Sunday 24 August 2014

Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery

Who Killed Laura Palmer?

That was the tag line to Twin Peaks when it first aired back in 1990. This was long before the spoiler filled world of the internet, so viewers keen on finding out the answer to that question had to wait a year and a half until it was revealed. Created by acclaimed director David Lynch and Mark Frost, Twin Peaks was cancelled after its two-season run. Though infamous for having a string of dud episodes during the latter half of its second season, everything else that came from the series has been praised, both by fans and critics alike. The series follows special agent Dale Cooper who is assigned to the case of a murdered girl at Twin Peaks. What starts out as a simple “whodunnit?” slowly but surely manifests into something utterly surreal. Blending dark comedy, drama and mystery, Twin Peaks features a diverse cast of characters, and a plot that gets incredibly supernatural. Spawning a prequel film entitled Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, the Twin Peaks franchise is truly something that should have continued. Though there have been many DVD and Blu-Ray releases of Twin Peaks related material in recent years, this new release is quite literally the most definitive piece of Twin Peaks media ever. Here's the best of what's included in Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery.

Better Quality: First off, everything included in this release has been remastered from the original negatives, making the picture quality look even better than what we saw in the Twin Peaks: Definitive Gold Box Edition. In doing this remaster Twin Peaks does sadly lose the highly memorable brown and yellow tones that accompanied its early 90's blurry TV broadcast. That said, it’s the best looking Twin Peaks yet.

Log Lady introductions to each episode: When the series was syndicated to Bravo, Lynch created “Log Lady introductions”; intro monologues to each episode starring the Log Lady, the bizarre woman who appears in Twin Peaks cradling a log. These introductions haven't been seen in any release until now, and they're interesting, weird and an exciting piece of new content for Twin Peaks fans.

US and International pilot episodes: Though the series has been available on Blu-Ray before, a number of releases have omitted the pilot episode due to issues with the rights. But with this recent release, Lynch has chosen to not only include the typical US version of the pilot that sets up the series, but also the rarely seen European cut. The European cut offers a different ending, and ultimately reveals the killer of Laura Palmer. Though this version is non-canon, it's an interesting curiosity nonetheless.

Season one and two: As fully expected, The Entire Mystery includes all 30 episodes of Twin Peaks. Like I said before, the latter half of season two is hit and miss, but everything else is truly gold. From the first dream Cooper has which places him in “The Red Room” face to face with the backwards speaking “Man from Another Place”, to the terrifying reveal of Laura Palmers killer, never before (or since) has a TV series delivered such a level of excellence. No scenes are extended or added here, so what you get is what aired way back when in 1990. But that's fine by me; it's perfect!

Season one and two image galleries: Previously unseen images of behind-the-scenes of Twin Peaks, directly from David Lynch's own personal collection.

Season one and two deleted scenes and out-takes: Many (if not all!) of these have been seen before, but it's still a welcome feature for hardcore and regular fans alike.

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me: This is the prequel film of Twin Peaks, focusing on the last days of Laura Palmer life. While it got a massive critical and fan backlash upon release, it is now considered a hidden gem by many. While the series was sometimes quirky and offbeat with its humour, Fire Walk With Me is much darker, and delves into some pretty grisly themes such as drug abuse and rape. Much like the series nothing new has been added, but it is now presented in stunning 4K clarity.

The Missing Pieces: If you're a true Twin Peaks fan then you'll already know what this is. For the uninitiated, back when Fire Walk With Me was released, what we received was a heavily edited down version of what was in the original script. While certain scenes served no real use, others fleshed out certain aspects of Fire Walk With Me that ultimately led the film to feeling somewhat unfinished. After a legal tussle that has gone on for over 20 years, these scenes can finally be seen, and in high definition no less! The Missing Pieces compiles all of these scenes into an hour and half of Twin Peaks gold. Yes, an hour and a half! If you're like me the sheer prospect of that is making your mouth water. The scenes are worth the wait too, as they cover a whole range of stuff, including more detail on what happened to Philip “David Bowie” Jeffries, Dale Cooper speaking with Diane, scenes of TV series regulars Harry Truman, Josie Packard and Hawk, more Red Room footage and new insights as to what happened after the season 2 finale. From start to finish all of this content is gold dust. Incredible!!!

A Slice of Lynch: An hour with David Lynch chatting to various members of the cast, and musing over various topics regarding Twin Peaks. It's an interesting insight into the man behind the series, and his thoughts on CBS pushing him to reveal Laura Palmer's killer, and how he thinks it was a huge misstep, is especially captivating.

Secrets From Another Place: Creating Twin Peaks: A four parted documentary that brings the viewer from the creation of the pilot, scoring the music and ending the series with season two. Though I would have preferred if it were a little more in-depth, it satisfies nonetheless.

Beyond Two Worlds: A 40-minute two-parted segment that has Lynch interviewing the actors who played the three members of the Palmer family; Sheryl Lee, Ray Wise and Grace Zabriskie. However, in classic Lynch fashion he interviews them while they're in character, which results in some rather creepy yet enjoyable musings of how certain characters are doing after death.

Moving Through Time: Fire Walk With Me Memories: A great short, half hour retrospective of Fire Walk With Me. It's nice to see Lynch putting focus on his forgotten master-work, but it's a shame that it's just so short.

Atmospherics: These are great. They're 10 short video and music montages of Twin Peaks related themes. Over cut with various pieces of music and voices from the show, and played over a backdrop of pine trees blowing in the air and neon signs swinging in a cool breeze, these “atmospherics” nicely capture the mood and feel of what is Twin Peaks.

Overall this new release is a must have, simple as. There's more in the box set beyond all of this, but this is the majority of what makes it so damn special. If you're a fan of Twin Peaks, The Entire Mystery is essential, absolutely essential. However, if you've never seen it before then you're in for a treat. With this box set you will get the most complete Twin Peaks experience ever. From watching the Log Lady introductions in high definition, Fire Walk With Me's heart breaking finale in stunning 4K clarity, to the long awaited The Missing Pieces extra, I can't stress enough how much you need this. Twin Peaks is a series that rewards the viewer for re-watching it. Whether it's characters nuances or previously unnoticed symbolism, Twin Peaks is a long lasting investment. After all, to paraphrase “The Man From Another Place” – ‘It's filled with secrets...

Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery is essential and gets a 5/5.


Denis Murphy

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