Twin Peaks Online

HOME -> FAQ -> General


General Questions:

G1. What is "Twin Peaks"? G2. What's so special about TP? G3. Why was TP canceled? G4. Where can I get videotapes/laserdiscs of TP? G5. Will TP ever be rebroadcast? G6. What does FWWM mean? MFAP? SDC? G7. TP has been off the air for years--why don't you people get a life? G8. Which TP actors have died? Answers: G1. What is "Twin Peaks"? "Twin Peaks" (hereafter referred to as TP) is a television series that ran on the ABC network in the US, and later in nearly every other country. In the US, it ran two "seasons" (from April 1990 through June 1991). See questions E1-E4 for information on specific episodes. Created and produced by the noted film director David Lynch ("Eraserhead", "Dune", "Blue Velvet" [see question L1 for a complete list]) and Mark Frost ("Hill Street Blues" [see question M1 for a complete list]), the series defies simple description. Part murder mystery, part soap opera spoof, part comedy, part supernatural drama, and part homage to classic movies and other cultural icons, TP is completely entertaining and engaging, filled with images, music, mood, and characters unlike any you've seen before (or since) on television. TOP of section ------------------------------------------------------------ G2. What's so special about TP? TP appeals to people for the many different aspects listed above. Most early viewers were attracted by Lynch's penchant for unusual themes in his films. Others were captivated by the visuals and the music. Many were fascinated with solving the Laura Palmer murder mystery. And those of us still addicted to the show revel in studying the subtleties of plot, mood, and meaning that become apparent with repeated viewing. Like all great TV ("The Prisoner", "Star Trek", "The Singing Detective") and all great art, TP holds up to more- than-casual study and provides fodder for endless contemplation and discussion. TOP of section ------------------------------------------------------------ G3. Why was TP canceled? We all know that quality TV does not last :^) Seriously, there were several factors which contributed to its low ratings and demise: - Media overkill: ABC hyped the series for months in advance of its premiere, and, despite being the darling of the critics and media, there was no way it could sustain such high interest. Many people watched TP because 'everyone' was talking about it and they wanted to be 'in'. These viewers abandoned it as soon as it lost its cachet, because they didn't find it inherently interesting. Meteoric rises in popularity are frequently followed by just as meteoric descents. - Episodes not self-contained: as a continuing serial, viewers were required to see every episode to know what was going on. Unlike traditional prime-time soap operas, TP did not recycle the same melodramatic themes over and over. Casual viewing was not supported. (In response to this, several shorter story arcs were introduced in the 2nd season--in fact, many feel that these detracted from the series.) - Scheduling chaos: when ABC continued to move TP's schedule around and put the show on hiatus during the second season, ratings continually declined. Combining a serial story line with a hard-to-find broadcast schedule spells disaster during today's 'immediate success or failure' ratings demands. - Pacing: many viewers focused on the Laura Palmer murder mystery thread, and got angrier and angrier that the murderer was not being revealed. Although it took 14 episodes over the course of 7 months for Laura's killer to be revealed, this was not unrealistic in terms of the plot since each episode corresponds to one day in 'TP time'. Thus the murder mystery was resolved in two weeks' time in the story. In fact, Lynch never intended to reveal the murderer (even though Mark Frost emphatically states the killer's identity was decided by he and Lynch from the very beginning). They stated that the murder was only meant to be the "McGuffin" that would expose the underside of the town and propel the series onward. (See question E17 if you want to know who killed Laura Palmer.) - Supernatural/science fiction element: TP