In praise of . . . Twin Peaks

News broke this week that David Lynch’s cult TV show will return in 2016 after 25 years

 

“Dear Twitter Friends: That gum you like is going to come back in style! #damngoodcoffee”

Thus tweeted acclaimed director David Lynch last Monday, at the exact same moment as his long-time collaborator Mark Frost.

It was surely the most Lynchian tease imaginable – cryptic, funny, knowing, offbeat. But that hashtag was enough for fans to discern the tweet’s true meaning – was Twin Peaks, with its coffee-loving FBI agent Dale Cooper, returning to our TV screens, nearly 25 years after its unceremonious axing?

The tease didn’t last long, however, as it was soon revealed that yes, the cult TV show will be returning in 2016. It’s fair to say the news generated quite the fuss – for those of us who were captivated by the mysterious tale of murdered teenager Laura Palmer and the sordid secrets kept by the citizens of Twin Peaks, the abrupt end to the unsatisfactory second season has always left the programme in a state of suspended narrative animation.

But the excitement is about more than just tying up all those very loose plot strands – the degree to which Twin Peaks changed attitudes towards television drama cannot be overstated, and its legacy has if anything grown in the intervening years. Its success was always down to more than the mystery over the identity of Laura’s killer – the singularly Lynchian oddness of the series, with its surreal humour and mystical plot twists, managed to cast a spell on viewers that has remained unbroken.