Cult TV

Cult TV Essentials: Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks is an American television serial drama that was created by Mark Frost and David Lynch. Its pilot episodes was first broadcast on April 8th 1990 on ABC. Seven more episodes were produced, and the series was renewed for a second season that aired until June 10, 1991. The show’s title came from the small, fictional Washington town in which it was set. Exteriors were primarily filmed in the Washington towns of Snoqualmie and North Bend, though additional exteriors were shot in southern California. Most of the interior scenes were shot on standing sets in a  San Fernando Valley warehouse.

It follows an investigation headed by FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) into the murder of homecoming queen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee).  The series was followed by a 1992 feature film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, which serves as both a prequel and an epilogue to the television series.

As with much of Lynch’s other work,  Twin Peaks explores the gulf between the veneer of small-town respectability and the seedier layers of life lurking beneath it. As the series progresses, the inner darkness of characters who initially appeared innocent is revealed, and they are seen to lead double lives. Twin Peaks is consistent with Lynch’s work as a whole in that it is not easily placed within an established genre. Its unsettling tone and supernatural features are consistent with horror films. However, its camp, melodramatic portrayal of quirky characters engaged in morally dubious activities reflects a bizarrely comical parody of American soap operas. Like the rest of Lynch’s work, the show represents an earnest moral inquiry distinguished by both offbeat humour and a deep vein of surrealism.

Lynch has stated that his film Lost Highway takes place in the same universe as Twin Peaks. Also the characters of Laura Palmer and Ronette Pulaski appear in the eerie “Club Silenco” in Lynch’s film Mulholland Drive:

mulholland-drive-and-twin-peaks

On December 1st 2001 the television show Psych dedicated the 12th episode of their fifths eason to Twin Peaks. Titled Duel Spires, the episode played as a homage and features seven cast members of the series, including Sherilyn Fenn, Sheryl Lee, Dana Ashbrook, Robyn Lively, Lenny Von Dohlen, Catherine E. Coulson and Ray Wise.

Additionally, Julee Cruise, who recorded the theme for Twin Peaks, recorded a slower, extended version of the Psych theme song, “I Know You Know” by series creator Steve Franks’ band The Friendly Indians. The imagery that accompanies it is an almost shot-for-shot recreation of the Twin Peaks opening sequence, with a white horse that resembles the one in Sarah Palmer’s vision before the attack on Maddy Ferguson.

On October 6, 2014, it was confirmed that the series will return for a nine-episode limited series to air in early 2016 on Showtime. All episodes will be written by creators David Lynch and Mark Frost, with Lynch directing all the episodes.

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