Top 10 Twin Peaks Characters NOT in The Return. 

We’ve all been losing our mind over Twin Peaks: The Return this summer. So, as Mark Frost and David Lynch’s oddessy into terror, hilarity and the surreal heads towards its conclusion, I’m taking a look at some of the best Twin Peaks characters who haven’t returned. 

This is, of course, a personal list, but if you think I’ve missed anyone or you disagree with my reasons, leave me a comment below or find me on twitter! BOB isn’t on the list as despite Frank Silva having died in 1995, his character and likeness have made it onto The Return, similar to Major Briggs, played by the late Don S Davis. 

Obviously this will include spoilers for the original two seasons and Fire Walk With Me

Also. Let’s get some business out of the way, my podcast recently had a Twin Peaks themed episode featuring an in-depth conversation with David Patrick Kelly, who plays Jerry Horne. David even played the Twin Peaks theme on the mandolin to open our interview. It’s truly breathtaking and something I am very proud of . If you use apple devices you can search iTunes for Supernerds UK or if you’re on Android just click here

Let’s Rock. 

10. Catherine Martell 

Piper Laurie’s Catherine Martell was the source of a lot of the soap opera storylines in the original series, shouting abuse at her long suffering husband Pete, conducting shady business deals and having illicit trysts with Benjamin Horne. Well. Until she died. Then there was the reveal that she was actually alive and posing as the secretive Japanese businessman Mr Tojamura. Because of course she was. 

Which leads me nicely to 

9. Pete Martell 

The late Jack Nance, who sadly passed away in 1996 in strange circumstances, fitting of a Twin Peaks storyline, played Pete Martell. Jack was a long time Lynch collaborator, appearing in most of his films, even being the iconic star of Eraserhead. Arguably the show’s everyman and its heart, Pete was the fisherman who found Laura Palmer’s body, in that legendary first scene. 
 “She’s dead, wrapped in plastic!” 

Nance’s offbeat persona gave Pete life and he was a delight to watch. Whether butting up against Catherine, trying to look after Josie Packard or accusing the Log Lady of stealing his car, he always raised a smile. 


8. Josie Packard. 

Sticking with characters associated with the Mill is the beautiful and mysterious (I feel I will need to thesaurus another word for mysterious soon) Josie. The wife of Andrew Martell, Catherine’s dead brother and the heir to his fortune. Romantically involved with town Sheriff Harry S Truman, Josie was often swept up in other people’s greed. She ended up as Catherine’s maid at one point, then was the subject of a business rivalry between the no longer dead Andrew and Thomas Eckhardt. Oh and she was the one who shot Coop in the season one finale. 

Her final fate is pretty terrifying.  Josie, about to be arrested, suddenly stiffens and dies. As Harry cradles her body, Coop sees BOB, appearing from nowhere, taunting him about Jose’s death. Then the Man From Another Place appears, dancing on the bed. Jose’s spirit seemingly ended up trapped in a draw knob, but more likely trapped in The Great Northern Hotel for eternity. 

7.  Donna Hayward 

A curious omission from the new season was Donna Hayward. Laura Palmer’s best friend and James Hurley’s true love, Donna was a key part of the original show. Her father is the town doctor and her involvement with James and Maddy is at the forefront of the season one mystery. Played by Lara Flynn Boyle in the original series, Donna was smoldering intensity buried beneath a small town girl next door. Boyle refused to return for Fire Walk With Me, the role recast with Moira Kelly. I’m not sure whether this show of disloyalty prompted Lynch and Frost to leave the character out this time round or with no real focus on Laura, they simply just didn’t find room for Donna. 


6. Annie Blackburn
 

Heather Graham’s Annie wasn’t in our beloved Pacific northwest portal to insanity for very long, but she made a big impact. Cooper quickly fell for the lovely Annie, who was as wholesome and optimistic as him. Unfortunately the diabolical Windom Earle decided to insert himself into their relationship and exact his twisted revenge by taking her into the Black Lodge. Despite a time-disjointed Annie appearing to Laura in Fire Walk With Me, I think she’s firmly dead and not returning.
“HOW’S ANNIE!?!” 


