Twin Peaks season 3 – release date, cast, trailers and everything you need to know
David Lynch’s cult TV series Twin Peaks first arrived on our screens back in 1990. Viewers were captivated by its murder mystery plot and the show quickly grew one of the biggest fan followings in telly history. Cancelled in 1991 due to season two’s poor ratings, the series’ cliffhanger ending has had ‘Peakies’ clamouring for Twin Peaks season 3 ever since. Now in 2017, they’re finally going to get their wish.
Here’s everything we know so far about the show’s long-awaited return. If you haven’t seen the original series and don’t want to know what happens then DO NOT READ ON, because spoilers (obviously).
When is Twin Peaks season 3 released?
Showtime boss David Nevins revealed the Twin Peaks new season premiere date in an interview on Monday. The show will return with a two-episode, two-hour premiere on May 21, with the third and fourth episodes to be made available online immediately after Twin Peaks season 3 premieres. Want to catch it at the same it goes out in the States? Set your alarm to Monday May 22 at 2am for the Sky Atlantic simulcast. Otherwise, it’ll be repeated on May 23 at 9pm.
The new series will consist of 18 episodes in total and run until August. Nevins had previously warned fans to expect an “unconventional” release for Twin Peaks season 3. “I think it is quite possible we’re not going to do a traditional release pattern. I’ve had a couple conversations with David [Lynch],” Nevins explained.
Have we seen a trailer?
Yes, several teasers.
Our first glimpse of new Peaks material came in December 2015. The teaser announced the start of production on the project and featured a voiceover from the now white-haired Michael Horse (who plays the tight-lipped Deputy Hawk) waxing lyrical about the beauty of the Pacific north-west where the series is filmed. “It’s like being in a moving painting,” he says as images of cloud-topped mountains and roaring waterfalls rush by, before Angelo Badalamenti’s iconic score kicks in at the end. It was confirmed in August that shooting on the new episodes had finished.
A second teaser was released in September 2016. It again featured Badalamenti’s haunting music, but this time showed the elderly composer performing the score projected over a mysterious forest backdrop. Again, not much to go on, but it did confirm Badalamenti’s return for the new series.
The third teaser trailer arrived in December. Although sparse on plot details, the new footage did reveal the return of a fan favourite from the original episodes – Detective Gordon Cole, played by creator David Lynch. The clip showed Cole munching on a doughnut, an image fans of the old series will remember all too well.
He’s back. Kyle MacLachlan made his return as FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper in a brand new teaser in January. Suited and booted in trademark style, Cooper emerges from the shadows with a rather sombre look on his face. Has he escaped from The Black Lodge, or does his severe expression confirm his doom? You’ll just have to wait and see…
Cooper is famous for his love of coffee. In fact, there’s rarely a scene in Twin Peaks where he’s pictured without a cup. So it’s not surprising the latest teaser is centered entirely around the black stuff. Check it out below.
Which of the cast is returning?
After much talk about who’d be reprising their roles from the original series, a 217-strong cast was revealed on April 25. Much of the cast would be coming back, it emerged.
Kyle MacLachlan – Special Agent Dale Cooper
Original series lead Kyle MacLachlan was announced as returning to the role of Special Agent Dale Cooper way back in January 2015. By the sounds of it, he’s very excited. “I’m very excited to return to the strange world of Twin Peaks,” he said. “May the forest be with you.” Those wondering if he’ll be relegated to a bit part character in favour of a younger cast can rest assured. Studio boss David Nevins has confirmed he’ll “be leading the show.”
Mädchen Amick – Shelly Johnson
After appearing in Twin Peaks as one of the most memorable waitresses in history, Mädchen Amick went on to appear in Stephen King’s cult horror film Sleepwalkers and supernatural drama Witches of East End. She’s back working with David Lynch now though and will reprise the character as Shelly Johnson in the new series.
Speaking about the project, Amick told TV Guide: “We broke the mold for television. We’re about to break it again.” Before warning fans that “some of the characters aren’t where you think they might be 25 years later.”
James Marshall – James Hurley
James Marshall acted in numerous Hollywood films after his fateful turn in the original Twin Peaks series – Gladiator, A Few Good Men and Vibrations to name a few. He’s still best known as moody biker James Hurley from Lynch’s beloved show and is set to return in the new episodes.
“The show’s very dynamic. It has a lot of facets,” he said.”In my opinion it discovers, in a poetic way, the whole human experience.”
