Proving once again that the "Twin Peaks" rebirthing process has been anything but normal, or smooth, co-creator Mark Frost recently told a writer for the Baseball Hall of Fame that the Showtime series will air in 2017. That -- of course -- is in stark contrast to Showtime's earlier declaration -- which was clearly an assumption -- that the arrival date would fall in 2016.
This news broke yesterday even though Frost's comments appeared on the Hall of Fame's website on June 30. (He was in Cooperstown because he's a huge baseball fan.)
Here's what Frost -- who is working on the series with David Lynch -- told BHOF:
"We had 32 hours back in 1991-92, and with my partner David Lynch we kind of blew open that genre of the nighttime soap and took it in a whole other direction. A lot of people always look back at 'Twin Peaks' and say that was the start of this explosion we've had in good television drama, but we did it in a time when there were still only three networks. The challenge for us is to try and come back and raise the bar above what we did the last time. We're coming back with season three of 'Twin Peaks' after a 25-year absence. We've finished the scripts, we start production in September, and that will be coming out on Showtime sometime in 2017."
Showtime is declining comment.
Yes, this has been a fascinating process indeed: Lynch seemed to indicate that he might back out (via Twitter) but apparently that was just a pothole in the negotiation process. (He's back on board, and never even left the production.)
Showtime then boosted the production order from nine episodes to eighteen, which indicates that this will be split in two seasons -- so, 2017 and 2018.
Meanwhile, there continues to be speculation about who is returning to the cast -- Piper Laurie, perhaps? Or Chris Mulkey? Or Lara Flynn Boyle? Mädchen Amick? (Kyle MacLachlan is indeed on board.)
Naturally, they will all be 25 years older, so how that affects the story or their roles in it remains a subject of speculation as well ...
Does the delay indicate set problems? Or creative ones? That is certainly possible, although it seems to me a more plausible explanation is that all the partners want to get this right -- the stakes are indeed enormous, and so is the opportunity. And as Frost notes, the world has moved on: Television drama has far advanced on the evolutionary scale from those innocent times when "Peaks" was such a a quantum departure from the normal primetime diet (of "MacGyver").
In fact, there were four networks at the time --- and it's hard to imagine that "The X Files," which arrived in 1993, would have ever launched without the trailblazer "Peaks." (And, of course, the reboot of "Files" is now forthcoming.)
So: big stakes, big opportunity. Another year won't matter all that much -- just whet interest even more.