HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Twin Peaks: The Original Series, Fire Walk with Me, and The Missing Pieces
HTS Overall Score:88
The story of film director David Lynch’s show “Twin Peaks” is actually one of the most fascinating in TV history, if not one of the most iconic. The show was one of those creations that started with a legendary bang, and then sadly fizzled off due to management interference, conflict between the actors and the producers, a storyline that ended too quickly and wasn’t able to sustain later episodes, plus a myriad of other reasons. While David Lynch is mostly known for his feature films, the 1990 TV show has become a cult phenomenon amongst TV watchers, and that definite gold boxset was a staple amongst every DVD owner’s collection for a reason. A great cast combined with a legendary director and a FANTASTIC first season was a sure fire sign of success.
Sadly the second season stumbled around a bit and that was just the weakness that created the perfect storm of events for the show to crash land WAY before its time. The original season was a 7 episode show of pure intensity and fascinating mystery that bordered on a mild version of the X-files without the aliens and pure twisted dreamlike storytelling that is both captivating and intoxicating However the second season had studio heads insisting the show amp up the episode count to the normal 20+ AND wrap up the mystery of Laura Palmer’s death. Which is actually done so in the first 8 or 9 episodes. Something which took away some of the punch and mystery of the show (much like “The Mentalist” did with Red John and countless other shows have suffered from). After that the second season ended and the conflicts behind the scenes went ballistic. Frost and Lynch split ways and the cast members were either isolated or held onto based upon something that most people will never know due to tight lips and multiple theories bandieid around. Some people stuck with Lynch and wanted to stay with his original vision, but some of the actors felt like they were tossed out into the cold (Kyle MacLachlan being the most vocal) and the project literally stalled itself into oblivion. A movie called “Fire Walk With Me” was created to act as a tie in and prequel to the series, but the highly anticipated third season just wasn’t meant to be.
The basic story was something that can almost not be written about normally. On the surface it is a mystery about a woman named Laura Palmer and her death up in Twin Peaks in small town America. Like with other Lynch films (“Blue Velvet” springs to mind) the murder mystery is only the tip of the iceberg (despite the entire world waiting with baited breath waiting to find out just who killed Laura Palmer). As the FBI sends in a special agent to investigate the murder the layers and trappings of the seemingly simple small town are pulled back and a darker side is revealed. Secrets and twisted happenings are more the norm than initially expected and once the veil was pulled away Lynch and Frost sucked you into a world that was SOOOOO much more than a murder mystery. It has elements of supernatural fantasy, horror, drama, comedy, soap opera, as well as a disturbing commentary about 1990s society as a whole. And to make it even sweeter, all of these elements were woven together seamlessly. Effortlessly almost, in jambalaya style pot that shouldn’t have worked, but somehow did.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=80298[/img]The film “Fire Walk With Me” chronicles the death of another young woman before Laura Palmer’s death, but also acts as the last 7 days before her murder and chronicles the pain and suffering that she went through before that agonized scream is heard over the telephone. The movie itself was a box office bomb and was LOATHED by critics, and rightfully so. It takes away the dark humor that alleviated the brutality and horror of the series, leaving it a much darker take on the “Twin Peaks” world. One that was not easily accepted by most people. The film acts as a strange curio in the shared universe of the show and movie, but one that is more and oddity than anything. For years the rights to the movie were held by New Line Cinema, and the show was held by Spelling Entertainment. To make things even sticker, the original pilot (including the European cut) was held by Warner brothers, and never the three could meet. The original 2 seasons of the show were released on DVD, but stuck without the rest, while the definitive gold boxset finally reunited the pilot with the other 29 episodes, but the show was still not able to package in the movie. Back in 2014 CBS entertainment and Paramount Pictures have finally gotten the rights together and were able to put out the ENTIRE series and the movie together in one big giant boxset. This was a boxset that I ALMOST picked up, but am kind of glad that I didn't, as Paramount has re-released it for a substantially larger savings and carries the entire set in a simpler package that will appeal to a slightly less "collectors mentality" market.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=80306[/img]It’s been a while since I’ve broken out the old golden Definitive Collection DVD set, but I have to say from my memory the Blu-rays are an ENORMOUS increase in quality. The show is reproduced with the look of that old 90s TV look to it, but with incredible resolution and fantastic looking detail. The colors are a bit on the warm side (intentional) the orange push to the show’s broadcast look gives a burnished look to the imagery. Fine detail is usually very VERY good, even though there is some slight inconsistencies in the show, though those are mainly relegated to speckles and film print damage that pops its head up here and there. There are some moments where the show will look brighter or crisper than the other, but unless you’re really looking for them you won’t really see it. Grain is thick and heavy for this release, and while that is certainly expected considering the film stock used back in the early 90s for the show, I almost felt like it looked a little compressed and overly digital at times. Almost like noise rather than grain. It’s the one thing that keeps from giving the show a perfect score.
