work of art.
Rod Serling (Rodman Edward Serling) was a screenwriter, playwright, producer, and the creator and host of the original 1960s The Twilight Zone. Jordan Peele takes over and is the executive producer, producing the show for CBS through his Monkeypaw Productions company, and Marco Ramirez is the showrunner. Peele is also the host.
It's filmed in Brollywood, i.e. my old home city of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada.
The writing is done through a writer's room and the stories have been developed by Simon Kinberg (The Martian...), Jordan Peele, Marco Ramirez (Daredevil...), Rod Serling, and Alex Rubens (Rick and Morty...). Richard Matheson, Glen Morgan (Final Destination...), and Selwyn Seyfu Hinds (Ron Wimberly's Prince of Cats graphic novel adaptation in development).
Set today, but there's the late 50s/60s set design for the comedy club, the very retro-futuristic NASA space tourism posters based on the US government's bold Work Projects Administration Posters, the wardrobe (Kumail Nanjiani white casuals and Jordan Peele's slick Mad Men/The Man from U.N.C.L.E.-esque outfit), and props like the retro-futuristic styled mp3 player, and the damn black Parker Jotter ballpoint pen--seriously, stop using this pen in every single film when you want to evoke retro).
It's not a total dumb homage because we didn't have mp3 players or smart phones or on-screen diversity in the late 50s and early 60s. This takes what's cool from both eras and melds them into this really iconic style. And, I know it's not the most important aspect, but that look definitely enables fans of the first show, get on board with this. It also helps that Jordan Peel is as suave a host as the late Rod Serling. (See also NASAs space tourism posters).
In The Comedian (which you can watch free on YouTube--but not apparently in the UK, thanks America), Kumail Nanjiani plays a failing comic who is advised to use "people" from his own life in his act... with disastrous consequences. It's interesting that this classic monkey's paw type tale is the first story when Jordan Peele's production company is actually called Monkey Paw, a name that is becoming synonymous as the Bad Robot of horror.
Nightmare at 30,000 Feet is based on really well known episode from 1963, based on the Richard Matheson story about a writer who cracks up on a plane. It was famously remade, and starred John Lithgow, in the 1983 Twilight Zone movie spin off, which I saw at the cinema in 1986.
Next episodes? Replay on the 11 April and The Traveler 18 April.
It's not perfect, but it is stylish, engaging, and an original take on the old show. Given that there is so much terrible genre entertainment out there, I'm happy that this exists.