Submitted for your approval: your average social media experience takes on a strange new reality as Rod Serling’s poltergeist starts sending you new Twilight Zone pitches in 180 words or less. These aren’t just recycled plotlines from Serling’s seminal science fiction series, mind you. No, these are entirely new twists on our modern world, a world of Instagram and Netflix and Starbucks lined up two or three per block. You are entering a world of The Modern Twilight Zone on Twitter, which is regularly serving up 21st century twists on Serling’s iconic anthology series.
The Modern Twilight Zone Twitter has been up and running for several months now, and what’s interesting is that it’s not just the simple punchline farm you might expect. It would be easier to just parody the storytelling style and trademark twists of Serling’s beloved Zone, but TMTZ doesn’t seem to be interested in just going for the laughs. Some of the tweets are funny, but for the most part they are earnest attempts to imagine Zone-style stories grounded in the realities of modern day-to-day life. What spin would Serling have put on Facebook, for instance?
A man begins deleting some old Facebook friends when they start disappearing in real life!!
— Modern Twilight Zone (@ModernSerling) January 17, 2013
Or what about Apple’s handy digital assistant, Siri?
A woman has a nervous breakdown after Siri is able to predict her sons death #moderntwilightzone
— Modern Twilight Zone (@ModernSerling) January 18, 2013
Or that crutch for many a modern road trip, GPS navigation?
A young couple spends a few hours in the #TwilightZone when their new GPS reroutes them through Woodstock NY, 1969
— Modern Twilight Zone (@ModernSerling) January 19, 2013
And God help us all if the Twilight Zone ever starts to bleed over into the world of Internet comments.
A young mother's blog about her newborn son has a fickle twist: comments seem to be able to change the way her son looks and acts
— Modern Twilight Zone (@ModernSerling) January 24, 2013
There are plenty more over on Twitter, and they’re definitely worth a follow and a quick scan to see the highlights. Some of these would genuinely make for great episodes of a new Twilight Zone incarnation, or short stories if nothing else.
Twitter isn’t the only place where The Twilight Zone is staging a comeback, however. There are not one but two competing Zone revivals in the works, although neither has had much recent activity. Bryan Singer is developing a new TV version, but it’s shifted to the back burner now that he’s back making X-Men movies. There is also a feature film version in the works from director Joseph Kosinski.
Perhaps more intriguing than either of those, Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski is currently writing a Twilight Zone comic series for Dynamite Entertainment. You can grab digital copies of the first three issues over at Comixology.