Bridging The Gap: What to Watch Between Now and Twin Peaks

April 21, 2017
As May 22 draws ever closer and the global premiere of the third season of Twin Peaks becomes a reality… okay, a pan-dimensional reality where a home-coming queen is wrapped in plastic, fish live in coffee percolators and the owls are not what they seem… It’s time to get prepared for the biggest television event of the year, in fact, the biggest television event in the last 25 years. It’s happening again folks and here are the ‘must see’ stepping stones inspired by our last visit to Twin Peaks and looking forward to the long-awaited return. Get watching…

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

Earlier this year when David Lynch was on-stage in front of the  Television Critics Association, he was asked if he could give the audience any info on the next eighteen episodes. His reply was typically vague but potentially revealing, “The story of Laura Palmer’s last seven days is very, very important for this.” Those last seven days are the days portrayed by his mean-spirited cinematic 1992 prequel Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Reading between the zigzag lines, and that is all we have at the moment, you should be watching the film now.

Twin Peaks Coffee Adverts

In 1993 David Lynch made four adverts for Japanese coffee brand Georgia. Not a surprise as many directors have travelled to Japan, lured by the promised of the Yen. But being Lynch he created a four-part mini-series with Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), The Log Lady (Catherine E. Coulson) and other cast members searching for a missing girl called Asami while Angelo Badalamenti’s score set the eerie mood. After finding her in the Black Lodge it’s thumbs up and damn fine coffees all round.

Lost Highway

Fusing Peaks-esque visions and twisted narratives, Lynch’s nightmarish road movie Lost Highway is the closest the Eagle Boy Scout has come to making an out and out horror film. Dark and brooding, the set-up, as Bill Pullman and Patricia Arquette’s less than happy couple start receiving strange video cassettes is brilliantly unsettling and Robert Blake’s appearance as The Mystery Man is Lynch oddness at its best. This was the movie that helped Lynch get Peaks out of his system. Until now.

The X-Files

The other ’90s cult favourite that has returned after an extended hiatus. The X-Files stars David Duchovny (who is also returning to Twins Peaks as the cross-dressing DEA Agent Dennis) as Fox Mulder, the FBI agent who wants to believe in aliens and the paranormal while all around him scoff, and Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully, a skeptic who is out to debunk her partner despite what she sees with her own eyes. Both shows delighted in creating a unique mythology centring around their oddball agents. And freaking out their audiences.

Mulholland Drive

Starting life as a failed TV pilot, Lynch’s poison love letter to the seedy underbelly of LA is is one of the director’s finest, and most infuriating achievements. The director refuses to explain any aspect of the non-linear storyline, instead only giving typically askew clues, and many viewers still remain befuddled, the New York Times claiming the film was an offense against narrative order. He did, however, tease raw and exhilarating performances from his leading ladies Naomi Watts and Laura Harring. The moment the pair watch Rebekah Rio singing Roy Orbison’s ‘Crying’ is breathtaking.

The Returned

Based on the 2004 film Les Revenants, The Returned matches Peaks eerie tone and picturesque mountain town setting as previously dead inhabitants start re-appearing including a teenage bus accident victim, a suicidal bridegroom, a serial killer, and a mysterious little boy named Victor. Each seems to be unharmed, showing no sign of the trauma they have endured but then strange, seemingly unconnected, things start happening. Or do they? It’s a gripping long-running mystery well told recalling the search for a certain killer in Twin Peaks.

Fargo Season 2

The second season of the quirky Coen brothers’ Fargo off-shoot takes the tried and trusted darkly comic crime caper and sends it to Lynch town. Another brilliant cast, including Kirsten Dunst, Patrick Wilson and a brilliant Ted Danson, are involved in the hit and run murder of the son of a gangster patriarch and the criminal fraternity are not happy. So far so straight… ish. But then a giant UFO arrives. You half expect Peaks’ Major Briggs to pop up to save the day.

Hannibal

It’s easy to forget how shocking Twin Peaks was when first broadcast. Look past the kooky characters and quirky subplots and scenes like cousin Maddie’s brutal murder got water cooler users’ tongues wagging. Now that spiritual and bloody baton has been passed to Hannibal. The new adventures of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, along with True Detective, took Lynch’s eye for the grotesque, modernised it with a splash of gothic noir and bought serial killing into mainstream living rooms.

The Killing

The show that launched Nordic Noir into the world’s living rooms has Lynch and Frost to thank for its worldwide success. While The Killing lacked Twin Peaks peculiar brand of humour and outlandish characters, it maintained its epic murder mystery and a whodunnit that people cared about. Much like the hunt for Laura Palmer, the mystery surrounding the death of Nanna Birk Larsen was an endurance test for audiences as Detective, and sweater enthusiast, Sarah Lund (Sofie Gråbøl) tracked down the killer over 20 50 minute episodes, each depicting 24 hours of the investigation

Between Two Worlds

David Lynch sits down in a smokey bar and interviews Grace Zabriskie, Ray Wise and Sheryl Lee in an exclusive extra on the Twin Peaks Blu-ray boxset. The actors first answer in-character as Sarah Palmer, Leland Palmer, and Laura Palmer, respectively which is strange as two of the characters are dead. And gradually shifted back to answering questions as themselves. Watching these again, the chats don’t reveal any specific details but it’s a surreal experience to see these characters talking again.

It is happening again. Twin Peaks begins on May 22 only on Stan.

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