Can The Twilight Zone be Redone?
If you’ve never seen the show, I don’t know what else to tell you: You must watch at least one episode. It’s actually hard to find a bad one. The Twilight Zone was constantly great, which is surprising. The “bad” episodes (usually attempts at comedy) are only bad in comparison with the others… and when The Twilight Zone was great, it could really pack a punch.
Something about the nature of The Twilight Zone made it so powerful. It was usually science-fiction, sometimes horror, and targeted the human condition. It taught lessons, but in unique and interesting ways. You always walk away feeling like you learned something about yourself. It wasn’t out to scare or frighten you… even if it did at times. It was there to open your mind and make you think in new ways.
I recently read an article that talked about bringing back TV shows and The Twilight Zone was mentioned: Could it be redone? I’m surprised because the series was brought back twice: once in the 80’s and once in 2002. Both times, the show stumbled and eventually failed.
Most people credit the original Twilight Zone’s success to Rod Serling. I agree, but surely someone could match his greatness for storytelling. The problem lies in the inability to define The Twilight Zone. It’s not easy to pinpoint what made the series so unique. Or maybe television just doesn’t work the way it used to.
I think for a remake to succeed, it needs the following:
- A 30-minute time slot: The original was a half hour and when the show switched to an hour (during its 4th season), the producers decided they’d made a mistake. The original Twilight Zone then went back to a half hour for its 5th and final season. These stories aren’t meant to be long and I think Rod Serling realized that.
- Don’t air it on a major network: Maybe it’s me, but I find the major networks (CBS, ABC, FOX, etc.) have a way of corrupting television. A show like The Twilight Zone needs to operate with as little corporate interference as possible. The show doesn’t need a big budget or amazing special effects. It’s about the stories. The show would function better on a network like Syfy or AMC.
- A Rod Serling: The person who decides to go ahead with the show needs to be like Rod Serling - not exactly like him, but they should care about the show and care about what they’re doing. There shouldn’t be too many people behind the series, trying to pull it in different directions. Instead, have a few, great writers with the lead writer/creator narrating and introducing the episodes.
These are my thoughts on a Twilight Zone remake, if it ever happens again. If you haven’t seen the show, please watch at least one episode. I hate to advocate it (I think you should buy the seasons), but there are a lot of great episodes on YouTube.
If you don’t know any of the episodes or don’t know where to start, I wrote a list on ListVerse.com with my pick of the top 10 must see episodes:
Watch any of them - they’re all amazing, I swear.