Lynch’s surreal peak

I’VE always thought of Fremantle as a sort of real life Twin Peaks.

The port city is a mecca for kooky characters and talented anomalies that don’t quite fit the mainstream.

Which is good, as we don’t want to end up like Perth—a middle class event horizon.

David Lynch’s new Twin Peaks hit TV screens in May and will reach its baffling crescendo this weekend.

• Scenes from episode eight of the new Twin Peaks were a disturbing highlight of the series.

Darker in tone than the 1990 original and, would you believe it, even more outré, the 18-part sequel is wider in scope, featuring a litany of bizarre characters, locations and themes.

The picturesque town of Twin Peaks still appears now and again, but mostly as McGuffin to glue cryptic plot lines together.

Don’t expect a linear narrative or “who dunnit” signposts, this is David Lynch, who makes films like Escher paintings dunked in treacle.

What you do get is a celebration of Lynch’s imagination, with surreal images and disturbing scenes that will leave an indelible mark on your subconscious.

Fans of the original series will be pleased to know that original cast members—including Lynch as FBI chief Gordon Cole—are gracefully woven into the 2017 version and aren’t just nostalgic footnotes.

And towards the end of the series, the disparate subplots coalesce into a satisfying whole.

The new Twin Peaks is not perfect: some early episodes are tedious and slow, especially the subplot involving Dougie (Kyle MacLachlan), a sort of idiot savant who barely speaks and wanders around in a trance.

But if you persevere you will be rewarded with some of the most beautiful and horrifying television you have ever seen in episode eight, based on the detonation of the first atomic bomb in New Mexico in 1945.

Featuring supernatural hobos that crush human skulls, a bug that crawls down a sleeping girl’s throat and a backward talking Lurch—this episode has it all.

Ironically, in this age of binge watching boxsets, Twin Peaks is so dense a week’s break between each episode is required to let your brain convalesce.

I wasn’t going to watch the new Twin Peaks, because I thought it would desecrate the original; but season three is a triumph and Lynch’s best work since Mulholland Drive, which combined his trademark imagery with a strong narrative.

So is Twin Peaks 2017 better than the original?

That answer is compromised by nostalgia and is impossible to answer.

The finale of Twin Peaks airs Monday on STAN.


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