An assimilated people still have a line in the sand against a colonial oppressor. It’s just pushed far back. For some though, that line is set all the way… into The Twilight Zone.
I’m sure I didn’t get them all, but just in this single episode there were actual or thematic references to every original TZ episode where…
- …someone is in a jail cell
- …it’s all police can do to just keep a grip on WTF is going on
- …people get paranoid and shit gets crazy
- ::that Giorgio Tsoukalos meme::
And this reminds me of another strength of the original series. I think part (a small part, to be sure) of the reason people say stupid things like, “Why can’t modern SF/F be apolitical like THE TWILIGHT ZONE?” is because a lot of the stories were crafted to sink its speculative hooks in you so deeply that it practically enabled a shallow viewer to miss the deeply political stuff. Now, I don’t recommend that kind of viewing for “A Traveler,” because you’d miss out on its commentary on colonialism. But hey, you do you!
Other thoughts I had as I watched…
- This is the Christmas episode, but I get the feeling it’s not going to be “Night of the Meek.” Will we ever get an episode like that in this 2019 iteration?
- Sure keep showing the Gremlin, Talky Tina, the Mystic Seer — I like merch! But I don’t know… I don’t think the alien with the bling and a Sherpa hat is going to be a thing.
- Jesus, Steven Yuen dressed like Ross — fucking awesome
- “Quallinat Christmas sucks”… but as long as you get turkey and pie…? Hey, I’m Fil-Am, I’m not judging!
- Again, a good depiction of the low key everyday racism that I experienced. (Heh, “experienced.” Past tense… it’s a joke, get it?)
- Dummy Christmas wrapping
- A. Traveler.” HAHA I like it.
- Aggro travelers are a thing…??
- Love the rotary phone with buttons
- Oh, now we have some “Monsters are Due” shit going on here?
- Mayor “Matheson” — okay, I think by episode 4, new viewers know how Richard Matheson is by now!
- I was fully expecting Greg Kinnear to the be a racist dumb-ass. No, just a bigger egotist than racist.
- “What the actual what?” is a nice callback to “Wet… what’s, ‘wet’?”
- “My people are going to intercept them.” What… from Venus?
The Jack Elam Score for “A Traveler” (out of 5):
1: “And this lemon-sucker here…”
2: “Ain’t nobody been exonerated yet, that’s for sure!”
3: “Sharp boys, real sharp boys!”
4: “A regular Ray Bradbury!”
5: “CHECK ‘EM FOR WINGS!!!”