The Twilight Zone will return in March with new spooky tales as a series of 40-minute radio dramas on BBC Radio 4 Extra. The last televised Twilight Zone reboot was released to middling reviews in 2002, and the UK’s Black Mirror has taken its place as a serialized, mind-bending drama.
While rebooting as an old-fashioned radio show might seem, at first, like a weird move for the television show, The Twilight Zone, when it began in 1959, was an updated version of classic radio dramas like Quiet, Please! and The Mysterious Traveler. Now that the podcast renaissance is upon us, radio dramas have returned to widespread acclaim. The cast of Welcome to Night Vale tours regularly, and its writers published a successful book last year.
Inverse writers enjoy a great number of spooky podcasts and radio dramas, including Tales From Beyond the Pale, The Message, Limetown, Last Podcast on the Left, and BBC’s recent Neverwhere recording. Due to the success of these projects, the radio drama medium isn’t all that offbeat. It’s refreshing, actually, to see a classic program rebooted in a way that doesn’t feel like an outright cash grab for nostalgic and quirky millennials. Since the BBC’s radio show won’t be as widely distributed as, say, the recent X-Files reboot, there’s less of a chance that it will suck (as this X-Files season, sadly, did).
Among the cast members of curious old people are Stacy Keach of The Opie & Anthony Show, Jane Seymour, Jim Caviezel (who played Jesus in The Passion of the Christ), Michael York, Malcolm McDowell (the lead in A Clockwork Orange) and Don Johnson of Miami Vice. Here’s to hoping it’s a worthy reboot, for a change.