Ron Reed

TWIN PEAKS

187 posts in this topic

Watched the pilot episode of TWIN PEAKS tonight with my daughter. Wow. All the magic is still there.

Some wonderful performances. Donna is particularly outstanding. Laura's mother is hysterical without being histrionic. And of course Special Agent Dale Cooper is a true original: so sad that Kyle McLachlan started playing in such tacky films after this. Until HAMLET.

Love the tension between a human authenticity that goes deeper than most horror / murder films (the town's grief at Laura's death is powerful, there is a real wound - it's not mere plot device) and all the touches of absurdity (oddball Norwegians, the goofball police receptionist, the weepy crime photographer, etc) and genre stylization (soap opera music and relationship structure, etc). The evil is given real power: moments like the discovery of Laura wrapped in plastic, and Ronette's emergence from the wilderness across the train trestle, are chilling. But there is also a tangible sense of good: the response of Donna's father (the doctor) when she sneaks out of the house is right out of a cornball family sitcom, yet it's not really played cynically - there's a winsomeness there that's undeniable, the appeal of simple decency, love, respect.

My daughter feels tormented that she'll have to wait until tomorrow to watch more episodes, and can't believe we had to wait seven weeks to get the thing resolved when it was first broadcast. Heh heh heh... I've got her hooked.

Feels like a trip back to a favourite neighbourhood I've not visited for years. Sweet.

Any other TWIN PEAKS fans out there?

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I still remember the excitement of the first series of Twin Peaks and how the most unlikely people at work would turn out to be closet fans. Then it beame huge and everyone seemed to be qupping "damn fine coffee" at you etc. But it was magnificent, so good that every time a much hyped US Tv series, Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Band of Brothers, Twin Peaks is the kind of Platonic ideal of a series I judge the new arrival against. None of them have quite measured up yet. I think the wholt texture of the programme and the strangeness of the atmosphere managed to transport you into a fantasy world which was incredibly involving because it was at such a skewed angle to the everyday. Ah, the Log Lady, Joan Chen, Julee Cruise singing Rockin Back Inside Yor Heart at the Motel, Leland Palmer going bonkers, bliss was it to be a television viewer in those days. Fire Walk With Me wasn't much cop though.

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I discovered the show on tour in Estonia, believe it or not. I think it was on Finnish television and the broadcast carried over the sea. The show i initially watched turned out to be the last show in the series -- the one where Agent Dale looks in the mirror only to discover --

(well i'm certainly not going to spoil that) cool.gif

"Wow. What a show," i thought. Came home, bought the entire series on VHS and have since added the DVDs of the pilot and the film. IT's been five or more years since i've watched the whole thing, but i remember doing a marathon a few years ago and watching every episode from the pilot to the entire series and finishing with the film in about three weeks. That was one incredible month.

HOWEVER, as a result --

In a dark house at night, i always fear Bob at the foot of any bed.

-s.

Edited by stef

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It played my sophmore year of college, and I remember some friends being devoted fans, but I didn't waatch any television at all the first three years of college, so I was totally unaware. I've watched the first season on DVD a couple of times, adn have seen FWWM, so I know who the culprit is, but I'm hanging out there, having never seen the second season and in some doubt as to whether they will ever straighten the rights issues out. I guess I need the pilot, as well.

I loved it, though.

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Technically, this was a TV show, not a film -- so I shall save this thread from banishment to the TV forum by mentioning that the ONLY Twin Peaks video I have ever seen is the THEATRICAL version of the pilot episode, which I believe has a different ending; we discover who the evil "Bob" is, which I believe did not happen in the series until much later, and I think "Bob" might be someone different altogether in this theatrical version. It has been over a dozen years since I saw this video, but I remember there being one very, very freaky moment when somebody "sees" a presence in Laura Palmer's bedroom, IIRC -- it's one of those shots where they very skilfully get you to notice something out of the corner of your eye (and thanks to the magic of video, you can promptly rewind and look for it again...).

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Twin Peaks remains among my ten favorite film experiences of all-time, even though I often leave it off the list because it's not, technically, a feature. But it's as complex as any "franchise" ever made, and I love the characters dearly. The show inspires me more as a storyteller than anything I've ever read or seen. Whenever I watch it, I want to go create my own Twin Peaks world. Croaker and I actually worked on writing a "sequel series" called "The Blue Rose" for a while.

