Twin Peaks: The Return



Director: David Lynch

Stars: Kyle Maclachlan, Sheryl Lee, Catherine Coulson

Episodes 1 & 2

Before I start delving into the two-part premiere of Twin Peaks: The Return, I’d like to give you some context to my Lynch obsession. To me David Lynch is the greatest filmmaker that has ever lived and I mean no hyperbole by that statement. His films aren’t for everyone but there’s no denying that there’s nothing like them around, he’s simply incomparable to his peers. Watching his films is like viewing a painting or listening to a piece of music, there’s something inside of you which either likes it and accepts it or doesn’t, and it’s fine if you don’t like it. It’s a perfectly normal reaction to watch a woman in a radiator singing at you with massive hamster cheeks and think ‘what the heck is this load of rubbish!?’ and turn it off. However, to me it’s an indescribably haunting and hypnotic experience which makes my heart race.

I am definitely more of a David Lynch fan than a Twin Peaks fan. For me, the episodes directed by the man himself are by far the strongest and most ground-breaking, particularly the final cliff-hanger episode which stands as one of the most fantastically immersive things Lynch has ever done. I also much prefer the dark, horrifying vision of Fire Walk With Me which departed from the jovial tone of the TV series, signified by the opening shot of a television being destroyed. However, there are still hardcore Twin Peaks fans who consider the film an abomination due to how drastically different the story and tone is. These same people are going to be incredibly frustrated by the opening of season 3.


David Lynch seemingly (and tragically) disappeared from the edge of the Earth after the release of his impenetrable feature film, INLAND EMPIRE in 2006. So you can imagine my excitement when it was announced that Twin Peaks was going to come back with 18 episodes, all directed by David Lynch. That’s almost 18 hours of pure magic after over ten years of nothing Lynchian on our screens. The announcement was made back in 2014 so we’ve been patiently waiting for what feels like an age for Twin Peaks to come back on our screens and the other night it finally appeared!

No one knew what to expect when the two-hour premiere was about to start. The production has been kept absolutely top-secret and the teasers released by Showtime barely show more than three seconds of new footage at a time. However, I can guarantee that no one in the world would predict how the opener turned out as it did. In typical Lynch fashion our expectations were completely and utterly subverted within the first ten minutes. Those expecting a cosy rehash of the original series must be incredibly disappointed because this is not the old Twin Peaks we know and love, however it is unapologetically the David Lynch we know and love.


I was immediately reminded of Eraserhead in the opening five minutes which sees the kindly giant chatting with Dale Cooper in stark monochrome adjacent to a puffing gramophone. They’re in the iconic red room which they’ve been sitting in for twenty five long years. Everything about the scene has the director’s fingerprints all over it and it’s beautiful to see. The giant spouts total nonsense to an aged Cooper to which he responds, “I understand” a hysterical in-joke for Lynch fans. Things don’t become much clearer in the next 100 minutes.

Shockingly, the premiere spends barely any time in Twin Peaks and is more interested in startling events surrounding New York, South Dakota and Las Vegas. Old characters are met fleetingly and with more weirdness than usual. The structure and atmosphere of the show resembles Mulholland Drive more than the original Twin Peaks as there are so many strange strands and subplots which all somehow relate to each other in intriguing and inexplicable ways. It’s interesting to think that most of the feature film, Mulholland Drive is actually a pilot episode; so this new season may give us a glimpse of what the shelved Mulholland Drive TV series could have looked like.


Like most David Lynch films, the best way to experience it is to just go with the flow and ask questions later because nothing makes sense. It feels like we’re watching an explosion of Lynch’s unconscious mind on film, only I do believe that there is a solvable plot in there unlike the anarchic madness of INLAND EMPIRE. There are some extraordinary scenes of pure cinema which cannot be explained with words. The New York segment, for example, is utterly hypnotic and finishes with one of the scariest moments I have ever seen on screen thanks to nightmarish imagery and a terrifying sound design. I literally flew out of my seat, something I haven’t done since the tramp sequence in Mulholland Drive. There are also moments of surreal terror in the red room which go beyond anything we’ve ever seen in the world of Twin Peaks.

It’s the most astonishing two hours of telly I’ve ever experienced. It’s a true work of art and the directing is unparalleled. No other director can conjure up such an immersive dreamlike atmosphere quite like this. Detractors will moan about how they don’t understand it but it isn’t supposed to be totally understood. It isn’t a Christopher Nolan sci-fi flick, it’s a surrealistic painting designed to terrify and thrill. After watching The Return and being thrown back into normal life I stuck on an episode of Game Of Thrones (which I’ve just started watching) and was struck by just how ordinary it was.

The original Twin Peaks was ground-breaking stuff and The Return looks as if it’s going to be no different. This is unlike anything that has ever been on TV before and is already way ahead of its time. Thank the heavens that Showtime have given David Lynch free reign to truly create what is bound to be a masterpiece. David is back with a vengeance and reminding us what we’ve been missing whilst he’s been on hiatus for years. It’s incredibly exciting to think that a whopping 16 more instalments are left. Who knows where they’re going to take us, but it’s going to be one hell of an unforgettable ride.


Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)



Director: David Lynch

Stars: Sheryl Lee, Ray Wise, Dana Ashbrook, David Lynch, David Bowie


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, David Lynch is simply one of the greatest directors on the planet. He’s the only director I can think of who treats all of his films (well, most) as pieces of art. They’re all unique experiences and take you on such captivating and hypnotic journeys which you’ll never forget. I think the reason why some people don’t like Lynch is because they don’t watch his films properly. I think for the best effect, you’ve got to switch the lights off, don’t speak throughout its running time and don’t even go to the room. Also, don’t ask questions when something weird happens just embrace it and go along with it. If you follow these instructions with an open mind, then you are sure to fall under the spell of Lynch.


These instructions are no different for his underrated 1992 masterpiece, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. Fire Walk with Me is an absurd and often disturbing story which follows the final tragic week of Laura Palmer, the famous homecoming queen who got brutally bumped off in the fabulous Twin Peaks TV series. However, whilst the TV series gets endless praise (and deservedly so, especially that unforgettable season finale which feels like spending 45 magical minutes in the Club Silencio!) Fire Walk With Me is met with nothing but criticism. When the film fist came out it was notoriously bashed by critics and audiences alike. Of course one problem at this time was that few people had actually seen the final episodes of season 2 because the network started messing around with the time slots, thus no one really understood what was going on. The film is also a lot different in tone to the TV series as represented by the opening shot of a TV being blown up. It’s a much darker tone and atmosphere and I think it works incredibly well because of it, but audiences weren’t ready to leave behind the TV series, which had slowly became a failure, thanks to the stupid television network.

The film opens strangely. It introduces two new detective characters, investigating a suspiciously similar murder to Laura’s in a suspiciously similar town to Twin Peaks. However, this town isn’t the charming town that Twin Peaks is. It’s a much grimier, darker and depressed land where every place has adverse names. The locals are also weirder and angrier, which is understandable if they live in a caravan site called, “Fat Trout Trailer Park”. It’s a suitably strange opening that seems to have little to do with the film that follows. Nevertheless it is very interesting and evokes a strange atmosphere, just like Twin Peaks did. The film also reaches its surrealist high point which I won’t spoil. All I’ll say is that it features the wonderful Dale Cooper, David Bowie, a security camera and the black lodge to a seriously unsettling effect. The film is full of strange moments, but this is one of the most frightening.


After this though, the film really starts. It’s one year later and we see the iconic Twin Peaks sign alongside Angelo Badalamenti’s incredible score… It feels like we’re back home. However, Fire Walk With Me presents Twin Peaks as a much more sinister town. We don’t get comic relief from supporting characters, we just become immersed in Laura Palmer’s world. Despite being dead in the series, Laura was always the most interesting character and here we really get to delve into her wonderful character. There’s a very sad atmosphere throughout the film, because we know how it’s all going to end. Laura’s life is really quite a mad one. She’s basically a cocaine-addicted prostitute, yet she’s only a girl who’s crying out for help. No one really knows her, not even her best friend Donna who is the opposite of the seductive Laura.

Fire Walk With Me is full of masterful sequences. Of course there are those wonderful dream scenes which David does so well, but there are also some intense moments too. One of my favourite moments is when Leland is toying with Laura at the dinner table. The atmosphere is so suffocating in that scene, it’s so powerful. Laura’s final moments are also very dark and powerful stuff. The splashes of heavy surrealism and symbolism also make the film even deeper, richer and sensuous. Who exactly is BOB? Is he real, or is he a metaphor for the evil inside us? What is the black lodge? Who is The Man From Another Place? All of these elements (and many more) serve to make Fire Walk With Me a memorable and unsettling experience.

Laura Twin Peaks

Fire Walk With Me is a grossly misunderstood and underrated masterpiece from David Lynch. it has a strong nightmarish atmosphere and is full of amazing immersing moments such as the hypnotic stroboscopic bar scene. It’s a wonderful companion piece to the series. Fire Walk With Me is a strange and unforgettable journey which really gets under your skin and stays there. I thought the ending was pretty much perfect. Tragically sad and powerful, yet strangely hopeful. It really is a stupendous film and one which I think is even better than the TV series. It dares to shed light on its most interesting character, Laura Palmer, who was never really explored in-depth in the series, although her presence was still strong. It’s a hallucinatory experience and features even more surrealism than the TV series, yet it has a very coherent plot for a David Lynch movie, although some parts still bewilder such as, the David Bowie cameo and the monkey who speaks. However, whilst these moments infuriate some, I find them magically mesmerising, dream-like and atmospheric

I don’t really know why this film is hated and ignored. I love it and I think that people should come into the film with an open mind and knowing that it’s different from the series. It’s one of my favourite horror films and also one of David Lynch’s best.