The drama series premiered in 1990 and redefined television history. It has a gory storyline – a local beauty pageant winner is found brutally murdered in a small community in the fictional wooded town of ‘Twin Peaks’ somewhere near Washington. The crime shakes up the community who have never seen anything like this before. It also brings FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper to the scene to investigate.
It is wooded countryside with such lovely visuals – one can feel the nip in the air. The majestic trees – Douglas Firs we are informed – catch your imagination as Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) wades into the mystery that has shattered a quiet rustic community. The opening soundtrack by Angelo Badalamenti captures the mood as we see the key visuals on the screen – a lumber mill, the majestic mountains, the lovely waterfalls ( a shot of the Snoqualmie Falls) and finally the closing images of still waters that seem to run deep.
Cooper makes an instant friendship with the town’s lead cop – Sheriff Harry S Truman. Cooper’s antics amuse Sheriff’s team as he talks about Buddhism and Tibetan people inspiring him to evolve an investigation method that is an intriguing coordination of the mind and the body with a deep-seated intuition driving things forward. It appears to be a lot of weird mumbo-jumbo but the team plays along with Cooper. They are essentially a bunch of nice people who are curious on what he will achieve.
Despite his quirks Cooper makes a trademark police investigation – he gets to know the victim, her family and friends, her personality and the circumstances that culminated in her brutal murder. So we have the usual suspects and lot of red herrings thrown along building our interest in what seems to be a police procedural. The first season had 8 episodes and really held the audience’s interest.
Gradually the series focus shifts from crime to drama as we get involved with the lives of the people and the town. The murder investigation holds it all as a tool and recedes from the focus. For all the twists n turns we get a feeling that the unmasking of the murderer is some distance off as it would possibly mark the end of the series.
Of all the personal dramas only a few catch popular interest – the budding romance between Cooper and Audrey Home had good appeal though it was headed off and Lucy Moran (the slightly immature blonde receptionist at the police station) juggling her relationship between Deputy Andy Brennan and Dick Tremayne too held our interest.
The tone of the series changes to echo interest in the supernatural and some horrifying mysteries. Cooper far from being the rationalist employs bizarre tools to mouth his clues that then unravel through the episode. This structure becomes preposterous as we ride along. Particularly after the murderer is revealed the audience simply loses interest and the story takes bizarre leaps and jumps to claw back into the popularity ratings.
That added to the disappointment whereby the plug was finally pulled rather snappishly in the series at the end of Season 2. The final episode left us with some riveting puzzles that are now being cashed upon to draw a revival 25 years down the road. The new series premieres in May this year and undoubtedly many are curious on what it hold for us.