Since it was first announced in October 2014, David Lynch’s Twin Peaks revival has gone through almost as many twists and devastating turns as the original 1990 show itself. False starts and contract renegotiations threatened to sideline the cult favorite from ever returning to television as its auteur creator — and an eager Showtime — had planned.
But on January 9, Showtime finally announced at its winter Television Critics Association panel that Twin Peaks: 2017 will begin on Sunday, May 21, with a two-hour premiere. (And as a bonus, the third and fourth episodes will be available for Showtime subscribers on demand once the premiere’s over.)
As for just how much Twin Peaks we’re about to get, Showtime president David Nevins then confirmed that the season will be 18 hours(!) total — but that there are no plans to go any further.
At the end of Showtime’s press day, journalists were promised a panel including original Twin Peaks castmembers Mädchen Amick, Kyle MacLachlan, Robert Forster, Kimmy Robertson, and new resident Laura Dern — but we were warned several times that we wouldn’t be learning anything about the actual show.
However, we were not warned that we'd get the opportunity to try to squeeze some details out of David Lynch himself.
The 45-minute panel provided exactly one solid detail about the new Twin Peaks
I’ll level with you (though if you’re a Twin Peaks fan, this disclaimer probably won’t be very surprising): The information we got from this TCA panel was next to nothing. There are no screeners available for critics, and with the actors under strict orders from Lynch not to spill anything at all, their segment of the panel was mostly limited to milquetoast anecdotes about how shooting Twin Peaks felt like shooting one big movie with old friends.
And so, fittingly enough, the only salient information we got about the show itself came from Lynch.
For the most part, the famously concise Lynch stuck to a few basic points: “I’m not really at liberty to talk about that.” “I’d rather not discuss that.” “I love Laura Dern.”
In fact, if Lynch ever elaborated beyond a single sentence, it was to rhapsodize about the making of Twin Peaks, a world he openly loves. “I’ve often thought about what might be happening,” he said. “I often just remembered the beautiful world and beautiful characters.”
So he was happy to return to the town, saying that he felt network pressure to wrap up the mystery of who killed Laura Palmer — “a question we did not ever really want to answer” — is what killed the show.
Still — and herein lies the only piece of real information we got from Lynch throughout the panel — the end of Laura Palmer’s life continues to hold significance for the 2017 revisiting. In fact, Lynch said, her last seven days alive, as depicted in 1992’s film follow-up Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, are “very much important” to the revival.
And now, a final moment with David Lynch
So there you have it: A highly secretive project remains highly secretive.
But we don’t like to leave you on a bummer note, so here is a quote from Lynch on how he — a filmmaker who got into directing because he “wanted to make paintings move” — and collaborator Mark Frost came to create Twin Peaks:
We climbed the mountain … when we rounded the mountain, we entered a deep forest. Going through the forest for a time, the trees began to thin … and we discovered a town called Twin Peaks.
It’s not revealing, but you’ve got to admit: It’s pretty damn good.
Twin Peaks: 2017 premieres Sunday, May 21, at 9 pm on Showtime.