Blu-ray Review: Twin Peaks: The Original Series, Fire Walk With Me & The Missing Pieces
By John Corrado
When the dead body of local high schooler Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) is found wrapped in plastic in the small logging town of Twin Peaks, FBI Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) is tasked with investigating the murder, unravelling an increasingly strange mystery that enwraps the denizens of the eccentric American border town.
This is the setup for Twin Peaks, a series that continues to both entertain and fascinate in equal measure. Featuring all thirty episodes from both seasons of the show that ran between 1990 and 1991, as well as the divisive 1992 prequel film Fire Walk With Me, and the 2014 feature Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces, which edits together deleted scenes from the film, this new Blu-ray set offers the perfect chance to revisit the series in all its glory.
Created by David Lynch and Mark Frost, Twin Peaks is still a fascinating work to explore, offering up ample mysteries, and all the more intriguing for the fact that it doesn’t set out to solve them all. Cited by the Duffer Brothers as one of the big influences behind their modern hit Stranger Things, and being revived for a third season next year on Showtime, the pop cultural influence of Twin Peaks can still be felt, and the series is undoubtedly responsible for helping usher in television’s current golden age.
The expertly crafted pilot episode, appearing here in both its highly recommended original form and the extended international version which was released theatrically in Europe, does an excellent job of setting up this highly unique world and the equally memorable characters that inhabit it. Because of the show’s immense popularity and cliffhanger ending after the eight episode first season, the station renewed it for another 22 episodes, but was insistent that the central murder mystery be solved partway through the second season. The series ended up cut short after only two seasons, which gave way to Fire Walk With Me, a box office dud upon its release that is now rightfully recognized as a misunderstood cult classic.
From Kyle MacLachlan’s perfectly pitched performance as the idealistic and pie-loving special agent, to the iconic theme music and obsessions with food, Twin Peaks still envelopes us in its atmospheric mix of mystery and pitch black humour, crafting a world filled with strange characters that is equal parts dream and nightmare. It’s mesmerizing and addictive stuff that is as good as anything being put out nowadays, remaining one of the most challenging, artistically creative and all around best TV series of all time.
Bonus features on the nine-disc Blu-ray set include optional introductions by the Log Lady (Catherine E. Coulson) on every episode, which were added when the series was syndicated on Bravo, as well as promo videos, image galleries, deleted scenes and other featurettes spread across the discs. Although the show itself is highly recommended in any form, this release comes on the heels of the Entire Mystery box set from 2014, removing a disc of extras and repackaging it in a fairly cheap plastic case to make it more affordable, so fans will have to decide which one to invest in.
Twin Peaks: The Original Series, Fire Walk With Me & The Missing Pieces is a Paramount release. The Original Series is rated 14A, and Fire Walk With Me is 134 minutes and rated 18A.