Entertainment Television

Tuesday 25 June 2019

Twin Peaks: 10 things you didn't know about TV's strangest series

Twin Peaks dream sequence
Twin Peaks dream sequence
Darragh McManus

Darragh McManus

News that the legendary David Lynch has disinterred his equally legendary TV series Twin Peaks sent fans into a frenzy of excitement and it's finally here...

It’s hard to get across just how strange, ground-breaking, thrilling and unique Twin Peaks was, when it aired from 1990 to 1991. Suffice to say, we’d never seen anything remotely like it before…and without Twin Peaks, in all likelihood we’d never have the current Golden Age of TV, with all its risk-taking, long-running storylines and cinema-quality production values.

As the countdown begins here’s ten little titbits of Twin Peaks trivia:


1. Lynch and co-creator Mark Frost has been working on an adaptation of Marilyn Monroe’s biography, but shifted to Twin Peaks when that fell through. Interestingly, in real life Marilyn had met future cast member Miguel Ferrer: she held him as a baby while visiting his mother, Rosemary Clooney (yes, George’s aunt). His father Jose worked with Lynch on sci-fi movie Dune in the 1980s.


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Dr Jacoby from Twin Peaks

2. The actors who played Benjamin Horne and Dr Jacoby – Richard Beymer and Russ Tamblyn respectively – had previously acted together as Tony and Riff in West Side Story, thirty years earlier.


3. In a hilarious act of spite, German network SAT1 told their audience the identity of Laura’s killer before the first episode aired on rival channel RTL. Ratings, needless to say, were not good.


4. The eerie way characters speak during the Black Lodge sequences were done by getting actors to recite their lines backwards. This audio was in turn played backwards, so the words came out in the right direction but sounded freakish and otherworldly.




Killer Bob, Twin Peaks

4.The Big Bad of Twin Peaks – Bob, an evil spirit that inhabits human beings – only came about by chance, when Lynch accidentally captured set decorator Frank Silva on film, crouching in Laura’s room. The image stuck in his mind; a memorably creepy character was born.


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Twin Peaks opening credits sign

5. The population of Twin Peaks, as seen on the famous sign in the opening credits, is 51,201. Originally it was only meant to be 5,120 – which makes more sense, as this is clearly a small place where everyone knows everyone else, not a large town. But ABC, fearful that a rural-set drama wouldn’t sell, insisted on producers changing the sign.



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Mary Jo Deschanel in Twin Peaks

7. Zooey and Emily Deschanel’s mother Mary Jo plays wheelchair-bound Eileen Hayward in Twin Peaks. Their father Caleb directed three of the 30 episodes.


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Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me soundtrack

8. As well as a prequel movie – Fire Walk with Me – Twin Peaks inspired tie-in books: The Autobiography of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper and The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer. The latter book was written by Lynch’s daughter Jennifer.


9. Our favourite theory about whodunit (before the real killer was revealed) involves Diane, Cooper’s secretary who we never hear or see but is a constant presence. Angry at him for leaving her in Philadelphia, she murdered Laura to give Cooper a case he’d never solve, thus stranding him in Twin Peaks forever.


10. Strangest Twin Peaks fact: it was ranked No 20 in TV Guide’s “Top 25 Cult Shows Ever” in 2004. Of course, it should have been No 1.

READ: Twin Peaks: How will it sit with a modern TV audience?

READ: Over before it began - David Lynch pulls out of Twin Peaks remake 

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