With Twin Peaks season 3 set to return this year, what do we fans want to see in the new series? Let’s pour ourselves some black coffee, keep an eye out for those owls, and head into the woods of speculation …
Twin Peaks is one of the most important television dramas of all time.
When legendary weirdmeister David Lynch and collaborator Mark Frost created the series, they couldn’t have known just how huge it would go on to be. Sadly, ratings declined in the second season, and after the prequel/continuation film, Fire Walk With Me, Twin Peaks was no more.
Even so, there’s nothing quite like Twin Peaks. Sure, we’ve seen other long-running mysteries, supernatural dramas, and explorations of small-town America’s dark underbelly. Yet nothing else has that dreamlike tone, unique cast of characters, or unapologetic strangeness.
So, fans like myself have lots to be excited about right now. Not only is Twin Peaks returning to our screens later this year, but much of the original talent is coming with it. Kyle MacLachlan (who was never better than as the quirky Special Agent Dale Cooper) will lead the cast, along with plenty of new additions.
Crucially, Lynch and Frost are happily onboard. Even Angelo Badalamenti’s back, on scoring duties (Twin Peaks has one of the most powerful, memorable title themes ever, so fingers crossed that remains untouched).
Still, even with all the right pieces in place, success isn’t guaranteed. Don’t get me wrong – I can’t wait to see it, and I know many others can’t either. Mark Frost’s new book, The Secret History of Twin Peaks has had a fantastic response, showing just how much love there still is for the series.
Let’s be honest: revivals are risky. While The X-Files’ return earlier in the year pleased many fans, it left others (myself included) cold.
When official confirmation of a new series hit in 2015, X-Files fans around the world rejoiced.
Mulder and Scully’s first TV run may have gone off the rails before it ended after nine seasons, but countless people still had a special place for the show in their heart. These fans are also incredibly forgiving: the 2008 standalone film, I Want To Believe, was a major disappointment to most of us, but interest still remained despite such a huge misfire. [Click here to read more…]
I have absolute faith that everyone involved will make Twin Peaks’ return a beautiful, powerful thing, but what do we fans actually want from the new series?
Keep that Distinctive Blend of Darkness and Light
Twin Peaks has to be dark. This is a series that originally revolves around the murder of a seemingly-innocent teenager, only to become mired in the town’s murky secrets and unseen forces.
It’s a common trait for television series to be dark and miserable today (The Walking Dead, anyone? Game of Thrones?), so Twin Peaks can get away with more sinister events than it could have back in the early 90s.
However, it’s vital to retain the sense of humor, too.
We want to see Dale Cooper switching from being a sharp, driven detective to discussing the joys of black coffee and good pies. We want to see Andy and Lucy acting like goofballs, and Miguel Ferrer’s Albert demonstrating his familiar lack of tact.
Before, Twin Peaks balanced its darkness and light brilliantly, stepping from the shade of murder and intrigue into the glow of silliness without putting a foot wrong. Let’s hope the new series does the same.
Make it Feel like a Seamless Continuation
While the plot of Twin Peaks’ 2017 revival is still closely-guarded, the presence of old and new cast-members implies a steady balance of past and present. Sure, events from 25 years ago will still carry echoes, but fresh characters will be thrown into the mix too.
How will such eclectic newcomers as Amanda Seyfried, Tim Roth, Ernie Hudson, Sky Ferreira, Monica Bellucci, and the rest all fit in? Will they have plenty of screen time, or fill smaller roles? Will the new characters drive the story, or have to deal with events set in motion decades ago?
I can’t wait to find out, but am hoping to see a sense of continuation from what went before. Fans want to feel that the past quarter-century has only been a brief break, and ease right back into the world we know and love.
With Lynch and Frost writing every episode, and the former on directing duties, there’s no reason this can’t be achieved.
Don’t Let the New Cast Overshadow Returning Favourites
Speaking of the new cast-members, it’s vital that we spend as much time as possible with returning characters. Having well-known performers from today will help to give the show some modern appeal and hook newcomers, but long-time fans want to catch up with old friends.
For example, we know Peggy Lipton is back, but will her Norma Jennings still be running the Double R Diner? Probably not. What of the beautiful Shelly Johnson or the troubled Bobby Briggs? Wil James Hurley still be the good-hearted guy he was before?
It’s so important to show us who these characters are now, and how life has treated them in the years since we last saw them. Given the huge cast, doling out equal time to everyone is impossible, but it’s essential to keep the town’s character.
Sadly, not every member of the old cast will be back. Most notably, the mighty Michael Ontkean (Sheriff Harry Truman). This is a damn shame, considering his importance to the show before and his friendship with Cooper.
Lynch and Frost must be aware how much all the non-returnees will be missed and hopefully compensate for their absence by giving other beloved characters strong plotlines.
Keep the Town Feeling in a World of its Own
Twin Peaks always felt disconnected. Not just from the rest of America, but the world itself. There were no direct references to pop-culture of the time, nor did the town feel particularly modern.
So, with so much time passing between then and now, will the Twin Peaks of 2017 feel contemporary? We have to expect certain changes. Mobile phones, for example. Computers will be present, and the internet’s likely to be an ambient presence.
However, will we see characters dressed in recognizable clothes or driving the latest cars? Will reality TV get a mention, or will Invitation to Love still be playing endlessly (man, I hope so!)?
Will Twin Peaks be rooted in a post-9/11 world of heightened security and vigilance? Will it feel just as close-knit as before?
We have to assume Lynch is unlikely to change too much. I doubt we’ll ever see Cooper uploading a picture of his latest cherry pie to Instagram or spot too many iPads around town. Hopefully, the production design will retain that timeless sensibility, making Twin Peaks look and feel just as adrift as before.
So, with these points in mind, let’s all keep our fingers crossed and give the new Twin Peaks season 3 all the support it deserves. From the little we’ve already seen, the cast are all excited to be back and clearly believe in the project. Lynch and Frost must still be passionate about their creation, particularly with the latter writing a new tie-in.
There’s no reason to suspect this will be anything but spectacular. Let’s just hope it’s every bit as good as it can be, and leads to further seasons down the road.
Featured Image: CBS