On Sunday April 28th, 1990, the pilot episode of Twin Peaks aired. ABC’s promotional campaign hyped the mystery, the murder, the town and the appeal of filmmaker David Lynch entering the realm of television. The marketing paid off: the two hour Sunday night movie was viewed by 34.6 million people earning a 21.7 rating. The reviews were also largely positive, with Connoisseur magazine running a cover story calling Twin Peaks “the series that will change TV forever.” Numerous critics shared that opinion and they were right. 28 years to the day later, the conversation continues.
By the time you’ll be reading this article, Twin Peaks Unwrapped will have already released their first episode of their “Community Re-watch Series” where hosts Ben Durant and Bryon Kozaczka will be joined not only by friends and members of the Twin Peaks community to discuss each episode of Twin Peaks but also to dig a little deeper, including each episode’s deleted scenes, which are being voice acted by various friends.
“Back in the day in Wrapped in Plastic magazine, I loved their Unseen Twin Peaks. Craig Miller and John Thorne would get the scripts and look for deleted and missing scenes and discuss it. To me that was always so interesting. I have all of the Season 1 & 2 scripts now and I would look at them and think that it would be fun to do something with them. I’ve been thinking about this for over a year now and then Bryon had the idea for our White Sands Radio for our last end of the year show, with the commercials and reenactments, different funny things. That’s when I thought if we can pull this off we could pull it off with the scripts too. There’s a lot of talented people in the Twin Peaks community. I brought it to John Thorne’s attention and I explained to him this idea of a radio drama where the scripts would be acted out. He said to me that the idea was cool but suggested that we have conversation around it. So not only the scenes being acted out but also discussing the episodes. We knew our 150th show was coming up and people had been asking us to do a panel, which aren’t easy to do. So there were all of those factors and then we had been discussing doing a re-watch which is exciting because when we first watched it Bryon was new to the show so we were always looking at it through fresh eyes. Now we can not only compare it to Season 3 but also look for additional clues and have these conversations that we couldn’t before. So these were the things that excited me, the deleted scenes, having Season 3 to compare it to and being able to go back and look for clues that Leland was the killer.” – Ben Durant, Twin Peaks Unwrapped
In the first episode of the Community Re-watch, John Thorne (Wrapped in Plastic, Blue Rose Magazine) Joel Bocko (Lost in the Movies) & 25YL editor J.C. Hotchkiss make up the panel to discuss both the televised version of Twin Peaks‘ pilot episode as well as it’s deleted scenes. 25YL’s J.C and Twin Petes along with Bickering Peaks hosts Lindsay (also an Executive Editor for 25YL) and Aidan lend their voices to acting out the deleted scenes in what makes for a really fun addition to the analysis provided during the panel and a truly unique way of looking at unseen Twin Peaks. During a recent phone conversation I had with Ben and Bryon, the importance of the Twin Peaks community was a major topic of conversation.
“Our show has always been the community. I think 6 episodes in we realized we should have people on. I would rather be a producer and have people on to talk, listen to their theories and hear all these different voices. That’s something I really love about 25YL. Every day you get to go to the site and read about a new topic from a different writer, a new theory, a new discussion about Twin Peaks.” – Ben
After being treated to listening to the first episode of the re-watch prior to its release, my mind was filled with questions. Who could we expect in future episodes both to be on the panel as well as to do the reenactments? Would the panels all be the same size? While answering some of my questions, both Ben and Bryon were both big on keeping the mystery alive.
“I want bigger panels and Bryon wants to make them smaller. When you have more people there’s always the chance that someone doesn’t get to talk enough or that someone is getting talked over. We had 3 for the pilot and we’re thinking 3 or 4 for the next one.” – Ben.
“Ben likes to go big and I’m a minimalist so we try to meet in the middle. If you’ve listened to our show, you can probably makes pretty good guesses about who might be on for either the panel or the reenactments.” – Bryan
“We have a great relationship with 25YL. We have J.C. on the show, lots of other writers have been on to read their articles or to be guests before. Listeners should expect to hear some of the 25YL team on these shows both on the panel and as part of the reenactments. For the Pilot, Pete, J.C. and Lindsay and Aidan (Bickering Peaks) did the reenactments and hopefully we can get them back for future episodes. They were great. Here’s a little teaser of what’s to come: We’ve been talking to Francine from The Pink Room and we’re trying to get some of them to come do the reenactments for Episode 1, which would be a lot of fun. Mark (The Dark Lord from The Pink Room) has a studio so they’re talking about all getting together to act out the scenes which would be different from the Pilot where everyone was in different locations and had to be edited together.” – Ben
My conversation with the Twin Peaks Unwrapped hosts veered towards what they were really looking forward to covering (and perhaps what they weren’t as excited about) during the re-watch.
