Twin Peaks boxset released on DVD - Mark Frost interview

Twin Peaks boxset released on DVD - Mark Frost interview

Almost twenty years to the day since Twin Peaks first aired, the long-awaited conclusion to David Lynch and Mark Frost’s seminal series is finally released on DVD. Series co-creator and executive producer Frost tells Murray Robertson what took so long

Mark Frost admits he’s not seen any of Twin Peaks since it first aired on US television. ‘But everyone tells me it seems not to have aged a day.’ Nowadays there seems to be a TV boxset for every subgenre, but back in 1990 television networks were reticent about treading untested waters. ‘We were a long shot to get on the air from the beginning. We consciously said, “We’re not going to try to do anything like shows that we’ve seen before. We’re going to try to do something that’s in and of itself.” And it’s tremendously gratifying to see – decades later – that people still look at it as an influence and are still finding entertainment value in it. That’s a great feeling.’

Following on from his work as a writer and director on archetypal policier Hill Street Blues, Frost was keen to combine the procedural with the supernatural. ‘We thought maybe Agent Cooper’s a kind of New Age Sherlock Holmes sort of guy who’s eccentric and intuitive as well as incredibly observant and forensic and I thought it would be fun to try a character like that and see if a television audience would accept it.’

Accept it they did, although Frost admits season two lost its way as the creators busied themselves with other projects. ‘I thought we’d kind of pulled ourselves back onto the right track by the end of the season. It had taken a little longer than perhaps I would have wished to get the Windom Earle story moving.’

A combination of poor mid-second season reviews and shifting US timeslots led to Twin Peaks’ cancellation. ‘I was deeply disappointed when the network decided – and apparently it was a very close-run thing – that they didn’t want to move forward. I felt that we really had a chance to do something truly unique and equally groundbreaking.’

And where would season three have taken us? Spoiler warning: ‘It was certainly going to deal with the doppelganger of Cooper who had been let loose in the world and his struggles to get back to himself. For fans of the truly strange aspects of the show – they would not have been disappointed.’

Twin Peaks: Definitive Gold Box Edition is out Mon 22 Mar (Universal).