5. Windom Earle
 

When we’re told Dale Cooper’s former partner has escaped from prison early on in Season two, I don’t think many people would have expected where that would lead us to. Initially appearing as a disguise wearing,  hammy villain, Windom kidnaps Leo Johnson, freshly woken from his comatose state. Clearly relishing his performance, Kenneth Welsh is the villain we didn’t know we  needed, adding urgency and pace to the second season. Windom,  we realise has been driven insane, both with his desire for revenge on Coop and his obsession with the Black Lodge. Meeting a truly awful end at the hands of BOB, I’m fairly certain Windom isn’t coming back, but who knows?! 


4.  Leo Johnson

A terrifying figure in Season one due to his abuse of his wife Shelly and his possible involvement in Laura’s death, Eric Da Re as Leo should have been a huge part of season 2 and beyond. Unfortunately for him, he ends up comatose in a wheelchair wearing a party hat. Later, freshly woken and acting as Windom Earle’s pawn, Leo was last seen in a precarious situation, trapped in a cabin, having to hold a rope with his teeth to stop spiders dropping on his face. Sadly, he’s probably still there. 


3. Dick Tremayne. 

I get that this may not be a great choice for a lot of people, but I truly don’t care. Ian Buchanan as heelish menswear salesman Dick Tremayne was a slimy, awful character and that’s why I loved him. Lucy’s one time love interest and possible father to her unborn child, Tremayne gets a fair amount of screen time in season two and thoroughly chews the scenery. 

His scenes with Andy were pure comedy gold, both of them competing to be the best potential father. At one point the two of them end up looking after an increasingly mischievous child named Nicky, who Dick eventually thinks may be the devil. 

Dick is a hilarious addition to the cast and fits in marvellously, antagonising some of our most  beloved characters. Probably best not to mention Pine Weasels though.


2. The Man From Another Place 

“! kcor s’teL” 

Michael J Anderson’s backwards talking Black Lodge inhabitant is arguably the most iconic Twin Peaks character ever, possibly only topped by a plate of Cherry Pie. 

His appearances were few and far between, but every time he’s on-screen, he’s electric and you just can’t take your eyes off him. His red suit and reversed  dancing were simply unlike anything ever seen before.  Sadly, after Anderson wasnt offered enough money for his liking to return, he decided to slander Lynch with some truly bizarre and libellous claims and was replaced onscreen by a talking, monstrous tree.  


1. Sheriff Harry S Truman 

The town Sheriff, leader of the Bookhouse Boys and Cooper’s new best friend, Sheriff Truman is one of the only characters in the whole of Twin Peaks not to be bizarre or surrreal. A straight laced officer of the law who only has everyone’s best intentions at heart. Michael Ontkean had second billing on the credits too, reflecting his importance to the show. 

Truman’s stoic nature and sly humour endeared him to the audience just as much as it did Cooper. His reaction to Coop disappearing into the trees and the Black Lodge at the end of season 2 finally gave him a “What the hell?” realisation of just how crazy this town really is. 

Michael Ontkean has now retired from acting and lives in Hawaii, clearly preferring the sun and tropical island to the rainy Pacific Northwest. His part was not recast, instead Robert Forster plays Sheriff Frank Truman, Harry’s brother. A welcome addition but not a replacement.

 

So that’s the list! As I said at the start, leave a comment or tweet me if I missed anyone you would have added. 

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this list please check out my articles on the original series, the feature film Fire Walk With Me and my reviews of Episodes 1&2 and 3&4 of the Twin Peaks: The Return. 

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Twin Peaks: The Return (3 and 4) (2017)

Episodes 3 and 4 dropped online immediately after the premiere of Season 3 aired on television , so how does Twin Peaks fare after that spectacular return? Does the quality remain or do we see a slump? Spoilers abound, so beware. 

Filmed as one 18 hour piece by David Lynch and edited down into episodes afterwards, this series feels much more of a singular work than TV usually does. Lynch’s endgame is already known to him and he’s getting us there at his own,very deliberate pace. 

