David Lynch and Mark Frost’s long awaited return to Twin Peaks is still about a year away, and yet fan anticipation and speculation is at an all time high. The show still has about a month of filming left, but unlike shows and movies like Star Wars or Marvel product, there have been next to no clues about what to expect from the show while production is going on. No set photos, no Instagram pics, no behind-the-scenes videos — nada.
Showtime announced that Kyle MacLachlan was returning as FBI Agent Cooper last year, and so far that’s the only official announcement we’ve had. Other casting announcements have appeared via unofficial sources—like the addition of Naomi Watts—but even she has had to remain tight-lipped about being a part of the cast—even after she was spotted on set! And fans are still speculating whether or not the late Catherine Coulson (The Log Lady) or David Bowie (FBI Agent Jeffries) filmed scenes for the series before their untimely deaths. We probably won’t know till the series airs. Everything’s a mystery.
But now Showtime president David Nevins is pulling back the curtain a wee bit, and speaking about the return of Twin Peaks, and some of the more unorthodox ways it might reach fans. While talking to the Bloomberg podcast, Nevins dismissed the notion of dropping the entire series all at once, Netflix style, telling them the following:
“[T]here is great value in having the conversation sustained over the course of a couple of months. […] Although I’ll do different shows in different ways. When we put Twin Peaks out, maybe it’ll be fun not to do just one a week, but to do it in a different way. Who knows. Something I’ll talk about with David Lynch. There’s all sorts of possibilities, but the idea of just throwing it out, having a week [or two] of buzz, and then having it die down, I don’t think that makes sense for us.”
He also said that there might be a theatrical component as well to the new season, as Nevins added that there would be a guaranteed interest from movie theaters to screen the new Twin Peaks as an “out-of-home collective experience.” Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean a wide release, but I could definitely see early fan screenings popping up in select theaters around the country, similar to how Doctor Who does fan screenings in theaters.
As an OG Twin Peaks fan—who as a teenager became obsessed with the series when it first aired—the show was as unorthodox as anything that had ever aired on network television. It’s hard to describe how bland television was back then to younger viewers, those who have grown up in a post-Sopranos world, where there are tons of quirky and offbeat shows spread out over 500 channels. But back then, Twin Peaks was as unorthodox as it got.
With that in mind, maybe the new Twin Peaks should take an unorthodox approach to airing its episodes. Maybe air them on a Sunday and the following Monday? Or, maybe make every episode two hours instead of one. Rumor has it that the original order of nine episodes doubled to eighteen. If that’s the case, Twin Peaks could break the mold of the traditional “one hour drama” and literally give us a new two-hour David Lynch film every week for two months.
As for having a theatrical component, I’d suggest instead of just releasing episodes early to fans on theater screens, instead create new content, content that wouldn’t be crucial to the overall plot of the series, but what would be considered “extra” info for the hardcore fans. When it originally debuted back in 1990, Twin Peaks was a pre-internet version of a “Multimedia experience.” Along with the show, you had the book The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer—written by Lynch’s daughter Jennifer—and the audio release of the tapes of Agent Cooper. If you were a casual viewer, you could skip those and still totally follow the series, but they added an extra layer for the serious fan. A unique theatrical component could do the same for the new version of the show.
Whatever Lynch and Frost have prepared for us, it will no doubt be unlike anything on current television. Which is exactly as it should be.
What do you think of the potential new ways in which Twin Peaks might air? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.