For those who don’t care about such things you might not have realised that its twenty years this month since Laura Palmer – high school beauty queen and secret drug-sniffing skank – was found dead, wrapped in plastic, her lips a beautiful Avatar-blue. Riding into town to her posthumous rescue was FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (‘Diane, I'm holding in my hands a small box of chocolate bunnies’) and television was never quite the same again.
Twin Peaks was mismanaged and axed after just two seasons but it left an indelible mark on me and television programming in general. Northern Exposure, the X-Files, Carnivale, Life on Mars, Deadwood, Lost (especially Lost) and any program that assumed a modicum of intelligence from its audience all flowed in Peaks’ slipstream. It also set the standard for the now common practice of internet fandom with conventions, fanzines and theory discussion all taking place in a pre-world wide web universe. Even now there are some excellent websites covering just about every aspect of Twin Peaks (the most comprehensive being Glastonberry Grove which is well worth a few hours of your internet time).
As a (slightly obsessive) fan it’s always nice to hear the actors’ perspectives on the show but what all devoted Peakies want to know about is will there ever be any more? (Spoiler alert) The television series ended with a Bob-possessed Dale Cooper banging his bleeding forehead against a broken bathroom mirror in his hotel room; evil seemingly triumphant over good with the real Cooper trapped in the Black Lodge. Hopes that this might be resolved by the 1992 feature film Fire Walk With Me were not to be, the film receiving a critical mauling from those desperate for answers.
All nostalgists hang for more of their favourite shows, bands and movies but Twin Peaks has a curious get-in card that it can play anytime between now and 2015. The one shard of hope that all is not over in lies in something said in the third episode, during Cooper’s infamous dream sequence (you know the one: red curtained room, black and white floor, dancing dwarf talking backwards?) In the scene a greying and prosthetically aged Cooper sits in an armchair whilst someone who appears to be Laura says to him “I’ll see you in 25 years…meanwhile..”
The implication is that our beloved Special Agent will remain trapped in the Black Lodge for a quarter of a century, at which point something will happen. The mythology around the Lodge implies that time has no meaning in there and I’m not delusional enough to believe that Mark Frost and David Lynch intended to pick up where they left off 25 years on, but it’s still an exciting and quite plausible loophole to kick things off again.
In reality a number of the key players have passed away since 1992, including Bob, Major Garland and (one of my personal favourites) Senor Droolcup, the aged waiter who is never far from the ring-stealing Giant (I know this sounds mad if you’ve never seen Twin Peaks). Still there are enough of the main cast still around, and with Frost and Lynch at the helm, some new characters and a whole lot of well-thought out retro-fitting I reckon there could be a huge hit waiting to happen for a brave network. With Lost winding up and Flash Forward stalling on its heels there will be plenty of room for a bit of intelligent clue-dropping on our screens. Over to you Mr Lynch… time to save television all over again.