Read our Historic Overview of Twin Peaks
An idiosyncratic FBI Agent investigates the murder of a young woman in the even more idiosyncratic town of Twin Peaks.
The body of a young girl (Laura Palmer) is washed up on a beach near the small Washington state town of Twin Peaks. FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper is called in to investigate her strange demise only to uncover a web of mystery that ultimately leads him deep into the heart of the surrounding woodland and his very own soul.
Twin Peaks is an American television serial drama created by David Lynch and Mark Frost. The series follows the investigation headed by FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), of the murder of a popular teenager and homecoming queen, Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). Twin Peaks’ pilot episode was first broadcast on April 8, 1990 on ABC, which led to another seven episodes being produced and a second season, which aired until June 10, 1991. The show’s name came from its setting, a small fictional Washington town. Exteriors were primarily filmed in Snoqualmie and North Bend, with additional exteriors shot in southern California. Most of the interior scenes were shot on standing sets in a San Fernando Valley warehouse.
Twin Peaks became one of 1990’s top-rated shows, a critical success both nationally and internationally. Reflecting its devoted cult fan base, the series became a part of popular culture, referenced in other television shows, commercials, comic books, video games, films and song lyrics. Declining viewer ratings led to ABC’s insistence that the identity of Laura’s murderer be revealed midway through the second season. In 1992, the series spawned a prequel, the film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, a commercial failure in America, but a success in Japan. In 1997, the pilot episode was ranked #25 on TV Guide’s 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time. In 2002, the series was ranked #45 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time and in 2007, it was listed as one of Time magazine’s “Best TV Shows of All-TIME.”
Press Kit from ABC
Welcome to Twin Peaks. It’s one of those picturesque rural towns that reminds you of time-honored American traditions, like peace and order and homemade cherry pie. Visitors tend to marvel over the magnificent Douglas firs and admire the breathtaking mountain scenery. Located in the Pacific Northwest, just five miles south of the Canadian border, Twin Peaks looks like a prosperous community of contented citizens devoted to their families. On the surface, at least, it’s a bucolic life.
But that’s on the surface.
World-renowned director David Lynch (“Eraserhead,” “The Elephant Man,” “Blue Velvet”) brings his incomparable visual artistry to “Twin Peaks,” a disturbing mystery about the life of a seemingly typical small town. Co-created with executive producer Mark Frost (“Hill Street Blues”), “Twin Peaks” presents an unsettling, sometimes darkly comic vision of the ominous unknown lurking beneath the commonplace and the everyday. The nude body of Laura Palmer, the high school homecoming queen, emerges from beneath the surface of a nearby lake. Her sensational murder sends shock waves through Twin Peaks, stripping away the veneer of respectable gentility to expose seething undercurrents of illicit passion, greed, jealousy and intrigue in a population of unusual characters.
When another girl is found, viciously tortured but still alive, FBI agent Dale Cooper arrives in Twin Peaks to conduct an investigation. Young and sardonic, Agent Cooper has an almost prescient understanding of human motives and his own quirky but very methodical approach to doing business. He is also keeping whatever information he has about the crimes to himself. Cooper forms an immediate rapport with Sheriff Harry S. Truman, who has grown up in the community. Harry is not much of a talker, but he knows more about the people in that town than they probably know about themselves. Their search for the murderer leads to one shattering discovery: No one is quite what they appear to be and almost everyone has something to hide.
Cooper and Truman’s probe into Laura’s death uncovers many busy secrets in Twin Peaks. Was Laura leading a sordid double existence? Did she find out that her erstwhile boyfriend, Bobbie Briggs, was having an affair with a married woman? Why would well-respected businessmen scheme to take over the valuable Packard Sawmill property? Why is Catherine Martell so bitterly jealous of her brother’s widow, the beautiful and imperious mill owner, Jocelyn Packard? Each revelation lays bare whole other worlds, as we delve deeper and deeper into the characters’ fantasies, loves and obsessions.
Starring are Kyle MacLachlan (“Dune,” “Blue Velvet”) as FBI agent Dale Cooper, Michael Ontkean (“Maid to Order,” “Slap Shot”) as Sheriff Harry S. Truman, Piper Laurie (“Carrie,” “Children of a Lesser God”) as Catherine Martell, Joan Chen (“The Last Emperor”) as Jocelyn Packard, Madchen Amick as Shelly Johnson, Dana Ashbrook as Bobby Briggs, Richard Beymer as Benjamin Horne, Lara Flynn Boyle as Donna Hayward, Sherilyn Fenn as Audrey Horne, Warren Frost as Dr. William Hayward, Peggy Lipton as Norma Jennings, James Marshall as James Hurley, Everett McGill as Ed Hurley, Jack Nance as Pete Martell, Kimmy Robertson as Lucy Moran and Ray Wise as Leland Palmer.
Also starring are Russ Tamblyn as Dr. Lawrence Jacoby, Eric Da Re as Leo Johnson, Harry Goaz as Deputy Andy Brennan, Michael Horse as Tommy “The Hawk” Hill and Sheryl Lee as Madeleine Ferguson.
Executive producers, creators and writers are Mark Frost and David Lynch. Gregg Fienberg is supervising producer, Harley Peyton is producer, Robert D. Simon is co-producer and Phillip Neel is associate producer. The one-hour dramatic series is filmed in locations in Washington and Southern California.”Twin Peaks” is from Lynch/Frost Productions, Inc., in association with Propaganda Films in association with Worldvision Enterprises, Inc.
02 Traces to Nowhere
03 Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer
04 Rest in Pain
05 The One-Armed Man
06 Cooper’s Dreams
07 Realization Time
08 The Last Evening
01 May the Giant Be With You
03 The Man Behind Glass
04 Laura’s Secret Diary
05 The Orchid’s Curse
07 Lonely Souls
08 Drive with a Dead Girl
09 Arbitrary Law
10 Dispute Between Brothers
11 Masked Ball
12 The Black Widow
14 Double Play
15 Slaves and Masters
16 The Condemned Woman
17 Wounds and Scars
18 On the Wings of Love
19 Variations on Relations
20 The Path to the Black Lodge
21 Miss Twin Peaks
22 Beyond Life and Death
Twin Peaks (1990-1991) – TV Show Episodes List