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David Lynch and Mark Frost’s iconic “Twin Peaks” surreal series had to be pulled back down to earth by network executives, especially when it came to providing a resolution for the central mystery.

The beloved series aired on ABC from April 1990 to June 1991; the show was later resurrected by Showtime with 2017’s “Twin Peaks: The Return.” Prequel film “Fire Walk With Me” centered around the events prior to “Twin Peaks,” which opens with high school character Laura Palmer’s murder.

According to co-creator Frost, ABC threatened to “stop sending us money” for production if Season 2 did not provide some resolution to Laura Palmer’s killing. Frost told Variety that Lynch would ideally have preferred for the mystery to “go on forever.”

“We literally had a gun to our head from the network,” Frost said. “As I recall, they were just going to stop sending us money if we didn’t deliver this. They wanted it right off the bat at the start of the second season. But David always said, ‘We should never solve the mystery — this should go on forever.’ And there’s a part of me that thinks he may have well have been right.”

'Slow Horses'

A man with brown hair and beard wearing a thick fur cape; still from 'Game of Thrones'

Frost admitted that providing audiences with a distinct killer happened “definitely too soon” and led to a “slightly undercooked” storyline giving way in the second portion of Season 2.

“I’m very proud of the whole run-up to the solving of the mystery — those first nine episodes I think are every bit as good as the first season had been. And we had planned a storyline that didn’t pan out because of an issue with a couple of the actors and relationships that were sensitive,” Frost said of the second installment. “So Harley Peyton and I had to come up with the Windom Earle story, and it was slightly undercooked by the time we got it on screen. And it took maybe an hour or two longer than I, looking back, would’ve wanted in getting it fully up to speed.”

Instead, Frost explained that he and Lynch would have preferred to keep the case of Laura Palmer’s death open-ended throughout the second season.

“At least through Season 2 would’ve been, I think, acceptable,” Frost said. “We could’ve easily gotten through at least the rest of that season engaging with those story dynamics. But it was still 1992, and it was still network television, and they just put their foot down.”

Frost added of the production company, “They were owned by Capital Cities, a very conservative family-owned business, and it deeply disturbed them. I remember talking to [Thomas Murphy], the CEO of the company, who I think felt we were unleashing some kind of digital Ebola into the world with the storytelling. He was really upset.”

“Twin Peaks” actor Kyle MacLachlan recently said on the Canneseries he was skeptical about whether or not “Twin Peaks” would find its audience in 1990.

“[The cast] all recognized how weird ‘Twin Peaks’ was,” he said. “We didn’t think it would get past ‘one and done’ and thought it might become a movie of the week but said that we had to be part of it because it is David Lynch.”

Now, MacLachlan is protective of Lynch and Frost’s creation and hopes no one will “attempt” a “Twin Peaks” reboot. “You are like, ‘Don’t touch that,’ but they do, they can’t help but put their hand on the stove again. That is the problem,” MacLachlan said.



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