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'Twin Peaks' Revisited: Introduction

by James Giles 4 years ago in tv
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It's Happening Again...

2017 has been an amazing year for Twin Peaks. Twenty six years after the original series ended, Twin Peaks returned triumphantly to the pop culture landscape, bigger in scope and bolder in execution, in the form of two novels and an 18 part TV series. For many in its community of fans, Twin Peaks never really went away; the time between has been spent pondering on its many unsolved mysteries, intuiting its narrative and thematic meanings, and being inspired by its creativity. As one of those fans, I was hugely excited for Twin Peaks comeback, not just to see how the narrative would continue and how the series would look & feel in today's TV landscape, but because this time around I'd actually get to be part of the water-cooler experience; I was too young to watch when the original aired, and now I'd get to be part of the mystery as it unfolded. As a wonderful effect of this, I got to enjoy it with the larger fan community on Twitter, meeting lots of lovely people and being introduced to many websites and podcasts that only enhanced my experience of The Return.

After all these years though, The Secret History, The Return and The Final Dossier between them have brought conclusions to many of the myriad stories, and with it a sense of completion — or as much as a continually evolving work of art and fiction can. With the works of Twin Peaks forming a new sense of wholeness, now seems like the ideal time to revisit the entire piece. When watching and writing about The Return, I was struck from the beginning by how much Twin Peaks had changed whilst maintaining its core thematic interests. Gone were the soap opera stylistics, narrative brevity, visual warmth, and constant music of the original, replaced with a cold palette, contemplative pacing, fractured narrative and a low-key ambient score; what remained was a fascination with the perception of identity, the cyclical nature of human behaviour, the relationship between reality and dreams, and the allure of mystery.

As a body of work, one of Twin Peaks's key components is constant evolution, from the narrative to the subtext, to the production and medium, and in an ongoing series of articles this will be the focus - how and why it has grown and transformed, and what has remained at it's heart. I'll be watching and reading everything again from the beginning, comparing and contrasting The Original with the The Return, and looking closer at some of the lesser explored themes and ideas in both. I'll be doing an in-depth look at Fire Walk With Me and The Missing Pieces, for me the most significant evolutionary step in the series' development and thematically the nexus of Twin Peaks. I'll be looking at the input of other creators (besides Frost & Lynch) and their impact, good and bad, on the development of Twin Peaks, and at some of the different directions it's come close to taking. I'll also be reviewing all the supplementary books and novels, some of which I haven't read before, and looking at textures they add to the piece. And lastly, I'll be looking at where the new material has left things, and where Twin Peaks may potentially go in the future.

Writing has always been a passion of mine, and The Return has already been an incredible gift for inspiration; a big thank you to everyone who has read and shared my work along the way. As a longtime fan, I cannot wait to explore this great work again from the beginning, and I hope you'll continue to join me on my journey. Happy New Year, Peakies!

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About the author

James Giles

Writer, confessed geek and pop culture enthusiast, loves film, TV and video games. Blogged and written for various websites on all the above.

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