New version of The Twilight Zone to be on CBS All Access

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Shaka Zulu, May 27, 2018.

  1. Tuvix5675

    Tuvix5675 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I realize Trek was a product of its time. TOS in terms of production values and technology, TNG and its spin-offs in terms of the alien of the week format that favored syndication, an anthology series will always be episodic, which is what they said they wanted to do originally with Discovery. Even the limits of syndication were being pushed by DS9 (Dominion war arc)and ENT (Zindi arc), but Trek may work better in that format, in terms of the type of story-telling it used: morality play, present-day allegory about current event topics, etc. Discovery was become a soap opera, not something a lot of Trek fans like myself favor.
     
  2. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It was clearly supposed to be about racism, but once you added the supernatural element, the story got muddied.

    The first timeline was about a racist cop.

    The next 50 timelines, where the racist cop still kept chasing the nice black family like he was an unwavering terminator, had me thinking that a supernatural element was enhancing or controlling the racist cop.

    Yes, it was supposed to be about racism, it's still about racism, but the writers got lost and fucked up their original intentions, by making the cop seem mystical, that it was unquestionable cosmic forces making him chase mom and kid.

    50 timelines where the cop always catches and beats you or shoots you?

    That's not just bad luck.

    God and the devil were having a bet, or Aliens with super science were using earthlings as chess pieces, or this whole story was a glitching futuristic exhibit from the museum of tolerance.

    Something else was happening, that we could not see.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  3. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I took it as a metaphor for how african-americans feel their lives are like. Some try to be nice, some try to avoid the bad cops, but no matter what, they still see tragedies of black kids getting shot. So it is not different timelines of course, but it feels like it. It feels like no matter what they do, they are hopelessly caught in a cycle where they still get shot.
     
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  4. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This iteration of the Twilight Zone is terrible. It pales in comparison to original TZ, Black Mirror, or even Inside No. 9. It's barely batter that Room 104. I'm giving it one more shot, but after that I'm really done.
     
  5. Awesome Possum

    Awesome Possum Verified Disney Princess Moderator

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    Exactly, no matter what they did he would always harass them. It’s meant to address those who act like the people who get killed did something wrong and the police response was correct, as if they brought their death upon themselves somehow. They did everything they knew to do and it always ended horribly.
     
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  6. Hela

    Hela Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That, and he’s racism itself.

    The ugly historical remnant determined to prevent people from embracing the future (Dorian’s growing up and heading to uni), combatted via united social pressures against it (the students shaming the cop) and people learning from the past (Nina resolving her issues), whilst only ever just kept at bay. It will still always be there, waiting for people to slip and let their guard down (the camera breaking and the ending.)

    For the record, I liked this one. Reminded me a lot of ‘He’s Alive.’ Very old school TZ.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
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  7. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I like that interpretation. Yeah, the cop could have been the personification of racism. It makes sense. He (racism) relentlessly pursued them for no reason, no matter what they did, and tried to prevent the boy from bettering his life through education just like racism does. Even when the mother bought the cop a piece of pie and tried to relate to him, it didn't work. You can't try to relate to racism, appease or placate it.
     
  8. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The first three episodes have been a disappointment IMO, all are average at best and that's being generous. The third one was not subtle at all and there's no real room for interpretation. The rewind concept was done before and better. It's really surprising that they tried to reboot twilight zone with episodes this average they could be straight out of the last bad reboot.

    I'll give it one more episode and then give up
     
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  9. Spider

    Spider Dirty Old Man Premium Member

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    The original Twilight Zone was a good show, but it seems every single time they try to remake it they screw it up. Including this one.

    The remake of the Outer Limits went pretty well (a lot of it anyway), but it seems the poor old Twilight Zone keeps getting mishandled. What a shame.
     
  10. Hela

    Hela Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The utter lack of alternate interpretation, is exactly why I liked it. Death of the Author is inevitable anyway, so it doesn’t always need its hand held by the actual writers.