“Episode 29. David Lynch threw out so much. There’s all these scenes that were written but not filmed that to me would be fun to see people reenact. Things like Annie seeing a nun – which I think was Earle pretending to be a nun to get her in the Lodge, Windham Earle talking to his dead wife. We could be years away from getting to Episode 29 but there’s so much that Lynch got rid of that would be fun to do. I’m already thinking ahead if we’ll have to make Episode 29 two parts or just one really long episode. For the pilot we had 5 deleted scenes we went over and that’s a lot, plus the panel. With Episode 29 it could be 10 scenes plus the panel.” – Ben
“The season one finale and the episode where Maddy dies and then when they catch Leland are the ones I’m most looking forward to. Not so much looking forward to some parts of Season 2 when it won’t be as heavy and is more comedy like.” – Bryon
“There are scripts where Ben Horne is the killer to help keeping things from getting leaked. Not sure how we’ll handle that for the reenactments but we’ll get to it & its exciting.”- Ben
As we touched upon the subject of Season 2, it was interesting to note perhaps what is the biggest difference of opinion Ben and Bryon have when it comes to Twin Peaks.
“There’s few things Bryon and I disagree about but I was very much in favor of Cooper and Audrey getting together.” – Ben.
“If you have a daughter that’s 18, there’s no way in hell you would want her dating someone Cooper’s age, whether he worked for the FBI or not. I liked Annie and at least she was in her 20’s.” – Bryon
“I feel like Audrey was the one who was supposed to have been brought to the Black Lodge and I think she gives a better speech than Annie. During those episodes in Season 2 that aren’t as popular, we can definitely talk about what could have been. It’s been awhile since I’ve read those scripts so I’ll be curious to see what was deleted.”– Ben
“During those episodes Audrey’s character matures and I actually prefer Business Audrey. She’s great in the Pilot but she matures rapidly, especially when you think this show takes place over the course of a few weeks. It would have made no sense for her to have won Miss Twin Peaks because she doesn’t seem interested in it. Sherilyn Fenn was the one who pushed for Business Audrey. She wanted to be taken seriously and while some of the other actresses were trying to be sexy she wanted to go a different way.” – Bryon
The plan for the re-watch is to include Fire Walk With Me and Season 3 but the books related to the series are not part of the current plans. We also spent some time discussing the wealth of materials available to assist with research for the re-watch series.
“I’m going through the scripts going looking for deleted scenes and conversation starters. I’m also looking at old newspaper articles, seeing what people were saying at the time. I found one article that said Diane had been cast and some actress was set to play her in Season 2 before Mark Frost came out and debunked it. I love seeing what people were talking about at the time with the show. Wrapped in Plastic will definitely be a big source too. Seeing what John Thorne and Craig Miller thought of deleted scenes is always fun but I don’t always agree with their interpretation of things. Lynch on Lynch is great just for actual Lynch quotes.” – Ben
“I’ve asked Sabrina Sutherland if we can get the Season 3 scripts for when we get to The Return (that request has not yet been approved or denied) but since it wasn’t written as episodes its going to be a whole different way of looking at it.” – Ben
“It would almost be the opposite with The Return where we’re looking for the things Lynch added that weren’t scripted.”– Bryan
“There’s definitely some things that didn’t make the show, such as The Giant in the Red Room. Sometimes when we talk to actors we’ll ask if they shot more than we saw and nobody will ever say anything.” – Ben
The plan is to release one episode a month for the re-watch series according to both Ben and Bryon. This will allow them to continue on with other projects for their show, including cast and crew interviews. One big spoiler about their future did come out during the course of our conversation, which is a 25YL exclusive:
“This summer will be the summer of “On the Air”. I think we’ll start the week of the show’s 26th anniversary and we’ll spread that out as well over the summer. That’s a big thing we’re trying to plan out now.” – Ben
The Twin Peaks fandom has always been like no other and what Twin Peaks Unwrapped are doing here is bringing the community together to help keep the conversation alive over an extended period of time. With their plan being to have one re-watch episode a month released, Twin Peaks Unwrapped hosts Ben Durant and Bryon Kozaczka are ensuring that we’ll be talking about & celebrating Twin Peaks together for years to come. As fans, what more can we ask for?