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David Lynch on Showtime’s “Twin Peaks” Reboot

January 21st, 2017 by Richard Ogawa

You’re surrounded by a collection of eccentric characters. Your sweet tooth is well-satiated. You’ve got a handheld recording device in one hand while enjoying a damn fine cup of coffee in the other. You might be Dale Cooper – or it’s the end of day 5 of 13 at the 2017 Winter TCAs.

For those unfamiliar, the TCAs are a roughly 2-week, biannual event where TV critics and members of the press from across the country set up shop in a hotel ballroom while major networks and streaming services present their most anticipated upcoming offerings and buzz-worthy announcements. It’s a professional love fest of all things TV, boasting panels led by celebrated creatives and big-name talent.

For anyone who has attended a TCA (on either side of the panel) they can tell you that they can be exciting but, well, rather odd. (Cue the “Theme From Twin Peaks.”) As a rule, there’s no clapping (as a courtesy so no one misses any information) and that combined with inevitable exhaustion from all-day sessions after sessions can create a somewhat awkward, sometimes somber mood surrounding what one might expect to be a non-stop entertainment fireworks show.

As the attendees for Showtime’s TCA readied to take notes for their final session of the day, a panel for the much-anticipated reboot of “Twin Peaks,” President of Programming Gary Levine made an announcement that sent a delightful murmur through the crowd. Unlisted in the day’s schedule, creator and director David Lynch was going to give a solo 15-minute Q&A.

We were forewarned that there would be very little that Mr. Lynch and the other panel members later in the session would reveal in regards to storyline or character information – only that the 18-episode opus was directed entirely by David Lynch (penned as an unadulterated “pure heroin” version of David Lynch) and that this return of “the original social media show” would reward close viewing.

In case you weren’t already on pins and needles about this return to the bucolic town, some 25 years later, here is a collection of quotes from Mr. Lynch himself that will surely get you craving cherry pie. (And yes, on his entrance, there was even some rule-breaking applause.)

On how he and Mark Frost work together:
“We work together on Skype. Mark lives in Ojai and I live in Hollywood and we Skype and write together.”

On what adjustments he had to make in directing all 18 episodes:
“It was just the same as all the others. I see it as a film, and a film in parts is what people will experience.”

On what fans should expect:
“This word ‘expect’ is a magical word. And people expect things – and their expectations are met, hopefully, when they see the thing.”

On how often he thought about the characters over the last 25 years:
“I love this world of Twin Peaks and I often thought about what might be happening. I often just remembered the beautiful world and the beautiful characters. So, it was Mark who contacted me, it was many years ago now, and asked if I wanted to go back into that world. And we met at Musso and Frank and talked and that’s what got us going again for this one.”

On this new series being labeled the “pure heroin” version of David Lynch:
“I hear heroin is a very popular drug these days.”

On the original series:
“I’ll tell you what I loved – the pilot of Twin Peaks. That for me set the tone and made the world and the characters for me. That started the thing and I felt really good about that mood and that story – those characters. Just fell in love – deep, deep love.”

On potentially disappointing fans of the original series:
“Always we’re filled with doubts.”

On how to create a TV show that’s impactful today:
“Well, you know, I don’t really think about those things. It’s always the same. The story and the way the story is told.”

On how the first series pushed against the boundaries of TV:
The pilot, I saw it as a film, I shoot it the same way, but it happened to be with these characters in this town with this mood with these sounds with Angelo Badalamenti’s great music, and lo and behold, it clicked. But I didn’t really know about television. We were just telling the story.

On how he became a story teller:
“I only wanted to be a painter and I got into film because I wanted to make paintings move. And one thing led to another.”

On the best and worst part of directing:
“There is no worst. And the best – I love every aspect – all aspects of the process. I even love preproduction.”

On the future of “Twin Peaks”:
Well, before I said I wasn’t going to revisit it – and I did – so I never say no. But right now, there’s no plan for anything more.

On what killed the original series:
“Who killed Laura Palmer was a question that we did not ever really want to answer. And that Laura Palmer mystery was the goose that laid these little golden eggs. And at a certain point we were told we needed to wrap that up – and it never really got going again after that.”

On how the original series ended:
“I always felt, even if it only happened mentally and emotionally, the story goes on.”

The new “Twin Peaks” premieres on Showtime on May 21.

The original series is currently available on Hulu.