    Shows like Trek typically coach their messages (and play the fantastical element in such a way) as to be as broad as humanly possible. To the point where they’re not actually confronting.

    ‘The Other’ is the go-to example of where it’s supposably about gay people, but is so mishandled that instead it just reads as a very general ‘societal pressures are bad,’ If I wanted to interpret it as ‘Moooooooom shouldnt tell me that ‘gamer’ can’t be my entire identify, and encourage me a functional member of society!,’ than there’s nothing in the text to really contradict me.

    Same with something ‘Let this Be Your Last Battlefield,’ which settled for ‘mmm, hatred is bad, okay?’ and both-sided everything, despite that not being at all how racism (a structural problem, as much as a personal one) works. Yeah white dudes, the Black Panthers weren’t perfect. That doesn’t make them ‘as responsible’ as something like the Klan. They might as well be talking about Trek fans Vs Star Wars fans.

    Wide applicability has its place...when your selling something. But if you really want to comment on societal issues, a more direct or knowledgeable approach is nearly always best.

    Which incidentally, is why I compared it to ‘He’s Alive.’ That one doesn’t fuck around either, and showed that the ‘being too 1:1 with contemporary life will date it!’ is blatantly untrue. It also incidentally, explained why the blunt and obvious need to keep being repeated. “We keep him alive.”

    Having watched both fairly recently (remake finally got a DVD release here,) even they’re fairly different beasts from one another. Original OL was probably ‘darker’ than most of TZ (sad endings were a norm), but it’s nowhere near as cynical and mean as the remake pretty consistently was.

    I actually wonder if the success of the OL’s remake (compared to TZ’s anyway) was more to do with many people just not having that greater memory of the original, outside its opening. Which isn’t a knock to its quality, but even in its time it didn’t have near the success of Twilight Zone. It’s iconic, but doesn’t seem to ever have been all that familiar to people.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Except the 80's version. ;)
     
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  12. Cyrus

    Cyrus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The first 3 episodes have been OK. Not great but good enough to keep my attention.

    I am subscribed to CBS AA for their Star Trek shows, wouldn't do it just for new TZ. But while I am subscribed I will check out the new TZ episodes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
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  13. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    When original TZ wanted to go preachy, the really effective episodes delivered their messages with a twist or some really powerful scenario. Obsolete Man had both, and He's Alive definitely had that haunting ending. Some were better than others but usually I kind of come away from original TZ feeling like I saw something clever and it was a smart way to deliver that message.

    The "person suddenly controls time" kind of thing has been done well before. Even the 80's reboot did a version called "A little peace and quiet" which ending was extremely disturbing to this day and the time stopping gimmick really made it's point.

    For me for it to truly be Twilight Zone it can't just tack the message onto old scenarios, it needs to be done well. This wasn't on that level in my opinion it was a lot of characters just acting nonsensically -
    no one would let a child handle a camera that controls time

    I will say my dad liked Replay (and hated the first two eps) and he introduced me to the original TZ so I'll give the episode credit for that
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  14. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I would add that the classic TZ managed to do a lot with very little. Certainly the sets were very basic by today's standard. You mention the Obsolete Man. The episode basically involved a large empty room with a table and a high podium and another set that was a small bedroom. "He's alive" used a street corner and a room with chairs and a podium. The sets were definitely simple. Yet, the show managed to tell quite a story and pack quite a punch of a message.
     
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  15. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think you could still do an episodic Trek. It’s not what the sci-fi audience expects but it may be what could pull in a network audience.

    What you can’t do is a show like OG Twilight Zone where sometimes nothing exciting happens until the last minute. People today will click away if something doesn’t grab them in the first minute.
     
  16. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Well, that was kind of like the pieces of a Twilight Zone episode that fell on the floor and didn't get put back together just right. Or maybe several episodes, because it was kind of reminiscent of "The Hitchhiker" and "A Most Unusual Camera," and maybe a couple of others. It started out great, with a lonely diner in middle America, complete with a jukebox. And then we've got an old-fashioned camera (that would have been futuristic on the original Twilight Zone) that can rewind time-- possibly stop it and speed it up, too, but nobody ever tried that. Nor do we know if it will work for anyone else but the mom.

