Twin Peaks mania!!

Twin Peaks returns on Sunday after a 25-year absence!! So, here’s my review of the Twin Peaks Definitive Gold Box Edition of Season 1 & 2:

I remembered watching the original series as it was released on TV (when do we ever do that any more!?!) Then I remembered watching it on VHS with my girlfriend (now my wife). Now, 25 years later, we are watching it with our son. I loved it each time.

This is the entire two season run of Twin Peaks, with bonus features. The box it comes in is sturdy, but the design unimaginative, and there’s no booklet!!

All of the 29 episodes are there, as well as the pilot, and the European version of the pilot with its strange “ending”.

Bonus features:

There’;s a very long documentary called Secrets From Another Place – Creating Twin Peaks”. It has lots of Mark Frost. “We’re just going to buckle our seatbelt and go for the ride.” The script was so mysterious. Cast and crew weren’t sure what they were shooting. Lots of Log Lady appearances. “Mark is really an unsung hero, because he did a lot of storytelling and allowed David’s imagination to take off.” There’s great shots of David Lynch on set. We learn thatFrost & Lynch were introduced by a mutual agent, got along right away, started working on features, “One Saliva Bubble” nearly got made in 1987. Agent Tony Kranz wanted them to do a series. Took a crazy meeting with ABC, “told them about this strange town in the northwest, and a murder that happens, and I remember David said something about ‘and there’s the wind in the trees’, and he moved his hands a certain way, and they all kind of leaned forward, and I kinda knew we had them. So, sure enough, they made us an offer to write this pilot. Then a few weeks after that the writer’s guild went on strike, so it fell between the cracks.” Long break, then Tony Kranz called again, they tried to remember what was discussed about what they bought. Developed further first draft, initial title Northwest Passage, stuff that happened, murder of a young girl. Sat in a room, batted things back and forth, Lynch lay on psychologist’s couch, Frost typed into the computer, set up a map, town nestled between two mountains, created the title Twin Peaks. Their only collaboration, enjoyed the process, laughed a lot, had fun. “We had no expectation that ABC would give this thing a second thought, because it was kind of out there, given what network television was doing at the time – it was off the charts.” Negotiated for and got total control – they didn’t need to do this, they had lots of other things they could do. Mark made David feel comfortable with a TV network. David didn’t have to take notes, he could cast as he wanted to.

Joanna Ray discussing casting.

Richard Beamer from West Side Story was perfect for Ben Horne, “what a thrill”, got Russ Tamblyn together again. Surprised the Piper Laurie wanted to come in, she had “weight and gravitas.” There was no proper audition, just talk. Sheryl Lee also discussed the casting. Ray Wise, on his casting, notes that he had pictured that he’d be cast as Sheriff Truman, had to look back at the script to find out what Leland did – lots of crying! Kimmy Robertson looking very large, and so Lucy-like!! Joan Chen as a quasi-Isabella Rossellini. Script written as an Italian woman!! Trying to re-create the Rebel Without A Cause feeling with gorgeous young actors & actresses. Created Madchen Amick’s Shelly role after meeting her and liking her so much.Frost suggested Kyle, David like the idea, and Kyle was perfect. Some concern about Cooper’s age. Greatest character introduction with the dictaphone. Gave story and plot, established character too. “Just jumped off the page, off the screen as well.”

Scouted in Seattle area together, looking for the icons that they needed, found it in the final day. “It was if we’d seen it in a dream, it was pretty spooky.” Kyle’s from Washington state, saw his home state in a new way. Mike Nelson has brief spot in the documentary. Joan talks about the interesting dreams all the cast had from the forever wetness. Michael Horse was once a traditional dancer, felt presence of Spirit despite being very un-New Age. Piper Laurie loved it too, got to see a lot of the area. Log Lady Catherine Coulson loved being there. Had to adapt to film making in an area that didn’t understand film-making. Worst winter in 20 years, with 100 year freak weather like baseball-sized hailstones and a blizzard. Crew was snowed in for 48 hours, didn’t have enough film for their scenes! “David was amazing, nothing stopped him. Incredibly inventive for how to get the material shot.” Weather contributed to the mood of the scene. Pushed James & Donna on a cold night to get great emotion.

Duwayne Denham gets lots of interviews.

Didn’t think about the closed ending, didn’t have a killer! “Snew doog tog ev’I I’ve got good news!”

People hated the test.

Kimmy Robertson “I’ve never been in anything that cool since.”

Ray Wise was amazed at the reaction to the show.

“Whether they liked it or not would be another question, but they certainly got their money’s worth, and it turned out that they were just as mesmerised as I’d hoped they’d be, and we were off and running.”

The show was on during the week, they could talk about it at work the next day, nothing like it. Ad campaign capitalised on this.

Everyone was surprised that this was going to come a series in the end. Season One was a provisional order of only seven episodes. Started shooting in July-August. Shot Season 1 in LA in a warehouse. City Studio. Twin Peaks Land. Some LA spots were like Washington state. Duwayne Denham chosen to direct the first episode of Season One.

Great editing!

Twin Peaks was director-driven – David Lynch was so accommodating, not the norm in Hollywood!

Lots of indie directors, edgy!!

Superbowl-like numbers, people obsessed with the show, a run on cherry pie, they caught a wave! In those days there were only three networks anyway… a cultural phenomenon.

