I was alive when Twin Peaks originally aired back in the early nineties, but I can’t pretend that I saw it back then. My introduction to David Lynch came upon viewing Lost Highway on TV as a teenager, and like many other burgeoning film fans, I was soon seeking out as much of Lynch’s work as I could find. It seems odd to say this now in our climate of instant availability but just a decade or so ago, many of his films were completely unobtainable, in the UK at least. Eraserhead, Fire Walk With Me, and Wild at Heart had all seen DVD releases but were then out of print, and used copies were fetching high prices on Amazon marketplace. I managed to rent a copy of Eraserhead and the other two were eventually re-released as special editions but the most elusive major Lynch content was season 2 of Twin Peaks. A great box-set containing the pilot and season 1 had been available for a while and I happily ploughed through it during my A level study leave. Eager to see the remainder of the show, I expected an imminent release of season 2, but it never came. It wasn’t until a few years later that it was finally released on region 1 DVD, and I imported a copy and got an old DVD player region cracked specifically to watch it. Nowadays, I’m sure if something like that was out-of-print you could find it online within minutes. Anyway, while I never had the experience of watching the episodes week-by-week, I did have to wait longer to see the conclusion than anyone who saw the original airings. The general opinion regarding the second season appears to be that it drops in quality in its second half before Lynch returned to deliver a provocatively nuts finale, and I agree with that assessment. I avoided seeing Fire Walk With Me until after completing the series and I recall being rather mixed on it. A lot of its more original content is fascinating but it suffers from prequel problems, tonal disparity with the show, and distracting re-casting. I should revisit it soon though.
There have been rumours that the bizarre world of Twin Peaks could return in some form or other for years, but I remain the pessimist when it comes to these sorts of things. They sparked up to the highest levels yet last week though when both Lynch and co-creator Mark Frost tweeted cryptic messages hinting at a return of some sort. I reckoned this would just be some new swanky Blu-ray set or similar but no, it was confirmed last night that Twin Peaks will be returning to TV with a whole new series.
Overall, I’m very pleased by this. I first saw the news on my twitter feed, and The Dissolve critic Matt Singer tweeted the following: ” To me, more Twin Peaks isn’t nearly as exciting as more David Lynch”.
I couldn’t agree more. The main cause for excitement is to finally see some more Lynch material, and I’ll happily admit that I’d have preferred it if he had announced a new, original movie instead. Lynch hasn’t directed a feature since Inland Empire in 2006, and while he hasn’t retired, it always a little disheartening to see him directing promo shorts for Dior or live concert films for Duran Duran rather than tackling something new of his own. If I were to have compiled a list yesterday of directors I most wanted to see a new movie from, Lynch would top it.
There’s little information about the new series available currently but from what appears to be true, the best reason to be excited about this is that Lynch is reportedly set to direct every episode. I wouldn’t have been surprised if he was just going to be an executive producer, but no, he will be apparently at the helm. What little else we know; it’ll be a nine-episode mini-series and air on Showtime. These are both good things too. I find it far more encouraging that it’s going to be limited rather than ongoing, allowing a full story to be told rather than setting up for a future that again, might not come to pass. Also, being on Showtime will leave Lynch free from the content restrictions of ABC, Twin Peaks’ original broadcaster. The influence of Twin Peaks can be felt to this day, and it should feel much more at home in the environment of quality, ensemble serial dramas that populate today’s cable TV schedules.
And yet, and yet, I’m still cautious about this. Would it have been better to have just left it alone? I’m reminded of the disappointing Arrested Development revival, and that had only a seven year gap. This is 25 years. Will they get the whole cast back? Will the whole thing seem outdated? Will it attempt to replicate the original’s tone or the movie’s? Or go for a new one of its own? Is it going to try and answer questions that have been hanging for years? Sometimes it is just better to let things be.
However, whatever it’s like I’m not one who thinks that it could in any way spoil my enjoyment of series one. Let’s focus on the important things; it’s not until 2016, but we have nine hours of new David Lynch material to look forward to.