Welcome to The Indiependent’s Top TV of the Decade! In this feature, Jack Roberts discusses the intoxicating reunion series of David Lynch’s seminal Twin Peaks…
Is it future or is it past? After 25 years of fan theories, cult followings and cherry pies washed down with damn fine coffee, 2017 saw the return of Mark Frost and David Lynch’s seminal television horror-cum-soap opera-cum-postmodern extravaganza, Twin Peaks. After tantalisingly teasing us with a series of cryptic clues and slivers of footage, Twin Peaks: The Return emerges from its cancellation hibernation as an 18-episode epic that still has critics debating: is it an 18-part series, or an 18-hour film? If you were to ask Lynch himself, he would probably go down the film route, having shot it using one continuous script and chopping it up from there. Regardless of how it is presented, The Return made for great television and in fact seamlessly blended cinematic techniques with television aesthetics to make for a wholly unique and unambiguously transcendent experience.
After a 25 year gap, something that was woven intricately into the narrative, we welcome back our unconventional hero, FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper, who has been trapped in the otherworldly confines of the Black Lodge all this time. What makes The Return so fantastic is that it is Lynch at his most Lynchian. He has been given full control of the reigns and been allowed to go as surreal as possible. I’ve found, multiple times in attempting to write this, that avoiding spoilers is a Herculean task. Twin Peaks has always teetered on the border between mainstream and cult television, but The Return veers in its own direction entirely. And with the original cast, along with new acting heavy weights as Laura Dern, Tim Roth and Michael Cera joining the cast, the overwhelming nostalgia is only enhanced by the fresh new stories.
The fact that Twin Peaks: The Return still causes debate around how it should be categorised is a testament to Lynch’s ever-experimental style. This was the first project he had taken since 2006’s Inland Empire, and after a number of deaths of prominent cast members, it may even be the last time we get to see Twin Peaks on our screens. If that is the case, Lynch has truly created a magnum-opus of television-filmmaking and one of the best visuals of the last decade. (For those who are going to watch it, just wait until Episode 8. Trust me, it’s worth it!)
Words by Jack Roberts