If you haven’t already yielded to temptation, break out the cherry pie and coffee (only your damn finest of course) because Twin Peaks is finally back.
During its first run over 25 years ago, doomed blonde beauty, Laura Palmer, told Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), “I’ll see you again in 25 years”. She was right (had co-creator and director David Lynch planned this all along?!) and its return to the screen is every bit as surreal, funny, horrifying and downright intriguing as we could have imagined…plus a bit more.
It’s still Agent Cooper’s show, and essentially the first couple of episodes gave us a tale of ‘Good Coop, Bad Coop’ as we find Cooper where we left him all those years ago, having solved Laura’s murder but trapped in a hallucinatory alternate dimension at the Black Lodge. Cooper is in the infamous Red Room, surrounded by bold interior design choices – endless, unsettling red velvet curtains and zig zag floors. Meanwhile, his evil doppelgänger (MacLachlan in a bouffant wig and some serious Trump-like, orange make-up ) is possessed by the spirit of BOB and is on a murderous rampage in the outside world, resulting in some gruesome new killings.
In fact there was surprisingly little of Twin Peaks (or coffee) in Twin Peaks this time around, with much of the action happening in South Dakota. However, the new 18 part revival is sure to have a whole host of surprises up its creepy sleeve. It is already more ambitious and cinematic than the original show ever was.
Before production, there was some publicity around the fact that Lynch had walked away from resurrecting Twin Peaks due to differences over what he considered an insufficient budget for his vision. It’s easy to see where the money went. The new season has the same moody, dreamlike sensibility that the original show carried – the half-remembered remnants of a nightmare or that glimpse of something unknown from the corner of your eye – but here it’s magnified significantly. It’s riveting and disturbing in equal parts.
When Twin Peaks debuted in 1990, it was a trailblazer that changed the face of television. It fused a procedural drama with something that could only have come out of the head of visionary auteur David Lynch (who had previously directed The Elephant Man, Eraserhead and Blue Velvet) and also added a little bit of luck. For instance, the demonic Killer BOB (the late Frank Silva) was only cast when going about his everyday work as a lighting technician and his striking reflection in the mirror caught Lynch’s eye.
The influence of Twin Peaks can be seen in so many other shows from The Killing to Lost, Desperate Housewives, Legion, and American Gods. It’s easy to forget there was a time when it was unheard of to see dancing dwarves and creatures from other worlds speaking backwards. Unless, of course, you had eaten some bad seafood.
So with this heritage to expand on, what can we expect over the coming weeks? Well, so far the story has leveled up far beyond a single murder and the repercussions across a small town to much bigger themes of good and evil and the complexity of the supernatural. We’re seeing the return of some familiar faces (hello again Log Lady!), but there are sure to be eccentric new players to move the story onwards. Let’s hope so anyway.
So, more coffee please and let’s see how this season rolls out. Overall will it be ‘damn fine’ or just a bit of a storm in a teacup?
We shall see.