The Twilight Zone Reboot | A brief history lesson and first episode discussion

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Jordan Peele acts as the narrator on the new incarnation of The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone originally aired in 1958 as an anthology series that told a different story every episode surrounding unusual science-fiction, paranormal, fantasy and horror-based events. The original show was known for its unexpected endings with each episode teaching the audience about their morality.

Known for the iconic theme song and Rod Sterling’s presentation of every episode, the series soon became extremely well-known and highly regarded. In 2016, Rolling Stone listed it as one of the greatest shows of all time and that wasn’t the first time that the show made it on a “best shows of all time” list.

But, in 1964 the series came to an end and was left to be a classic in the minds and hearts of many. The show has often been taught in science fiction and creative writing classes across the world because of the reputation and success it had. The barriers and conventions of the genre were constantly pushed to the limits in every episode.

In 2017/2018, it was announced that a revival was in the process at CBS and fans of the original show went wild. Both in favor and against a revival, people were genuinely interested in seeing how the reboot would work. The excitement around the reboot intensified when Jordan Peele, comedian and creator of the box-office hit Get Out, was to be the executive producer and replace Rod Sterling’s role as presenter for each episode.

On the first of this months, CBS’s streaming service, CBS All Access, released the first season of The Twilight Zone reboot. All 10 episodes were released at once to the public exclusively through this service, but the first episode titled, ‘The Comedian,’ was released on YouTube for the general public to get a taste.

Off the bat, we open with a political statement that is similar to the political critique that the original series would present to the audience. Actor Kumail Nanjiani plays a comedian named Samir, who is onstage giving his usual stand-up act that is more “intellectual” humor. Samir says in the episode that he would rather have his audience think about the joke than to have some disgusting monologue. Yet, throughout the episode, he plays with his stand-up routine and things start to happen…

Aside from the reboot being modernized and adding more mature themes and language, this doesn’t take away from the fact it still has all of the same elements the original had, too. The first episode captures that for the audience and is done so well that it would make anyone want to continue on. As soon as Jordan Peele appears onscreen, old fans are taken back to the original and new friends are captivated by Peele’s suave delivery of the most iconic part of the show:

“It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.”


Olivia Caswell is a junior Professional Writing student focusing on editing and publishing. When she is not fervently organizing her Spotify playlists, she can be found laughing at jokes that were popular in 2013, or staring at the severely unbalanced numbers that are her followers vs. her following on all social media platforms. Please follow her @oliviacaswell on Twitter and @oliviacaswell98 on Instagram.

Tags: CBS, Jordan Peele, reboot, rod sterling, twilight zone