So, after far too long in my book they finally release the collected Twin Peaks in the UK, and I have the box in my grubby little hands to work my way through. Who wants to join me in a walk down memory lane of twenty years ago?

Twenty years - I need some coffee...

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Hmmm ... I would be interested, but I don't have the DVDs (at least, not yet).

In a wild bit of synchronicity, last night I was watching an old episode of M.A.N.T.I.S, Don S. Davis showed up for one scene as a U.S. Navy Commander and (I swear) the first thing I thought when I saw him was "The owls are not what they seem."
Hmmm... I've never seen Twin Peaks (although I do own the soundtrack album). The only thing I know about it is that dozens of people recommended it to me at the time and over the years since.
I don't have the DVDs, and at least one of the tapes in the videotape set I have is broken, and Jen has an irrational fear of the show, so I couldn't watch it while she's around, but... I might could tag along for some of this.

Interesting story about my experiences with Twin Peaks...

My first (and only) encounter with the show while it was on the air was when I happened upon an episode surfing channels. I didn't understand it at all — a guy sitting in a chair while a midget danced awkwardly in front of him and spoke in a weird "speaking backwards then played forwards" voice with subtitles — but I was totally entranced (and more than a bit horrified). I never saw it again on TV (little did I know, that was the final episode I happened upon), but that scene stuck with me. (It actually amalgamated with the parody of it The Simpsons did in their "Who Shot Mr. Burns" episode, but that's neither here nor there.)

Fast-forward about six years...the series has finally been released on VHS, but only the regular series episodes, not the pilot (which had been released separately, but not as part of the set). My library got the videos, so I checked them out and over the course of a week or so I immersed myself in all the regular episodes of Twin Peaks, and it was both more prosaic and more mystical than I expected from that caught glimpse all those years ago. After I worked my way through all the episodes, I had to know what else there was, so I scoured area video stores and finally found Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me as well as the video of the pilot, which included the wrap-everything-up alternate ending that David Lynch had filmed so it could be released as a theatrical feature in Europe. So my Twin Peaks week wrapped up by watching Fire Walk With Me, the prequel-that's-also-a-sequel, and then going full circle back to the pilot, which actually worked narratively as a capstone to my viewings...

Because of all of that, Twin Peaks in my mind has a very circular existence, with the end swallowing up the beginning, and tangents of dreamstuff and half-forgotten memories fueling its mystery for me. So part of me is reluctant to visit it again, for fear of breaking that mystery. But half-catching reruns on cable lately has given me a taste for some cherry pie and darn good coffee again...

Plus, who wouldn't want to fall in love with Laura Palmer all over again?
I still haven't gotten over, "How's Annie? How's Annie? How's Annie?".
Hissing in the train car...brrrrrrrr.

The ending killed it for me. I was really trying to figure out the mystery, even reading Laura's Diary when it came out, and the non-play-fair solution soured me on the whole thing.
Doc Beechler said:
Hissing in the train car...brrrrrrrr.

The ending killed it for me. I was really trying to figure out the mystery, even reading Laura's Diary when it came out, and the non-play-fair solution soured me on the whole thing.

I know how you feel, but I still miss the characters, especially Agent Cooper. Every time I smell the scent of trees, I say, "Smell those trees. Smell those Douglas firs!" Of course, they're usually pines, but that doesn't stop me.
My wife and I watched it on Chiller TV a couple of years ago. It was our must-see TV for its run.
I'm going to watch the Pilot and start the process tonight, but let me nail my colours to the mast when it comes to this series.

I first discovered David Lynch when, as a very impressionable 18 year old, I saw Eraserhead for the first time in the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle - and loved it. How impressionable was I? Let me put it this way - I could not eat roast chicken for months after that night...

After that, I tried to see every film he made, from the sublime (Elephant Man, Blue Velvet) to the frankly ridiculous (Dune) and got to recognise over the years his stock company of actors. So when I heard the BBC had bought Twin Peaks, I was all for it and tuned in for the first night with my then new wife. She knew something of my tastes by then - our first date was to see Beetlejuice - but she was surprised at how good it was, even with the nasty bits.

I'm approaching this with a mixture of anticipation and dread - will it stand up after twenty years? Let's find out...
Here we go,,,

Pilot

“She’s Dead – wrapped in Plastic”

One of the joys of this collection is it comes with the Log Lady introductions, which I believe were used in the US but never in the UK. These provide a perspective entirely in line with this wonderful character – one of my favourites from a series packed with memorable people.

On the morning of February 24, in the town of Twin Peaks, WA, logger Pete Martell discovers a naked corpse tightly wrapped in a sheet of clear plastic on the bank of a river. Following the arrival of Sheriff Harry S. Truman, his deputies, and Dr. Will Hayward on the scene, the body is discovered to be that of homecoming queen Laura Palmer, a figurehead of youthful innocence and purity in the Twin Peaks community. The news of her death spreads rapidly among the town's residents, particularly Laura's family and friends. Meanwhile, just across the state line, a second girl, Ronette Pulaski, is found walking along the railroad tracks in a fugue state. Because Ronette was discovered across the state line, FBI Agent Dale Cooper is called in to investigate.

The above paragraph (taken from the Wiki entry for the series) is as good an opening gambit as you can get for this series, but it doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what you discover in the hour and a half. You get to meet what appear to be the major protagonists – Pete’s wife Catherine Martell and his sister in law Josie; Donna and James, the teen leads; Bobbi and Mike, football players and would-be hoodlums; Big Earl at the truck stop; Leo Jackson and his wife; Doctor Jacobi; Ben Horne and his daughter Audrey who cat tie knots in cherry stalks with her tongue and so on and so on.

The feel is that of a soap opera gone askew – and at this stage that was exactly what Twin Peaks was. That very quickly changed...

There’s also the music – strange, unsettling, and that theme song by Julie Cruise. As for Agent Cooper, you soon realize he is an expert, and Harry Truman starts to slip into the role of Watson to his Holmes. That is made crystal clear with the video of a picnic, and the stunning shot of Laura’s eye and the secret it reveals.

The disc also has the international version of the pilot, and the alternative ending that Lynch shot so the film could be released theatrically. I don’t want to say too much – it uses scenes that crop up in the coming episodes, and quite frankly the end it gives is not great.

So far, we have a good opening, but nothing really unusual – until Laura’s mother has a vision, and we catch a glimpse in the mirror...
Bobby was played by Dana Ashbrook, brother of Daphe "Grace Holloway" Ashbrook.
As I started reading Mike's recap, the Twin Peaks theme started playing on Sci-Fi Radio.net. That's not as weird as the time we were discussing Twin Peaks on the old board and I got a call from Laura Palmer, but still pretty weird.
Pete Martell was played by Jack "Eraserhead" Nance.

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