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.

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. 


Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)

You’d probably expect a follow up movie, to an abruptly cancelled television show to be a sequel. Especially one that ended on a huge cliffhanger. Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me, opens with TV static,followed by the same television being smashed by an axe. 

(This article contains spoilers for Twin Peaks the TV series.)

The lesson to learn from this, if you didn’t already know, is don’t expect the norm from David Lynch. This is a very different animal to the television series. 

Fire Walk With Me is a prequel to the cult classic, Twin Peaks, showing the last 7 days in the life of Laura Palmer, the girl who’s death is the catalyst for the series. Sheryl Lee reprises her role as Laura along with almost the entire original cast. Ray Wise returns as Leland Palmer, Kyle McLachlan pretty much cameos as Dale Cooper and Lynch himself pops back up as loveable, hearing impaired FBI boss Gordon Cole. Lara Flynn Boyle most notably didn’t return as Donna and was replaced by Moira Kelly

Flopping on initial release and getting critically berated, FWWM in my opinion, is a dark hearted masterpiece. Having very little of the playful humour of the series,  this movie plays like a twisted mirror version of what we loved about Peaks. Opening with a 30 or so minute prologue starring Chris Isaak and Kiefer Sutherland as two FBI agents investigating a murder we’d heard of in the show, but never seen. They face hostile local cops and have a bad experience with coffee in the town diner. Almost the exact opposite of Dale Cooper’s arrival, setting the tone for how the story will play out. 

It’s unsettling to see Laura Palmer alive, knowing the fate awaiting her at the end this film, but Sheryl Lee’s performance is nothing short of brilliant. You really feel Laura is coming apart mentally and see her anguish. She knows Bob is coming for her and when she realises who he is, it’s heartbreaking.  Watching FWWM, I got to feeling Lynch was saying something deeper about her sexual abuse and her drug addiction all along in Peaks, but I obviously didn’t pick up on it, forever changing how I watch the show from now on. 

The show’s reveal of Leland Palmer as the killer and molester of his daughter at the beginning of season 2 was oddly placed due to network pressure, and left an emptiness in the middle of that season before Windom Earle shows up and led our characters to the Black Lodge and the madness within. FWWM acts as the dark mirror version of the show and being a feature film, it had the freedom to push boundaries that were unavailable to Lynch on television.

I had a lot of different feelings while watching FWWM, mainly due to the fact it was so different to Twin Peaks. The campy comedy was gone, everything felt more real and more grimy. Laura’s trip to the club with Jacques Reno being the highlight (lowlight?) of showing how her life was unravelling around her. Going back to what I said earlier about Lynch saying more about her sexual abuse and drug addiction, I really began to feel like this was all Laura’s way of coping with what her Dad was doing all those years. Sure, he claims he didn’t know BOB was possessing him, but there are definitely a few clues dropped that he was in control. 

It does change your opinion on Leland and the TV show as a whole. Going further, are BOB, MIKE and the Black Lodge just a metaphor for abuse and evil? I don’t think it’s as simple as that, but it’s hard for me not to think about it everytime I see BOB now.

The Black Lodge itself and it’s inhabitants are more fleshed out during FWWM. The reveal that the backwards talking The Man From Another Place is the chopped off arm of MIKE was interesting, adding a new element to his previous appearances. His scene sat across the table from BOB showed them at odds over the battle for Laura. I particularly loved when during David Bowie’s sudden appearance, we got to see more of the Lodge’s monstrous and twisted demons, some of whom are apparently returning for the new series. This short scene was hugely disturbing, letting us know there was much more than we realised, as well as bringing back the Grandmother and Grandson that talked to Donna Hayward in season 2. 

With Fire Walk With Me acting as both a prequel and a sequel, Lynch got to both explore Laura’s past while leaving her future wide open. Odd that a dead character would have their fate left hanging in the balance, but I don’t think Laura is staying dead. Sheryl Lee being in the new series gives me hope we will see more of Laura than expected and that maybe because the Black Lodge is outside of Space and Time, a return for her and the real Coop will be bolder than a lot of people expect. 

Through the darkness of future’s past,
The magician longs to see.
One chants out between two worlds…
“Fire… walk with me.”