Public Service Announcement 16 of 2017: Twin Peaks

When Twin Peaks first appeared on our screens, I was a teenager and UK tv only had four channels. Tucked away on BBC 2 on a Tuesday night, I have a feeling I missed it at first – I could be wrong, but I think I started watching a couple of episodes in and was probably even more bewildered than everyone else as a result. As soon as I did see it though, I was fascinated.

Beautiful, strange and terrifying, I had never seen anything like it. As the mystery of who killed Laura Palmer unfolded, the show got weirder and crazier and even scarier – by the end it was completely demented – but flawed though it was, its place in tv history and in my consciousness was assured. I wouldn’t call myself a superfan or anything even close; OK, I do have “Falling” as my phone’s ringtone because modern technology means you can do that kind of thing, but I found The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer deeply unpleasant and I never even tried to watch Fire Walk With Me. Which makes me a complete lightweight in terms of Twin Peaks fandom – I’ll not be dressing up as the Log Lady any time soon. But something about the show still got under my skin and stayed there, the effects both immediate and long-term – for months after it ended, I was genuinely frightened of looking in the bathroom mirror; and now, decades have passed but sometimes, if it’s very late and very dark and I’m at the sink, I still have to tamp down a shiver and force myself to look up.

All of which means I’m both excited and more than a little scared that, almost twenty-six years after the second season of Twin Peaks ended, we’re getting a third one. Correctly deducing that any delay would be a bad idea, Sky Atlantic is showing episodes 1 and 2 of Twin Peaks: The Return in a simulcast with Showtime tonight/early Monday morning at 2AM and, as a special bonus for UK viewers, making episodes 3 and 4 available on demand immediately afterwards. For old times’ sake, it’ll also have a prime-time slot on Tuesday at 9pm, which is either a cute nod to the original UK timeslot or a very creepy coincidence. Either way, I’ll be watching. And hopefully reviewing an ep or two at least, but we’ll see how we go.

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