“Twin Peaks,” even in revival form, continues to be one of the most enigmatic series on TV, whenever it makes it to air.
At the Television Critics Association press tour on Thursday, reporters expected to get some news, be it new footage, a release date, hell, even some damn good coffee or pie. Unfortunately, Showtime execs could only give crumbs about the state of production. “You can do a show like ‘Twin Peaks,’ where we don’t even know for sure how many episodes there will be,” Showtime President and CEO David Nevins half-joked, half-announced, as critics sobbed inside. A touted clip reel shown at TCA did not include any actual footage, only actors on set raving about how wonderful the show is.
The only very solid piece of information that was revealed was that production on the series is done, and now Lynch is “deep in the editing process.” It’s this vital step in the process that will shape what a “Twin Peaks” release will look like.
Check out the other tidbits gleaned from the Showtime execs:
Why an episode count is unknown: Although Lynch and Mark Frost submitted two scripts to the network early on, no formal, individual scripts were shown after that. Showtime president of programming Gary Levine revealed that instead, they received “binders about yea thick” that combined all of their musings and ideas from 25 years. Therefore, there was never “a proscribed number of episodes” in that way.
The release date is still fluid: Although returning cast member Ray Wise had said to expect the series in Summer 2017, “Twin Peaks” may be released a tad earlier than that. Nevins said that the network is aiming for the “first half of the year.” Levine added, “It is a process of seeing how it evolves. It’s an organism that continues to evolve. Until [Lynch] feels that he’s figured that out, we don’t know.”
The release style will be fluid: “Everything about ‘Twin Peaks’ is going to be unconventional — unconventional in the handling of it, unconventional in how we market it,” Nevins told reporters. “I really want to embrace the unusualness of it. I think it is quite possible that we’re not going to do a traditional release pattern. I don’t know what exactly that means. I’ve had a couple conversations with David, but I kind of want to embrace the unexpectedness of it. I can definitely see longer episodes or… It’s a question of how do we release it linearly? How do we release it for people who want to stream it? There may be a difference between the two.”
Agent Cooper has possibly suited up again: Although no actual footage was shown, we did see actors on set (walking around, looking at monitors). Returning star Kyle MacLachlan was seen in a sharp suit, looking very Agent Cooper-like, ready to expound upon traffic lights, coffee and pie.
Early footage seems… hopeful? The original “Twin Peaks” veered between grim, creepy, bittersweet and downright bizarre. Although those Lynchian hallmarks will no doubt continue into the revival, a sense of hope and happiness seems to pervade the comments from those who have seen footage or taken part in shooting it.
“Revisiting this territory, there’s a freshness to it, there’ s lightness to it,” said MacLachlan in the reel, which Showtime execs said would not be released. “There’s nothing I can say to describe this. Absolutely wonderful.”
Levine added that watching dailies, “We were instantly transported. These weren’t even cut scenes… The tone, the feel, it is so singular. We can’t wait to show it to the world.”
Later, Nevins said, “It’s really gorgeous and has that feeling of sort of unsettling, eerie mystery and also sometimes really funny. I think it has a real sense of incredible specificity of Lynch’s characters.
Lynch is gonna Lynch: It’s no surprise that much of the uncertainty of the project can be laid at Lynch’s doorstep. Although Nevins said that he speaks to the ultimate auteur “every week or two,” Levine noted, “This is a very unique partnership on this series, and he’s earned that right.”
While all of us wait for Lynch to get hit his editing stride, remind yourself of all the amazing people who will be returning to the series and joining the revival, and watch this teaser-y trailer again.