The second pair of episodes started off surreal and nigh on incomprehensible, with Dale Cooper trapped in non-existence, in an otherworldly Sci Fi sequence that will surely haunt my dreams for a while. Unseen, presumably monstrous creatures are heard banging on doors and the tension is cranked as we await Coop’s return to the world. Yet, as The Arm said, the doppelganger must go back to the Black Lodge for Coop to be freed. We find out that the doppelganger has created a double of his own, Dougie Jones, to take his place in the Black Lodge. It’s slightly silly but Kyle McLachlan knocks all three characters out of the park. He’s clearly having a whale of a time here, his performance(s) all brilliant. 

I feel the main arc of Season 3 will be Coop vs Evil Coop, but, I may be wrong , this is Twin Peaks after all. Evil Coop (I’m sure he has a better name but this is fun) has to be the big bad right? Unless Someone else is yet to arrive. Original Coop’s amnesiac stumble around the casino made me chuckle and his traditional American family set up with Naomi Watts felt like the wacky Peaks of old in a way. It’s good to see Watts here, the cast in general is incredible. 

Episode 3 and 4 were more of a return to the traditional Twin Peaks feel, with Episode 4 in particular having some incredible sequences. Finding out that former bad boy Bobby Briggs has become a Sheriff’s Deputy was a nice surprise, seeing him react to Laura Palmer’s photograph and burst into tears as Laura’s theme from the original series played was perfect, beautiful television. A callback filled with genuine emotion. This was followed by the introduction of a new character, someone iconic and odd, who would have fit so well in the original show. 

Wally Brando

Michael Cera‘s casting seemed an odd one, most of us surely guessing (correctly) he would play Andy (or Dick Tremayne) and Lucy’s baby, now fully grown . None of us saw Wally Brando coming. Cera is channelling Marlon Brando in The Wild One, complete with motorcycle and leather jacket. In this less goofy series, Wally is a welcome addition, genuinely hilarious, earnestly flanked by his dim witted parents, while the new Sheriff Truman (Robert Forster) politely listens to his bizarre ramble. It was a glorious, vintage Twin Peaks moment, filled with the fun and spirit that made us fall in love with this weird show in the first place. 

David Lynch himself returned as FBI boss Gordon Cole, accompanied by Miguel Ferrer‘s crotchety zen master and forensics expert, Albert Rosenfield as well as the stunning presence of longtime Lynch collaborator, Chrysta Bell as FBI agent Tamara Preston. Informed of (Evil) Coop’s incarceration, but not knowing he’s actually (Evil) Coop they head to see him in a South Dakota prison, but not before meeting Denise Bryson, now high up in the bureau, still played by David Duchovny.  Denise implies Cole just surrounds himself with attractive women. Surely Lynch making a joke about his own habit of casting stunning women in each of his projects! This new “Blue Rose” case calls back to Fire Walk With Me and ends episode 4 on a cliffhanger. 

Both episodes finished with a musical performance in The Bang Bang Bar, gives the show a nice wind down over the credits, not wasting a single second of its air time.

I’m fully invested in Season 3 and still with 14 hours left, I’m already feeling anxiety about it ending too soon! 
My interview with Twin Peaks star David Patrick Kelly is up now on the Supernerds UK Podcast, available on iTunes, podomatic and Supernerdsuk.com now! You can also read my review of the first two episodes here.

Twin Peaks: The Return (2017)

The first two episodes of Showtime’s revival of the Lynch/Frost surrealist drama have aired and it’s given us a lot to mull over.  While I do talk some spoilers, I’ve left a lot out, as some things need to be seen for themselves. 

Simultaneously being something totally new and also, essentially the most Twin Peaks thing ever, Lynch and Frost have returned from the Black Lodge rejuvenated and ready to go.  The first two episodes answer some twenty-five year old questions but ask a whole lot more. 

