The David Lynch mindbender arrives in high-def and 7.1 surround sound. And finally whole -- TV movie pilot (with European feature version) and 29 episodes, plus big-screen prequel "Fire Walk With Me." Bonus bounty: many making-ofs, deleted scenes, signature strangeness. List price: $110 Blu-ray for 10 discs, out today from CBS/Paramount.
Does "Twin Peaks" still stand as the strangest series ever made by a broadcast network? Well, is anything better than a slice of pie with a cup of joe?
"Peaks" remains one of TV's most mesmerizing and influential adult sagas -- a hallucinatory mix of murder mystery, small-town chicanery, pheromonal sexuality, hypnotic atmospherics and mind-game surreality.
Viewers on hand when "Peaks" hit prime time like lightning in April 1990 can probably still hear Angelo Badalamenti's eerily tranquil tonal score wafting through the Douglas firs of the saga's Northwest setting. Talk about heightened reality -- modern teens groomed like '50s sex symbols, the Log Lady cradling her ever-present wood companion, the backwards-talking dwarf in the supernatural Red Room.
Weird then. Weird now. And finally: high-definition weirdness. "Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery" makes its Blu-ray debut today -- its stunning ABC-TV-movie pilot in the same intricate flip-board box as the subsequent episodes and feature film from out-there movie director David Lynch ("Blue Velvet") and tube-savvy co-creator Mark Frost ("Hill Street Blues").
Who killed Laura Palmer? That was the hook, when the teen's naked corpse was found, wrapped in plastic, on a Washington lakeside. On the case: FBI oddball Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), a detail-obsessed dictation-head who dreams in case-clue symbolism, alongside strangely normal local sheriff Harry S. Truman (Michael Ontkean). Around them: the eccentric citizens of the title mill town, who populate its pie-and-coffee Double R Diner, the mountaintop Great Northern lodge and -- oh, yes -- several alternate dimensions.
Clearly this was no standard crime drama and/or soap opera. More like some indie-film apparition. The languid pace. The "cool jazz" underscore. The character peculiarities. The cinematic visuals. Never mind the iconography and mise-en-scène. "Twin Peaks" turned its fans into film buffs, analyzing Lynchian motifs of mill blades and waterfalls, amid a signature mood of unsettling idiosyncrasy.
No wonder "Twin Peaks" became a water cooler sensation, and a cult fave, launching books, fanzines and, eventually, websites to parse its every carefully figured frame. DVD was a godsend to the faithful. And now Blu-ray brings more detailed resolution to this unique show's sight and sound.
If not to its nutso narrative.
REVISITING DAVID LYNCH'S SERIAL MINDBENDER
If ever a TV series begged on-disc extras, it's "Twin Peaks." Piecemeal home video releases led to 2007's "Gold Box" DVD ($40-ish at Amazon), collecting Log Lady intros from the cable run and hours of making-of insights. But today's initial Blu-ray release digs even deeper.
"A Slice of Lynch: Uncut" is a new hour of auteur David Lynch at a log-lodge bar chatting up stars Kyle MacLachlan and Mädchen Amick, plus Lynch crew mainstay John Wentworth. They assess the show's creative advances, unlikely success and major misstep: solving Laura Palmer's murder (under network pressure).
"There was room for many other mysteries, but that mystery was sacred and it held the other ones," laments Lynch.
"Between Two Worlds" is a 40-minute two-parter. Sheryl Lee, Ray Wise and Grace Zabriskie look back at their roles, after their on-screen "Palmer family" informs Lynch where they are today (mostly dead).
Feature film "Fire Walk With Me" debuts on Blu-ray with fresh extras: 90 minutes of deleted scenes, half-hour retrospective.
Transport yourself to Twin Peaks with the "Atmospherics" loop of signature images/sounds: trees, pie, coffee, owls, water, The Red Room.