intentionally had elements of a number of TV genres, but the media (and then the public) fastened on the Laura Palmer and expected TP to be like a traditional mystery series. When the supernatural/SF element surfaced, there were immediate complaints from viewers who felt this was either a cop-out (you can explain anything if you bring in the supernatural; Greek and Roman theater sometimes employed such a contrived solution, called 'deus ex machina'), or just didn't like supernatural stories. (Side note: although certain plot points in the early second season episodes hinted at possible 'outer space' connections, it is clearly stated in episode 19 that TP's odd events are terrestrially based.) - Unconventional style: while many complained that the show was "weird for weirdness sake", it is easy to see that TP's ground-breaking style in music, cinematography, and characterization was the forebear for popular shows that followed such as "Northern Exposure", "Eerie Indiana", "Stephen King's Golden Years", "Picket Fences", and "Wild Palms". Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? TOP of section ------------------------------------------------------------ G4. Where can I get videotapes/laserdiscs of TP? To a limited degree, everything is available on video and laserdisc. A boxed set of VHS tapes of all episodes is available, and people have had the most success finding them at Suncoast Motion Picture Company and Musicland outlets in the US (found in many shopping malls). WARNING: The "Collectors Edition" boxed set does NOT include the 2-hour pilot episode (see below), but it is available separately. WARNING WARNING: The "Collectors Edition" boxed set tapes are recorded in EP (slow) mode, and while most people find these tapes to be of decent quality, others have been disappointed. WARNING WARNING WARNING: Before the "Collectors Edition" of all 29 episodes was released, the same company (Worldvision) released the first 7 episodes ONLY on tapes in SP (fast) mode. When purchasing or ordering, check carefully with the catalog numbers below that you are getting what you want! (You have been warned.) If your video store does not have them, the detailed lists below will help you help your store (which may claim they've never heard of such a thing) place a special order. NOTE: The following are NOT available anywhere in the world as of this writing: - the original broadcast version of the pilot (two-hour movie)--see question E10 for a description of the differences between this and the "European" version of the pilot (however, this has been rebroadcast on TV around the world--see question G5) - any form of "director's cut" or extended version of "Fire Walk With Me" (see question F6) As of the date of this FAQ List, the following ARE available for purchase or rental: US releases (VHS videotape): --------------------------- a) the "European" version of the pilot (two-hour movie)--see question E10 for a description of the differences between this and the pilot as broadcast: - Warner Home Video, (catalog number TBS) b) the first season (seven one-hour episodes) in VHS SP (fast) mode: - individually, one episode per tape: - episode 1: Worldvision Home Video, catalog no. 5007 - episode 2: Worldvision Home Video, catalog no. 5008 - episode 3: Worldvision Home Video, catalog no. 5009 - episode 4: Worldvision Home Video, catalog no. 5010 - episode 5: Worldvision Home Video, catalog no. 5011 - episode 6: Worldvision Home Video, catalog no. 5012 - episode 7: Worldvision Home Video, catalog no. 5013 - in a "log" boxed set of the 7 tapes above: Worldvision Home Video, catalog no. 5014 c) both seasons (seven one-hour episodes from 1st season, one two-hour episode (#8) and 21 one-hour episodes from 2nd season) in VHS EP (slow) mode: - five episodes per tape: - episodes 1-5: Worldvision Home Video, catalog no. 5059, 235 minutes - episodes 6-9: Worldvision Home Video, catalog no. 5060, 237 minutes (episode 8 is the 2-hour second season premiere) - episodes 10-14: Worldvision Home Video, catalog no. 5061, 243 minutes - episodes 15-19: Worldvision Home Video, catalog no. 5062, 242 minutes - episodes 20-24: Worldvision