PASADENA, Calif. – Showtime’s revival of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s groundbreaking 1990 TV series “Twin Peaks,” first announced more than two years ago, finally has a premiere date: Sunday, May 21.
The series, which will clock in at 18 hours and was entirely directed by Lynch, will have a two-hour premiere, with weekly episodes following that. “We’ve seen the whole thing,” Showtime CEO David Nevins told the Television Critics Association on Monday. “It’s the pure heroin version of David Lynch.”
First reaction? Great – pure heroin Lynch! (Also: Yikes – the idea of Lynch unbound, after all these years.)
Showtime did not share any footage from the new series, but Lynch himself sat on a stage and took reporters’ questions for a brief (and elusive) 15-minutes Monday evening. “I see it as a film,” he said of his and Frost’s return to the fictional logging town in Washington state. “This word ‘expect’ is a magical word. People expect things and their expectations are met, hopefully, when they see the thing.”
Lynch, 70, has not directed a mass-market film since 2006’s “Inland Empire.” He said that he often wondered what might be happening in the town of Twin Peaks since the show ended its run on ABC in 1991 (and was the setting of a feature film released in 1992). He said Frost contacted him “years ago” and the two discussed ideas for revival over dinner at Musso & Frank Grill in Hollywood. “That’s what got us going again.”
In the decades that have elapsed since the show first became a critical and cult hit, Lynch said he remains most proud of the very first episode. “That, for me, set the tone, made the world and the characters.”
Despite its initial sensation, ratings in the second season dropped steadily. Lynch said it might have been because there was too much focus on solving the initial murder mystery introduced by the show. “‘Who killed Laura Palmer?’ was a question that we did not ever really want to answer,” he said, but there was pressure from the network (and from viewers) to solve the crime.
After Lynch politely left the stage, Showtime brought out four of the show’s stars for a Q&A session, even though they were forbidden from describing anything that happens in the new episodes: Kyle MacLachlan, who presumably reprises his role as Agent Dale Cooper; Madchen Amick, who plays Shelly Johnson; and Kimmy Robertson, who played Lucy, the sheriff’s office receptionist. They were joined by Robert Forster, who reportedly takes over the role of Sheriff Harry Truman, and Laura Dern, who would not confirm or deny fan speculation and rumors that she plays the mythic “Diane,” to whom Agent Cooper used to address in his tape-recorded field notes.
In fact, nobody said much about anything – expertly filling the session with reiterations of how happy they were to get a chance to work with Lynch again. One small consolation, in lieu of real information: reporters and critics were each given a pillow in the shape of a log.