Yesterday I was very excited to learn that Twin Peaks is coming back.
I even jumped through the rigmarole of getting a YouTube embed code from a mobile device (seriously – it should be easier).
— David Lynch (@DAVID_LYNCH) October 6, 2014
What you also need to know, dear reader, is that I was an impoverished student when Twin Peaks first aired in the UK. Well less impoverished than I might have been, since I was on a placement year, and that meant I got a small wage.
But nonetheless, I bought myself an ex-rental VHS VCR (new was out of bounds), to plug into the small TV in my Edinburgh flat, solely to record the series onto cassette. I think the VCR cost me £99.
The first season of Twin Peaks began airing on BBC Two in the UK on 23 October – a Tuesday (it also got a Saturday repeat each week). A sultry Sherilyn Fenn was on the front cover of that week’s Radio Times. It had aired earlier in the year on ABC in the US, running between April and May.
Fortunately, the BBC began season 2 just after Christmas on 8 January 1991. That was actually pretty good for a US import at the time. Starting a series in the New Year meant that UK viewers would get it uninterrupted until the end of the run, by which time it would almost be in sync with the much more interrupted US scheduling model. And so it was that Americans saw the final episode on June 10, 1991, while UK viewers saw it just a week later on June 18.
Twin Peaks was also the show that introduced me to internet discussions. Now that was a pre-web internet. But I’d learnt about Usenet and was using that a fair bit. Yes – I was reading, and very occasionally contributing – to alt.tv.twin-peaks.
I had Angelo Badalamenti’s awesome soundtrack on cassette, and I bought the Penguin edition of the “The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer.”
In the UK we had the strange version of the pilot episode that wrapped things up as a TV movie, but I could never find that. Then I bought season 1 of the series on DVD, only for them not to release season 2 for ages, until finally we got the Gold Box set back in 2007 (I picked up an American copy – concerned it would never make it across the Atlantic).
Now of course there’s the “Entire” Mystery boxset on BluRay to watch. I need to get hold of that asap…