Home Video, catalog no. 5063, 241 minutes - episodes 25-29: Worldvision Home Video, catalog no. 5064, 243 minutes (episodes 28 and 29 were originally broadcast together as the 2-hour "movie" series finale on ABC) - in a boxed set of the 6 tapes above: Worldvision Home Video, catalog no. 5070, 1441 minutes NOTE: The following are NOT available in the US as of this writing: - the 2nd season episodes on videotape in SP (fast) mode (Both the original broadcast pilot and 2nd season episodes have been rebroadcast on the Bravo cable station (US and Canada)--see question G5.) d) prequel movie "Fire Walk With Me" (theatrical version): - New Line Home Video, (catalog number 75843), not widescreen (not letterboxed) US releases (laserdisc): ----------------------- e) the "European" version of the pilot (two-hour movie)--see question E10 for a description of the differences between this and the pilot as broadcast: - Warner Home Video, catalog no. 35198, CLV, 113 minutes f) both seasons (seven one-hour episodes from 1st season, one two-hour episode (#8) and 21 one-hour episodes from 2nd season): - episodes 1-7: Image Entertainment, catalog number ID2202WV, 4 discs (7 sides), CLV, 334 minutes, titled "Twin Peaks Vol. 1" - episodes 8-14: Image Entertainment, catalog number ID2571WV, 4 discs, 8 sides (CLV), 384 minutes, titled "Twin Peaks Vol. 2" - episodes 15-22: Image Entertainment, catalog number ID2750WV, 4 discs, 8 sides (CLV), 384 minutes, titled "Twin Peaks Vol. 3" - episodes 23-29: Image Entertainment, catalog number ID2751WV, 4 discs, 7 sides (CLV), 336 minutes, titled "Twin Peaks Vol. 4" g) prequel movie "Fire Walk With Me" (theatrical version): - Image Entertainment, catalog number ID2335LI, 2 discs (3 sides), sides 1 and 2 CLV, side 3 CAV, widescreen (letterboxed) version, 134 minutes NOTE: some people have been disappointed that the FWWM US laserdisc "letterboxed" version has part of the picture "cut off" at the top and bottom of the screen--details (none significant) which are visible in the VHS and Japanese laserdisc versions. For technical details of letterboxing and aspect ratios of motion pictures transferred to video, please refer to the rec.video, rec.video.releases, and alt.video.laserdisc newsgroups. Japanese releases (NTSC laserdisc): ---------------------------------- h) both seasons on Japanese laserdiscs (NTSC) WITH JAPANESE SUBTITLES: - Amuse Video/Pioneer LDC, catalog number ASLF-1029, 15 discs, 29 sides (CLV), titled "Twin Peaks Set: 29 Episodes", includes an 8-inch laserdisc "Clues to the Mystery", ALL IN JAPANESE, which includes diagrams of Cooper's movements in the Red Room(s) during episode 29. (Refer to Jerry Boyajian's posted review for details of the other Japanese language "extras" included in the set--e-mail Jim for a copy of the review.) i) prequel movie "Fire Walk With Me" (theatrical version): - Japanese laserdisc WITH JAPANESE SUBTITLES: (distributor and catalog number TBS) European releases (PAL videotape): --------------------------------- The following information is courtesy of Marco Aarts (M.F.A.Aarts@kub.nl), contact him if you have further questions on the European videos. "The UK videos are by Worldvision and produced by Screen Entertainment. There are ten tapes for the series and another, published by Warner Home Video, for the pilot. There are 2 UK versions of the pilot, but I have only one. They both contain the alternative ("European") ending." j) the "European" version of the pilot (two-hour movie)--see question E10 for a description of the differences between this and the pilot as broadcast: - Warner Home Video, catalog no. PES35198 k) both seasons (seven one-hour episodes from 1st season, one two-hour episode (#8) and 21 one-hour episodes from 2nd season) on PAL video: - Episodes 1-3: Screen Entertainment, catalog no. SE 9141 - Episodes 4-6: Screen Entertainment, catalog no. SE 9142 - Episodes 7-8: Screen Entertainment, catalog no. SE 9143 (episode 8 is the 2-hour second season premiere) - Episodes 9-11: Screen Entertainment, catalog no. SE 9144 - Episodes 12-14: Screen Entertainment, catalog no. SE 9145 - Episodes 15-17: Screen Entertainment, catalog no. SE 