Showtime’s third season of “Twin Peaks” Hits A Bump In The Road

By on March 16, 2015

The planned third season of “Twin Peaks” has hit a slight bump in the road.  The “Twin Peaks” fan site Welcome to Twin Peaks posted this quote from Lynch: “I haven’t returned yet. And we’re still working on the contract. But I love the world of Twin Peaks and I love those characters. And I think it will be very special to go back into that world.”

Update (April 5): David Lynch has confirmed the news himself, though he suggests Showtime could go on without him. And given all the contracts and negotiations over the last year, the cable network is probably within their legal rights to do so. Lynch only ever directed five episodes of the original “Twin Peaks” series that ran two seasons long and was canceled in the summer of 1991.

Maybe we start at the beginning. For those of you haven’t heard the news, last October, excited fans of the cult TV show couldn’t believe their eyes and ears when it was announced that Lynch and company were returning again — twenty-five years later — for nine more episodes, which were going to be shown on the cable network Showtime. The episodes were to be directed by Lynch himself, who directed the incredible one-hour premiere episode to huge network ratings. The new episodes were going to be debuting some time in early 2016, which just happens to be — hey! — the 25th anniversary of the show’s finale.

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Say what?

Twin Peaks” was a ground-breaking ABC network TV show, created by director David Lynch, one of Night Flight’s favorite humans, and producer/director Mark Frost. It was first broadcast in 1990, and set in a small, mysterious fictional town in the Pacific Northwest, and it focused, initially, on the murder of young high school-aged teenager named Laura Palmer (“She’s filled with secrets,” the Man From Another Place tells us during one of the show’s best scenes).

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It was reported that a number of original Twin Peaks cast-members, including Kyle MacLachlan, would reprising their roles for the series return. The original cast in 1990 featured dozens of actors in some of the best work of their careers, including: MacLachlan (Dale Cooper), Richard Beymer (Ben Horne), Michael Ontkean (Sheriff Truman), Peggy Lipton (Norma Jennings), Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer), Dana Ashbrook (Bobby Briggs), Grace Zabriskie, (Sarah Palmer), Catherine E. Coulson (Log Lady), Ray Wise (Leland Palmer), Mädchen Amick (Shelly Johnson), and Michael Horse (Tommy ‘Hawk’ Hill).

But this weekend, talking in front of an audience at the opening of this Between Two Worlds exhibition in Brisbane, the series co-creator David Lynch told Australia’s ABCNews 24 that the contract was still being worked on.

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Lynch stands inside a theatre decor recreated from one of his drawings, at his exhibition, David Lynch: Between Two Worlds, at GoMA. (ABC News: Giulio Saggin)

Showtime, as of this writing, has made no official comment, but an unnamed source told Welcome to Twin Peaks that, while the script for the series is complete, “contract negotiations aren’t going as expected.” 

Another Peaks insider tweeted that Lynch is not, as of now, returning to the show, and added that the director had been given creative control upfront, but had wanted “a huge percentage of DVD&ST $$.”

Of course, a “Twin Peaks” without Lynch is… well, we can’t really wrap our minds around that right now. It just wouldn’t be the same.

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There have been little bumps in the road along the way– “Twin Peaks” roadkill, you could say — but nothing like this. Just a few short months ago, actor Michael Ontkean had announced to the same blog fansite that he looking for a vintage jacket that matched the one that had been worn by his character, Sheriff Harry S. Truman, after discovering the original wardrobe had been sold or given away or went missing or whatever. But just a few weeks later, a matching vintage jacket was found, and it was close enough to the original that Ontkean said it was the closet match he’d seen in years. Crisis avoided.

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Meanwhile, Catherine E. Coulson, who portrays Margaret Lanterman, better known as the Log Lady, didn’t mention in this interview last October whether or not the log had been sold or given away, but she did talk about wood, after first speaking to Lynch and getting some sage advice:

Coulson claims that David Lynch did not give many details on the show’s comeback when he contacted her, “When I talked to David, he said, ‘It’s too early for details.’ Then I said, ‘What do I tell people?’ He said, ‘Details to follow, and don’t play in the street.’ Those were the two things. Then I wrote him and said, ‘Listen, I’m doing a lot of interviews, is there anything else I can talk about?’ He said I could talk about how important wood is to the Log Lady, and that we should work very hard to protect our wood, and our natural resources. So I’ve been doing a lot of reading about trees, and ancient forests, and so forth, but I don’t know anything about the new series. I don’t know where it’s going to be shot, I don’t know when, I don’t know anything, other than that they asked me to do it, and I said yes. But really, that’s all I know, I’m not being coy, I really don’t know.”

We hope there aren’t any more snags and bumps and hiccups along the way, and that Lynch and Showtime come to contractual conclusions very soon and production begins without any more issues, especially tissue-less issues. Please, Mr. Lynch, no more tears.

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We also hope we get to see The Man from Another Place (played by Michael J. Anderson) again, and hope the birds are still singing a pretty song and there’s always music in the air.

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About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.