NBC's Emerald City premieres on Friday night with a way different vision of Oz than most people know. In the new series, Dorothy (played by Adria Arjona) doesn't have ruby red slippers, The Scarecrow is a human man, and the Yellow Brick Road is made of something more sinister. Although this Oz may be unfamiliar, there are plenty of Wizard of Oz easter eggs and references in Emerald City that keep the spirit of the beloved classic The Wizard of Oz alive in this world. Emerald City looks a lot like The Wizard of Oz meets Game of Thrones with competitive witches, illegal magic, and The Wizard, of course.
Emerald City director Tarsem Singh told Collider that he hadn't seen the classic 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz until a few years ago, because people had compared the film to his 2006 movie The Fall. "I had seen bits of it and knew what it was about, but when I saw it, I thought it was the biggest stage movie you could make," he told the publication. "What I wanted to do was the complete opposite and have it be completely grounded, like a real place, and that’s what they were looking for."
So while Emerald City doesn't have a talking lion or munchkins, the spirit of that classic Oz is saluted in the following ways.
1The Rainbow Stained Glass
Dorothy's adopted family has this stained glass rainbow hanging in a window in their kitchen, referencing the famous song from the movie "Somewhere Over The Rainbow." It's visible during an important conversation in the first episode of the series.
2'Toto' Means Dog
Viewers find out an origin story for Toto's name — it means dog in Ojo's language. And in Emerald City, Toto is a police dog who Dorothy met during the tornado in Kansas.
3The Yellow Poppy (Opium) Road
There are no yellow bricks in the road that Dorothy follows in Emerald City, but there are plenty of opium poppies (like in another scene from the movie) around the road, making this yellow road way more treacherous.
4The Scarecrow On The Cross
This time around, Dorothy finds the Scarecrow-inspired character as he's hung on a crucifix, looking very much like the symbol of Jesus Christ.
5"We're definitely not in Kansas anymore."
Dorothy says an altered version of the famous line from the movie in Emerald City as well.
Each Witch is in charge of separate factions, such as Glinda's "good" section with an orphanage and West's brothel. The Witches' competitiveness and different worlds reminded me a lot of Game of Thrones.
7Frank The Wizard
According to Entertainment Weekly, The Wizard is named Frank Morgan, in honor of the actor who played The Wizard in the 1939 movie.
8Dorothy's Red Gloves
While Dorothy doesn't don any ruby red slippers in this Oz, she does get a set of funky disappearing red gloves after the Wicked Witch of the East dies.
9The Mistress Of The Eastern Wood's Death
Dorothy and soon-to-be Toto's car lands in Oz ontop of the witch, just like Dorothy's house does in the movie version.
10"Maybe he can fix my brain."
In Emerald City, the Scarecrow character has amnesia and can't remember anything, including his name. So Dorothy names him Lucas (after her hometown in Kansas). When talking about the all-powerful Wizard, Lucas says the above quote, which is a reference to the original movie's Scarecrow and his search for a brain.
11The Flying Monkeys Are Now Drone Chimps
This time around, there aren't Flying Monkeys in Emerald City, but they look a lot like drone chimps, because 2017.