9146 - Episodes 18-20: Screen Entertainment, catalog no. SE 9147 - Episodes 21-23: Screen Entertainment, catalog no. SE 9148 - Episodes 24-26: Screen Entertainment, catalog no. SE 9149 - Episodes 27-29: Screen Entertainment, catalog no. SE 9150 l) prequel movie "Fire Walk With Me" (theatrical version): - Guild Home Video, catalog no. G8692B Australian releases (PAL videotape): ----------------------------------- Info courtesy of Stephen Kerr (kerr@world.net): A box set of eight videos containing the entire series has been released in Australia through CEL Entertainment: Volume 1 Eps. 1-4 (1001-1004) Volume 2 Eps. 5-7 (1005-1007) Volume 3 Eps. 8-10 (2001-2003) Volume 4 Eps. 11-14 (2004-2007) Volume 5 Eps. 15-18 (2008-2011) Volume 6 Eps. 19-22 (2012-2015) Volume 7 Eps. 23-26 (2016-2019) Volume 8 Eps. 27-29 (2020-2021) Produced by Worldvision Home Video, but apparently marketed in Australia by CEL Entertainment. The cost is $99.95 Australian. Other foreign releases ---------------------- Information on other foreign video releases TBS--anyone with details including catalog numbers please e-mail Jim at the address at the top of the file. TOP of section ------------------------------------------------------------ G5. Will TP ever be rebroadcast? Yes. The series is being rebroadcast in various countries. Watch the alt.tv.twin-peaks newsgroup for the latest announcements. In the United States, the Bravo cable network concluded its 3-year licensed run of the series with its Halloween '96 marathon. At this time, there are no known scheduled broadcasts in the United States. Watch the alt.tv.twin-peaks newsgroup for announcements. NOTE: The Canadian and UK Bravo! cable channels are not to be confused with the US Bravo cable channel. The Candian Bravo channel continues to broadcast the series from time to time. When you post an announcement or question about one of the Bravo channels in the alt.tv.twin-peaks newsgroup, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE specify WHICH Bravo channel (US, Canadian, UK) you mean! If you have information on upcoming rebroadcast schedules, please post the information in the alt.tv.twin-peaks newsgroup, so that others may be able to watch or tape it. TOP of section ------------------------------------------------------------ G6. What does FWWM mean? MFAP? SDC? Here are some of the more popular abbreviations you'll see in alt.tv.twin-peaks: DFC: Damn fine coffee FWWM: Fire Walk With Me (the 'prequel' TP movie, see question F1) HST: Harry S. Truman (the Sheriff) ITL: Invitation To Love (soap opera spoof appearing in first season, see question E27) LMFAP: Little Man From Another Place (the dwarf in the Red Room) [admittedly not a politically correct name, but you will see it in old net files] MFAP: same as LMFAP TMFAP: The Man From Another Place (same as above two) SDC: Senor Droolcup (the old waiter at the Great Northern, Albert referred to him this way in one episode) WE: Windom Earle WKLP: Who killed Laura Palmer? TOP of section ------------------------------------------------------------ G7. TP has been off the air for years--why don't you people get a life? Several times a year, it seems, someone stumbles across the alt.tv.twin-peaks newsgroup and posts a query as to why we are still discussing a "dead" TV series. See question G2 above. "The Prisoner" and "Star Trek" (TOS) are just two examples of "dead" TV shows that continue to generate interest and discussion. To put it politely, if you didn't like TP and don't see any reason in our continuing to discuss it, kindly refrain from reading this newsgroup. TOP of section ------------------------------------------------------------ G8. Which TP actors have died? - Frank Silva (BOB) died of a heart attack in '96. - Jack Nance (Pete Martell) died in '97 from head injuries (apparently) suffered in a fight in a donut shop near his home in Los Angeles. - John Boylan (Mayor Dwayne Milford) died in '95. - Hank Worden (Room Service Waiter AKA "Sen~or Droolcup") died in '95. Despite persistent rumors, Harry Goaz (Deputy Andy Brennan) has NOT died. TOP of section ============================================================