Funny you should bring it up. I'm debating whether I want to spend half of my August spending-money on the first season DVDs. WHY DON'T THEY GIVE YOU THE PILOT EPISODE??!! Man, that's irritating. If anybody knows how I could get the pilot episode on DVD... not the altered "TV movie" version, but the reall, unadulterated pilot... let me know.

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It's hard for me to fathom how, Jeffrey, but video release rights for the pilot are held by a different party than that which holds release rights for the rest of the first season. I'm unsure of whether another party holds rights to the second season, or whether there's just some reversion that's about to happen or which has happened. There's a R-O version of the pilot somewhere that I believe is the one you're looking for. I know it can be bought easily on ebay, and I saw it for sale at a couple of record stores.

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Just for the record (and as an appeal to Alan to leave this thread here rather than banishing it to the outer darkness of the television forum), I posted this here because the TWIN PEAKS I watched last night was released theatrically, as was FIRE WALK WITH ME, which is also under discussion.

*

SOLVING "THE PILOT PROBLEM"

I recorded the original series onto videotape, then made a video backup/lending copy of those. Unfortunately, all I can find now is the backup/lending copy, and it's a pretty poor quality reproduction.

Still, it was watchable enough to confirm this much: the first 92 minutes or so of the WB "home video edition" is identical to the pilot episode that was broadcast, minus a 34 second "tag" which was originally broadcast that's not essential to the story. In that 34 second scene, Laura's mother has a vision of a gloved hand digging the heart necklace from the ground where it was buried.

So if you hit pause at the right moment on the "home video edition" (also known as the European movie version, if I'm not mistaken), you'll be ready to begin the second broadcast episode, labelled "Episode 001" on the Worldvision VHS series, and will miss only those 34 seconds. Still frustrating, yes. It does sound preferable to get hold of the R-O version of the actual broadcast pilot, as Russell suggests, but if one can't, all is not lost.

By the way, Russell, what's a "R-O version"? A "read only" recording, sort of a bootleg version? Or do you mean "Region 0," in which case is that the "European" version of the film that runs about 113 minutes and includes the 20+ minutes of further material beyond the point described below?

THE CUT-OFF POINT

Around the 90 minute mark of the 113 minute Warner Home Video version (same as the "European" theatrical release), get ready to hit STOP after the following sequence of scenes;

- Sheriff Truman and Special Agent Cooper eat donuts

- Bobby and Mike howl

- Sheriff Truman visits Josie. Josie: "I'm afraid."

- Cut to a still shot of the place where the body was found, then

- HIT PAUSE when they cut to the traffic light, blowing in the wind

Then eject the video, cue up "Episode 001," and you're home free!

Edited by Ron

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Ah, another date for my movie calendar...

Special Agent Dale Cooper: "Diane, 11:30 am, February 24. Entering the town of Twin Peaks, five miles South of the Canadian border, twelve miles West of the state line. I've never seen so many trees in my life. As W. C. Fields would say I'd rather be here then in Philadelphia. Fifty-four degrees on a slightly overcast day. Weatherman said rain. If you get paid that kind of money for being wrong sixty percent of the time it beat working. My mileage is 79,345. Gauge is on reserve. Riding on fumes here. I've got to tank up when I get into town. Remind me to tell you how much that is. Lunch was ... uhh ... (retrieves a receipt from his pocket) six dollars and thirty-one cents at the ... Lamplighter Inn, that's on highway two near Lewis Fork. That was a tuna fish sandwich on whole wheat, slice of cherry pie and a cup of coffee. (emphasized) Damn good food. Diane, if you ever get up this way that cherry pie is worth a stop. Okay. (picks up card) Looks like I'll be meeting up with a ahh ... Sheriff Harry S. Truman. Shouldn't be to hard to remember that. That will be at the Calhoun Memorial Hospital. I guess we're going to go up to intensive care and take a look at that girl that crawled down the railroad tracks off the mountain. I'm pretty sure I'll be checking into a hotel. I'm sure the sheriff will be able to recommend a clean place, reasonably priced. That's what I need, clean place, reasonably priced."

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Right, Ron.  I meant Region Zero, or watchable on theoretically all DVD players.

Here's a link to buying it at amazon, though I think it can be bought new on ebay for less: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...?v=glance&s=dvd

Yes indeed, that looks like the broadcast version! Thanks for the link. Tempting. I'm wondering how much I would notice the fact that the sound and picture are slightly sped up, due to a transfer from PAL? I'm nervous that it would detract. Hmmm....