At its core, Twin Peaks has always been the story of Laura Palmer and The Return is no exception, with the first episode opening with Laura’s promise of seeing Special Agent Dale Cooper again in twenty-five years. This new series has a murder mystery of its own, with a high-school principal, played by Shaggy himself, Matthew Lillard being arrested for a truly horrific double murder, is he under the control of BOB or one of the other denizens of the Black Lodge

Speaking of which, Agent Cooper’s evil doppelganger from the finale of season 2 is still on the loose and rampaging around our world, desperate to stay out of the Black Lodge. It’s never explicitly stated that he’s BOB, but a long haired Kyle McLachlan definitely gives off that vibe, channeling the spookiness of the late Frank Silva.  Although I know Silva passed away in 1995, I constantly expected him to appear, baring his teeth and climbing over a couch. The real Dale Cooper is still inside the Red Room, with MIKE,  looking for an escape. It’s hard to take, especially as Coop is one of the nicest, most earnest heroes TV has ever seen. His scenes here are sad but an essential continuation. We can’t go from “How’s Annie?” back to coffee and pie. Not so soon, maybe not ever. 

This new Peaks is free of network censorship and fully embraces the gore, swearing and nudity it wasn’t allowed first time round. It’s a lot more like Fire Walk With Me or even Lost Highway than the original series. But that’s fine, it suits the progression and it works. Nothing, even the creatures or whatever they are, seems forced or over the top.  

While Twin Peaks has always been a little scary, I would definitely say this new version is pretty much horror. While shows like True Detective have aped the Peaks style, here Lynch blows everyone away with his slow burning terror. Lingering shots, pulsating music, purposefully dragging scenes out, Lynch rachets the tension and drags us along with him. The discovery of the corpse(s) in the apartment building slowly pull you to the edge of your seat. The storyline in New York with the glass box is flat out terrifying, feeling like some of the J-horror that has been inspired by Lynch. Some people might find this slow approach tedious or the creatures silly, but chances are they’d have found backwards talking and a Log Lady daft too. 

Catherine E Coulson, the Log Lady, sadly died in 2015 just after filming her scenes, and her appearance here shows how ill she was. With chemotherapy hair loss and a tube in her nose, she looked so frail , my eyes filled with tears seeing her that way, but she delivers her dialogue so perfectly and so real, it’s an incredible performance to leave us with. This double episode was dedicated the memory of both her and Frank Silva, which was a nice touch. Knowing that we’ve lost several cast members since filming adds an extra layer of emotions to our viewing experience too, especially to a show with themes of death and finality such as this one. 

We do get a return of some of the original cast, with Ben and Jerry Horne, Richard Beymer and David Patrick Kelly still as hilarious as ever! Andy, Lucy and Hawk in the Sheriff Department had me aching for Sheriff Truman but I know Michael Ontkean is now retired and living in Hawaii. Near the end it was wonderful to see a scene into the bar, with The Chromatics replacing Julee Cruse, but it felt like the old days. Seeing James and Shelly as well as some new characters. Jacques Reno back from the dead and tending bar in the background was odd, unless he’s got an identical cousin. Hey, it’s happened before!

Darker, scarier and just as mysterious, Twin Peaks: The Return has raised the bar for TV yet again. David Lynch and Mark Frost are still light years ahead of everyone else. 

The current epsiode of the Supernerds UK Podcast is a Twin Peaks special and features my interview with Jerry Horne himself, David Patrick Kelly! 

Available on ITunes, supernerdsuk.com and all places podcasts are found! Or click here to listen now!
Find my thoughts on Episodes 3 and 4 here 

Twin Peaks (1990)

I have two abiding memories of being five years old. One, is my fifth birthday party, where, it being 1990,  I was given Batman gifts, the 1989 movie still being very relevant. The other memory is something different.  

It was dark, it was late. I walked out onto the landing from my room. My mum’s bedroom door was open, the TV was on and there was music. I walked in and asked what she was watching. “Twin Peaks,  it’s very good. Someone has killed Laura Palmer”

 
Twin Peaks is returning to television in May 2017, brought back by Showtime and the original creators David Lynch and Mark Frost, with Lynch directing all 18 episodes. So now is probably the best time to go back and revisit the original show and it’s prequel movie, Fire Walk With Me. 

