To read more on the Twin Peaks revival, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands Friday. You can buy all the covers now, or purchase the individual issues featuring the owl, donuts, and pie. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.
In 1990, a peculiar prime time soap opera made its debut on ABC and became an instant, indelible pop sensation. Twin Peaks, the beautifully bizarre, form-busting brainchild of film surrealist David Lynch (Eraserhead, Blue Velvet) and acclaimed TV scribe Mark Frost (Hill Street Blues), captured the imagination with a weird whodunit set in a deeply mysterious Washington lumber town. The highly serialized, cast-of-dozens saga was electric with myriad of tones – twisted adult melodrama, swoony teen romance, sinister supernatural intrigue, absurd, meta-winky comedy. It gave Kyle MacLachlan an iconic role: FBI Agent Dale Cooper, a suave and spiritual Sherlock with shellacked hair and a zeal for justice and secrets. It had backward-speaking spirits jazz-dancing around a red-curtained underworld, fetishized black coffee and cherry pie and pastries, and gave us David Duchovny playing a transgender DEA agent named Denise. Twin Peaks was creatively combustible TV made with incandescent cinematic panache that burned bright and faded quickly; the whole phenom lasted just two seasons and 14 months. (Not counting a WTH? prequel flick, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.) But the series left a legacy that would change the medium forever, influencing everything from The Sopranos to Lost, Hannibal to Mr. Robot, seeding our Peak TV present (no pun intended) of prestige drama and mystery-driven serials.
Now, Twin Peaks is back, in the form of limited event series created by Lynch and Frost for Showtime that’ll premiere on May 21. You can be sure it’ll be something unusual. “It’s a feature film in 18 parts,” Lynch tells Entertainment Weekly in this week’s cover story about the revival. The show brings back MacLachlan and dozens of the original cast, plus dozens more, including Naomi Watts, James Belushi, Michael Cera, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth, and many more in roles large and small.
Don’t ask the spoiler-averse Lynch about plot or characters. The quirky bird won’t even confirm if the original cast will be playing their original characters, with one exception: MacLachlan is suited up to play Cooper once again. “I think it took me six hours and a few cups of coffee to read. But it was wonderful,” says MacLachlan of the first time he read the 400-plus page script.
Watch the cast discuss the show’s odd universe and the upcoming revival in the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN) special EW Reunites: Twin Peaks here, or download the free app on your Smart TV, mobile and web devices.
Agent Cooper was the subject of the original show’s infamously disturbing and infuriating unresolved cliffhanger. After venturing into the otherworldly realm of The Black Lodge to rescue his girlfriend, the dogged detective was assaulted by a dark doppelganger, who then took his place in the real world, possessed with the spirit of a denim-clad succubus named BOB (the late Frank Silva). Maybe. It was confusing. But we think you can expect some clarification. “Twin Peaks is a cosmology,” says Showtime’s president and CEO David Nevins. “What I think is satisfying about the new version is that it’s a deeper exploration of that stuff. What is the Red Room? How does the Red Room work? Where is Agent Cooper? Can he make it back?”
EW’s story reveals how Twin Peaks itself ventured back to TV after 25 years in limbo, from the first brainstorming conversations between Frost and Lynch to the 142-day shoot in various cities (no, Twin Peaks 2.0 doesn’t take place exclusively in Twin Peaks) using Lynch’s fave new tool, digital cameras. You’ll hear from many of the original cast: Sherilyn Fenn (Audrey Horne), Madchen Amick (Shelly Johnson), Dana Ashbrook (Bobby Briggs), James Marshall (James Hurley), Peggy Lipton (Norma Jennings), Everett McGill (Big Ed Hurley), Wendy Robie (Nadine Hurley), and Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer and Madeleine Ferguson). You’ll see some first look images (one word: DENISE!), and you’ll get it all wrapped in the beautiful plastic of collectible covers that recreate that iconic red-curtained set.