Creative commentary plus crafty composition

Classic TV Perspective # 3

Perhaps this perspective should revolve around the number 9,  the amount of new episodes of TWIN PEAKS which will return to air in 2016 on cable channel Showtime, according to the Twitter universe releases yesterday.

Series co-creators David Lynch and Mark Frost are in, with reports that the former will direct all episodes. (Of the original twenty-nine episodes in 1990-1991, Lynch directed a minority of them.) Since the new shows are supposed to actually pick up where the original series ended with several important threads left hanging, there is optimism in believing that many original cast members will be back.  A number of them have retained a connection over the years thanks to TWIN PEAKS conventions.

When the original series was shown on ABC, it initially carried a great deal of what passed for buzz in the pre-social media environment, at least until the real identity of Laura Palmer’s killer was revealed in episode sixteen.  (If you don’t know who it was, get hold of the DVD and be infused.)  After that revelation, the prime motivating storyline was done; so a combination of others were either given higher profile or new ones emerged.  As the latter groups were generally even more obscure than the unconventional murder mystery investigation, many viewers became turned off, and so the series ended more or less out of the limelight, notwithstanding that the remaining lights were memorably strobe like or quick cut.  Some like me found the altered states fascinating in their own right.

Now, it turns out that the movie version prequel TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME, which did very poorly as a theatrical release, had some scenes delivering both prequel and sequel elements which for over twenty years rested on the proverbial cutting room floor.  This summer they were packaged in the Blu-ray release of the series as “The Missing Pieces”.  The work done in resurrecting these scenes may have contributed to the decision to proceed with yesterday’s announcement.

What is there about the Pacific Northwest which seems to inspire the telling of ethereal and esoteric weird tales? Aside from TWIN PEAKS being set (and largely filmed) there, shortly after in the 1990s the first five years of THE X-FILES had several memorable episodes set there (actually filmed in the Vancouver area, but obviously featuring similar geography), and the current NBC series GRIMM takes place there.  Must be something in the air and trees…

In any event, it will be great to see a new pillar added to what BRAVO once termed ‘TV too Good for TV’: when that channel started in Canada, the two programs initially filling this lofty description were Patrick’s McGoohan’s THE PRISONER and Lynch/Frost’s TWIN PEAKS.  (Was it a coincidence that the revelation of Laura Palmer’s killer takes place in episode number 16 – were Lynch or Frost fans of THE PRISONER?)

Remember, the owls are not what they seem…

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