“I’m not sure David & Mark know who killed Laura Palmer.” “I still don’t know who killed Laura Palmer.”

Everybody thought that Sheryl Lee knew… she didn’t!

Ray Wise: “All I know is that, as great as all of the hubbub was a the time, I was just praying that it wasn’t me!”

Joan Chen – didn’t realise what this phenomenon of being in a hit series was all about. Catherine Coulson also didn’t know what was going on, then she was mobbed. Acting all her life and had never experienced this. Roseanne Barr “It’s the Log Lady”, and she’s reached another plateau.

Phil Donahue’s Twin Peaks spot with Sheryl, Eric, Madchen, Dana, Piper, Peggy

Catherine honoured by the Sesame Street “Twin Beaks” episode!!

Sad to see Catherine Coulson and Miguel Farrer, who are now passed away.

Laura Palmer funerals around the country, coffee shops selling Twin Peaks pies, t-shirts… CC has a Log Lady t-shirt from that day…

The attention was a distraction – photo sessions… suddenly wrangling people – instead of having Kyle from Monday-Friday, you have him Thursday-Friday. “really hit a nerve.” David on the cove of Time magazine, but unfazed. “It was as surreal as the television series.” Kimmy Robertson about David Letterman Show. Kimmy voted worst-dressed at Emmys.

Secrecy over script, the cast also became viewers!!

Charlotte Stewart – Betty Briggs speaks

Packed all the cliffhangers they could possibly add into the end of Season 1, tried to create as much tension as possible…

[1:00:00] Talking about the music of Twin Peaks, great interviews with Angelo Badalamenti and Julie Cruise. Working with David on the Fender Rhodes, describing the mood, giving directions. Best moment in the documentary!! “David got up, gave me a big hug, he said ‘Angelo, that’s Twin Peaks’!”

Julee Cruise sang “Falling” to Rudy, her cocker spaniel, although she had just gotten married…

“God, I love this music – isn’t it so dreamy?!?”

“Julie, I don’t like your attitude!!” Had a falling out with David at one point, took seven years. Julee’s crying talking about the mutual apology…

Paul McCartney’s anecdote about performing 30 minutes of music for the Queen… then she goes off to watch Twin Peaks. Paul punches Angelo, “used a few choice English words, said, ‘because of your blah-blah-blah show Twin Peaks, I could not perform for the Queen’.” Up against Stanley Jordan, Phil Collins and Quincy Jones for Grammys. “Being nominated is fun and it’s great, and I think most people would say ‘we psych ourselves, or ‘we truly believe it’s truly great to be nominated,’ but there ain’t nothing like winning. It’s a whole ‘nother thing. It’s great!”

Julee Cruise: “Just being part of Twin Peaks is enough for me. It’s enough. I already made my mark, I don’t have to try. It just happened. You never know what’s going to come along. You plan your life out, and you never know what’s going to come along.”

“I’m not quite sure where the wheels fell off the cart, but it sort of did.”

“They forced a creative issue upon Mark and David that was sort of unfair, and probably was the undoing of the show.”

Mark & David knew from the beginning that Leland was the murderer. Keeping the secret became a burden in the second season.

Fake scenes were shots. The actors became viewers.

Benjamin Horne, Leland Palmer and Benjamin Jacobi were all laid out as possible killers.

Poor Sheryl Lee: “that was a long day of work [laughs], that was a very long physical day of work, thank God I was working with such great actors that were so respectful in that kind of a situation. Because it does, emotionally, after being beaten up and killed all day, it kind of gets under your skin a little bit.”

Edited and cut the negatives for both endings, mixed the show, the decision was made after mixing and colour correcting both versions so that one ending was added to the end that was delivered.

Ray had to be told that he was the killer, he was leaving the show… Astonished and horrified. “He bit into that role with a kind of ferocious dedication.” Ray had a baby daughter at that time…

“They liked to know, not necessarily to know…”

Kimmy stopped watching in the second season!!

Some started losing interest.

Carel Struyken speaks!! “What struck me immediately was how everybody seems to be in a trance. And at first I thought ‘oh, that’s David Lynch doing his thing.’ And afterwards I realised that it was just because everybody was so over-worked working day and night on this project.”

ABC backlash.

Leland Briggs bitterness about Twin Peaks being shuffled from Thursday to Saturday… then the start of the Gulf War and being pre-empted a lot… ABC being bought over by new owners.

Mark Frost would have made Wyndham Earl a more threatening presence in episodes 10-12. Didn’t come in with buns blazing right away. Didn’t hit the riveting spine yet… went off track with some nutty stuff… “The last couple of hours in the second season are pretty powerful, and what we has set up was a great dilemma for Season Three, with Cooper becoming in effect the hero and the villain, which is where we were going to go with it.”

The last scene was completely improvised. Wyndham Earl talks about speaking backwards… everyone puts their trust in David.

Mark was already mapping out Season Three at that time… “the human heart is capable of incredible goodness and remarkable darkness… Season Three would have gone further into that heart of darkness into looking what happened with Agent Cooper, with the guy who was the personification of the light side of things, having to confront that within himself.”

Breakaway television!

You also get the Saturday Night Live appearance that Kyle McLachlan did, which isn’t very good, and Julee Cruise’s video for “Falling”.

“Return to Twin Peaks” shows a group of Twin Peaks fans staging their convention. Nice, human stories of real people who happen to love Twin Peaks.


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