Twin Peaks Essentials to Get You Ready for the Debut of Season 3: A 55-Minute Refresher, Maps, Commercials & Behind-the-Scenes Footage & More

Have you pre­pared your­self to return, this Sun­day, to Twin Peaks, that small Wash­ing­ton town, so well known for its cof­fee and cher­ry pie, once rocked by the mur­der of home­com­ing queen Lau­ra Palmer? Fans of the epony­mous tele­vi­sion series, which first made sur­re­al prime-time tele­vi­sion his­to­ry on ABC in 1990, have binge-watched and re-binge-watched its orig­i­nal two sea­sons in advance of the new Twin Peaks’ May 21st debut on Show­time. Even fans who dis­liked the sec­ond sea­son, in which series cre­ators David Lynch and Mark Frost gave in to net­work pres­sure to resolve the sto­ry of Palmer’s mur­der, have re-watched it, and with great excite­ment.

But can sim­ply watch­ing those first thir­ty episodes (and maybe the fol­low-up fea­ture film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, once booed at Cannes, the very same fes­ti­val which will screen the first two parts of the new Twin Peaks on the 25th) suf­fice?

To get your­self as deep into the show’s real­i­ty as pos­si­ble, we rec­om­mend dip­ping into the Twin Peaks mate­r­i­al we’ve post­ed over the years here at Open Cul­ture, begin­ning with the four-hour video essay on the series’ mak­ing and mythol­o­gy we fea­tured just this past Jan­u­ary. You can ori­ent your­self by keep­ing an eye on Lynch’s hand-drawn map of the the town of Twin Peaks, which he used to pitch the show to ABC in the first place, and which appears just above.

But Twin Peaks has its foun­da­tion as much in music as in geog­ra­phy. Just above, you can hear com­pos­er Ange­lo Badala­men­ti, a fre­quent col­lab­o­ra­tor with Lynch, tell the sto­ry of how he and the direc­tor com­posed the show’s famous “Love Theme,” which not only made an impact on the tele­vi­su­al zeit­geist but set the tone for the every­thing to fol­low.  “It’s the mood of the whole piece,” Lynch once said of the com­po­si­tion, “It is Twin Peaks.” Badala­men­ti has scored the new series as well, join­ing the long list of returnees to the project that includes not just Lynch and Frost, but Kyle MacLach­lan as FBI Spe­cial Agent Dale Coop­er and many oth­ers from the orig­i­nal cast as well, includ­ing the late Miguel Fer­rer and War­ren Frost.

“There’s so much more to Twin Peaks than a riv­et­ing mur­der mys­tery,” says Alan Thicke, anoth­er per­former no longer with us, host­ing the 1990 behind-the-scenes pre­view of the show’s sec­ond sea­son just above. “There’s a whole look and a feel and a tex­ture,” an expe­ri­ence “180 degrees away from any­thing else on tele­vi­sion.” As dra­mat­i­cal­ly as tele­vi­su­al pos­si­bil­i­ties have expand­ed over the past 27 years, it seems safe to say that the con­tin­u­a­tion of Twin Peaks, which comes after such expan­sions of its fic­tion­al uni­verse as Frost’s Secret His­to­ry of Twin Peaks, will main­tain a sim­i­lar cre­ative dis­tance from the rest of what’s on the air. “The one thing I feel I can say with total con­fi­dence,” to para­phrase David Fos­ter Wal­lace writ­ing about Lost High­way twen­ty years ago, is that the new Twin Peaks will be… Lynchi­an.

Above, you can watch a mini-sea­son of Twin Peaks, which also dou­bles as a series of Japan­ese cof­fee com­mer­cials. They, too, come cour­tesy of David Lynch. And below, watch “Pre­vi­ous­ly, on Twin Peaks…”, an abbre­vi­at­ed, 55-minute refresh­er on what hap­pened dur­ing the first two sea­sons of the show. (It comes to us via Wel­come­toTwin­Peaks.) Also you can read a recap of every episode over at The New York Times.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Watch an Epic, 4‑Hour Video Essay on the Mak­ing & Mythol­o­gy of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks

Hear 20 Min­utes of Mark Frost’s New Secret His­to­ry of Twin Peaks, the Book Fans Have Wait­ed 25 Years to Read

David Lynch Draws a Map of Twin Peaks (to Help Pitch the Show to ABC)

Ange­lo Badala­men­ti Reveals How He and David Lynch Com­posed the Twin Peaks‘ “Love Theme”

David Lynch Directs a Mini-Sea­son of Twin Peaks in the Form of Japan­ese Cof­fee Com­mer­cials

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, the video series The City in Cin­e­ma, the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Ange­les Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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