It’s been in the air, the trees and the wind—also the news. Twin Peaks, the surreal crime drama about a small-town murder, is back for a new season and is again filming here in the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps I don’t have the right to write this article. After all, die-hard fans of the ‘90’s cult television show have had to wait 25 years for this new season, and I haven’t even lived that long. I can’t imagine the pain of such anticipation. But with the show now streaming on Netflix, Twin Peaks has gained a new set of younger, equally enthusiastic fans.
Still, it’s with overwhelming excitement that I set off to North Bend, Wash., site of the film set, hoping to see the magic in action. It’s warm for mid-September…or am I just sweaty? I bring my mother, a fellow Peakie. We really don’t expect to see anything…except we totally do. I’ve concocted an elaborate fantasy. I will hang out by the set, watching the legend himself, TP creator David Lynch, directing the cast and crew. One of the crew members (my future husband) will ask me to be an extra. I’ll smile nonchalantly and accept. Then, channeling the Lynchian creative energy, I’ll do or say something spectacular while the cameras roll. (Note to self: figure out something spectacular to do or say.) Lynch will immediately add me to the cast. Everything will fall into place. Hollywood, here I come!
Of course…this isn’t exactly what happens, but nearly! It was a dream come true (minus the husband and stardom).
The film set is not immediately recognizable, but the Peakie group is. Dyed hair, ‘90’s sweaters and an air of eagerness gives them away. There are about 10 people gathered, giving new meaning to the term “cult following.” My mom and I edge into the crowd, finding our rightful place in the front. Everyone is leaning into the fence, our faces nearly smashed against the chain links.
On the other side of the fence there are cameras and various official people, carrying official equipment, looking official. There’s a boom mic. And there’s Lynch. Or is it him? The die-hard fans around me, each learned in Lynch’s hand gestures and casual attire, are convinced it is. “It’s gotta be him,” says an East Coaster. “Right there with the black jacket, and the earphones?”
We all edge a bit closer into the fence.
There’s a posse of police officers (real-life cops, not actors in costumes) guarding the set. One of them gives me the evil eye. I don’t worry about him. He doesn’t look too tough. I instead set my eyes again on the figure in question. He raises a megaphone and speaks…
“Yep! It’s him!” I’d know that voice anywhere…I think.
We all erupt into cries of excitement, and then immediately stifle them. We are, each of us, trying to play it cool. No one is convinced. A few people are snapping iPhone pictures. I’m shocked at how far some of these fans have traveled; Boston, Philadelphia, Brazil. What’s more is many of these same folks were just in North Bend in July for the Twin Peaks festival! I bow down at their devotion.
As the day goes by, the crew politely tells us where we can watch from. This is often far from the set so much of the production is out of sight. Still, we catch glimpses of actors and though unable to hear, each of us is creating dialogue in our own minds.
Lynch, who, after some back and forth negotiations with Showtime, is set to direct every episode of the season, He is always moving about, changing things and talking with actors. No one really knows what the new season will bring; no one really knows the minds of David Lynch and co-writer, former director Mark Frost. In Lynch-speak we are putting together a puzzle, with only a few of the pieces at a time.
When will we see the finished product? First we heard 2016. Now we hear 2017? We may never know…until it’s on TV.