Twin Peaks… what happened to it?

Illustration by Zoa Studio inspired by Twin Peaks - The Return
Illustration by Zoa Studio inspired by Twin Peaks – The Return

Do you remember the famous Falling, by Angelo Badalamenti and Julee Cruise?Put so maybe not much, but what if I told you the unmistakable (and disturbing) theme song of the equally unmistakable TV series Twin Peaks?

This music shook the beginning of my adolescence. On the one hand because it had been chosen by a parent in my class as the soundtrack of a Christmas school play distributed to other parents on VHS (not very appropriate!). On the other hand, it shook me because, knowing that that song was the intro of the most watched TV series by all, I realized that I did not have the right to see it because it was too young. Probably, at the time, I would not even have understood it!

Just today, April 10, 30 years ago, the broadcast of Twin Peaks began in two seasons by the ABC television channel. The project by David Lynch and Mark Frost would then continue until June 10, 1991.

The birth of Twin Peaks

In the 80s, Mark Frost worked for three years as a screenwriter for the detective series Hill Street Blues.After the success with The Elephant Man (1980) and Blue Velvet (1986), David Lynch was hired by a Warner Bros. executive. to direct a film about the life of Marilyn Monroe, based on the best seller Goddess. Lynch recalls being "a little interested. I loved the idea of this woman in trouble, but I didn't know if I liked it to be a true story."

Lynch and Frost work together for the first time on the screenplay for Goddess , and although the project is abandoned by Warner Bros, the two become good friends. They went on to work as a screenwriter and director for One Saliva Bubble, a film starring Steve Martin, never made. Lynch's agent, Tony Krantz, encourages him to create a TV show. He takes Lynch to the Nibblers restaurant in Los Angeles and tells him, "You should do a show about real life in America, your vision of America in the same way you showed it in Blue Velvet." Lynch comes up with "an idea of a small town thing," and although he and Frost weren't thrilled, they decide to go along with Krantz. Initially, the show was to be titled North Dakota and set in the lowland region of this state.

After Frost, Krantz and Lynch rent a screening room in Beverly Hills and show the soap Peyton Place, they decide to develop the city before its inhabitants. Due to the lack of forests and mountains in North Dakota, the title is changed, following the change of location, from North Dakota to Northwest Passage (the title of the pilot episode of The Secrets of Twin Peaks) and the final location is established in Washington. Frost recalls that he and Lynch had the idea of the girl next door leading a "desperate double life" and that it would end with a murder. The idea, in part, harks back to the unsolved 1908 murder of Hazel Irene Drew in Sand Lake, New York.

The plot

The series opens in fact, as announced, with the discovery of the body of a teenager, Laura Palmer, the typical queen of the high school dance, clearly murdered. The plot revolves around the ensuing murder investigation led by Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), an FBI special agent sent to help solve the case.

The investigation and clues he receives in his bizarre dreams gradually lead Cooper to discover a web of secrets and mysteries surrounding the city and its eccentric inhabitants. What begins as a murder investigation, evolves into an examination of the double lives of the citizens of Twin Peaks and the dark and paranormal mysteries of this seemingly only picturesque city.

The two-hour pilot episode of Twin Peaks quickly climbed the rankings and the series was able to immediately leverage the curiosity of the public. Curiosity tickled both by the mystery surrounding the murder of Laura Palmer and by the sensitivity of the construction of the series offered by director David Lynch, who has been able to combine a fiction with his characteristic black humor.

Director David Lynch

David Lynch is an American director, author, painter, actor and photographer, born in 1946.

Considered one of the best directors of this era, he is a world-renowned artist. He gained importance as a filmmaker developing a unique style of making cinema. He began his career as a painter and later began to shoot short films. In the early 70s he directed his first feature film "Eraserhead". The film, a surrealist horror, brings Lynch to the limelight. Although his first project was more of an independent venture, he instead receives some support for his second feature film "The Elephant Man". The film proved to be a huge commercial and critical success.

Lynch goes on to create films like "Lost Highway" and "Mulholland Drive." Many of his films have entered among the classics of international cinematography.

In 1990 Lynch entered the world of television with today's topic series Twin Peaks. With this work, Lynch forever changes the face of American prime time television. According to experts, David Lynch is the one who started the golden age of American television. After directing "Inland Empire", released in 2006, Lynch announced his professional retirement and cited the commercialization of the industry as the reason behind his retirement.

However, he began to direct short films again, before returning to TV in 2014, again with Twin Peaks, as we tell you in the next paragraph. Throughout his career, Lynch has received various Oscar nominations. It also won the Palme d'Or at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. If you want to deepen the creative process behind a film, or a TV series like Twin Peaks, you can attend an online course. Do you know who the professor is? Drum roll… it's David Lynch himself!

Twin Peaks the return

On October 6, 2014 , it was announced that a limited series of Twin Peaks would air on Showtime. David Lynch and Mark Frost write all the episodes of the series, and Lynch directs them. Frost pointed out that the new episodes are not a remake but a continuation of the series: in fact season 3. The episodes are in fact set in the present day and the fact that 25 years have passed becomes an important element in the plot.

Filming of the series begins in September 2015 and ends in April 2016. The series is shot with a single script, as if it were a feature film, before being edited into separate episodes. The series premiered on May 21, 2017 and consists of 18 episodes. It is known as Twin Peaks – The Return and Twin Peaks – The Event Series.

Most of the original cast returns, including Kyle MacLachlan, Mädchen Amick, Sherilyn Fenn, Sheryl Lee, Ray Wise and many more. Additions include Jeremy Davies, Laura Dern, Robert Forster, Tim Roth, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Amanda Seyfried, Matthew Lillard and Naomi Watts.

Numerous musicians are also part of the cast of the new edition of the series, including Eddie Vedder, Moby, Julee Cruise and Nine Inch Nails. It seems that David Bowie had given the ok to be part of this return of 2017, just to continue to give life to the character he had played in the first two seasons of 1990-1991.

The future

Lynch and Frost have expressed interest in doing another season of Twin Peaks. Since the end of Season 3 in 2017, Lynch has been asked in several interviews if he would continue. His response was "I don't know, I have a box of ideas and I'm working with producer Sabrina Sutherland, making a bit of an attempt to see if there's any gold in those boxes. "Lynch also said that another story" he calls it "(involving a key Twin Peaks character, Carrie Page) but that "there are impediments."

Just in these days, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the beginning of the TV series, the Official Fan Celebration would have taken place, even scheduled at Graceland (just to unite various legends).

Following the Coronavirus, this weekend of celebrations, has been postponed to Halloween 2020 and will include the following:

  • Twin Peaks theme parties, dinners and special events
  • A concert by Chrysta Bell (one of the performers of the series)
  • Fan favorite episode screenings
  • Exhibitions with authentic props and costumes
  • A variety of interactive activities, photobooths and sets
  • Autograph and photo sessions
  • Discussion panels and Q&A sessions with cast and crew
  • Exclusive Merchandise Twin Peaks 30
  • Cherry cake and "damn good coffee"

Although we will not go all the way to Graceland for the event, we could not avoid talking about this incredible TV series, or rather an extraordinary piece of television "art". Twin Peaks was able to redefine the boundaries of drama for the small screen, attracting the attention of audiences even before it aired.

The degree to which Twin Peaks changed attitudes towards television drama cannot be ignored. And much less the legacy he left in the following years.

The mystery about the identity of Laura Palmer's killer, the singular Lynchian strangeness of the series, with its surreal humor and mystical twists, managed to cast a spell on viewers that has remained uninterrupted for the past 30 years.



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