The opening title sequence for the new Twilight Zone contains a lot of callbacks to the original title sequences, from the floating door and the paned window to this floating eyeball -- and, of course, the voiceover that harkens back to Rod Serling's spooky phrasing.
The very first image we see in the new Twilight Zone contains a subtle Easter egg. As we overhear Samir (Kumail Nanjiani), the titular comedian, start his beleaguered set, we are shown a bit of the club's audience-themed wallpaper. If you look closely enough, some of the noses of the people in the crowd seem to be exaggerated and even pig-shaped, which is probably a nod to one of the original Twilight Zone's most iconic reveals in "Eye of the Beholder."
Fans on Reddit spotted this gem in "The Comedian" as well. If you look closely at Samir's contact list as he's scrolling for Devin's number, you'll see a bevy of character names from Twilight Zone episodes past, including Al Denton from "Mr. Denton on Doomsday" and Henry Corwin from "Night of the Meek."
In "The Comedian," once Samir (Kumail Nanjiani) figures out that he's effectively been given the power to undo a bunch of murders, he starts perusing the internet for options. One name he comes across in the search is Walter Bedeker, the name of character in "Escape Clause" who trades his soul to the Devil for immortality and eventually finds himself behind bars after his wife is killed trying to rescue him from one of his death-defying stunts.
Another name that pops up in "The Comedian" is William Fitzgerald, which is the name of the leading character in "The Purple Testament," an episode about a World War II soldier who is able to predict people's deaths by a glow he sees on their faces. The same name appears in the green room above the club's sign just as Samir (Kumail Nanjiani) takes in what he's done to his nephew and others. The parallels are obvious, as he, too, can predict someone's death -- er, undoing -- by simply saying their name.
Another object fans of the original Twilight Zone are bound to notice in the reboot's inaugural episode is the ventriloquist dummy that's hanging out in the green room at Eddie's Comedy Club. Nanjiani told Vanity Fair that the doll is the actual prop that memorably appeared in the original series in the episode "The Dummy." There's no sign that this doll will animate and destroy anyone's life, though.
The iconic episode "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" gets a facelift in the reboot's "Nightmare at 30,000 Feet." This time, the anxious traveler is a journalist named Justin (Adam Scott) who learns mid-flight that something's not right and struggles to convince his fellow fliers that he's not crazy.
In "Nightmare at 30,000 Feet," we get a glimpse of the new Twilight Zone's own crossover game when Justin (Adam Scott) visits the magazine stand and sees his cover feature atop another magazine that shows Oliver (Jacob Tremblay) from an upcoming episode titled "The Wunderkind."
The magazine stand also features a cover of Samir (Kumail Nanjiani) from "The Comedian," which probably means this story takes place during his rise to fame -- and perhaps the airplane shown overhead in the first episode is actually Justin's (Adam Scott) fateful flight, too.
The relevance of Mars in the original Twilight Zone series cannot be overstated, so that wall image of a Mars mission behind Justin (Adam Scott) in the airport scene is a subtle throwback to any number of classic episodes.
Next we see in "Nightmare at 30,000 Feet" that the flight is operated by Northern Goldstar Airlines -- a wink to the fact that the original episode's hubbub took place onboard a Gold Star Airways flight.
In "Nightmare at 30,000 Feet," the podcast device that Justin (Adam Scott) finds is manufactured by Whipple, the same company from "The Brain Center at Whipple's," which centered on a callous factory owner who's happy to help machines replace human laborers.
The monkey doll that washes up on shore bears an obvious resemblance to the monster that terrorized William Shatner so well in the original episode, so that helps to bring the story full circle for fans.
Some eagle-eyed fans on Reddit noticed a very personal tribute to Rod Serling, the creative genius behind the original Twilight Zone. At the tail end of the show's second episode, "Nightmare at 30,000 Feet," as host Jordan Peele retrieves that troublesome podcast device, the camera lingers on a glimpse of his bracelet, which looks to be a replica of the paratrooper bracelet Serling used to wear as a memento of his military service in World War II.
In "Replay," an updated version of "Rewind" from the early 2000s Twilight Zone reboot, Sanaa Lathan's character, Nina, gains the ability to turn back time with her recorder -- this time, it's a video camera, which may also be a callback to an old favorite, "A Most Unusual Camera."
Nina's powerful camera in "Replay" is also made by Whipple, the company from the throwback episode "The Brain Center at Whipple's" that was also responsible for that haunting podcast device.
The diner in "Replay" is a callback to the setting in the 1960 episode "Nick of Time," in which a couple dines at a small-town diner called the Busy Bee Cafe and encounters an eerily accurate fortune-telling device.
The headline on Jordan Peele's newspaper in "Replay," which reads "New experimental rocket ship crashes outside of Reno, NV," is undoubtedly a nod to 1960's "I Shot An Arrow Through the Air," about a manned space shuttle's fateful crash landing in the same town.
