If your various social media timelines didn’t explode with excitement yesterday when the news broke that Showtime will revive the 90’s cult classic Twin Peaks for a nine-episode third season then I’m sorry, but you need better friends. Twin Peaks, for those not in the know, is a surrealist TV primetime drama created by writer/director/occasional electropop musician David Lynch and his writing and producing partner Mark Frost. It mixed elements of horror, camp, and soap opera to tell a story that remains utterly unique in television history. All that was 25 years ago, but thanks to the internet Twin Peaks has continued to live and thrive long enough to earn it’s well deserved second chance.
The show eeked out two seasons and a deeply weird movie before the curtain came down back in 1992. That was the final word from the Twin Peaks universe until Emmett and Patrick Furey decided to breathe new life into the show via unconventional means. “Enter The Lodge” is a collective writing project that used Twitter to give Twin Peaks the third season it never had. Twitter accounts for every character, major and minor, that ever graced the screen carry on conversations picking up from the series finale. The prophetic Log Lady tweets in cryptic non-sequitors, hard of hearing FBI supervisor Gordon Cole tweets in all caps, even murdered prom queen Laura Palmer has an account that has never sent a single tweet. We caught up with co-creator Emmett Furey to get some insight on how the project came together and how he’s feeling about today’s big Showtime news.
NMR: I’ll start with the obvious question, how are you feeling about the big news that Twin Peaks will be back for another season?
Emmett Furey David Lynch and Mark Frost left Twin Peaks fans with burning questions 25 years ago, questions that the ravenous fan community has been thinking about to this day. Pioneering shows like Twin Peaks paved the way for the on-demand entertainment culture we enjoy today, so there has never been a better time to bring a series like Twin Peaks back to the small screen. And of course, without David Lynch and Mark Frost at the helm, a follow-up like this wouldn’t even have been worth thinking about, so I couldn’t be happier that the show’s creators will be ushering in this new era of Twin Peaks.
NMR: What drew you to Twin Peaks initially and made you feel that it was a story that deserved to continue?
Emmett Furey: Twin Peaks was one of the first truly serialized TV series, which at the time, made it the very definition of appointment television, because this was long before the current streaming culture we enjoy today. Henry Jenkins, one of the forefathers of the term “transmedia storytelling,” often talks about the fan phenomenon that grew up around “Twin Peaks” 25 years ago, the community that congregated on message boards and pored over the minutia that David Lynch, Mark Frost and the rest of the creative team baked into the show. I believe Twin Peaks paved the way for the current Golden Age of dramatic television, not just in terms of its content, but also in terms of how that content was presented, and how it was consumed.
In my opinion, streaming services like Netflix and Video On Demand are what has allowed television to finally come into its own as a storytelling medium. When Charles Dickens was publishing his novels in serial installments, no one batted an eye. But when those individual chapters were collected into a full novel, this semiotic object that represented a complete work from start to finish, only then did his work start garnering real popular and critical praise. When television first started, their early programming was in same boat. An episode of television was completely ephemeral, and it was a long time while before anyone even invented the “re-run,” let alone a technology that allows us access to episodic television on-demand, at the push of a button. These technological advancements have enabled the modern culture of TV binge-watching, and ensures that these serialized stories can be consumed in the manner they were intended. And, of course, the Twin Peaks finale is probably one of the most infamous in television history, in terms of the cliffhangers that occurred….Laura Palmer did tell Dale Cooper that she would see him again in 25 years.
NMR: It’s a huge project; how many writers worked on Enter the Lodge and how many Twitter accounts in total did you have?
Emmett Furey: About 99% of Enter the Lodge was written by just my brother and I. And we were definitely erring on the side of being comprehensive; there were somewhere in the ballpark of 70 character accounts from soup to nuts, of varying degrees of importance, including most any character you ever saw on the show, and a few that we invented for our take on the third season. And the lion’s share of our project is set in 1989 when the original series took place, so it is within the realm of possibility that the new official material will not entirely invalidate our massive work of fan-fiction.
NMR: More than one person has told me that your project inspired them to go back and rediscover Twin Peaks on Netflix. Was part of your goal to keep the Twin Peaks flame burning for new fans?
Emmett Furey: Honestly, when my brother and I embarked upon Enter the Lodge, we believed a real Season 3 was never going to happen. We hoped that, through our project, we could give Twin Peaks fans some sense of closure, even if it was completely unofficial and non-canonical, and that we could inspire old fans to revisit the series and new fans to discover it for the first time. It’s been extremely gratifying to see that, via streaming services like Netflix, young people are finding and loving Twin Peaks today the same way we did 25 years ago. My brother and I are always glad to hear that Enter the Lodge has helped create new Twin Peaks fans, and I’m sure this announcement of the Showtime revival will encourage more new fans to jump onboard!
The return of Twin Peaks to television screens in 2016 does more than fulfill the dreams of diehard fans and dedicated writers. It also fulfill’s the prophecy set forth by David Lynch in the worlds of the show’s catalyst, the late Laura Palmer.
See you again in 25 years…