Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks and the Film/Television Divide

Open Library for Humanities
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Open Library of Humanities, 2017, 3 (1)
Issue Date:
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In 1992, the year David Lynch’s cult television series Twin Peaks was pulled off air, Lynch released the film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, a prequel to the television series which filled in some of the gaps left from the series finale cliff-hanger. The film was received with unanimously negative reviews from critics and fans alike, condemning both its subtle and obvious deviations from the series and its inclusion of the character Laura Palmer, whose absence was a crucial narrative device at the centre of Twin Peaks. In film form, the Twin Peaks narrative suffers from thematic inconsistencies and aesthetic deviations. The scope of Twin Peaks seems much more capable in the setting of television and its gradual, episodic set-up. In recent years, however, with the announcement of a revival of the series, retrospective analysis of Fire Walk with Me has become more positive, and the film has also become an integral part of the overall Twin Peaks canon. Nevertheless, the transition from television to film in the case of Twin Peaks has remained a point of fan and scholarly controversy, with issues of continuity, narrative and aesthetics between the two different mediums continually being addressed and compared. In light of the news that the new season of Twin Peaks is set to be released in 2017, this article examines the significance of Fire Walk with Me as a cinematic counterpart and prequel to the original series, and how this has helped shape – whether positively or not – the overall narrative of Twin Peaks.
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