Edited by Ron

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I was there -- when you had to wait at least a week and often more -- even an entire summer! -- to find out What Happened Next. There was something so special about the whole ritual of gathering once a week with a few friends, turning off all the lights and watching the next episode in the darkness. I've been searching ever since for something that would give me the chill-level of Bob coming across that couch or Leland Palmer's crazy dancing. When you really had NO IDEA what was coming next. Wow. Nothing before or since has made for a comperable television experience for me. (Yeah, we went through the motions with the X-Files, but it wasn't quite the same. Not the same sense of real danger and metaphysical dread.) And if we can count The Decalogue as one of the "Top 100 Spiritually Significant Films," than we don't have to apologize for including Twin Peaks in any discusion of serious filmed works. (Here's my take on the series as presented at Cstone a few years back.)

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Yes, I watched the Pilot again a few months ago. Love this series! My room mate has a DVD copy of the Pilot and it contains those last 36 seconds of Mrs. Palmer's vision. I'll have to ask him where he got it.

The Broadcast pilot is of course far superior to the pilot included on the VHS collection. However, there is one little scene in the VHS pilot that I wish had made it into the broadcast version. When Doc Hayward calls Lucy to find Sherrif Truman because Donna snuck out, Lucy answers the phone at home, and she is sitting on her bed, and Andy is next to her. Andy is playing a trombone, and Lucy is playing with a paddle and rubber ball attached by rubber band. One of the funniest things I've ever seen.

Edited by Croaker

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so sad that Kyle McLachlan started playing in such tacky films after this.  Until HAMLET.

I went to see Before Sunset last week, and had to roll my eyes when I saw the trailer for Touch of Pink, featuring Maclachlan doing a really bad Cary Grant impersonation. At least bad in the trailer. How unfortunate.

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Kyle McLachlan did have a very small role in Northfork, but other than that I don't think I've even seen him in anything other than a Lynch production.

I've only ever seen a few episodes of Twin Peaks because my parents forbade me from watching it (along with The Smurfs and The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.) -- I'm trying very hard to forgive them...

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The Broadcast pilot is of course far superior to the pilot included on the VHS collection.

But they are identical up to the point of Mrs Palmer's vision, aren't they?

However, there is one little scene in the VHS pilot that I wish had made it into the broadcast version.
Edited by Ron

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Baal_T'shuvah wrote:

: I . . . had to roll my eyes when I saw the trailer for Touch of Pink, featuring

: Maclachlan doing a really bad Cary Grant impersonation. At least bad in the

: trailer. How unfortunate.

Oh, I loved it, myself. Though it certainly doesn't sustain the entire film.

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QUOTE (Croaker @ Aug 4 2004, 11:59 AM)

The Broadcast pilot is of course far superior to the pilot included on the VHS collection.

But they are identical up to the point of Mrs Palmer's vision, aren't they?

Perhaps I mean the actual first episode of Twin Peaks rather than the Pilot that stands in for the first episode on the VHS collection. Anyway, there are two versions of the first episode. One, which I believe is the pilot, has the scene with Andy and Lucy on the bed that I mentioned before, as well as a completely different ending where Cooper and Truman catch the killer. Also there are other differences, such as the scene where they bring a sketch artist in so Mrs. Palmer can describe the man she saw in Laura's room. In one the artist is Andy, in the other the artist is Hawk.

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Perhaps I mean the actual first episode of Twin Peaks rather than the Pilot that stands in for the first episode on the VHS collection.

Well, that's just the thing... there is no pilot OR a first episode in the VHS collection. The VHS collection begins with episode 2. Thus, to find out how the series starts... on video... you have to buy separately the Twin Peaks "movie" version of the pilot (which ends, as you say, with a hokey scene in which they catch the killer)... OR you have to get some sort of imported version of the pilot episode as it originally aired. Either way, it's inconvenient and frustrating.

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you have to buy separately the Twin Peaks "movie" version of the pilot (which ends, as you say, with a hokey scene in which they catch the killer)...

So when did this version air, and why was it even made in the first place?

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I have no idea. Maybe it never did air. Maybe they made it as a "just in case" thing, or, thinking that they'd never release the whole thing on video, they just created an alternate ending so they could put it out on video. I don't know. I never saw the "movie" version on tv.

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Kyle McLachlan was in a horror movie called The Hidden which I thought was fairly nifty. His role was similar to that of Agent Cooper, a detective who turned out to be an alien. Mind you, I saw this when I was much younger and perhaps it's not all that good really. It had the best use of thrash metal in movies.

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Jeffrey Overstreet wrote:

: I have no idea. Maybe it never did air.

