Twin Peaks on Showtime: Exec Producer Mark Frost Talks Returning Cast, Storyline and (Much) More

Twin Peaks on Showtime Cast

In the series finale of Twin Peaks, the late Laura Palmer looked into Agent Cooper’s eyes in the infamous Red Room and promised, “I’ll see you again in 25 years.”

Girlfriend’s keeping her promise!

Earlier today, Showtime announced that it had ordered a nine-episode continuation of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s seminal drama series, to debut in 2016 — AKA the 25th anniversary of that fateful episode.

Were the seeds for this revival really planted back in 1991? That’s just one of the burning questions Frost tackles in the following Q&A.

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TVLINE | For about two years now, rumors have been circulating about a Twin Peaks revival being in the works. How long have you and David been formulating this?
David and I stayed in touch and remained closed friends throughout all these years. It was about three years ago this summer we were having lunch at [famed Hollywood eatery] Musso & Frank, where we often used to go. And we were just kicking stuff around and we started getting some ideas in our heads about Twin Peaks. Suddenly, it felt like a place we wanted to visit again. And that was the kickoff.

TVLINE | Was Showtime the first place you went?
We didn’t go to anybody else. Showtime was the first and only [network] we spoke to about this. There was a nice sense of continuity there, because Gary Levine, who’s the right-hand man to [Showtime president] David Nevins, was our [creative] representative on the show when we were on ABC. We’ve known Gary a long time. We trust Gary. We like Gary. We had a really great meeting with them. And David [Lynch] really loved the artwork on David [Nevins]’ office walls. And they loved the show. And that’s how it all came to be.

TVLINE | Just to confirm, this is not a remake, correct? It’s a continuation, like TNT’s Dallas?
It is not a remake. The story continues. The seeds of where we go were planted where we’ve been.

TVLINE | In the series finale, Laura Palmer tells Agent Cooper in the Red Room, “I’ll see you again in 25 years.” That can’t be a coincidence, can it?
When you see it, you’ll know.

25

TVLINE | Are you looking at this as Season 3 of Twin Peaks?
Not really, but just because my brain doesn’t work that way. I’ve always said that Twin Peaks to me was like a novel we filmed every page of. So this is more like we found another volume of the saga, and now we want to bring that to life too.

TVLINE | Will the nine episodes revolve around a new mystery?
If I told you that I would have to give the Kill command to the Predator drones that are circling your house now. And that wouldn’t be cool. [Laughs]

TVLINE | Will the world of Fire Walk With Me be considered a part of the “Canon”?
I think it should be. It’s definitely part of the mythology of the show, and it reflects the work that was done before and it will have some bearing on the work as we go forward.

TVLINE | Is it your goal to bring back as many of the original cast as possible?
Those who want to see old faces, and those would like to see new faces, none of them will be disappointed. It’s far too early to talk specifics about people. We’re not at that stage in the process.

BobTVLINE | In the past 25 years, several cast members have passed away, most notably former set dresser turned scariest TV character ever, Frank Silva (AKA Killer Bob). How will you handle that loss?
I can’t really say. That’s a tough one to go into without giving away too much.

TVLINE | In his book Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks, journalist Brad Dukes explored some of the issues that may have compromised the storytelling of Season 2 and the longevity of the show. There was a lot of pressure from ABC to wrap up the murder, and both you and David were being pulled away by other projects. With both of you fully on board and committed to these nine episodes, would you say that show might lean back towards the heights of Season 1?
That would certainly be our goal and intention… We decided at that first lunch that if we were going to do this it had to be the two of us. It started with us and we felt it was only right if it continued with the two of us. So we pledged right then and there that we were going to write it ourselves, and David said he wanted to direct all of them. And we’ll produce them together. That’s the basis on which we decided to go forward.

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TVLINE Will the new series be a Valentine to hardcore fans, or are you setting out to bring in a new generation of acolytes?
It’s fair to say that there aren’t many shows that have a fan base as passionate and dedicated and committed as our show does. And we’re very grateful to those people for keeping the flames alive all these years, and helping whole new generations of people discover it. So, in a way, this will be of special significance to those folks. And at the same time we hope a whole bunch of people want to come to the party as well.

TVLINE | Will Angelo Badalamenti do the score?
Too early to say.

TVLINE | The TV climate is very different than when Twin Peaks debuted 25 years ago. There was nothing else like it at the time. Since then, the show has inspired dozens – if not hundreds — of imitators. Any concern that the novelty has worn off?
Well, the novelty hasn’t worn off for us. I think we’ll be able to effectively translate that into today’s cultural language without too much trouble.

TVLINE | If it’s a success, could there be more?
We’ve learned never to say never. Anything is a possibility.

TVLINE | What does it mean personally to you to revisit this material 25 years later?
I think for me, and for everybody who took part in this originally, it was — it’s a terrible pun — a peak experience. And the chance to revisit it later in life, and see what we can do now that we didn’t know then, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

TVLINE | The second season was rather polarizing, and some fans felt let down by how the story ended. Are you looking at this as an opportunity to bring the story to a more satisfying conclusion?
It’s our hope that these episodes will give the fans everything they felt they hadn’t gotten the last time we left off.

TVLINE | Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask, how’s Annie?
[Laughs] Funnily enough, I just showed the second Austin Powers movie to my son last night, who asked me about [Heather Graham]. And I said, “Oh, that’s Annie.” And he said, “Who’s Annie?” And I said, “No, no. The question is How’s Annie?” And judging by how Annie looked in that movie I’d say Annie’s fine.