There's every reason to be more intrigued than excited about the upcoming Twin Peaks revival, seeing as how the original cult classic ran out of steam shortly after it solved its culture-defining 'Who Killed Laura Palmer?' mystery. And that revivals of iconic series have tended to be more underwhelming of late rather than essential add-ons to the original show's legacy. Looking at you, X-Files/Arrested Development/Heroes and so forth.
But dammit it's new David Lynch! The elusive genius behind the original series, along with classic films including Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive and Eraserhead, is steering the ship of the new 18-episode comeback, and anything remotely Lynchian can't help but inspire avid watching. So, in light of news of a summer release date, crank up the Julee Cruise, sit back with your feet up in the Black Lodge, and gather to hear everything we know so far.
Twin Peaks returns to UK screens on May 22
Sky Atlantic is broadcasting the revival in a live simulcast on Monday May 22 at 2am, before being repeated Tuesday May 23 at 9pm, its regular timeslot.
Over in the US, the two-hour opener screens Sunday May 21, followed by two more episodes on May 28, and then regular one-hour installments from there on. The first episode will also screen at the Cannes Film Festival on May 25, with the cast and creators in attendance.
Pour us a damn fine cup of coffee. Twin Peaks is back with a simulcast, Monday 22 May at 2am, repeated Tuesday 23 May at 9pm. pic.twitter.com/yoPzp1tzp1
— Sky Atlantic (@skyatlantic) January 10, 2017
David Lynch and co-creator Mark Frost are both back
David Lynch has directed all 18 episodes of the revival, co-writing each one with Mark Frost.
The only footage we've seen so far involves doughnuts
The revival's second trailer was a characteristically oddity, merely showing David Lynch (or David Lynch as his Twin Peaks character Gordon Cole) enthusiastically eating a doughnut while the show's iconic theme song plays in the background. Good luck trying to decipher that!
Don't expect much else, either. Lynch has confirmed that he won't be releasing any 'traditional' trailers for the series.
What's it about?
Described as a direct sequel to the original series (with the 1992 film Fire Walk with Me having "some bearing" on the show, according to Frost), major details are unsurprisingly being kept under wraps. However, hints may lie in the novel The Secret History of Twin Peaks, which was released last year in advance of the revival.
Revealing details on what happened to the show's major characters following its second season, it also introduces a new character, Agent Tamara Preston, who has been assigned to investigate the disappearances of Agent Cooper, who hasn't been seen since venturing into the Black Lodge. Could she be the revival's new protagonist?
Pretty much every major actor is returning
April 2016 saw Showtime release a comprehensive list of actors appearing in the revival, including major cast members Kyle MacLachlan (Agent Dale Cooper), Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer), Sherilyn Fenn (Audrey Horne), Mädchen Amick (Shelly Johnson), James Marshall (James Hurley), Ray Wise (Leland Palmer), Grace Zabriskie (Sarah Palmer), Dana Ashbrook (Bobby Briggs), Peggy Lipton (Norma Jennings), Harry Dean Stanton (Carl Rodd), David Duchovny (Agent Denise Bryson), and Kimmy Robertson (Lucy Moran). The entire, 217-strong list can be found below.
It's easier to list the ones who aren't
Joan Chen, who played Josie Packard on the series, won't be returning, which is unsurprising as her character was last seen stuck in a drawer knob. Lara Flynn Boyle (the original show's Donna Hayward) also won't be returning, though that too shouldn't be surprising. She reportedly clashed so much with Lynch during the original series that he replaced her with actress Moira Kelly for the 1992 movie Fire Walk with Me.
Piper Laurie, who played Catherine Martell, is another performer who won't be around in the revival, despite her eagerness to return. But her remark on the snub to Entertainment Weekly did potentially indicate the show's tone:
"I did send a note to David that I would be delighted to return, but I think most of the material that I was in on the original didn't really involve the darker aspects of the show, and I can guess maybe that's where David and Mark Frost are going, but I really don't know. My character was more on the silly, comic, fun side."
Another major absentee will be Heather Graham, who portrayed beauty queen Annie Blackburn towards the end of the show's second season, even if Graham wishes she was.
"A lot of people have been asking me about that," she told Andy Cohen's Watch What Happens Live earlier this year. "I'm really excited to watch it, but I'm not on it, no. I wish!"
There are also some major names joining the cast
Some of the A-list stars joining the cast include Naomi Watts, Laura Dern, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth, Monica Bellucci and Amanda Seyfried. Some of the more oddball newbies include Michael Cera, Jim Belushi and Trent Reznor.
Robert Forster, who worked with Lynch in Mulholland Drive, will assume the role of Sheriff Harry Truman, original actor Michael Ontkean having retired in 2011.
"I got a call from my agents and they said, David Lynch is going to call you," Forster has said. "When he called me five minutes later, he said, 'I'd like you to come and work with me again." And I said, 'Whatever it is David, here I come!'"
There has also been online speculation that Dern is finally giving a face to Cooper's oft-mentioned secretary Diane, though the only factual information on that front is that Dern is apparently playing a "pivotal" character in the series.
The show's trademark score returns
Showtime confirmed in September that the show's original composer, Angelo Badalamenti, will also be back. His theme song won a Grammy back in 1991.
And so will the Log Lady!
Actress Catherine Coulson reportedly shot scenes for the revival before her death in September 2015, meaning the return of the series won't be missing an appearance from its iconic Log Lady. No word yet on whether her Log will also be along for the ride.