David Lynch’s Twin Peaks became a national phenomenon upon its debut in 1990 when it asked the question, “Who killed Laura Palmer?” while introducing audiences to the surreal world of the titular fictional town in the Pacific Northwest and all of its unique residents. The show followed the investigation surrounding the shocking and mysterious murder of their homecoming queen, with the search for her killer gradually exposing the quiet town’s dark secrets found beneath the surface.
Despite its rapid success, the show was canceled after two seasons, following a precipitous ratings drop once the murderer’s identity was revealed and the show was filled with more obscure content as Lynch and co-creator Mark Frost became less involved with the series. They followed up the show with a prequel on the big screen, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, which was met with mixed reviews from critics and low box office numbers, failing to recapture the magic of the first season that had so entranced viewers.
Since then, the series has served as an inspiration for countless TV shows and other forms of entertainment that have sought to incorporate Lynchian elements with mixed results, but none have been able to do it better than the Eraserhead director himself.
Now, Lynch and Frost are bringing the action back to the small screen with a limited new series set to be released on Showtime in 2017. The project was first announced in October 2014 for a nine-episode run — which has since reportedly expanded to be double the initial episode order. Frost has emphasized that the new episodes are a continuation of the original series, and not a reboot or remake. It’s also been teased that the series will be set in present day, and the passage of 25 years will serve as an important plot point. The Twin Peaks revival was originally scheduled to premiere in 2016 but was eventually delayed until sometime in 2017. Filming reportedly began in September of this year.
To whet Twin Peaks fanatics’ collective appetites, the cable network has just released a teaser for season 3. The intriguing clip emphasizes the serene, rural locale where the show is currently being filmed. It doesn’t include any actual new footage but instead is a behind-the-scenes look, showing the crew setting up shop in the quaint northwestern town as Michael Horse, who played Deputy Tommy “Hawk” Hill, explains the region’s sacredness and how it has become its own character in the series. It also showcases the unveiling of a new “Welcome to Twin Peaks” sign that displays the same population total, as the familiar theme music plays in the background. It then cuts to a blurry, white-haired figure — possibly Lynch himself — as the camera shakes erratically, accompanied by eerie music.
Most of the main cast members will return, including Kyle MacLachlan as the unorthodox FBI Agent Dale Cooper, as well as Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer), Richard Beymer (Benjamin Horne), Dana Ashbrook (Bobby Briggs), Mädchen Amick (Shelly Johnson), Everett McGill (Ed Hurley), and Wendy Robie (Nadine Hurley), among others. New characters will be played by Amanda Seyfried, Balthazar Getty, Robert Knepper, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Bailey Chase, who have all been cast in recurring roles.
The project was nearly deterred when Lynch expressed reservations about the budget, but an agreement was eventually reached with Showtime and he officially signed on to direct all of the episodes for the new season. All of the episodes will be written by Lynch and Frost, who has confirmed that this could lead to an ongoing series depending on how things go.
The TV landscape has changed substantially in the 25 years since the show was last on the air, but there’s no doubt that there’s plenty of room for an innovative and sometimes polarizing visionary such as Lynch and the return of a groundbreaking series that refused to be confined within a specific genre. It’ll be especially interesting to see what they can do without the pressures of being on a mainstream broadcast network.
Twins Peaks season 3 is expected to premiere on Showtime sometime in 2017.