I've been calling that version of the pilot episode the "theatrical" version because I believe it was intended for theatres -- it played the Vancouver Film Festival, for example, before the TV series came along, and it would not surprise me to hear that it had played in theatres overseas as well.

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This is just one illustration in the sundry odd ways in which Lynch productions make their way onto screens. I don't know if it's simply a matter of the lengths to which he chooses or is forced to go to obtain financing or what, but for a modern director his productions seems to be disproportionately gummed up.

For my part, I'd love to obtain a copy of the television pilot version of Mulholland Drive to see how it would have played. I can make a pretty good guess from the film version, but I'd love to see how he planned the television version to play out (if he did, in fact, plan out much of it).

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Watched the last two episodes of Season One tonight, and as we neared the end I realized that the "Who killed Laura Palmer?" riddle doesn't get solved in the first series. So - with qualms - I hauled out FIRE WALK WITH ME, and we watched that. (Having finished FWWM, I further realize that I must have watched more of Season Two than I remembered: lots of Bob and Mike stuff, that odd

Yeesh. I'd forgotten just how dark it is, and how nasty. A real descent into hell. Not at all sure it was a good idea to watch with my daughter, but... She's seen worse. And she did want to find out who killed Laura Palmer.

Sure missed the fun of the TV series - the quirkiness that counterbalanced the darkness is almost entirely gone from FWWM, after the first maybe 20 minutes. Makes it definitely a more "serious" film. I can't make up my mind if it loses its value, or gains a different value.

spoilers1.gif

I had completely forgotten the angel imagery. Clearly an attempt on Lynch's part to balance the darkness with a redemptive grace. He certainly dwells on those images for a long time at the end, as if by sheer duration he can compensate for the horrors and depravity that preceded. Does that work for anybody? Kind of like the mechanical bird in BLUE VELVET - though the angels didn't seem to admit of the same possibility of irony as the bird did. I just don't know. FWWM certainly leaves a mark on me, and I usually take that as a good thing. But did I really need to experience those images?

Anybody?

*

Here's some more info on the so-called "pilot" available as a stand-alone video, also called the "European version."

The version of the pilot available on video/laserdisc (see

question G4) is known as the "European" version, because it

was created for the European video market and first showed

up there. 

Before TP was sold to ABC as a series, Lynch/Frost raised

money to finance the production of the pilot episode by

signing a contract with Warner Home Video.  The contract

gave Warner Home Video the rights to sell the pilot episode

as a movie on video in Europe (not knowing whether the pilot

would result in a series, Warner wanted to ensure they could

make their money back.) In order to sell it as a movie, the

contract stipulated that the pilot must stand on its own and

have a "closed ending" where the murder of Laura Palmer was

resolved.

Lynch/Frost had planned for and expected the pilot to be

picked up and turned into a series, and thus had not written

such a resolution for the pilot.  When, during the filming

of the pilot, they were reminded of their contractual

obligation, they filmed the ending described below and gave

Warner Home Video their "standalone" European movie, even

though the ending did not make much sense and does not jibe

with events in the TV series.

Parts of the European movie ending were used later in edited

form for the dream sequence at the end of episode 2.  (In

fact, you will notice that the summary of his dream that

Cooper gives Lucy and Harry at the beginning of episode 3

includes events that are portrayed in the European pilot

ending, but not in Cooper's dream as shown in episode 2!)

Lynch thinks the famous scene in the Red Room is one of his

best pieces of work, and that is probably one reason why he

chose to include it as the final scene of episode 2.  The

original script for episode 2 is almost a verbatim copy of

the European movie ending, including even more of it than is

in the broadcast version.  The copied parts were edited to

make it clear that Cooper is having a dream/vision, rather

than actually experiencing the events.  So the reaction cuts

of Truman, etc. in the European movie ending, are replaced

in episode 2 by shots of Coop tossing and turning in his

sleep.

When ABC bought the series, the video rights to the

broadcast episodes went to Worldvision (a division of

Spelling Entertainment, which had been closely affiliated

with ABC), but the video rights to the pilot remained with

Warner Home Video.  This is why only the European movie

version of the pilot is available commercially.  Making

'lemonade out of a lemon', Warner Home Video marketed their

version of the pilot as providing an "alternate resolution"

to Laura's murder than that provided in the TV series.

Although a great deal of the footage from the European movie

ending was incorporated into the TV series, most in the TP

fan community feel the ending, while interesting as an

historical artifact, is not germane to the "real" TP story

as developed in the TV series.

That's from a Twin Peaks FAQ site.

Edited by Ron

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