The Search for a Damn Fine Podcast (Part 1)

I wanted to use this article as an excuse to seek out some Twin Peaks podcasts to listen to, which is something I had been intending to do anyway before Season 3 began.  I’m a big podcast listener, and at the moment I only have one Twin Peaks podcast in the roster.

When you search for “twin peaks” in iTunes (or your podcast aggregator of choice), there are actually quite a few of them.  Too many almost.  Most of these are just folks re-watching the original series and posting an episode-by-episode commentary.  Not to downplay that, it’s always great to see folks expanding the fandom base.  But these are not the serious Twin Peaks nerds I was looking for.

So, in order to sort out the wheat from the chaff, I decided instead to search for “secret history of twin peaks”.  The real hardcore fans would definitely have a review of the new book.  Sure enough, this did narrow down the selection quite nicely.  Here are the big winners.

The Red Room Podcast

  • Episode 120: The Secret History Of Twin Peaks (10/19/2016)

This is the one podcast I was already listening to.  Scott Ryan, the host, is the man behind the Blue Rose Magazine (www.bluerosemag.com), as well as the documentary A Voyage To Twin Peaks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOH8v6Lxd-s).  So Scott has some definite street cred in the Twin Peak fan community.  Scott is also from the Columbus, Ohio area, which is weirdly a hub of Twin Peaks related activity (the folks who run the Twin Peaks Reddit are also located there, as well as the hosts from the Ghostwood podcast) – and of course I’m originally from that area, so bonus points are awarded.

The podcast itself is 6 years old and is up to episode 127 as of the time of this writing.  So it’s no johnny-come-lately with the recent reboot, this podcast is seriously dedicated to the cause.  That said, the content is a mix of Twin Peaks and many other TV shows past and present, probably leaning more towards the latter until the reboot announcement.  Scott has some great interviews, and has a cadre of frequent guests he brings on when the topic is more of a discussion point.

For the Secret History podcast, Scott has his sometimes co-host Josh Minton, and John Thorne, co-creator of the Wrapped In Plastic magazine (https://wrappedinplasticmag.com/).  The three of them found the book frustrating and but, as the first new Twin Peaks material since the “Missing Pieces” in 2014, also wonderful.  They are full of theories, reflect back on things Mark Frost has said in past interviews and articles, and connecting it all back to the rich history of Twin Peaks that is already well established.  I found myself laughing out loud at the banter between Scott and John in particular when Scott triumphantly declares a long standing theory of John’s dead after a revelation in the book.

Overall, the Red Room podcast has a lot of experience on board, both as the longest standing Twin Peaks podcast (I believe, it has to be) and as part of a tight-knit community of diehard fans who have kept the torch lit for 25 years now.  I’m really looking forward to listening to them during the run of Season 3.

  • Banter: 10/10
  • Knowledge & Research: 10/10
  • Analysis & Theories: 10/10

Deer Meadow Radio – A Twin Peaks Podcast

  • A Deal Is A Deal – Secret History of Twin Peaks Part I (12/7/2016)
  • Of Masons and Men – Secret History of Twin Peaks Part II (2/4/2017)

Deer Meadow Radio had their “pilot” episode in Jan 2016, so it’s fairly recent.  It’s hosted by one guy, Mark Gibbons.  He’s obviously a Twin Peaks nerd.  Looking through the list of episodes so far, it includes a 3-part review of the Access Guide.  Now *that* is nerdy.  He’s also got a couple of interviews with behind the scenes folks and multi-part reviews of the original pilot episode.  His self-stated goal is to be an upbeat podcast, to try to be insightful and do a deep dive into things.

If you access the podcast through his web page (http://www.deermeadowradio.libsyn.com/), he gives spoiler warnings by time hacks (i.e. spoilers for The Missing Pieces between 1:31 – 4:28), which is pretty amazing.  I’ve never seen that before.  This guy is hardcore against spoilers.

His review of the Secret History has spanned two episodes, so far.  I say “so far” because in those two episodes, he’s only gotten through the early history portions, i.e. the Lewis & Clark and Chief Joseph parts.  Mark is very thorough, but he is also very long winded.  He also likes to wander off into tangents and personal stories.  I’ll probably keep an eye out for this podcast when the series kicks into full gear, see what direction it goes, but I wouldn’t expect it to delve into episode by episode analysis and theories.  I would, however, expect this to be a podcast that keeps the torch lit long after Season 3 is over.

  • Banter: 7/10
  • Knowledge & Research: 9/10
  • Analysis & Theories: 7/10

Diane: Entering the town of Twin Peaks

  • Episode: Minisode: The Secret History of Twin Peaks (11/2/2016)

This “mini” episode promises to just get down the hosts’ initial thoughts upon their first reading, with the intent to do a full podcast at some later time on the book (which has not yet happened apparently).  The hosts, Rosie and Bob, are British, as evidenced by their admitted lack of American History knowledge (go fig).  The podcast has only been going on for not quite a year, having started in May 2016 after the announcement of Season 3.  Their normal format is an episode by episode review, with exceptions for episodes devoted to this book, Laura’s Diary, and the FWWM movie (having recently finished up reviewing all of the existing season 1 and 2 episodes).

