Twin Peaks: The Return Part 1

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I was a fan of the original Twin Peaks (1990-1991). It stood out from other network television series by being weird. There were quirky characters like a lady who carried a log with her at all times. There were dream sequences that were filmed with the actors speaking backwards. And the whole thing was a soap opera parody with almost everyone in town having a secret affair with someone else, people faking their own deaths, and even a surprise twin showing up.

I rewatched the original series a few years ago and was a bit disappointed to discover the second season wasn’t as good as the first. (I didn’t bother rewatching the prequel movie Fire Walk With Me, not caring for it the first time around.) I do love some of David Lynch’s films. EraserheadLost Highway and Mulholland Drive are among my favorite films. Blue Velvet remains one of the most disturbing movies I’ve ever seen. However, Lynch films aren’t always worth your time. Inland Empire was so boring it was a challenge to make it to the end. I remember liking Dune the first time I saw it, although I found it boring on a recent rewatch. Wild at Heart and The Elephant Man weren’t very memorable for me either.

Anyway, I was excited when it was announced there would be a third season of Twin Peaks. It was amazing how many of the original actors were able to return. The actors who played Bob and Major Briggs died before this started filming, but even they appear in the form of disembodied heads. David Bowie makes a posthumous appearance in clips from Fire Walk With Me, although they do dub over his voice (Bowie actually requested they do this since his Louisiana accent wasn’t that good). Jack Nance (Pete Martell), who died in 1996, also appears in a clip from the original series.

The actor who played the Log Lady filmed her scenes very shortly before she succumbed to cancer. It’s pretty heart-breaking watching her scenes since she talks about how close she is to dying and you know it’s not just acting since the actor is also very close to death. Miguel Ferrer (Agent Albert Rosenfield) likewise succumbed to cancer shortly after filming his scenes. Warren Frost (Dr. Hayward) and Harry Dean Stanton (the manager of the trailer park) were both 91 at the time of filming and also died before the series aired.

Some characters didn’t appear despite their actors being alive. Michael Ontkean (Sheriff Harry S. Truman) declined to reprise his role and was effectively recast by an actor playing his brother. Michael J. Anderson (The Man from Another Place) said negotiations didn’t work out and he was replaced by a CGI tree with a lump growing on it. It’s not surprising that Lara Flynn Boyle (Donna Hayward) didn’t appear as she was recast in Fire Walk With Me.

Piper Laurie (Catherine Martell) and Heather Graham (Annie Blackburn) wanted to be in The Return, but weren’t asked to come back. Since Annie’s character was such a big part of the season two finale, it’s strange that no one so much as mentions her name in the third season.

Since this post is starting to get long already, I’ll break this up into two separate posts. Stay tuned for part 2.

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