Peacock’s post-apocalyptic action series Twisted Metal, based on the long-running series of video games, might take some slight liberties with its source material—but it also knows that a lot of viewers will be coming to the show expecting fan service. And they sure get it.
In between the car chases and shootouts featuring Anthony Mackie as John Doe, Stephanie Beatriz as Quiet and Samoa Joe as Sweet Tooth, Twisted Metal offers up a plethora of IYKYK moments.
There are some blink-and-you’ll-miss-it visual details that fans of the game will instantly recognize, some of which are pretty obvious—John Doe uses an up-up-down-down “cheat code” at one point—to the meta, like the flying copy of the original Twisted Metal PlayStation game that lands on Evelyn’s windshield in the opening chase scene of Episode 1.
Elsewhere in the adaptation, however, are references to the game that help to establish and build out the lore of what the show will be, and foreshadow how the story will progress moving forward into Season 2.
Killer clown Sweet Tooth returns to Blackfield Asylum in the show in order to seek “closure,” and so far he is the only character to be shown to have a connection to the place—but in the games, many characters spend time there, including John Doe. There’s also the whole “Blackfield Asylum is a manifestation of Sweet Tooth’s mind” thing that the Twisted Metal: Black game played around with, so we are almost sure to see this location again.
While John Doe’s first love is his car Evelyn, he is forced to say goodbye after she gets rather unfortunately blown to pieces. Enter: Roadkill, an iconic car from the game. Built entirely from spare parts, Roadkill is “built to win,” and will be John’s trusty ride for the future of the show.
The incredibly creepy character of Dollface is another deep cut from the video game series, but she has been given additional backstory in the TV show: we learn that she is actually John Doe’s long-lost sister. Given that so much of the serialized arc of Season 1 revolved around John’s amnesia, it will be interesting to see how much light Dollface can shed on their shared past in Season 2.
The mysterious villain Calypso was revealed at the end of Season 1 to be organizing a “tournament” unlike anything ever before, which will finally establish the competitive element of the game’s premise in the show’s universe when Season 2 begins. We see Calypso building a bracket which features many game characters like Axel and Mr Grimm, and several other figures who have already been introduced in the show, including Miranda and Sweet Tooth.
Philip Ellis is News Editor at Men’s Health, covering fitness, pop culture, sex and relationships, and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV, and he is the author of Love & Other Scams.