In a surprise move worthy of David Lynch, the director himself magically appeared at the Television Critics Association press tour on Monday despite not having been scheduled to attend the “Twin Peaks” panel.
Lynch did his best to answer reporters’ questions without revealing specific details. While this wasn’t quite as challenging as the backwards-speak in the famed Red Room, it was definitely just as bizarre and fun.
The most that Lynch was able to reveal about the new series was that there was definitely a connection to the prequel-sequel film, “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” that traced the final week in the life of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), the teen whose original murder was the inciting event that brought Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) to the town of Twin Peaks.
“The story of Laura Palmer’s last seven days [is] very much important for this,” Lynch acknowledged. Coupled with what Showtime chief David Nevins had told reporters earlier that day, it seems that something about the Laura Palmer case persists since “The core of it is Agent Cooper’s odyssey back to Twin Peaks.”
Perhaps in a way this revival is a way to reset or amend for the director, who had never wanted to reveal the murderer in the first place. “What killed ‘Twin Peaks’ originally, who killed Laura Palmer was a question that we never really wanted to answer. That Laura Palmer mystery was the goose that laid the little golden eggs. We were told that we had to wrap that up. We never got going again after that.”
Both Showtime and Lynch were adamant about not spoiling anything about the new “Twin Peaks,” which is why no trailer has been released yet. The network hinted that any video we may get as a preview may not have actual footage but would instead be mini teaser films. And Lynch wouldn’t reveal any details, not even what it was like to work with Laura Dern, who was never in the original series but had worked with the director on “Blue Velvet” and “Wild at Heart.”
“I love Laura Dern,” he told reporters simply. In a follow-up panel that included Kyle MacLachlan, Madchen Amick, Kimmy Robertson and Robert Forster, Dern herself was as effusive as Lynch was brief, but still remained somewhat opaque. While one reporter wondered if she were cast as Diane, Agent Cooper’s secretary whom we never saw but whom he dictated his messages to on his recorder, she said, “I will tell I am playing my very own character different from their characters.”
Check out more highlights from Lynch’s enthralling and often cryptic 15-minute panel:
Eric Charbonneau/AP Invision for Showtime
– On the origins of working with Mark Frost: “We discovered a mystery. Within this mystery were many other mysteries. We discovered a world, and within this world were other worlds. and that’ show it started. That’s what brings us here today, and the story continues.”
– On the intervening 25 years since the original series: “I always felt even if it only happened mentally and emotionally, the story goes on. I love this world of ‘Twin Peaks’ and I often thought about what might be happening . i often just remember the beautiful world and beautiful characters.. Mark contacted me… we ate at Musso & Frank’s and talked. That’s what got us going again for this one.”
– On writing with Mark Frost: “We works together on Skype. Mark from Ojai and I from Hollywood. We Skype and write together… Mark is very smart.”
– On Nevin’s description of the new “Twin Peaks” as a “pure heroin version of David Lynch”: “I hear that heroin is a very popular drug these days.”
– On returning to set and shooting in Washington again: “It’s pretty amazing how we all fell back in together. It’s a family…the crew on ‘Twin Peaks’ was even more wonderful than those others…If you go back 25 years of any town, many things remain the same but also you feel a change.”
– On the magic from the beginning of the original series: “I’ll tell you what I loved: the pilot. That for me set the tone and made the world and characters for me. I felt really good about that mood and those characters… I just fell in love, deep, deep love.”
– On the ease of Standards & Practices, even on the original series: “We didn’t have hardly any problems in the old days. In fact, I couldn’t believe the freedom and the things that we did. If you look at the show it was amazing. Sometimes dialogue had to be changed and sometimes it changed to a better thing. But we had a lot of freedom.”
– On making TV in today’s landscape: “It’s a very beautiful time now for cable television. The idea of a continuing story is something I’ve alway loved. It’s so beautiful and exciting.”
– On fans’ expectations for the revival: “This word ‘expect’ is a magical word. People expect things. Expectations are met hopefully when they see the thing.”
– On doubts about the revival: “Always we’re filled with doubts.”
“Twin Peaks” will make its two-hour premiere on Sunday, May 21 on Showtime.