The return of the hit TV drama Twin Peaks was announced in 2014 to much fanfare and excitement. Season 3 is scheduled to air on Showtime May 21, 2017 with a two hour first episode. Fans are on the edges of their seats after the nearly 25 year wait. We’ve been promised a return of the whole town—characters and all—but the plot and direction of the new season remains shrouded in mystery.
The initial airing of Twin Peaks in 1990 came with huge critical success. Though the program was fairly off-beat and unusual in tone, this seemed to strike a chord with fans, at least initially. ABC couldn’t wait to renew the show for a second season. Ratings began to decline however, and the show was abruptly canceled after its second season, leaving many mysteries unresolved. Though a feature film was released in 1992, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, fans have been left to settle for reruns and rewatching their favorite episodes for the past 25 years.
The fantastic and fascinating thing about the original Twin Peaks run was that it was a show before it’s time. Years before the Golden Age of TV that we have now, Twin Peaks was an unusual and gripping weekly drama. It packaged much of what we love today—suspense, unsure tension and dark humor—into a quirky, surreal take on a 90’s sitcom.
Now, this perfectly pre-millennial TV show is back for the millennial age. A new generation of fans has binge watched the show on Netflix and can’t wait for the upcoming release of the third season on Showtime. Mum has been the word on set, however, and not much of the new season has leaked. Here’s what we know so far.
Season 3 will be a direct continuation of the original timeline, though it will take place 25 years later, set in present day. The show’s creators, David Lynch and Mark Frost, had initially announced that the comeback would span nine episodes. But the season has since been extended to 18 episodes. This is double the initial plan, which could be a good sign that production is running smoothly and that Showtime is excited by the prospect of the show.
Much of the excitement around the new season is centered around the fact that a large majority of the original cast and characters will be returning to the screen. Special agent Dale Cooper, Laura Palmer, Shelly Johnson and many of the other original characters have been confirmed for all 18 episodes. Other characters like Audrey Horne, the Log Lady, and James Hurley have only been confirmed for one episode—though with such pivotal roles in the original series, we may be seeing much more of them. Kyle MacLachlan returns to star as Dale Cooper and is joined by Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer), Dana Ashbrook (Bobby Briggs), Michael Horse (Deputy Hawk) and many other original and new cast members.
With the show’s original release, TV timeslots often dictated a show’s core popularity. But with the rise of streaming services today, TV release strategies are changing, and Showtime may not air the new episodes traditionally. Mark Frost has recently said that traditional means of release may not apply to this show. After all, many new fans cut their chops on the series by bringing on Netflix. This means that we could see episodes released online in batches, as a whole or in unusual patterns.
Until the release, we’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, enjoy a nice cup of coffee and a delicious slice of pie.
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