It is happening again. Twin Peaks Z to A was released over the holidays. Is it worth the price tag? Check out our walk through and decide for yourself.
TWIN PEAKS: THE SERIES
“Going fishing” is the first line of the first episode of Twink Peaks. It’s not as iconic as other lines that would spring up over the course of two seasons and the limited television event, but it was the start. That one simple line started a series that would be anything but simple.
Over the course of two seasons audiences were introduced to an odd ball cast of characters. We became friends with Agent Dale Bartholomew Cooper (D.B. Cooper) who greeted almost ordinary things with childlike wonderment and the outlandish as normal. We wondered how The Log Lady received messages from the log she carried everywhere she went. Who couldn’t love the Stan Laurel look alike Deputy Andy? We learned to fear the Giant, Bob, and MIKE. Even director David Lynch got in on the action as Chief Gordon Cole.
Audiences became residents of The Red Room, The Black Lodge, and The Great Northern Hotel. They dined at The Double “R” where the coffee was damn fine and the pie was always excellent. Entertainment came by way of The Roadhouse and, for those with a vice or two, One Eyed Jack’s. Twin Peaks’s welcome sign may have stated there were 52, 201 residents but the small lumber town always seemed so much bigger.
For at least one season people were asking, “Who killed Laura Palmer?” The second season unfortunately did not fare as well. Critics weren’t as enthused with the second season as much as they were with the first season. Viewers started moving on after Laura Palmer’s murder was solved. However, it was the second season that revealed some, but not all, the secrets of the Black and White Lodge, the doppelgangers, and the Man From Another Place. The supernatural aspects of the series were prominently featured in the second season.
Some Twin Peaks fans may take exception to the fact that the series, at its core, was a soap opera. All the ingredients are there: Cheating spouses, blackmail, characters faking their own deaths, and previously unknown relatives who look exactly like deceased characters popping out of nowhere. At one point or another almost every character watched a soap opera within the soap opera called “Invitation to Love.”All these soap opera elements were wrapped in a murder mystery like no other on television.
TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN
Something funny happened in the twenty five years after its cancellation. Cable reruns, VHS, and multiple DVD releases sparked renewed interest in the series. There were more fans of the series after its cancellation than there were during its original run. Twin Peaks had achieved cult status. With its cult status cemented talk began of Lynch returning to Twin Peaks.
Laura Palmer promised she would see Agent Copper in twenty-five years. Roughly twenty-five years later Twin Peaks was back on the air. Twin Peaks: The Return, aka The Limited Television Event, wasn’t a reboot and it wasn’t it a remake. Even calling it a “revival” seemed disingenuous. Twin Peaks: The Return was the third season of a crazy ride that had started back in 1990.
The television landscape had changed greatly since the early nineties. The three major networks lost their dominance over the airwaves. In were streaming services creating their own series. Showtime and HBO had also forged ahead with original series. After a brief breakdown in negotiations the third season found its home on Showtime.
Fans of the first two seasons looking for answers were disappointed. Some questions were answered, but maybe not in a way that satisfied everyone. The third season offered up more questions than it answered and offered more head scratching moments than anything else.
The third season didn’t take place exclusively in the town of Twin Peaks. The third season was a road trip from Washington to South Dakota to New York City to Las Vegas. It was Twin Peaks though. It was just a more supernatural violent look at Twin Peaks.
TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME
Fire Walk With Me was the prequel to the events in the series. It was a critical and commercial failure. Fire Walk With Me doesn’t work as a stand alone movie. The movie relied a lot on the popularity of the television series bringing people to the theater. It would be a difficult task to ask someone who had never seen the series to watch the movie and know what’s going on inside Lynch’s twisted world.
Tastes change. Over the course of the past two decades Fire Walk With Me has gone on to achieve a cult status of its own. Some critics have even changed their tune and now call Fire Walk With Me one of Lynch’s best movies. Love it or hate it Fire Walk With Me is required viewing for anyone who wants to do a deeper dig into the world of Twin Peaks.
TWIN PEAKS: THE MISSING PIECES
The Missing Pieces. The title is a little misleading. The missing pieces are deleted and extended scenes from the feature film. Deleted scenes have been deleted for a reason. The director or editor feels the inclusion of the scenes adds nothing to the movie or negatively affects the overall narrative of the movie. In some cases scenes are deleted to meet a run time set by the studios.
In the case of Fire Walk With Me some of the deleted scenes would have proved valuable if they were included in the movie. The extended scene with Phillip Jeffries (David Bowie) popping in and out of the FBI offices ties directly into what was happening with Major Briggs during the first two seasons. Other scenes dig deeper into Laura Palmer’s fears. Either way, several scenes are needed to understand what is going on in the world of Twin Peaks.
Unfortunately The Missing Pieces is only one of two bonus features included on this edition that are also included on the Criterion Collection release of the movie.
TWIN PEAKS FROM Z TO A
Die hard fans may already have individual releases of the first two seasons, Fire Walk With Me, The Missing Pieces, and the Limited Television Event. Some fans are content with streaming the series on Hulu and Netflix. As of this writing Fire Walk With Me and The Missing Pieces are not streaming on either service. Streaming, as we’ve seen with other television series and movies, is not a guarantee that it will always be available.
It may seem daunting to the new fan navigating all the different editions floating around Amazon.com. Now, finally, Twin Peaks can be seen in one place with one edition. Twin Peaks Z to A collects the first two seasons, Fire Walk With Me, and the Limited Television Event all in one place.
The benefit of of having all three seasons, the movie, and the deleted scenes from the movie are obvious. First, your not making multiple orders. The series is presented in a linear manner from one disc to another. Disc one has the pilot, the second disc has episodes the next four episodes and so and so forth. Each disc has previously released bonus materials from the original releases. No one will be missing anything from the original releases.
The new bonus material for Twin Peaks Z to A include a new interview with Kyle MacLachland and Sheryl Lee and a disc with the musical performances from the third season. There are also 4K editions of the pilot episode, the international version of the pilot, and the already mentioned musical performances.
Some people will take issue with how the discs are packaged. The discs for the three seasons and Fire Walk With Me and the bonus discs are housed in folding booklets made of sturdy paper stock. This type of packaging is notorious for scratching discs and ripping. This should’t be a problem. The slots the discs are housed in have been laminated. The disc is never touching hard paper.
Although there are a lot of pros to the box set there is one con. The bonus 4K versions of the pilot, the international version of the pilot, and the Roadhouse roundup comes in the dreaded paper holder. The holder is sturdy and its smaller than the disc. There shouldn’t be problems of the disc sliding out because it’s a tight fit. That also poses a problem with scratching the disc. There’s also potential risk of the holder ripping or tearing.
Also included, as seen through this Twin Peaks walk through, are 5×5 cards from scenes from the Red Room. Most of the scenes have been taken from the third season. There’s also a stand up of Laura Palmer kissing Agent Cooper. In theory it comes out of the box. Upon trying to take it out it seemed fragile enough to tear. The big question is why would you want to take them out of the Red Room?
On a personal note: There was enough time between the last episode of the third season and the release of the box set to have included some sort of tribute to the actors who have passed away. Twin Peaks has seen more than its fair share of actors who have passed away.
Twin Peaks Z to A seems to be curated for the die hard fan. Indeed the die hard fan, and the completist, would be ecstatic to have a copy in their collection. For the new fan it’s nice to have everything in one box. They’ll never have to feel the pain of buying different editions from VHS to Blu-ray. It will be right there in one box.