    But then we set up a premise where the state trooper, who seems to represent an inhuman force, will always get them as long as they bypass the uncle's house, because the story seems to be about the mom's disconnection from her family. Along the way, we get some talk about alternate dimensions and cosmic strings, just to have the words out there, apparently, and some self-contradictory comments from the son about the Big Bang giving rise to a deterministic universe, implying that the camera is trying to get around that and the universe is fighting back. And then we learn that the camera once belonged to the mom's dad, strengthening the idea that the camera is haunted and trying to protect them, while maybe using the state trooper to force them into a family reunion. But then when the family reunion leads to a safe path to the school using memories from childhood, the state trooper shows up anyway, this time with reinforcements, strengthening the idea that the universe didn't want the kid to make it to the school and is trying to right itself. Then the antique camera that has been the central prop of the story so far is not used to protect the kid and his family from the forces of evil-- a barricade of modern cameras connected to the cloud are instead, totally undoing both the premise of the mom's father's ghost protecting them or the universe trying to keep its timeline intact. Then we flash forward ten years in the future, where everything is okay, but the camera gets broken and we get a hint that the evil state trooper or his equivalent is immediately on the scene to get the kid now that he is no longer under the protection of the haunted or universe-bending antique camera-- except that he never was, because the previous time reversals were only there to show us that the camera could not protect him and that his fate was inevitable.

    I think it would have all come together better if the mom's idea of talking to the state trooper had been the climax, and that it had worked. That would have made the story elements come together more seamlessly and have provided a more positive them to the events.
     
  17. Kirk Prime

    Kirk Prime Captain Captain

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    I didn't like this latest episode at all. I don't believe for one second that our police in general are that racist. Do racist cops exist? Yes. But TV likes to make it seem like this is the majority. It isn't. It's a terrible stereotype that writers like to portray.

    I also have found that in the last two episodes, good people who did nothing wrong got hurt by the Twilight Zone. In the pilot, while the comedian didn't ask for what happened, he knew what he was doing, and knowingly killed people he didn't like. In the second episode, the Twilight Zone forced this innocent man to cause a plane crash, and killed him. And in this one, it just implied that nothing could save this kid from being destroyed by a racist cop, no matter how long.

    I hope this show gets better. Twilight Zone has always been clever, and I don't mind social commentary, but this isn't that. This was just piling on the racist cop stereotype. Cops aren't evil.
     
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  18. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The ep was just addressing a problem that is very real for a lot of african-americans. It was a big big problem a few decades ago, it's gotten better now but it clearly still persists. But I don't think the ep was suggesting in any way that all cops or even a majority of cops are racist and evil.

    This is an interesting point. Now that I think back to classic TZ episodes. It would be bad people like the cheater, the liar, the narcissist, the greedy one etc who would get their comeuppance by the Twilight Zone. A couple examples off the cuff. "A Nice Place Visit" where it's revealed that the guy is actually in hell, was a criminal who had robbed and murdered. "The Masks" where the people get their faces permanently disfigured were very selfish and greedy. They couldn't wait for their father to die so they could take their inheritance. They were not good people. I am sure there are other examples. Whereas good people might get weird stuff happen, but not actually get punished by the TZ. Whereas this TZ does seem to screw with good people.
     
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  19. Tuvix5675

    Tuvix5675 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Moral relativism is much more widely accepted by society today. In the information age there are numerous daily examples of innocent people being victims of crime or nature, or having bad things happen to them accidentally. In the fifties/sixties more people were a lot more religious than today and believed in the justness of society or God.
     
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  20. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    When the "reinforcements" arrived, I was expecting them to be on the side of the civilians. I was disappointed when that wasn't the case.