The number on the police officer's cruiser in "Rewind," 01015, is a direct link to those oh-so-significant digits in "Nightmare at 30,000 Feet."
The road signs in "Replay" also contain several winks to characters past. Tennyson, the name of the university, is also the name of the central character in "The Silence," about a man who's challenged to remain wordless for a full year. Corrigan is the name of a man from "Back There," who tries to change the past but faces unintended consequences. This episode's connection to that concept is clear.
The license plate of Sanaa Lathan's car is 2D-7876, which is also the license plate number in "The Hitch Hiker," an iconic episode from the original Twilight Zone's first season about a traveler named Nan who keeps running across the same wayfarer for a very twisted reason.
"A Traveler," in which a mysterious man (Steven Yeun) shows up in a rural Alaskan jail cell without explanation, hides plenty of references to other Twilight Zone episodes in the Christmas decorations around the police station. The image of the ventriloquist dummy from classic episode "The Dummy" -- the same one that appeared in the background of "The Comedian" -- appears on wrapping paper early in the episode.
Who needs the wing of a plane when you can perch on a Christmas tree? In "A Traveler," a stuffed version of the gremlin from "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" appears on the tree at the station. It looks to be the same stuffed monster that washes ashore in remake "Nightmare at 30,000 Feet."
Talky Tina, the evil plaything from classic episode "Living Doll," is also keeping an eye on the station in "A Traveler."
"A Traveler" calls back to classic episode "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?" -- an episode it's already got plenty in common with thematically -- when the enigmatic traveler (Steven Yeun) removes his hat and reveals that he's an alien, just as the cook in the diner does at the end of "Martian."
The bar in "Wunderkind" is clearly the same set as the one used for Eddie's Comedy Club in "The Comedian." It could just be a case of the show reusing a set -- but given the way the rebooted series is hinting that these stories take place in an interconnected universe, this bar could have deeper meaning. Maybe Eddie's went out of business after its star comedian disappeared from the stage.
The Wurlitzer Americana 3700 jukebox that Jordan Peele activates in "Wunderkind" may be a callback to the jukeboxes in original Twilight Zone episodes like "Nick of Time" and "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?"
The cup Oliver Foley (Jacob Tremblay) is shown drinking during debate prep features the same bumble bee logo from the cafe in "Replay."
The Whipple takeover continues in "Wunderkind," as the brand is also named in the news coverage of Oliver's (Jacob Tremblay) campaign, as well as the arcade machine he brings into the Oval Office.
The child "doctor" assigned to complete Raff's (John Cho) surgery in the most nightmarish moment of "Wunderkind" appears to have a pig-shaped nose once he puts on his mask, which is yet another cheeky callback to "Eye of the Beholder."
The number 1015 is once again presented in "Six Degrees of Freedom," as the astronauts on board the manned flight to Mars receive their orders.
Whipple continues to loom large in "Six Degrees of Freedom." The company logo can be seen on just about every product in the episode, including the rocket, the astronauts' space suits, and even the pens that are floating around in zero gravity.
That ubiquitous number 1015 also pops up in one of the first shots from "Not All Men," on a sticky note reminder in Annie's (Taissa Farmiga) office.
One of the earliest men exhibiting post-meteorite aggressions in "Not All Men" is seen angrily stabbing a straw into a cup from the Busy Bee Cafe.
The ice cream truck that passes by Eve Martin's (Ginnifer Goodwin) home in "Point of Origin" features the name Mr. Dingle on it, which is likely a reference to the 1961 episode "Mr. Dingle, the Strong," about a vacuum-cleaner salesman who is experimented on by aliens and gets the strength of many men.
The dollhouse in "Point of Origin" may also be a wink to "Miniature," an episode about a man who becomes obsessed with the figures in a dollhouse.
The code Eve needs to use to escape the detention facility in "Point of Origin" is also -- you guessed it -- 1015.
The serial number on Jeff's (Chris O'Dowd) titular gun in "The Blue Scorpion" once again involves that mysteriously favored number. It also appears as the address on the business card of the attorney who is also named Jeff.
The Twilight Zone's Season 1 finale, "Blurryman," takes the series into full-on meta mode, as writer Sophie (Zazie Beetz) tries to write an episode that pays proper homage to the original Twilight Zone, with her Rod Sterling computer sticker serving as proof of her lasting fandom of the series.
Sophie (Zazie Beetz) is shown traipsing through several familiar sets, including this one of the farm scene in "The Wunderkind."
Once she embraces her unshakable connection to The Twilight Zone, Sophie's (Zazie Beetz) world turns black and white, and she steps through a door and walks right into wrecked landscape of "Time Enough at Last," right down to the broken glasses on the library steps.
Once Sophie (Zazie Beetz) discovers that there's been a background actor sneaking into every episode of The Twilight Zone reboot, she decides to give in and find out the secrets of this mysterious figure, who turns out to be none other than original series creator Rod Serling himself. We checked, and there was indeed a suit-sporting gent seen in each of the nine episodes that preceded "Blurryman."