The Twilight Zone drops two new trailers ahead of April 1 premiere


Jordan Peele’s Us took the box office by storm over the weekend, but it’s the new trailers for episodes of The Twilight Zone that have me excited.

Earlier today, CBS All Access and The Twilight Zone released two new episode trailers in anticipation of the April 1 return of the classic science fiction series. The trailers give us the first real look into the plots of the Kumail Nanjiani led “The Comedian” and the Adam Scott led “Nightmare at 30,000 Feet.”

“The Comedian” follows Nanjiani’s character, a struggling comedian, who is given some mysterious chance to achieve success. The trailer shows him unable to rouse a crowd during a standup set. Then he talks to a character played by Tracy Morgan (you have to love the casting of actual stand-up comedians in these roles).

Morgan’s character asks Nanjiani if he’s happy with his life and if he “wants it all.” Of course, who wouldn’t want it all? Things seem to take a turn after the two reach an agreement. Nanjiani’s career takes off, but his life starts to take some weird turns.

There’s a shot of a bus stop at one point, followed by a shot of the same bus stop now covered in police tape. Then, there’s a clip that made the series trailer where Nanjiani asks his significant other where their dog is, but she acts as they’ve never had one.

Rod Serling played with the idea of fame and fortune a lot during the original run of The Twilight Zone. This series seems to be following in his footsteps by questioning just how much a comedian is willing to lose for the sake of being famous.

Then there’s “Nightmare at 30,000 Feet.” It’s already a remake of the classic “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” which starred William Shatner. It’s a role that demands the lead actor be just the right amount of sane to make his paranoia captivating. Scott seems to bring the perfect amount of frantic in this trailer.

The trailer starts out with Scott going through the airport and security on his way to getting on a flight. As he boards the plane, his voiceover says “the past is the past and that will help me get through the now.” It’s clearly a mantra crafted to help a nervous man cope with his fear of flying.

He also has an mp3 player with him, perhaps another coping mechanism (or the source of his mantra).

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The plane takes off and the trailer shows Scott panic as the plane’s wing is apparently hit with something and then he’s trying to convince flight attendants and others to listen to him. He thinks something is clearly wrong.

Now here’s where things may be taking a turn from the original. While Shatner’s character tried to talk up a gremlin on the wing of the plane, Scott’s perceived villain seems to be inside already. As Scott’s anxiety and paranoia rises (he’s even taking notes on who or what is “responsible”), there are very clear cuts of him looking around at his fellow passengers, mostly at the people of color on the plane.

As Scott’s (also white) seatmate feeds Scott’s paranoia by saying that anything can happen at 30,000 feet, there’s even a shot of a small, brown-skinned child.

I could be wrong, but absent any other sort of fantastical aspect in this trailer, it seems like this episode may be making a strong, clear message about the unreasonable fear surrounding certain people of color and airplanes. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time Peele has used his platform to make a big statement about race relations in this country.

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What do you think? Am I off on what message The Twilight Zone is presenting? The Twilight Zone returns to us on April 1, so go ahead and let us know all of your thoughts on the new trailers in the comments.