Twin Peaks: What we know about the 2017 revival and its rock-star guest stars


Sheryl Lee as Laura Palmer in 'Twin Peaks'
Sheryl Lee as Laura Palmer in 'Twin Peaks' (Lynch/Frost Productions)

"I'll see you again in 25 years," Laura Palmer tells Special Agent Dale Cooper in Twin Peaks. Fans of the cult classic series, and likely even series creator David Lynch himself, couldn't have known just how true that promise would prove to be.

A quarter-century after the ABC series ended its original two-year run, Twin Peaks is coming back for 18 episodes — all directed by Lynch himself. The new limited series, which premieres Sunday night at 8 p.m. CT on Showtime, will see the return of many original cast members, and the addition of some new faces that will prove very familiar for music fans.

Lynch, who hasn't directed a feature film in over a decade, was inspired to return to Twin Peaks when he saw how ambitious television was becoming in the streaming era — and how many of its brightest talents cited his series as an influence. It's now routinely ranked among the greatest TV dramas ever made.

The original series, shot in Lynch's trademark style — melodramatic, campy, surreal — initially centered on the investigation of the mysterious murder of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), golden girl of Twin Peaks, Washington. Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) arrives to crack the case, but he quickly finds himself drawn into the quirky, complicated life of the town. In the middle of the second season, the network pressured Lynch and co-creator Mark Frost to resolve the murder; it proved, though, that Agent Cooper still had his work cut out for him.

The series was followed by a Lynch-directed movie, 1992's Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. The movie was effectively a prequel to the series, detailing the events leading up to Laura's death. Along with the returning stars of the show, Chris Isaak and David Bowie showed up in the film as FBI agents.

The new series will be a genuine third season, resuming the show's story 25-plus years later. MacLachlan and Lee will return, along with dozens more cast members from the original series. Among them: Sherilyn Fenn as Audrey Horne; Madchen Amick as Shelly Johnson; Kimmy Robertson and Harry Goaz as lovebirds Lucy Moran and Andy Brennan; and Michael Horse as Hawk. Lynch himself is back as the hard-of-hearing Gordon Cole, David Duchovny returns as transgender DEA agent Denise Bryson, and even Catherine E. Coulson will appear as the iconic Log Lady, having filmed a few scenes prior to her 2015 death.

Not all the original stars will return, though: don't expect to see Michael Ontkean as Sheriff Harry S. Truman (he's retired from acting), Joan Chen as Jocelyn Packard, Heather Graham as Annie Blackburn, or Minnesota-raised Chris Mulkey as Hank Jennings. Nor Isaak; prior to his death, Bowie was reportedly planning to film a cameo.

Instead, the new season is drafting a raft of added actors — including Laura Dern, Michael Cera, Naomi Watts, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Amanda Seyfried, and Tim Roth. (A popular theory is that Dern will play Diane, Agent Cooper's previously unseen assistant.) Even Ernie Hudson, the original Ghostbuster who's lived in Minnesota for four decades, will show up.

The real reason we're covering this on The Current, though, is that a whole raft of musicians are on the 2017 cast list. Eddie Vedder will be part of the new season, as will Trent Reznor — in addition to his wife Mariqueen, his Nine Inch Nails bandmate Robin Finck, and his composing partner Atticus Ross. Sharon Van Etten and all three members of Au Revoir Simone will show up, along with Sky Ferreira. Julee Cruise, the torch singer from the original run, will return, and both of Minnesota's Cactus Blossoms (Jack Torrey and Page Burkam) will be in the show.

What we don't know is exactly what they'll do in Twin Peaks. If so, will it be their own music, or the songs of returning composer Angelo Badalamenti? That, along with virtually all details of the new season's plot, is a tightly-guarded secret.

You'll have to watch on Sunday to find out what happens — or just check back here on Monday morning, since I'll be posting recaps every week. As the Twin Peaks tagline goes, "it is happening again."

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