Friday, 29 May 2015

Twin Peaks and Showtime: The Story So Far

Whilst researching my dissertation on the work of David Lynch, I was dismayed to read many different quotes from Lynch stating that he had no desire to ever return to the town of Twin Peaks. Every so often new rumors would emerge saying there would be a revival but they were always shot down. I truly believed it would never happen. Until, on October 3rd 2014, David Lynch and Mark Frost both tweeted simultaneously "That gum you like is going to come back in style! #damngoodcoffee" and the internet exploded with excitement.

On October 6th, Lynch and Frost tweeted that, in the words of the giant, " is happening again" and confirmed that network Showtime would be reviving the series with both Lynch and Frost writing every episode and Lynch directing.

During the Q&A at the Twin Peaks UK Festival 2014, Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer/Maddy Ferguson) confirmed to an audience of ecstatic fans that Lynch had called her that week to let her know she would definitely be featured in the new series, along with Dana Ashbrook (Bobby Briggs) who was also in attendance. The audience went wild with enthusiastic applause and following from that more announcements came from other cast members, either confirming their involvement or saying how delighted they would be to get involved. Most importantly, Kyle MacLachlan will resume his role of Special Agent Dale Cooper!

Q&A with Sheryl Lee and Bobby Briggs at the Twin Peaks UK Festival 2014

But then a fish was dropped in the peculator... In early April, Lynch quite dramatically announced his departure, stating that he had been calling the actors to tell them personally that due to financial issues with the network, he would not direct. This was disastrous news. But oh how we rallied...

Fans from across the globe joined forces with the cast themselves to do whatever it would take to convince Showtime that without David Lynch, there could be no Twin Peaks. A petition received over 29,000 signatures, the hashtag #SaveTwinPeaks began trending on Twitter and a social media thunderclap was arranged.

The amazing cast made a moving video about what Twin Peaks without David Lynch would be like. It's so inspiring how passionate about the show they remain and how much it means to them, as well as us. They love it for the same reasons and just as much as the fans. The cast set up a Facebook Page called Official Twin Peaks Cast Run Site and made every effort to motivate fans to keep using social media as a tool of protest. Contributions, messages and photos came from Sherilyn Fenn (Audrey Horne), Dana Ashbrook, Kimmy Robertson (Lucy), Jennifer Lynch and Madchen Amick (Shelly Johnson). Sherilyn in particular was excellent at keeping in touch with the fans, sharing any news she had personally as soon as she could.

To me it seemed clear that bringing Twin Peaks back without David Lynch directing would be an enormous mistake. Of course many episodes of the 1st and 2nd series were directed by guest directors but the episodes Lynch directed are by far the most iconic, important, memorable and flawless. It feels like a once in a lifetime, dream opportunity and if after 25 years Twin Peaks is returning it has to be done right. Sherilyn Fenn stated that if Lynch didn't direct, she would not be involved and Audrey would either have to be re-cast or *SPOILER* have met her death in the bank explosion... Can you imagine?!

The fans didn’t give up on social media and the cast kept sending messages of hope and support. I honestly did not believe it would go ahead without Lynch and thought surely Showtime would be
able to work things out with him. On May 16th our wishes came true: "Dear Twitter friends, the rumors are not what they seem... It is!!! Happening again." and Showtime confirmed that David Lynch is back on board! Please, lets make that the end of Lynch's dramatic bad news tweets. I hope it is!

Since then Sherilyn Fenn and Sheryl Lee have appeared at Seattle's Crypticon where they confirmed that Angelo Badalementi would return to compose new music for the show and there would not be a mere 9 episodes but 18 in total! Rumors are that much of the show will be shot on location in North Bend, WA where the pilot was shot, and the original site of the RR Diner (now Twede's CafĂ©) will be restored to its former 90s Twin Peaks glory. There is a good article about this at Welcome To Twin Peaks.

So that is the story so far between Showtime and Twin Peaks concerning the revival. It's been tumultuous but the power of the extraordinarily passionate cast and the dedicated fans proves to be stronger than ever. Now we just have to wait...

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