Sherilyn Fenn – Audrey Horne
Twin Peaks’ resident femme fatale is back too. Although she’s not happy with how she was treated during filming (or after).
In a series of tweets (some since deleted) Fenn slammed studio bosses at Showtime, lamenting the treatment of Twin Peaks female stars and saying “only Kyle [MacLachlan] was treated with grace.”
“My post is to the makers of Twin Peaks,” she added. “It’s so simple… SHUT UP OR BE SUED… ohhhh right…”
See a selection of her tweets below.
David Duchovny – Denise Bryson
The transgender FBI agent played a big part in Twin Peaks unfairly maligned second series and is all set to play an even bigger role in the latest episodes (plotlines permitting). It’s not the only big money ’90s revival David Duchovny’s been involved with recently. Last year he brought new life to The X Files rejuvenation. Let’s hope his latest passion project is as good.
Other notable returning cast members include: Dana Ashbrook (Bobby Briggs), Richard Beymer (Benjamin Horne), Warren Frost (Doctor William Hayward), Catherine E Coulson (Log Lady), Miguel Ferrer (Albert Rosenfeld), Harry Goaz (Deputy Andy Brennan), Michael Horse (Deputy Hawk), Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer, Maddy Ferguson), Peggy Lipton (Norma Jennings), David Lynch (Gordon Cole), Everett McGill (‘Big Ed’ Hurley), Wendy Robie (Nadine Hurley), Russ Tamblyn (Dr Lawrence Jacoby).
Will Miguel Ferrer still be in it?
Fan favourite Miguel Ferrer died earlier this month (January 19) aged 61 from cancer. He played cantankerous FBI Agent Albert Rosenfield on the show, but was also known for other villainous roles in Robocop and Iron Man 3. Perhaps his most memorable scene in Twin Peaks is the moment Sherriff Harry S. Truman laid him out after an argument. If you didn’t cheer then there’s something wrong with you. Now that he’s sadly passed, the question emerges as to whether he will be appearing in Twin Peaks season 3.
Luckily for us, the answer is yes. Deadline reports the veteran actor had already wrapped his scenes prior to falling ill. Ferrer was apparently one of the first to sign on for the new episodes when approached.
Any new cast members?
Yes, a lot
Over 180 brand new cast members were revealed in the big cast announcement back in April 2016. It’s a real mixture, take a look:
The big names
Perhaps the biggest name star to be popping up in Twin Peaks season 3 is Laura Dern. The Hollywood veteran hit super stardom with her turn in 1993’s Jurassic Park, but also starred in earlier Lynch films such as the sinister psycho-thriller Blue Velvet and 1990’s Wild At Heart. She’s also due to appear in the forthcoming Star Wars: Episode VIII.
She’s not the only megastar Lynch has roped in. Tarantino collaborators Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight) and Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs) are on the cast-list, as is Superbad and Arrested Development star Michael Cera. Ex-Mean-Girl-turned-indie-favourite Amanda Seyfried is also nailed on for the revival.She’s rumoured to be playing the daughter of Agent Dale Cooper. Want A-list? Then it doesn’t get much bigger than two-time Oscar nominee Naomi Watts. She’s an old Lynch favourite and gave his difficult 2001 film Mulholland Dr. the shot in the arm it needed. It was named the greatest film of the 21st century (so far) by critics last summer.
David Lynch has always been fascinated by the musical world (see the two studio albums he’s released in the last six years) and has spent time hanging out with the industry’s biggest luminaries. So it’s no surprise he’s managed to get a load of his rockstar mates to help out on the new season.
Nine Inch Nails mainman Trent Reznor has shot scenes, as has indie crooner Sky Ferreira and guitar hero Eddie Vedder. Sharon Van Etten is also named on the cast list. Maybe they can have an input on the soundtrack too?
See the full cast list (so far) below:
(Returning cast members asterisked*)
Eric Ray Anderson
Ronnie Gene Blevins
Juan Carlos Cantu
Catherine E. Coulson*
Grace Victoria Cox
Owain Rhys Davies
Ana de la Reguera
Rebekah Del Rio
Edward “Ted” Dowlin
Jay R. Ferguson
Caleb Landry Jones
David Patrick Kelly*
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Bellina Martin Logan*
Sarah Jean Long
Priya Diane Niehaus
Elias Nelson Parenzini
Carolyn P. Riggs
Erik L. Rondell
Carlton Lee Russell*
Harry Dean Stanton*
Sabrina S. Sutherland
Cynthia Lauren Tewes
Sharon Van Etten
So, who did kill Laura Palmer?
