Still a damn fine mys­tery 27 years af­ter de­but

The Hamilton Spectator - - A&E - BILL BRIOUX

Di­rec­tor/writer David Lynch and cowriter Mark Frost cre­ated a sen­sa­tion in 1990 when “Twin Peaks” pre­mièred on ABC. Set in a fic­ti­tious, Wash­ing­ton state mill town sup­pos­edly five miles from the Cana­dian bor­der, the se­ries was part soap opera, part night­mare.

It was a sim­ple story at first: an FBI agent (played by Kyle MacLach­lan) came to town to in­ves­ti­gate the mur­der of homecoming queen Laura Palmer (Sh­eryl Lee). He fa­mously fell for the “damn fine cup of cof­fee” and pie at the lo­cal diner.

The two-hour pre­mière was a sen­sa­tional hit, right from the open­ing strains of An­gelo Badala­menti’s haunt­ing score. Creepy dream se­quences fea­tur­ing strobe lights, danc­ing lit­tle peo­ple, and back­ward di­a­logue had view­ers buzzing the next day.

Less mem­o­rable were the baf­fling sto­ry­lines. When Palmer’s mur­der re­mained un­re­solved at the end of the first seven-episode sea­son, “Twin Peaks” had peaked, and ratings went down­hill.

Still, TV pro­duc­ers such as David Chase (“The So­pra­nos”) cite it as a ma­jor in­flu­ence.

Flash for­ward 27 years. The U.S. cable net­work Show­time of­fers a re­turn to “Twin Peaks,” which pre­mières Sun­day in Canada on CraveTV. Not only are many cast mem­bers back, in­clud­ing MacLach­lan, Mad­chen Amick and Miguel Fer­rer, they’re joined by Robert Forster as well as Laura Dern. Cana­dian Michael Cera also sneaks into a few scenes as part of an enor­mous ensem­ble cast.

Lynch di­rected all 18 episodes, shot more than a year ago. Show­time CEO and pres­i­dent David Nevins has seen them all and de­clared the new take “the pure heroin ver- sion of David Lynch.”

To which the di­rec­tor cheek­ily replied: “I hear heroin is a very pop­u­lar drug th­ese days.”

Lynch spoke to TV re­porters ear­lier this year at the win­ter TCA press tour in Pasadena, Calif. Now 71, Lynch spent 10 min­utes duck­ing ques­tions about the new “Twin Peaks.” Asked how he and Frost col­lab­o­rated, Lynch spun a f airy tale about round­ing a moun­tain, en­ter­ing a deep for­est and then go­ing through the woods un­til “the trees be­gan to thin.” This led to a town where “mys­ter­ies lead to other mys­ter­ies.”

Asked to clar­ify, he said they worked the script out over Skype.

Here’s what’s known about the new story: Agent Cooper re­turns to the town of Twin Peaks 25 years later. The town has changed, al­though it is also the same.

And that’s about all we know. Lynch was asked about three ac­tors not back for the se­quel: Michael On­tkean, Lara Flynn Boyle and Joan Chen. Were they not asked back or did they de­cline? Bit of both, said Lynch. On­tkean, for one, has re­tired from act­ing.

Asked why Dern is in this new in­car­na­tion, Lynch de­clared: “I love Laura Dern.”

He also loved the orig­i­nal pi­lot of the se­ries, say­ing, “that, for me, set the tone, and made the world and the char­ac­ters for me.”

“I felt re­ally good about that mood and that story, those char­ac­ters,” he added. “Just fell in love, deep, deep love.”

There were re­ports the di­rec­tor was not al­ways in love with Show­time while work­ing on the se­quel, drop­ping out at one point.

“I would rather not dis­cuss that,” he told re­porters, say­ing he ul­ti­mately had a great work­ing re­la­tion­ship with the net­work.

The ac­tors were equally tightlipped about this re­turn to Twin Peaks. Forster says Lynch gave the cast one in­struc­tion be­fore they took the stage to pro­mote the se­ries: “Get on that panel but don’t tell them any­thing.”


A new sea­son of “Twin Peaks,” which orig­i­nally aired on ABC in 1990, re­turns Sun­day on CraveTV in Canada.

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