A New Fan Edit of Fire Walk With Me Called The Missing Season Makes the Film into a Mini Series

Cannes, France—May 1992. A screen fades to blue with the ghostly image of Laura Palmer smiling as the credits roll for the Twin Peaks film, Fire Walk with—And it is met with hissing and booing from the uproariously seething, mouth-frothing spectators.

For years, this was the rumored story about the premiere of the Twin Peaks movie Fire Walk with Me:

“The Lynch film that got booed at Cannes.”

But it’s actually not true at all.

In reality, the film received a standing ovation when it was screened for the public. However, there was a press screening earlier in the day for which certain members of the press didn’t take as warmly to the film. And those critics were the people who wrote the narrative that followed.

Even though the film was well received at Cannes, American audiences certainly didn’t get it. The film didn’t even earn back half of its budget, and it still has middling ratings on sites like Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes.

This is not an article about how the film is bad or made mistakes. I personally believe that Fire Walk with Me is filled with moments that are classic to cinema and that it’s a surprisingly and shockingly deep portrayal of sexual abuse in a way that not much other visual media has been able to capture.

This is about a fan edit called Twin Peaks: The Missing Season, which was created by an editor who goes by the name of Blue Owl. It reimagines Fire Walk with Me and all of its deleted scenes by cutting it into a 3 episode mini-season, complete with a custom opening credits sequence just like the first two seasons of the show.

The project has a simple stated goal of giving another way to interact with Fire Walk with Me. It’s especially for people who love the film and have maybe seen it a few times already. For new viewers, I would recommend watching the 1992 official release of the film first.

[IMPORTANT NOTE: If by some chance, someone is reading this who hasn’t seen any of Twin Peaks yet: the correct viewing order is to watch the film, Fire Walk with Me, after Season 2. The same still goes for this fan edit, The Missing Season. The film may be a prequel to the original show, but it was always intended to be seen after Season 2—particularly because of the one major spoiler of who killed Laura Palmer.]

Over the years, there has been a steadily increasing cult appreciation of the film. The release of Twin Peaks season 3 in 2017, often called The Return, might have helped to recontextualize it. And if you look at user scores for the film on critic websites, they’re always much higher than the critic’s rating.

Even today, the story of the film’s poor reception still gets repeated online. If you search for “twin peaks fire walk with me reception,” this bit of “trivia” is highlighted in bold. So, if someone introduces you to the film for the first time, it could be likely that they tell you this anecdote as part of the preamble, emerging from the swirling goop of aetherial information haunting our collective brain space.

What makes a brainworm like this thrive across the years? Why was the TV show an instant hit when it premiered, but the film wasn’t?

My theory is that it’s the vibes. When people sat down in their red cushy seats in the dark of 1992, they were ready to drive past that Twin Peaks sign and have some cherry pie. What they got for the first half hour was a place called Deer Meadow and a replacement Cooper in the form of Special Agent Chester Desmond. And when they finally got to Twin Peaks, it wasn’t all coffee and donuts and shenanigans at the Double R diner or the sheriff’s station. It was wall-to-wall emotions with quite a bit of screaming.

2014 saw the release of a Blu-ray set called The Entire Mystery, featuring an extra called The Missing Pieces. It’s essentially a compilation of deleted scenes from the movie Fire Walk with Me. The thing is—it’s 91 minutes long. Long enough to be a movie itself. In fact, it was even screened in a theater in Los Angeles when it was released.

And in these missing pieces, we see a lot of familiar faces who populate Twin Peaks. Their scenes are extraneous to the plot, but they add some of that gooey cherry pie flavor. So, there is enough material out there that was shot for Fire Walk with Me to fill two films.

What if—instead of a movie—it was a mini-series?

Fan made promo poster for a fan edit of Fire Walk With Me made into a mini series.

What if there was enough time to explore those parts of town that didn’t have to do with Laura Palmer? That didn’t have to be trimmed down to fit into a reasonably sized feature-length film?

The fan edit, The Missing Season, tries to imagine how the production of this piece of Twin Peaks would have gone if it had been approached as a short season, instead of a film. There are 3 episodes, each roughly an hour long—just like the original series.

The last Episode is an hour and a half long and it includes contextual pieces from the last Episode of Season 2 as well as some of the most important Log Lady introductions.

When the first two seasons of Twin Peaks were syndicated for the Bravo network in 1993, each episode was shown with a brief introduction from the Log Lady that was written and directed by David Lynch himself. I highly recommend watching them all in sequence with the original show as they are the closest thing that Lynch will ever get to explaining anything, or even giving any kind of clue.

There are a couple of fan cuts that already exist that insert The Missing Pieces to make a 3-hour film version of Fire Walk with Me. So, one of the most drastic changes for this project is that it rearranges the timeline so that the first thing on screen is Laura Palmer and the viewer begins the journey already in Twin Peaks. The scenes in Deer Meadow are intercut with the rest of the film, similar to how they might be in a standard television format. There’s even a new intro that was created for each episode, featuring our favorite tune by Angelo Badalamenti.

If nothing else, this fan edit gives us more Bowie. His sequence in the official film was cut down a lot and in addition to that, a layer of television static was laid over the scene that is both visual and audio. It feels sort of like the editor tried to bury the sequence to make the film more palatable for a moviegoing audience. In the deleted scenes, this sequence is one of the most intriguing mysteries, especially in the context of what happens to his character in Season 3, The Return. The fan edit reconstructs these scenes to try to piece back together the puzzle. You’ll find this in Episode 2.

Another goal for the project is to play with intertextuality. How do the vibes change with the film arranged this way? What new clues can be learned from the film being organized this way? What can it reveal about the relationship between the viewer and the film based on the reactions to different edits? And, of course, what can it reveal about the film overall?

One thing that The Missing Season highlights is the pacing of the storytelling. Watching Fire Walk with Me can feel like a slow burn through Deer Meadow and then slamming into an emotional wall, very quickly. This edit gives you some space to breathe and lets things take a bit more of a natural crescendo. In addressing the strongest criticisms of the film over the years, or rather the identified points of inaccessibility of the movie, the hope is that this edit will help new and old fans alike find a unique appreciation of an incredible film. If anything, it’s a surprising discovery how the official film’s pacing serves to emphasize the anxiety that Laura Palmer actually felt. It’s a non-traditional film structure to accomplish something profound, and I believe the film is a success because of it.

The Missing Season can be found on or by some basic internet search sleuthing.

Here is a link to the page:

Also, be sure to check out the trailers here: Trailer 1 | Trailer 2

Episode titles:

  • Episode 1—“The Owl Ring”
  • Episode 2—“The Path to The Pink Room”
  • Episode 3—“Beyond Angels & Owls”


  • 3 episodes—About 1 hour long each.
  • Includes Fire Walk with Me in its entirety and most scenes from The Missing Pieces.
  • Also includes clips from Season 2 and the Log Lady introductions.
  • New custom intro credits sequence.
  • Audio and video transitions as well as volume adjustment.
  • Color correction of The Missing Pieces to match the official film.
  • 1080p and stereo / 5.1 surround sound.

Written by Lee Stepien

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