ANTONY SMITH

Way, way back in 1990, David Lynch and Mark Frost's outrageously idiosyncratic show that redefined the quality of television with its cerebral plot lines, colourful characters and morbidly fascinating mystery of "Who Killed Laura Palmer?" was a cult hit that transgressed to the mainstream and into popular culture. Music composer Angelo Badalamenti, creator of the iconic score for Twin Peaks as well as many of Lynch's other atmospheric scores, told Rolling Stone; "It was really off the wall. I thought it was either going to sink violently down the drain or, hopefully, capture the intrigue of enthusiastic people conversing by the office water cooler on a Monday morning." Well, it's on its way back to Showtime with nine new episodes to amaze and puzzle us once again.

Both Lynch and Frost put speculation to rest with mutual Tweets on October 3rd: "Dear Twitter Friends: That gum you like is going to come back in style. #damngoodcoffee.”  Even Kyle MacLachlan joined in a few days later to suggest he will he reprising his role: "Better fire up that percolator and find my black suit 🙂 #Twinpeaks". It is still under wraps which original cast members will return. Perhaps the cherry stalk tongue-tying vixen Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) will be reincarnated, the transvestite detective played by David Duchovny or even Sheryl Lee could pop up as another uncannily identical family member. Other supporting characters like eyepatch wearing Nadine Hurley (Wendy Robie) with super-human strength, the enlightened 'Log Lady' or a long-haired Bob would be sorely missed if not a part of the action.

The ingenious blend of crime drama and soap opera of Twin Peaks created a host of unanswered questions following the series' cancellation in 1991 after a two season run. Why did random characters including Agent Dale Cooper (MacLachlan) have seizures? What happened to Jocelyn Packard and why did her spirit get trapped in the furniture? Was Laura Palmer's ominous statement of "I'll see you again in 25 years" actually a prediction of this third season coming to fruition? Anything is possible in the town of Twin Peaks, with a population of 51,201. Well, roughly estimated as a lot of unexplained phenomena, disappearances and deaths have unnaturally occurred there.

Not wanting to give up so soon on the phantasmagorical world, the prequel/sequel Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me in 1992. Sadly, it didn't quite hit the mark at the Cannes Film Festival with fans, such as Quentin Tarantino, giving it scathingly negative reviews. The story examined the days leading up to Laura Palmer's murder and then circled round to Cooper's doppelgänger possessed by Bob from the Black Lodge at the end of season two. Earlier this year a special DVD and Blu-ray edition of Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery also brought a fresh perspective to the narrative and multiple question marks floating about. Lynch himself interviewed the actors of the fated Palmer family: Leland (Ray Wise), Sarah (Grace Zabriskie) and Laura (Sheryl Lee) in character, as well as their own views on the spellbinding show in one of the featurettes Between Two Worlds.

Many other shows have reflected their influence of Twin Peaks. Desperate Housewives (which also featured MacLachlan) centred around the mystery of a dead woman in a soap opera context. The Killing even had a similar question of 'Who Killed Rosie Larsen?' at the heart of the programme's homicidal investigation. The avid fanbase has transcended from the television set to themed festivals in Washington, Stockholm and the UK which offers tours, celebrity guests and dedicated screenings. Just like the Star Trek 'Trekkies' the 'Peakies' (a term coined for the fanatical taking their interest further and discussing the show via posts in an 'alt.hypertext' online newsgroup, pre-internet chat room and forums) are still out there.

The Twin Peaks legacy continues in 2016.