Created by David Lynch and Mark Frost, Twin Peaks single-handedly redefined TV drama. This riveting and unusual tale of the investigation into the murder of a small-town homecoming queen not only showed that viewers enjoyed being challenged and provoked by TV shows, but also introduced a level of cinematic quality to serialised drama that we've become so used to today.
While received wisdom has it that the show fell apart early in its second season after revealing the identity of the killer (the driving force behind the series until then), this isn't really the case. Yes, there were a few bumps along the way due to Lynch and Frost being distracted by separate projects. But even then Twin Peaks was never less than entertaining, and when the creative team returned for the second half of Season Two, and took things into even more Lynchian weirdness, it hit an all-new high. Only to then be cruelly cut down in its prime.
Lynch did, of course, return to the town of Twin Peaks a year later with Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, a movie prologue to the series depicting the last seven days of Laura Palmer's life. Unjustly reviled by critics and audiences on its original release, the movie has since undergone something of a re-evaluation and is now seen as one of the director's best, a nightmarish tale of domestic violence that uncovers the hidden horror that always lay at the heart of the series.
Picture: By virtue of the talent behind it and the fact that it was shot on 35mm, Twin Peaks has always been one of the most cinematic-looking TV shows around – something that really bares fruit with this Blu-ray restoration. There is some slight variation in quality across the restored episodes, most obviously when dealing with special effects done in standard-definition – a prime example being the giant transforming into a ball of light at the end of the first episode of the second season. However, aside from these minor niggles, the overall quality of the new restorations is stunning.
The set also includes the second UK Blu-ray outing for Lynch's Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. The first attempt was as part of Universal's 2012 David Lynch Boxset where it was presented as a 1080i50 encode. The version here trumps that release by being correctly presented in 1080p, in addition to its improved colour accuracy.
Picture rating: 4.5/5
Audio: The original stereo soundtracks for both the series and the film have been given a DTS-HD MA 7.1 makeover for this boxset (although the stereo tracks are also included, albeit as lossy DD 2.0).
Thankfully the show's surround mix never overplays its hand, instead treating the original sound design with respect, using the extra speakers to distribute scene-setting effects and immerse you even further in Angelo Badalamenti's haunting music. That said, the biggest beneficiary of the remix is the LFE channel, which gets plenty of material to work with.
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me fares even better, with its even more complex and forceful soundscape benefiting from the additional directionality and dedicated bass output. Chapter 25's notorious nightclub scene sounds more threatening than ever, with the thumping music overpowering the dialogue just as it was always meant to (although some diehard fans will quibble with the use of burnt-in subtitles in this sequence, which weren't present during the original UK theatrical run). Thankfully, it doesn't suffer from the pitch issues that affected the film's previous Blu-ray outing.
Audio rating: 4/5
Extras: For many people the main selling point of this 10-disc boxset will be the vast array of extras it contains, most notably The Missing Pieces. This collection of 91 minutes of deleted and extended scenes from …Fire Walk with Me has taken on legendary status over the years, and now that they're finally available they don't disappoint.
Elsewhere, the 38-minute Between Two Worlds finds David Lynch sitting down first with Laura, Sarah and Leland Palmer to discuss their lives, and then with the actors who played them (Sheryl Lee, Grace Zabriskie and Ray Wise) to reminisce about making the series and the prequel movie.
Just as entertaining is the 56-minute A Slice of Lynch: Uncut, which features Lynch enjoying coffee and – naturally – cherry pie with actors Kyle MacLachlan and Mädchen Amick, plus post-production supervisor John Wentworth.
And that's just the tip of this hugely expansive iceberg. Also included are countless documentaries, featurettes, cast and crew interviews, promos, Log Lady Intros, deleted scenes and much, much more.
Extras rating: 5/5
We say: One of the best Blu-ray releases this year and the perfect way to fall in love with Twin Peaks again
Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery, CBS Home Entertainment, All-region BD, £50 Approx
HCC VERIDCT: 4.5/5
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