Home Television Drama Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks

1 9 9 0 – 1 9 9 1 (USA)
2 x 120 minute episodes

Directed by David Lynch, this unsettling, dream-like series – set in and around the American Pacific Northwest town of Twin Peaks – revolved around the question “who killed Laura Palmer?”.


The plot became impossibly convoluted – and the ratings dropped severely – by the time obsessive FBI Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) got around to solving the mystery (answer: it was her own Dad, who became a homicidal maniac when possessed by an evil spirit named Killer Bob).

Cooper was prone to ecstasy when drinking coffee and eating cherry pie, and his detecting methods included Tibetan mysticism, dreams and ESP. It was an open secret that the character of Cooper was David Lynch’s self-portrait.

But the serial further confirmed Lynch’s reputation as a man with a darkly original vision, as well as making actress Sherilyn Fenn the sex symbol of the hour.


Gradually, Agent Cooper’s search for the murderer revealed that beautiful high school student Laura Palmer was not the innocent she seemed and that Twin Peaks was a mired pool of drugs, adultery, avarice, pornography and satanism beneath its picture-postcard image.

twinpeaks7There was an almost surreal, dreamlike quality to the show, especially in the segments helmed by Lynch, enhanced by the famously weird minor characters and touches – such as the log lady (pictured) who lovingly ported a piece of lumber with her wherever she went, Cooper’s delivery of his own narrative into a micro-recorder for unseen secretary Diane, and the fish in the percolator at the Diner.

The large cast featured two of Lynch’s stock movie actors – Kyle MacLachlan and Jack Nance (Eraserhead), and Lynch himself appeared occasionally as FBI Chief Cole. Future Austin Powers sidekick Heather Graham made an early TV appearance as Annie Blackburn.

But what started as probably the most extreme and surreal program ever on network TV eventually got too boring, meandering, silly, and confusing to care about. For a while, obsessed viewers formed clubs and the show was the talk of the town, but several schedule changes and the fact that people wanted to know who the killer was caused the ratings to drop.

twinpeakslauraThe show staggered through to its conclusion, even spinning off a movie – Fire Walk With Me (1992).

Special Agent Dale Cooper
Kyle MacLachlan
Sheriff Harry S. Truman
Michael Ontkean
Shelly Johnson
Mädchen Amick
Bobby Briggs
Dana Ashbrook
Benjamin Horne
Richard Beymer
Donna Hayward
Lara Flynn Boyle
Audrey Horne
Sherilyn Fenn
Dr Will Hayward
Warren Frost
Norma Jennings
Peggy Lipton
James Hurley
James Marshall
Big Ed Hurley
Everett McGill
Pete Martell
Jack Nance
Jocelyn Packard
Joan Chen
Lucy Moran
Kimmy Robertson
Deputy Tommy ‘Hawk’ Hill
Michael Horse
Catherine Martell
Piper Laurie
Deputy Andy Brennan
Harry Goaz
Leo Johnson
Eric DaRe
Nadine Hurley
Wendy Robie
Leland Palmer
Ray Wise
Madeleine ‘Maddy’ Ferguson
Sheryl Lee
Dr Lawrence Jacoby
Russ Tamblyn
Maj. Garland Briggs
Don S. Davis
Hank Jennings
Chris Mulkey
Mike Nelson
Gary Hershberger
Sarah Palmer
Grace Zabriskie
The Log Lady
Catherine E. Coulson
Dick Tremayne
Ian Buchanan
Eileen Hayward
Mary Jo Deschanel
Frank Silva
Windom Earle
Kenneth Welsh
Phillip Michael Gerard
Al Strobel
Jerry Horne
David Patrick Kelly
FBI Agent Albert Rosenfield
Miguel Ferrer
Mayor Dwayne Milford
John Boylan
Blackie O’Reilly
Victoria Catlin
Betty Briggs
Charlotte Stewart
Jill Engels
Annie Blackburn
Heather Graham
Lana Budding Milford
Robyn Lively
Andrew Packard
Dan O’Herlihy
FBI Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole
David Lynch