Twin Peaks returns: 10 things you should know before you consider watching it

The new season of Twin Peaks begins screening on Sky's SoHo channel on May 22.

It was one of the shows that helped launch TV3 in New Zealand.

Back in 1990, David Lynch's surreal murder-mystery helped secure the channel's early reputation as offbeat and something different from our state broadcaster.

As he prepares to return viewers to the small Washington hamlet and its eccentric characters, we've come up with a "damn fine" list of ten things to know about Twin Peaks.

After a more than 25-year absence, Twin Peaks' Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) returns to TV next week.

After a more than 25-year absence, Twin Peaks' Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) returns to TV next week.

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1. It's been aptly described as "one of the most talked-about, but least-watched, TV experiments of the early '90s", whose "eerie, nonlinear visual and narrative quality left many initially intrigued viewers wondering 'what's going on here?' — just before they changed channels".

2. Twin Peaks gave the public something to talk about with its 1990-91run, followed by a 1992 feature film prequel, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.

Twin Peaks is set in a small hamlet in America's Washington state.

Twin Peaks is set in a small hamlet in America's Washington state.

3. It's still being talked about a quarter-century later as Showtime launches an 18-episode limited-series follow-up that premieres on Monday on Sky TV's SoHo Channel.

4. The original Twin Peaks centered on (and tormented viewers with) the question "Who killed Laura Palmer?" after the nude body of this 17-year-old homecoming queen was discovered wrapped in plastic on the bank of a river outside the hamlet of Twin Peaks, Washington.

5. FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper was dispatched to investigate Laura's killing as well as that of another Washington girl the previous year who seemingly was murdered by the same person.

In Twin Peaks, David Lynch features both behind and in front of the camera.

In Twin Peaks, David Lynch features both behind and in front of the camera.

6. As with so many things in Twin Peaks, little about Laura was quite what it seemed. Turned out she had been living a double life as the girl next door and a cocaine-addicted prostitute.

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7. Laura's killer was eventually revealed to be her father, Leland, who had sexually abused her for years while possessed by a malevolent entity named Killer BOB.

8. In the best tradition of soap operas, Laura had an identical "twin" — in this case, her cousin Madeleine (portrayed, as was Laura, by Sheryl Lee) — who was also murdered by Leland/BOB (Ray Wise).

In Twin Peaks, don't underestimate the power of cherry pie and "damn fine" coffee.
SHOWTIME

In Twin Peaks, don't underestimate the power of cherry pie and "damn fine" coffee.

9. Twin Peaks, and hence Twin Peaks, was populated by numerous bizarre figures, such as the Log Lady (who was never seen without a log cradled in her arms) and Nadine (the shrill, eye-patched wife of gas station owner Ed who had a fixation on living-room drapes), and by campy tropes, such as Agent Cooper's delight over cherry pie and "damn fine coffee", and his affliction with weird revelatory dreams about dancing dwarfs and towering giants.

10. Few details about the new Twin Peaks have been disclosed by Showtime, but the return of three key figures assures, for better or worse, more of the same titillating weirdness: co-creators David Lynch and Mark Frost, and, one among many returning cast members, square-jawed leading man Kyle MacLachlan, back as Agent Cooper.

Twin Peaks premieres on Sky TV's SoHo channel at 8.30pm on Monday, May 22. Sky is also adding a pop-up channel, focused on the original two seasons, which will be open to all Sky subscribers from Friday, May 19 until Monday, May 22.

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Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me was David Lynch's cinematic prequel to the cult 1990s TV series.

 

 - AP

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