IT IS HAPPENING AGAIN! 7 Must-haves for the TWIN PEAKS Revival on Showtime
(by Brooke Burgess)
I am full of secrets. It’s true. But there’s one thing about my journey as a storyteller that has never been a mystery:
Twin Peaks was (and is) one of my biggest creative influences. Ever.
You want proof? These things I tell you will be true:
- I watched the whole series when it aired. Live. Yes…yes I am dating myself, but this old Owl is not what he seems.
- I saw the feature film – the much maligned, yet now overwhelmingly respected slice of suburban horror, Fire Walk With Me (FWWM) – six (6) times in the theatre. At least one of those viewings was sober. Honest.
- I’ve since owned every available edition of the pilot, collected series, and film (except for Japanese laserdisc. I know, I know…slacker).
- The TWIN PEAKS Entire Mystery BluRay is on my Christmas list. If Santa doesn’t love me, I will steal a player just to see the 90min of delected scenes from FWWM, which I have signed four petitions to help bring to life.
- I wrote an award-winning Fringe Festival play in 1996 whose climax paid direct homage to a scene from the film. People gasped in horror. There was weeping, and much gnashing of teeth. I was happy.
- David Lynch’s obsession with creating mood and tension and surreal ‘hyper-reality’ states with audio became my own. I did my darnedest to slip some of his tricks into early game work at Electronic Arts. Maybe you should try hunting down one of these…
- I attended the 1998 Twin Peaks Fan Festival in North Bend, WA. I had donuts, cherry pie, and many a mug of coffee. Oh…and I spent a whole night with this man from another place, learning to speak backwards.
- BROKEN SAINTS, in many ways, was a 10-hr homage to Mark Frost’s serialized storytelling chops, and Lynch’s A/V style. If you think that’s an exaggeration, then you haven’t seen the intro to this.
- My new children’s fiction books – THE SHADOWLAND SAGA – are structured like a limited run TV series peppered with quirky characters, absurd humour, a layered mystery, and chilling otherworldly dreamscapes. The first book (The Cat’s Maw) has no fewer than three nods to Peaks dialogue. And yes..there will be a contest.
That’s why I’ve been going nuts on Twitter and Google+ and Facey with comments and questions and outright squeals of delight regarding Monday’s announcement: a 9-ep ‘revival’ of the show, written by Frost/Lynch, and all helmed by the pompadour’ed Man himself.
But that doesn’t make me any less nervous about the whole thing. For many of us, this is sacred ground they’re planning to tread on…even if it is a path of their own design…a path is made by placing one stone at a time. Ahem.
So…what can Team Twin Peaks (TTP) do to ensure a slam-dunk 2.5 decades later? In the year 2016, at the height of the golden age of auteur-driven TV the likes of True Detective, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Sopranos (and yes…even LOST) that Peaks inspired in the first place???
1. I AM HOLDING IN MY HAND A BOX OF CHOCOLATE BUNNIES
We loved the creepy small-town vibe. We loved the whodunit stuff and the weirdness and the (mostly) engrossing plotlines. But when all was said and done? It was the characters we love and remember the most from our days in the swaying Douglas Firs. We want to see what happened to as many of them as you can pull together (yes…that includes the Deer Meadow jerks…and hell, even bloody James Hurley), so at the very least we can say our heartfelt goodbyes.
And since a fresh crop of Peaks-dwellers is 100% likely? Make them live and breathe and freak/weird us out beyond any plot contrivance. Give us this generation’s Albert, and Andy, and Audrey, and Lucy, and Jacoby, and Leland, and Major goddamn Briggs. Make us care about them, and we’ll care about the town again in a heartbeat. Guarandamnteed.
2. WHERE A YELLOW LIGHT STILL MEANS SLOW DOWN
A lot of us wanted to live in Twin Peaks. Hell…part of the reason I moved to Vancouver in 1993 was to be closer to it…to find a corner of the Pacific Northwest that was blessed with old trees and weird townsfolk and ethereal beauties and maybe even a demon on two. True story.
So TTP has to shoot in those old Snoqualmie and North Bend exteriors. We gotta see the Great Northern (maybe with a helicopter shot this time?) and the RR Diner. The Packard Sawmill must play a role. Maybe even the Palmer house, if it’s still up for sale. And let’s not forget those lush, evocative, yet simple interiors: The Great Northern, The Sheriff’s Station, the RR and, for the love of Bob, this:
3. I’ll SEE YOU AGAIN IN 25 YEARS
Ray Wise said it first, and Lynch/Frost have confirmed it; this is a continuation of events from the original show. So we need to see how the ravages of time have affected the town and its denizens. Has Twin Peaks somehow escaped the push of development and retained its creepy snow-globe charms? Or is Ghostwood Estates and Country Club a thing now? Is the Horne family still THE broker of power in town, or have the Packards somehow risen from the flames?
Since Lynch seems to love Twitter so much in real life, has the modern generation of Peaksians embraced current tech amidst the 50’s dreaminess, and will that play a role in the revival’s plot? Will our young favourites from the original series – Audrey Horne, Shelley Johnson, Bobby Briggs — be running the town now, or did they fall on hard (ie: cursed) times?
4. WOULD YOU PLEASE PUT ON THE KITCHEN MITTENS
And speaking of social media use…let’s bring up the dirty T-word here — and no, I don’t mean a transsexual David Duchovny — I’m talking about TRANSMEDIA.
This is a major opportunity for Viacom/CBS/Showtime here. Are you listening, overlords. This is an established and fan-fervent IP custom-built to enable you to demonstrate that you understand the value of multi-platform narrative and how to carve facets in the story world’s gem.
