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Twin Peaks
The Definitive Gold Collection

review by Zach B.

 

 

Running Time: 1501 minutes

Starring: Kyle MacLachlen, Michael Ontkean, Madchen Amick, Dana Ashbrook, Richard Beymer, Lara Flynn Boyle, Sherilyn Fenn, Warren Frost, Ray Wise, Peggy Lipton, James Marshall, Everett McGill, Jack Nance, Kimmy Robertson, Joan Chen, Piper Laurie

 

Studio: Paramount

Retail Price: $99.99

Features: Deleted Scenes, Production Documents, A Slice Of Lynch, Secrets From Another Place: Creating Twin Peaks, Saturday Night Live Monologue and Sketch, Return To Twin Peaks, Interactive Map, "Falling" Music Video, Georgia Coffee Commercials, Image Galleries, On-Air Promos/Spots, 1-900 Hotline, Lucy Bumpers

Specs: 1.33:1 Full Screen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Stereo 2.0, Spanish Stereo 2.0, Portuguese Stereo 2.0, English Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Portuguese Subtitles, Scenes, Ten-Disc Set

Released: October 30th, 2007

 

 

All the series' episodes are presented in 1.33:1 full screen, and have been remastered from their original negatives. The episodes do look pretty good, with fine detail and pretty accurate fleshtones. Color saturation is pretty good too, with no smearing. Unfortunately though, these episodes look far from perfect: noise and edge halos pop up, and specks of dirt are sprinkled throughout. The episodes are definitely on the grainy side, too. Still, they are watchable and are in pretty good shape given the age of the series. Just don't expect perfection. 

 

In a nice touch, all the episodes have been remixed in Dolby Digital 5.1, with David Lynch himself approving the mixes. These are pretty outstanding mixes that sound a lot more natural than I anticipated, which is pretty impressive given that the show is nearly two decades old. Dialogue is quite crisp and easy to hear, and Angelo Badalementi's moody compositions give quite a bit of ambiance through the channels, bringing you more into Twin Peaks. The surrounds also have a bit of power, as there is use of the rears and do sound discrete - be it the more action-oriented moments of the series, or subtle ones (such as keys clanking and footsteps). Fidelity is pretty high, dynamic range rather good and subwoofer use isn't too shabby.

For you purists, the original 2.0 Stereo mixes have been included, as well as stereo mixes in Spanish and Portuguese. Subtitles are available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

 




Finally! For the first time ever on DVD, we have the show's original Pilot as well as its infamous International Pilot (which is not recommended for newcomers to the series). I'm not exactly sure if this qualifies as an extra feature, but given the anticipation for this pilot to arrive on DVD, I think it's worth noting. If you own the first two seasons on DVD separately, you are going to have to shell out for this new compiled set for the pilot. But at least you get new transers and 5.1 mixes, and all these new special features (hold onto your old sets - none of those extras are featured here):

Disc 9 has a section entitled Lost and Found, where you can find four Deleted Scenes from the series. The scenes total about six minutes, and you may wonder why there isn't even more material. A text introduction explains that before DVD (and any "interest" in deleted material), unused components for an episode were disposed. Still, it's nice to have a few bits of what remains. There's also a variety of Production Documents, which are fun to look at.

Everything else is on the tenth disc. A Slice Of Lynch is a half-hour look back at the series with David Lynch, Kyle MacLachlan, Madchen Amick and John Wentworth. It begins with a fun and scripted (if slightly random) homage to the series, before Lynch and the trio sit down to discuss the show. Lynch pretty much dominates the conversation, talking about the origins of the series and his inspirations, but the actors also get to chime in what it was like working on the show too. Lynch, of course, has plenty of insights into his vision for the series - and offers some pretty interesting anecdotes (I had no idea Wentworth began as his assistant). A must watch for fans of the show.  

Secrets From Another Place: Creating Twin Peaks is a four-part documentary that runs an hour and 45 minutes. This is a very comprehensive view of the series, that not only focuses on the two seasons, but crucial elements such as the pilot and music as well. Series co-creator Mark Frost discusses how he met Lynch and how they hit it off right away, and how the series developed. Casting is discussed with pretty much the entire ensemble, as well as the arcs of the two seasons - including some backstage turmoil and time-slot shifts that might have led to the series' demise. Crew members, including editors, producers and directors, also give voice in what it was like to work on the show. There's also a lot of frankness in how the show lost some appeal after the murder of Laura Palmer was solved to those working on the show (especially from Frost, who discusses what the flaws were and what he would have done differently), and mixed reaction about a planned romantic arc that was ultimately scrapped. Also quite fascinating is Angelo Badalamenti and Julee Cruise discussing the show's music, and the inspirations behind that and how the music fit so well with what was happening on screen. There's a tremendous amount of information here and a lot of honest reflection, which makes this required viewing for anyone who will be buying this set. Very well done.

A nice inclusion on this set is the Saturday Night Live material from when Kyle MacLachlan hosted in September 1990. There's MacLachlan's opening monologue and a "Twin Peaks" sketch - both a lot of fun.

In the Twin Peaks Festival section, there are two extra features. First up is Return To Twin Peaks, where die-hard fans of the show meet up in Washington State and go visit the actual locations of where the show was filmed, play a few games (cherry tying, anyone?) and discuss their favorite characters and moments. A few familiar faces pop up to talk about the series, too. This is a great tribute to Peaks fanatics, and shows what a lasting impact the series has had in pop culture.

The Interactive Map is also a great touch, where you can go out and find key locations of where the show was filmed in Washington state. Current footage of the places are shown (as well as reference footage from the series), followed by an exact address.

There's also a lot of neat promotional material included under The Black Lodge Archive. There's the "Falling" Music Video with Julee Cruise, five Georgia Coffee Commercials right from Japan (genius!), three Image Galleries (The Richard Beymer Gallery, Unit Photography and Twin Peaks Trading Cards), a bevy of On-Air Promos/Spots, the 1-900 Hotline promo spot (and all eight messages that played when you called) and six Lucy Bumpers



 

"Twin Peaks" was a true original, and even though the show's second season may not have lived up to the first, the series really still holds up nearly 20 years later. On top of decent transfers and fine 5.1 mixes, the treasure trove of supplements really make this set stand out - not to mention that the pilot is finally available. Even if you own the first two stand alone releases of the series, it looks like you're going to have to add to this one to your collection too. This box set comes highly recommended.