As David Lynch’s classic TV series is revived for a third run, Caroline Delaney recalls some of those quirky characters from 25 years ago

CULT TV series Twin Peaks was a dollop of folksy Americana with a decaying core that constantly asked the question ‘Who Killed Laura Palmer?’.

But really, the big question became ‘Are they really doing this on primetime TV - and how are they getting away with it?’

Premiered in 1990, the top-rated TV serial drama created by Mark Frost and David Lynch became a byword for eccentric characters and offbeat humour.

Before we could series-link or pause live shows or download entire series you had to tune in at the same time every week to try to unravel what the hell was going on. And if you missed an episode then the out-of-sync narrative and divergences into supernatural scenes meant you were really just as much in the dark as those who caught it every week.

Well, it’s back — and it looks like Lynch is as intent as ever as keeping the swirling atmosphere of mystery surrounding the whole thing. The new series returns on May 21 and takes place 25 years after the show first went off the air.

Mädchen Amick and Peggy Lipton
Mädchen Amick and Peggy Lipton

Lynch isn’t issuing episodes ahead of time to critics and has declared a strict ban on actors talking about future storylines.If you’re memory of the original show isn’t quite crystal clear, here are some of the logging town’s most memorable characters.

Dale Cooper: FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper arrives in Twin Peaks to investigate the death of homecoming queen, Laura Palmer. He is initially mild-mannered and engages with everyone in a polite and calm manner. Before long he is firmly enmeshed in the town’s quirks. The original series ended with Agent Cooper looking in the mirror to see an image of the creepy sex abuser, murderer, BOB. It is never explained if he is delusional or genuinely possessed or if there is some other reason. So, Dale Cooper, played by Kyle McLachlan, is back — but we just don’t know which Cooper it will be.

Laura Palmer: Laura, played by Sheryl Lee, was a classic whodunnit character in that the whole series centred on her even though she was dead. This is a staple of literature such as Agatha Christie fiction as well as later TV dramas such as The Killing or Broadchurch. She is a high school student whose death opens the lid on the barrel of decay that is the town of Twin Peaks. And she made regular appearances in the original series in dreams and flashbacks as well as starring in the follow-up prequel films. Initially, Laura was the perfect, one-dimensional all-American girl.

But as the show progressed we learned that she was a cocaine addict, was a visitor/worker at a casino and brothel, and was cheating on her high-school sweetheart with a variety of men.

Somehow she’s also going to be in the new series.

David Lynch
David Lynch

Log Lady: You might recall her as one of the quirkier characters in the smorgasbord of weirdness paraded every day through the logging town of Twin Peaks. She was regarded as a crazy-but-harmless fixture in the town by most of the residents — mainly due to her penchant for carrying a small log in her arms like a baby.

Log Lady, played by Catherine E Coulson, was a classic not-so-crazy-anymore trope — she dispensed advice, cryptic warnings and flashes of clairvoyance. Coulson died in 2015 but there is a log included in the publicity images and her name was on a list of cast members released in 2016 so she may have filmed some scenes before her death.

Cheerleader Lady: Best known for her eyepatch, cheerleader costume, and being somewhat older than typical cheerleaders.

Nadine Hurley, played by Wendy Robie, had lost an eye in a hunting accident and later went into a coma. When she awoke her mind had regressed to when she was in high school. She also has superhuman agility and energy and roams school corridors dressed in a flared school skirt, letter-sweater and bobby socks. And yes, she’s coming back.

David Duchovny also returns as transgender DEA Agent Denise Bryson.

Twin Peaks Season 3 (25 years on) is on Sky Atlantic on Monday at 2am; and repeated on Tuesday at 9pm


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