It is with this typically off-kilter video that Twin Peaks co-creators David Lynch and Mark Frost have spread the news that one of the great landmark TV series will be making a comeback in 2016. US subscription network Showtime is making Twin Peaks 3, with Lynch directing and Frost writing all nine episodes, thereby marking the cult drama’s 25th anniversary.
Normally, resurrecting old faves is a failure of hope over experience. Hawaii Five-0, Dallas and 90210 were all little more than zombified rehashes, with Battlestar Galactica an exception proving the rule. But with Twin Peaks there is a sense of unfinished business.
The first season, which went out in 1990, was a triumph, with the superb pilot being ranked by American television bible TV Guide as number 25 out of its 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time. The drama’s melding of US soap operas, surreal imagery and the perverse desires of small-town America was like a shotgun blast through the conservatism of staid primetime broadcasting.
Kyle MacLachlan, Lara Flynn Boyle and Sherilyn Fenn were among those who became indelibly associated with this cherished classic.
However, Lynch and Frost were not as involved in season two, when ABC network pressure to reveal the identity of Laura Palma’s killer won the day half-way through the series – Lynch didn’t want to solve the mystery at all – and its ratings went into freefall.
So, the news that maestros Lynch and Frost are back with the show make this a very interesting prospect. I recently re-watched some of the series for CrimeTimePreview’s Killer 50 series (it’s number 27) and found it as fresh and mesmerising as ever.
From the accomplished use of cinematography that got the action out of those fake studios to the interior character dramas that found their way into David Chase’s dream sequences in The Sopranos, Twin Peaks had a huge impact on television drama.
Going out on Showtime also means Twin Peaks 3 can be as perverse and edgy as it likes. And becoming acquainted with middle-aged agent Cooper and Audrey Horne should certainly be fun, if disorientating in trademark Lynch style.
And, then, just what did Laura Palmer mean when she said to Cooper – in a dream, of course – that she would see him again in 25 years?