Before I get into my next retrospective, I wanted to explain where I’m coming from. See, I didn’t watch David Lynch’s and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks when it originally aired in the UK. When I was old enough to watch things like it, I actually headed straight to The X-Files (hence the first season retrospective I recently completed). I knew vaguely of it for years, but before now had never really gotten into it.
In fact, my first experience of Twin Peaks was through SWERY’s videogame: Deadly Premonition . Apart from being one of my most favourite games from the outgoing generation of games consoles , from what I had managed to gleam from other popular culture, DP was heavily influenced by Lynch and Frost’s slice of Americana.
Like a cherry pie recipe that’s been handed down between generations, DP has so many flavourings from Twin Peaks – the coffee obsession; lumber as the main industry in the area; supernatural occurrences; dream sequences; an FBI agent sent to investigate a serial killer… Deadly Premonition is heavily indebted to what Lynch and Frost had created in the early 1990s. Having started my proper watch through of TP I have to stop myself from thinking that SWERY did things first, because obviously he didn’t. In fact it’s actually difficult to get him to admit the similarities, as shown in this Eurogamer interview with SWERY :
Getting Swery to acknowledge his debt to Twin Peaks on the record is oddly impossible, as he chooses to either ignore or deliberately mishear questions drawing comparisons between the two.
The X-Files link
Even I am not oblivious to the notion that Chris Carter’s X-Files would probably not quite have been as it was if it had not been for the cult following that Twin Peaks obtained during its brief run on our television screens. As Joyce Millman wrote for the New York Times :
And it owed an obvious debt to the freaky metaphysical mysteries of ”Twin Peaks” — that show’s quirky Agent Cooper and Fox Mulder could have been spiritual twins…
Certainly, as I’ve begun my watch through TP, I can see what inspired a lot of The X-Files’ dark atmosphere and themes around distrust. Though perhaps one of the big differences between the two is that Twin Peaks has far more characters involved at any one time than Carter ever cared to draw in for X-Files . I’ll be talking about all the subplots once I get into this retrospective proper.
So please join me next week, when I’ll be looking through the first season.