Twin Peaks: Now With Even More Surrealism

[THU JUN 29 2017; B8; ’Twin Peaks entistäkin surrealistisempana,’ Kalle Kinnunen]


PHOTO: Suzanne Tenner


* Kyle McLachlan returned to David Lynch’s groundbreaking series.


The offer to return to the role of FBI agent Dale Cooper came three years ago. Actor Kyle McLachlan got a mysterious call from David Lynch.

– David wanted to meet. So we agreed to meet in New York, he didn’t want to talk much over the phone, says McLachlan.

Director David Lynch wanted to know if McLachlan would be interested in once again playing Dale Cooper, the main character of Twin Peaks (1990-1991).

– I said I never stopped playing Dale Cooper. Of course I was interested.

The return of Twin Peaks was still some time away. Lynch wanted total creative control, and to many people’s surprise, he got it. The third season of Twin Peaks was ordered by American cable network Showtime.

– David says this is not a tv series. It’s an 18-hour film, McLachlan points out.

In Finland, the new Twin Peaks can be watched on the HBO Nordic service.


Times for television were much different when the original Twin Peaks was made. McLachlan had already been acting in Lynch’s films Dune, and Blue Velvet. He also thought it odd that the respected Lynch chose to work for television. In the 1980s, American television production was considered to be distinctly inferior entertainment to film production.

– We actors signed up to a project that was maybe gonna be a series, or maybe a two-hour television film. We knew it was going to be something different, but I, too, tought it wasn’t likely to succeed.

Lynch was recognized as a surrealist, and he brought absurd humor, along with disturbing and weird visuals, to the television screen. Twin Peaks became success, and a cultural phenomenon.

– The first season had seven episodes, plus the pilot, and it had a great reception, McLachlan remembers.

The second season was made mostly without Lynch, and many people thought it was watered down. The director and lead actor were said to have had a dispute.

– It’s been exaggerated, McLachlan says.

– David had his own commitments. The people responsible were switched around. David wasn’t mad for long.


In the new season, agent Cooper returns to the town of Twin Peaks after 25 years. Even viewers who are prepared for surrealism, may be surprised by the seeming lack of plot.

McLachlan recommends the series to be watched three or four episodes at a time. He also admits that the new Twin Peaks is not for a wide audience, something that’s shown on popular channels at prime time.

– It would be dumb to assume the new season will have as much of an impact as the original Twin Peaks had back then, McLachlan says.

For Twin Peaks to return as a regular advertising-financed series would have been impossible, according to McLachlan.

– The measurement of popularity and success has luckily changed a lot. It used to be that advertisers were the ones to decide. If an episode didn’t sell enough in advertising, the show got cancelled. Now, more risky and bold concepts are allowed, ones that require patience, McLachland figures.

– Good shows can be their own entities, like in film and literature, that can only be evaluated as a whole. Now, even advertisers understand this.



What is Twin Peaks?

* The original series aired on the ABC network in 1990 and 1991.

* The third season is released one episode is released weekly until September 2017.

* In Finland, the new season can be watched on the HBO Nordic service.

* In the US, cable network Showtime reported that they’d never had as large a spike in subscriptions as they did on the premiere weekend of the new season.

* Almost everyone from the original series is on board. In addition to Kyle McLachlan, people like Sherilyn Fenn, Mädchen Amick, Ray Wise, and David Duchovny are all in attendance.

* ”This new series is 100% David Lynch. He takes the viewer on a journey without explaining things open. He wants the viewer to experience it for themselves and make their own interpretations,” McLachlan says.

* According to McLachlan, the theme of the series is ”Agent Cooper’s return to his true self, looking to restore some balance to the world.”


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