Twin Peaks has transcended Pop Culture and attained it’s own unique status as one of the most influential television shows in history. It’s no exaggeration to say this, literally hundreds of films and TV shows have borrowed that Lynch/Frost visual vocabulary for their own ends. 

Opening with the death of Laura Palmer, we are slowly drawn into surrealist web of drama, psychological horror and campy melodrama. Peaks becomes the very definition of Must See TV, simply by playing it’s strengths. The weirdness is compelling, obtuse, yet leaving us wanting more. 

In TV, when a series juggles multiple plots, sometimes it doesn’t quite work. Some scenes leave the audience waiting for the main plot to return. Lynch, Frost and their team never have this problem. 

The character work is sensational, from weepy Deputy Andy Brennan and Police Secretary Lucy’s slightly awkward love story to the sheer horror of Laura’s plight, not one arc is wasted. Even characters seemingly as minor as the town mayor get fun moments. 

Kyle McLachlan’s Special Agent Dale Cooper is, hands down, one of TV’s greatest ever lead characters. Endearing, funny, yet so quirky,  Cooper is the heart of this show. His chemistry with Sheriff Harry S Truman, played by Michael Ontkean, is brilliant, the two becoming fast friends and a wonderful duo to watch. What I think works most about Cooper, is that his straight laced FBI agent is plonked down straight into a surreal murder mystery in a town full of weirdo Lynchian characters and doesn’t bat an eyelid. He normalises everything and accepts everybody. 

At one point in season two, Cooper’s old DEA colleague, Dennis Bryson shows up, having begun transitioning gender, to Denise Bryson, played by David Duchovny. Coop, not only accepts this, but seems happy for Denise for embracing her gender identity. It’d be  progressive for 2017, for 1991 it was incredible. Denise is treated well and her whole arc is a highlight of the entire series. 

I think trying to distill what I love about the show down to one blog, sort of short changes why it’s so good. The world of Twin Peaks is so rich and full, it’s impossible to do all of the characters justice

The various intertwined stories are precisely why Peaks is so great. Everyone sort of knows everyone. Noone’s love life is simple, business deals conflict with personal lives. The realism and relatability of these characters really makes the surrealism jump out so much more. One minute you’re watching a love triangle between Shelly, Leo and Bobby and the next thing you know, you’re in the woods with creepy Owls, or being chased by BOB. 

In fact, let’s talk about the weirdness. People made fun of Twin Peaks at the time, but the surrealism makes sense. Everything is slightly offbeat, but the supernatural elements really pop. When Cooper shows the Twin Peaks sheriff’s department his investigative methods based on Tibetan theology, you’re aware this is an odd show.

 When Coop visits the Red Room with the zigzag floor of the Black Lodge in his dreams, everything changes. This is beyond weird. It’s scary. Yet, nothing is wasted. Everything is there for a reason. The Man From Another Place gives Agent Cooper the clues he needs to start looking for Laura’s killer. Peaks turns a corner here and if you’re into it, the ensuing ride is an emotional, funny, scary, good time. 

Angelo Badalamenti’s gorgeous score is as much a character as anyone else, haunting and so very visceral,  nothing else would feel right. His music charges the atmosphere so well, backing Audrey’s dancing and providing a jazzy, finger clicking score for The Man from Another Place to dance backwards. 

The show ended on a huge cliffhanger, never fully explained in 1992’s Fire Walk With Me, so I’m very intrigued to see where Lynch and Frost take us in May. With a huge cast, most of the original stars returning and new additions such as Naomi Watts, Michael Cera and Trent Reznor, it will be a TV event like no other. Our television landscape has finally caught up with Lynch and Frost’s masterpiece so it’s the right time for it to return. 

I’ve avoided spoilers in this blog, as I would never want to ruin Twin Peaks and it’s twists, turns or revelations for anyone. I will however go into more detail when I talk about Fire Walk With Me.