The hosts, and presumably their other two normal co-hosts Mark and Adam, are fans of the show going back to the original run.  Their knowledge of Twin Peaks is pretty good, and their giddiness at getting some new material for the first time in 25 years is infectious.  They discuss the good, the bad and the frustrating, but overall loved the book.

  • Banter: 10/10
  • Knowledge & Research: 8/10
  • Analysis & Theories: 8/10

Ghostwood: The Twin Peaks Podcast

  • Episode 1: The Secret History of Twin Peaks (1/10/2017)

Charles Skaggs is a veteran podcaster, having two other podcasts on Doctor Who and Phantom Zone (though I don’t know what that is).  His co-host, Xan Sprouse, is new to podcasting, but is an admitted fan of “all things geek”, including and especially Twin Peaks.  Both are from my home state Ohio, as I previously mentioned.  The show is part of a larger podcast network, Southgate Media Group, which I usually find a plus.  Charles is working off of a prepared set of show notes, and even though they admittedly tend to digress, especially when something exciting comes up, he keeps the show moving and on track, which is nice.

Both of the hosts liked the book, but found the contradictions took them out of the book.  I think we can all feel that frustration.

  • Banter: 9/10
  • Knowledge & Research: 8/10
  • Analysis & Theories: 8/10

The Twin Peaks Podcast

  • Episode 48: The Secret History of Twin Peaks (11/15/2016)

This podcast is hosted by a roundtable of four hosts: Matt, Mel, Brad & Caitlin.  Between them, they did a mix of Kindle format, paper book, CD and Audible.  That’s impressive.  Each took notes and they worked through the book from cover to cover going over everyone’s thoughts and observations.  That said, they ripped this book apart.  They did *not* like it (two 3/10 ratings and two 5/10).  They rip on a lot of the silliness in the book, and there is admittedly some silliness in there (how can there be a picture of Bob, the prospector writing “what the!” when an owl flew at him, etc.).  And they expressed worries about Season 3 being all about aliens and such (which let’s be honest, it had some of that hinted already in S2).

While listening, I wanted to be indignant and defend the book.  But a lot of what they had to say is admittedly true.  They just have a different perspective on the book, and I’ve got to respect that.  In fact, I kind of like being exposed to opinions I don’t necessarily agree with.  They have good banter and have a listener feedback segment at the end.  This is probably one I’m going to keep on the roster.

  • Banter: 9/10
  • Knowledge & Research: 8/10
  • Analysis & Theories: 6/10

A Twin Peaks Podcast: A Podcast About Twin Peaks

OK, I’m cheating a bit by including this one.  They technically haven’t even had their first episode (starts May 1st with a recap of S1, S2 and FWWM), and who knows if they will do one on Secret History.  But this podcast is being put on by Entertainment Weekly, and given that pull behind it, I am betting that this podcast will become a good one to go to for analysis, theories, and spoilers (though I’m sure they will be responsible about the latter).

  • Banter: TBD
  • Knowledge & Research: TBD
  • Analysis & Theories: TBD

Honorable Mentions:

These aren’t Twin Peaks podcasts, per se, but they did include a review of Secret History, and they’re actually pretty good.

Arbitrary Archive

  • Episode 15: Atrocity – The Secret History of Twin Peaks and Funny Games (1/16/2017)

The premise of this podcast is that DJ and Travis, two brothers, are given a word of the week by an Artificial Intelligence named Jeff, and they have to find a piece of art or work that fits into the category of that word.  For the word “atrocity”, Travis picked The Secret History of Twin Peaks, being that the atrocity of Laura Palmer’s murder is what kicks off all of the events in the series.  Both hosts are self-described “massive super fans” of Twin Peaks, and we learn that DJ gave the book to Travis as a Christmas present (spoilers!).  While this is more of a straight up book review and there’s not a lot of analysis or theories, it’s clear that they do know their Twin Peaks and their enjoyment of the book is evident.

Five Minute Fiction

  • Episode 59: The Secret History of Twin Peaks (11/5/2016)

This is a podcast “brought to you by the Winterhill books”, which is a series of novels available on Amazon UK (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Iain-Martin/e/B00GSVPIHK/).  Iain Martin, the author of that series and the host of the podcast, is actually a fan of Twin Peaks, as you quickly learn when he starts out the review with “Diane…”.  In his very British accent, he describes the book as “a loo read”, which I’ve gotta say is charming as hell.  He tries to keep the review non-spoilery and does a great job.  He expresses much the same thoughts of praise and frustration in five minutes that other podcasts take an hour or more to express.  At only 5 minutes per episode (well, more like 8:30 or so total), I might just have to see about these other books Iain has been reviewing.

That’s a start.  No, I’m not done, but I thought I’d make this at least a 2-parter.  There’s six more podcasts on my list, so don’t fret if your favorite one has not yet been listed.  If you have any other podcasts I should check out, or comments on the ones above, leave some feedback below.

Thanks..

2 Replies to “The Search for a Damn Fine Podcast (Part 1)”

  1. Great article! It’s pretty neat how you narrowed the scope by only reviewing podcasts who covered the new Frost book. … FYI, The Twin Peaks Podcast predates Red Room by four months. I know this because my friend Matt H boasted about being a pioneer.

    Like

    1. Oh wow, good to know. I admittedly was just going the episodes I saw in my iTunes feed. Must have been cut off. I stand corrected and happily take the title away from TRRP and hand it off the TTPP. My bad..

      Like

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