If you’ll remember rightly, in the middle of season two it was revealed (shockingly) that the man who murdered Laura Palmer was, in fact, her dad. Poor old Leland Palmer was possessed by demonic entity Killer Bob though, so we’ll let him off.
The rest of the series was devoted to Cooper’s further investigation into Laura’s murder, culminating in a baffling trip to the sinister realm of The Black Lodge. There, Cooper encounters his evil doppelgänger who eventually escapes into the real world while he remains trapped, his ultimate fate unknown. It was all fairly confusing stuff and arguably one of the most frustrating cliffhangers in television history.
Prequel movie Fire Walk With Me wasn’t much help either. It focused entirely on the events prior to Laura Palmer’s murder and so never revealed whether the real Dale Cooper escaped from The Black Lodge or not. Now, 26 years later, we’re finally going to get the answers we’ve been waiting for. We hope…
What do we know about the new series’ plot?
Not much. But it’s not a remake
Showtime president Nevins gave us a little to get excited about when he called the fresh material the “pure heroine” version of Twin Peaks. But for the most part everyone involved is keeping schtum plot-wise – probably on pain of death by David Lynch. He gave a few answers through gritted teeth this week at a special press conference:
Asked why he cast Laura Dern in the revival, he simply said, “I love Laura Dern.” And when responding to Nevins’ “heroin” comment he countered wittily: “I hear heroin is a very popular drug.”
The veteran filmmaker soon opened up though, revealing a few secrets about the original series. “What killed ‘Twin Peaks’ originally — who killed Laura Palmer? — was a question that we did not ever really want to answer,” Lynch said. “That Laura Palmer mystery was the goose that laid these little golden eggs. And then at a certain point, we were told we needed to wrap that up and after that, [the show] never really picked up.”
When questioned about the new storylines, Lynch simply replied: “I’m really not at liberty to talk about that.”
Luckily co-writer Mark Frost is a little more open to comment. Back in 2014 he told Hitfix, “I think what we’ve learned is you’ve gotta have a very strong central path through the woods.”
“It’s fine to have tributaries and streams, and little byways,” he added. “But ultimately, that path through the woods has to be very dark, clear and dangerous. That’s the path we’re going to keep to. There’ll be a healthy percentage of delightful sidelines or paths off to the side, but there aren’t any shortcuts. You’ve gotta follow that main path.”
He also said he doesn’t see the new mini-series as a third season of the show. “My brain doesn’t work that way,” Frost told TV Line. “I’ve always said that Twin Peaks to me was like a novel we filmed every page of. So this is more like we found another volume of the saga, and now we want to bring that to life too.”
Will it be as dark as Fire Walk With Me?
Here be clues
One of the most controversial things about Lynch’s Twin Peaks prequel film was how much darker and grittier it was than the original series.
Released in August 1992, a full year after the final episode aired, many were shocked at Lynch’s decision to harden the show’s quirky tone. Twin Peaks had always been creepy, but it still contained warm moments when the mostly good characters displayed funny eccentricities that endeared them to us. These scenes helped distract from the upsetting events at the heart of the story.
Fire Walk With Me is very different. Violence and sex (often intertwined in the story) are displayed in a harder, edgier style, and much of Peaks‘ more comforting side is cut out.
With the return of Twin Peaks in May, fans have been wondering which way Lynch will go in the new episodes. It’s unclear right now, but we do know some things. Firstly, the long-awaited third season has been developed by US network Showtime, home to Dexter, Penny Dreadful and Homeland. These are all quite sinister in their tone, with Dexter in particular portraying violence in a strongly graphic manner. Might Lynch follow on in their example?
In addition, Lynch’s last narrative feature film Inland Empire was one of his most surreal to date. That was released 11 years ago in 2006 though, and his more recent film work has covered less nightmarish subjects such as music and transcendental meditation. Does this mean new Twin Peaks could be a bit gentler?
Most likely, we’ll just have to wait and see. In the teaser trailers, the returning characters say and do very little apart from looking moody and sombre. Angelo Badalamenti’s score remains as haunting as ever and all the ingredients from the original series remain. Whatever decision Lynch has made, you can be sure it’s going to be an interesting one.
What else has been released?
Besides the teaser trailers, Showtime have released an extra featurette to build a buzz ahead of the premiere. The clip features interviews with prominent members of the old cast as well as chats with brand new members of the team. You can watch it below
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