Twin Peaks returns for finale

By Mike Hughas, Gannett News-Service, TV Times, June 8, 1991

PDF File
Download as PDF

It was a swirling ride through the nearby neighborhoods of fame and failure.

In 15 months, "Twin Peaks" was praised and copied and canceled. That left people clutching carnival and circus metaphors.

"We just kind of went along for a roller coaster ride, along with everybody else," producer Mark Frost said during the "Peaks" peak. "And had a lot of fun with it."

It was shaky fun, he granted. "You start to feel kind of like the guy on top of the human pyramid of.the Flying Wallenda family."

Either metaphor will do. Roller coasters hit bottom; the Wallendas crashed. Now "Peaks" is leaving, after a brief and dazzling life.

The last two hours will be bunched into a new movie, at 9 p.m. Monday June 10 on ABC. "Peaks" will wrap things up and fade away.

Still, "Twin Peaks" never quite wraps up anything. It also never really fades.

There has been talk of a revival, fueled by European interest. There has also been respect for the show's legacy.

Brandon Tartikoff put it prophetically last summer, when he was still program chief at NBC.

"I don't know if 'Twin Peaks' is ultimately going to work for ABC," Tartikoff said, "but I will say that was a very important night, when that show went on ...

"It said, at least tor one time, that there was somebody who had presented television in a way that it hadn't been presented ... And that's a terrific achievement."

David Lynch–Frost's partner and the "Peaks" mastermind–was soon famous.

Networks were talking to other stylish filmmakers, from Ridley Scott to Jim McBride. Careers had soared.

There were young "Peaks" actors, who caught on instantly. Suddenly, the world was fascinated by Sheryl Lee, Dana Ashbrook and Lara Flynn Boyle.

Between seasons, Lynch went a step further. While filming Obsession perfume commercials, he turned two of the actors into "Peaks" regulars.

Lynch suddenly picked Heather Graham as the new love interest for FBI Agent Dale Cooper "He just saw something in the commercial," Graham marvels, "some kind of enigma."

He picked lan Buchanan to play a British fop, complete with ascot and attitude. "I think he's completely hilarious," said Buchanan, who finished one episode with a weasel stuck to his nose. "It gets funnier and funnier. "

On the opposite end of the age spectrum, Lynch has recycled several actors. In movies, he salvaged Dennis Hopper and Diane Ladd; in "Twin Peaks," there's Piper Laurie and, especially, Russ Tamblyn.

At his peak, Tamblyn was a child star turned teen hunk. He did "West Side Story," receive an Academy Award nomination for "Peyton Place," turned down "Gilligan's Island," and played "Tom Thumb."