“Fire Walk With Me” looks a bit brighter and more polished than the 1.33:1 TV show, but still just as meticulously restored. The movie tends to be soft and smooth throughout, and a little processed at times, but the details is strong and the gain levels cleaner and more natural looking. Colors are just as warm, but that orange push is not nearly as strong, giving way to a cream look at times. Black levels are usually pretty strong, but falter here and there with being washed out in some of the more dimly light sequences.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=80314[/img]Even though it was originally recorded for TV in a 2.0 stereo track (which is included on the discs for purists, albeit in lossy Dolby Digital) “Twin Peaks” comes with a glorious sounding 7.1 DTS-HD MA track that makes the jump from 2.0 to multichannel with apparent ease. The creepy ambiance of the show is deliciously disturbing, shifting and making discrete changes all over the sound stage. there are large portions of the movie that are decidedly front heavy, but the creepy score and the use of surrounds for ambient noises around the town of Twin Peaks is decidedly accurate. LFE isn’t thunderous and pounding like an action film, or even modern TV shows, but it adds to the score and is picked up by the noise of the lumber mill or a car door slamming quite well.
The film’s 7.1 experience is ever so slightly more “cinematic” than the show is, mainly due to the increased budget allowed for the 2 hour and 14 minute trip vs. the spread out nature of a television experience. The vocals are strong and clean, with good anchoring in the center, while the surrounds are filled with the traditional “Twin Peaks” style of surreal and creepy music. The action can get a bit heated here and there, and the LFE channel really picks up on that, giving a heavier and more powerful feeling to certain noises. Starting with the helicopter landing at the beginning. It’s a solid track by any analysis, and both the show and movie make an incredible jump to surround sound audio for the Blu-rays.
• Log Lady Intros
• Episode Previews and Recaps
• Two Versions of Series Pilot
• Season One Image Gallery
• Twin Peaks Sneak Peaks
• A Slice of Lynch: Uncut
• Season Two Image Gallery
• Original Promos
• New and Previously Released Deleted Scenes
• The Glastonbury Archives
• Return to Twin Peaks
• Location Guide
• Postcards from the Cast
• Twin Peaks Promos
• Cast and Crew Interviews
• Fire Walk with Me: The Missing Pieces
1. Desmond's Mo
2. Say Hello to Jack
3. Good Morning Irene
4. This One's Coming from J. Edgar
5. Cooper and Diane
6. Stanley's Apartment
7. Buenos Aires / Above the Convenience Store
8. Mike Is the Man/Sharing a Cigarette
9. School Books
10. The Palmers
11. Laura's Party
13. Kind of Quiet
14. Best Friends
15. I'm the Muffin / The Ring
16. Bob Speaks Through Laura/Blue Sweater
17. Sunday at the Johnson's
18. Smash Up
19. The Power and the Glory
20. Fire Walk with Me
21. Party Girl
22. Don't Forget/Laura's Secret Stash
23. Bernie the Mule
24. I Killed Someone
25. Baby Laxative
26. Send Me a Kiss
28. Bobby and Laura in the Basement
29. Goodnight Lucy
30. Waiting for James
31. Distant Screams
32. Lonesome Foghorn Blows
• Fire Walk with Me: Archival Interviews
“Twin Peaks” is an amazing series, despite the flaws of a second season that imploded on itself due to a host of extenuating circumstances. The breadth and scope of what Lynch and Frost accomplished is nothing short of amazing. The show is something that really should be in everyone’s collections, whether they choose this version or “The Entire Mystery” set that was released a few years back. For those of you wondering if the set is worth picking up if you already HAVE “The Entire Mystery” set from 2014, I would say no. This is actually 99% the same set except for the exclusion of the collector’s edition packaging and the 10 disc of special features is missing. It’s not a whole lot, but it differentiates the set just a little bit from the previous edition (instead of being just a re-release, but does so by offering the set at nearly half the price. No matter which edition you chose, you can’t go wrong and is DEFINITELY a must buy.
Starring: Mädchen Amick, Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean
Created by: David Lynch, Mark Frost
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC (Film) / 1.33:1 AVC (Series)
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 7.1, English, Spanish, Italian, Japanase DD 2.0, French, German DD 5.1
Studio: Parmaount Pictures
Runtime: 1634 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: September 20th, 2016
Buy Twin Peaks: The Original Series, Fire Walk with Me, and The Missing Pieces On Blu-Ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Must Own
More about Mike