After over a quarter century of waiting, 2017 was the year fans finally got to return to the dark and moody Pacific Northwest of David Lynch and Mark Frost‘s seminal cult television series Twin Peaks. The series aired on Showtime with 18 new episodes over the course of the summer. Expectations were high, because not only was Twin Peaks a return to one of the most revered series of all time, it was also David Lynch’s first project since 2006’s Inland Empire. Could Peaks 2.0 possibly live up to the hype?
The answer was an emphatic yes. Twin Peak’s return was anything but a cheap cash grab. It’s instead an 18 hour film, discarding traditional episodic television structure for something far more experimental and rewarding. In a way, the Twin Peaks Limited Event Series, as it is referred to on the Blu-ray set, was unlike anything ever seen before on television. And actors like Kyle MacLachlan and Laura Dern turned in the performances of their lives.
Some fans who preferred the classic soap opera/whodunit structure of the 1990 series might not be down for this iteration, but in its own way, the new episodes were as game changing for TV in 2017 as the original was in 1990. I’m not going to go in depth on reviewing the content of the season, mostly because I did that over the summer, and you can still read all those thoughts right here–but I’ll go over the rest of the Blu-ray set, including the wealth of special features which are included.
Picture And Audio Quality
Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series was shot on high-end video rather than film, which David Lynch now prefers, saying he’ll likely never work on film again. While this is sad, I can’t say Twin Peaks looks anything but stunning in every way. Working on high-end video hasn’t hindered Lynch’s aesthetic at all. The picture quality on the set is incredible, and definitely a step up from the Showtime presentation we saw over the summer.
Sound is an important part of any David Lynch project, as more often than not, he is also the sound designer for his own films. Plus, the new Twin Peaks has a ton of musical performances from the likes of the Chromatics and Nine Inch Nails, which viewers would want to listen to in the best possible way. Luckily, for the new Blu-ray set, we get a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack that allows you to hear every ominous noise and haunting song in crystal clear clarity.
Here’s the real gift for Twin Peaks fans on this Blu-ray set: the special features. Disc one has a series of promos that aired in the year and a half leading to the premiere. These are very short, and run just over five minutes in total, but are fun to watch for hardcore Peakers.
Next on disc one is Twin Peaks: The Phenomenon, which is a promo video series that Showtime ran on YouTube in the weeks leading up to the premiere. This is split in three parts, Part 1: Creation, which details how Lynch and Frost came up with the series in the late ’80s, and how the show became a cultural phenomenon in 1990, only to see its popularity wane after just two seasons. Part 2: Life After Death shows how the show grew in status over the next two decades, and finally, Part 3: Renaissance, which deals with the growing demand from fans for a new season of Peaks.
Discs three through six contain episodes, but disc seven has the excellent half hour documentary A Very Lovely Dream: One Week in Twin Peaks, which chronicles the cast’s return to the iconic locations from the original series 25 years later. All set during one week in 2015, this documentary comes from Charles de Lauzirika, the king of behind the scenes documentaries for some of your favorite DVDs and Blu-rays over the years. Also on this disc are an additional two half hour long documentaries, from cast member Richard Beymer (Ben Horne), Behind the Red Curtain and I Had Bad Milk in Dehradun.
Disc eight, however, is the true treasure trove. Lynch’s friend, filmmaker Jason S., was given unprecedented access to the filming of the series, and captures over five hours of behind the scenes footage of Lynch directing the revival series. Now, Lynch fans know that this is a man who doesn’t ever do audio commentaries for his films, rarely gives interviews about his work, so five hours of behind-the-scenes footage is a gift for Peakers everywhere.
We get to see Lynch interact with his actors, may of whom he’s had relationships with going back decades. And we get more insight into his process than ever before. We also see something that few fans have ever seen: Lynch lose his temper! He usually comes across cool as cucumber in almost every interview that he (rarely) grants, but seeing the zen master lose his cool is both fascinating and mildly unnerving.
Bottom line, if you love Twin Peaks or the works of David Lynch, the Blu-ray set for Twin Peaks: A Limited Series Event is a must have. This may be the last visit we ever get to that mysterious town in the woods, and if it is, it got a package worthy of its legendary status.
RATING: 5 OUT OF 5 BURRITOS
Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series is available now everywhere.
Images: CBS, Showtime