Here’s a guide to every easter egg and reference in The Twilight Zone episode “A Traveler.” The original series of The Twilight Zone was created by Rod Serling, who in addition to acting as narrator and host, also penned the majority of the episodes. The Twilight Zone is now recognized as a landmark TV anthology series, which often used sci-fi or fantasy storylines to talk about politics or social issues in a coded manner. The series came to a close in the early ’60s, but Twilight Zone has been rebooted many times in the years since.
The first happened in the ’80s, with this iteration of The Twilight Zone running for three seasons, with filmmakers like Wes Craven helming certain episodes. A TV movie dubbed Twilight Zone: Rod Serling’s Lost Classics aired in 1994, while the series was rebooted yet again in 2002 by UPN, with Forest Whitaker acting as host; despite this, the reboot only ran for one season. The most recent revival of The Twilight Zone came in 2019, where Jordan Peele acting as the new narrator. The reception to this CBS All Access reboot was decidedly mixed, with some episodes being well-received but many leaving viewers disappointed, despite featuring a wealth of talent.
“A Traveler” was the fourth episode of The Twilight Zone’s first season and was helmed by Ana Lily Amirpour. “A Traveler’s” title character is played by Steven Yeun, whose mysterious character suddenly appears inside of a jail cell during a Christmas party in an Alaskan town. Yeun’s stranger soon starts to prey on the fears and secrets of those who attend the party, and his true intentions are revealed in one of Twilight Zone’s traditional twist endings (such as “The Gift”). The Twilight Zone’s “A Traveler” also features plenty of easter eggs and nods to the show’s past, for those paying attention.
One of the most obvious is the gremlin from Twilight Zone’s classic “Nightmare At 20,000 Feet” episode appears as a Christmas ornament; a Talky Tina doll from “Living Doll” also makes a cameo. A little harder to spot is the wrapping paper that contains the image of Caesar from the original series episode “Caesar and Me.” During the story, the “Traveler” calls himself “Agent Marius Constant,” which is a nod to Twilight Zone composer Marius Constant.
Character names such as Ida Lupino, Jacques Tourneur, and Mayor Matheson all refer to past Twilight Zone writers or directors, with the latter referencing Richard Matheson. The code “1015” is used to open up the cell block, with that particular code being a recurring number throughout the reboot, featuring most prominently in “Nightmare At 30,000 Feet” as the flight number and time the plane departed. The episode itself appears to be a spiritual sequel to “Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up?” This original Twilight Zone episode also took place in a snowy, isolated locale where suspicion and paranoia spread among a small group; both episodes feature a major extraterrestrial twist too.