They likely own the rights to The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, yeah? So make a souped-up eBook version with exclusive pictures, video snippets, audio clips, coded secrets, and director/writer notes. How about a Twin Peaks town history/map App? Old and new Dale Cooper audio case files from ‘Diane’s Archive’. An interactive/puzzle version of the map in Owl Cave!
Hell…why not go the whole damn cherry pie and create a multimedia version of the FBI’s Blue Rose case files? Just imagine – a beefy web and tablet app, complete with interviews and assessments from agents (Gordon Cole, Albert Rosenfield, Chester Desmond, Sam Stanley, Philip Jeffries, and more!), detailed evidence from the Teresa Banks and Palmer murders, Project Bluebook and Windham Earle archives — the possibilities are astounding and pretty much endless.
5. THERE IS A MAN IN A SMILING BAG
Sadly, many of the actors playing our treasured townsfolk have passed on: Jack Nance (Pete Martell), Don Davis (Major Briggs), and even Frank Silva (BOB) are no longer with us. A host of Lynch’s bonkers cameo characters (Mrs Tremond, Senor Droolcup) have opened the curtains and set up shop in the White Lodge too. 🙁
Death has always played a major role in the Twin Peaks world, and I hope that Frost’s scripts won’t gloss over these losses. Make them part of the story. Do a clever mention. Visit a grave or two. Show how these deaths affected the town, shaped it, and left lasting scars on those who carry on.
FYI, I am going to put it on record now that I am absolutely in favour of harnessing a little CG trickery to make some mirrors more than they seem.
6. QUESTIONS IN A WORLD OF BLUE
That haunting, hypnotic, best-television-score-ever-made music.
That perfect blend of dreams and sex and soap and sin and straight-razors as sound.
Angelo Badalamenti must return. Aside from Special Agent Dale Cooper himself, this soundtrack was THE star of the show. This is simply NON-negotiable. I’m serious.
Resurrect those characters themes, especially Laura’s and Audrey’s. Re-imagine some classic stings, particularly the title and credits music. Port over those absolutely killer hooks from the FWWM soundtrack. (I’m looking at you, film Theme, Pink Room, Sycamore Trees, and Moving Through Time)
And don’t you dare forget about Julee eff’ing Cruise. Or else there shall be fan-thunder that makes The World Spin (see what I did there?)
7. HOW’S ANNIE? HOW’S ANNIE? HOW…IS…ANNIE?!?
- Character will always be king.
- A sense of place truly matters.
- Nothing is immune to tides of time.
- We are all defined by our losses.
- Music is the unseen Guest Star.
A pretty solid list. If TTP honour these four ‘commandments’, then we’ll most likely be pleased with the revival effort. We’ll have had our chance to walk in the pines, and it will be Good. But hey…let’s be real for a minute, okay? Let me and my fellow Peak’ers make one thing abundantly clear.
You want to ensure that this revival is truly great, gentlemen? One for the ages? Then you will commit to pulling an anti-LOST, and give us die-hards the smart and profound and long-awaited resolutions to at least FIVE (5) of these dangling threads from the film and series finale:
- You’re My Daddy! — the Donna/Audrey Ben Horne paternity mess could be made even cooler by the likely use of Moira Kelly over Lara Lips Boyle. It would also allow for a nice, crisp cameo from Richard Beymer (Ben Horne) and Frost’s brother as Donna’s dad.
- What Happened to Josie? — Josie’s soul is in a drawer pull in the Great Norther. Discuss. Then punch yourself in the face because SEASON 2. I think Lynch and Frost will take an ep (or at least a chunk of one) out of the 9 to make amends, and give Harry some closure.
- Where Are My Drape Runners? – I’m a sucker for Big Ed and Nadine, and the Goddess that is Peggy Lipton. Is this love triangle still burning years later? Lynch went public in his search for Everett McGill (Ed) this summer. They have since happily reunited. Bank on this one.
- I Did Not Kill Anybody – what is the legacy of the Palmer family, and what has happened to (psychic) Sarah after two and a half decades of grief? This thread is certainly going to be prominent, given Lynch’s joy at speaking with the ‘Palmers’ – both living and deceased – on the BluRay special feature.
- Civil Disobedience – Probably the best way to explain the death of Jack Nance (Pete) is to have him killed in the series finale’s bank explosion with Andrew Packard. But where does that leave Audrey? Lynch LOVES her, and I’m willing to gamble that she’s scarred, but running the family business.
- Leo’s Having the Time of his Life – did everyone’s favourite Corvette-driving, domestic abuse douchebag bite the bullet ie: spider? Or is he still out there somewhere…in the woods…plotting a way to ruin Shelley’s life again?
- In Front of God and Everybody – Andy and Lucie had a baby. He or she will be 25 now, and either some savant-level genius or an epic dullard. And don’t think a certain department store salesman hasn’t noticed some striking similarities and a penchant for suburban fashion…
- We’re Not Going to Talk About Judy – David Bowie is a time-travelling FBI agent who has been to the Black Lodge. The deleted scenes in Fire Walk With Me confirm this. He also knows there’s something wrong with Cooper. I’m willing to bet cash money on a cliffhanger cameo to add some star power.
- And Where is Agent Chester Desmond? – this is one of the big mystery threads left dangling in FWWM, and Chris Isaac’s return to TV is long overdue. At the very least, a Block Lodge cameo during Dale’s rescue/purgatory. BONUS POINTS for a little help from Gordon Cole (Lynch himself) and Sam Stanley (Keifer Sutherland) with his ‘special machine’.
- The Good Dale is in the Lodge, and Can’t Get Out — Dear Mr’s Lynch and Frost…if you gloss over this plot, or skip the Black/White Lodge/Cooper Possession/Teresa’s Ring story entirely? It will be an epic fail. Like, ‘you’d better change your mailing address’ levels of fail. But I’m sure you know that already, which is why you let so many people see you having lunch 🙂