Earlier this week, fans of the cult TV classic, Twin Peaks were finally rewarded after an announcement that the show would be returning after a quarter of a century hiatus. Originally aired in 1990, the series was first broadcast before most current undergraduates at Cambridge were even born, yet its cultural influence on television and its initial critical acclaim has secured a fan-base reaching much younger TV enthusiasts than its initial viewership.
On the 3rd October, co-creators Lynch and Frost tweeted a not-so-cryptic quote from the show, hinting in suspiciously exact unison, “that gum you like is going to come back in style”. Since then, the confirmation of the show’s return with a YouTube teaser trailer from Showtime has sent old fans into a furore of social media excitement over the promised nine episodes, which will be produced by Lynch and Frost and once again directed by Lynch. MacLachlan (Agent Cooper) added to the enthusiasm with a further tweet implying his involvement, saying he “better fire up that percolator and find [his] black suit”.
The tease and eventual announcement that has relied so heavily on social media seems tailored to a younger fan-base. Those sceptical of its return might point out the harsh decline of ratings after the fifteenth episode of the second series, once the Palmer murder plot was solved and the Audrey Horn love interest left behind, leaving the show in a state of indefinite hiatus on ABC. Yet the decision to wait twenty-five years before continuing the show, along with a fresh-faced younger audience, seems a clever move to ensure old viewers have long-forgotten the less successful tail-end of the show in lieu of the memory of its ground-breaking early achievements.
Ending the second series with the revelation of Bob’s latest host body (not to spoil the identity to anyone who hasn’t quite managed to get through all twenty-nine episodes over the last couple of decades), the plot has always been ripe for development. Those alarmed that a third series may merely further the failures of the later second series might be comforted by the idea that a return to a heavily Cooper/Bob plot can be at worst a continuation of the diminished success and at best lift the legacy of the show back to its former glory. Either way, fans avidly await the 2016 release and its promised return to old storylines; perhaps it’s finally time to discover who on earth put that fish in the peculator…