Twin Peaks and The X-Files Make Their Return to TV
By Crystal Harrell
(Originally featured in The Chaparral of College of the Desert)
It appears that a dose of the 90’s will be in store for fans of the supernatural drama series Twin Peaks and The X-Files, as both critically-acclaimed shows are slated to make a return to television next year. The two series have gained a definitive cult following since being on air twenty-plus years ago, and have even inspired contemporary paranormal/investigative hits of this century, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Bones, Fringe, and Supernatural.
Twin Peaks creator and director extraordinaire David Lynch confirmed last fall in The Rolling Stone that his 1990 series will have a nine-episode run on Showtime next year. Similarly, an X-Files reboot that was merely a rumor for quite some time has now become a reality, with a six-episode mini-series scheduled to air on Fox in January.
The press has spoken, and both new and long-time fans are aflutter with excitement, but to those who are unfamiliar with these shows, the question,“why should I care” may come to mind.
Twin Peaks is a bizarre, soap opera-esque amalgamation of romance, murder, and high school love triangles mixed together in a big coffee mug of “wait, what just happened?” The show follows an investigation led by Special Agent Dale Cooper, who is sent to the quaint, woodsy town of Twin Peaks to help solve the murder of popular high school senior Laura Palmer. The thing is, everything is not what it seems in this tight-lipped community, and the slaughtered girl-next-door may have harbored a few dark secrets of her own, linking those close to her with a mystery never meant to be discovered.
The series skillfully blends quirky dialogue with some truly disturbing imagery that fully embodies all that audiences have come to expect from a Lynchian creation. The diverse ensemble of characters also ensures that viewers have at least one person to root for in the absurd scheme of hidden lodges and deceptive owls—squeaky-voiced secretary Lucy Moran, bad boy Bobby Briggs, friend-till-the end Donna Hayward, and sly seductress Audrey Horne, for example. One thing’s for certain: once you get a taste of all the suspenseful hysteria following the townspeople of Twin Peaks, you’ll get a hankering for a resolution and a fine cup of coffee.
Following in the same vein of dark, enigmatic cult classics, The X-Files premiered in 1993, a couple years after the cancellation of Twin Peaks, and has grown into a popular fandom still ever-growing well into the 21st Century. This TV series has been credited as being groundbreaking in its subject matter and its ability to stretch the boundaries of what was considered acceptable for prime time television at the time. The show chronicles the case files of FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Mulder, a believer, and Scully, a skeptic, must solve strange cases that lean toward the paranormal side, while also battling a major extraterrestrial conspiracy orchestrated by our own government.
The X-Files spawned two motion picture releases, a comic book series, and various taglines that you can still see referenced in the occasional E.T.-inspired blog post, including “Trust No One,” “I Want to Believe,” and most famously, “The Truth is Out There.” The show’s dynamic duo, Agent Mulder and Agent Scully, have also made a cultural impact beyond the TV screen, exemplified by the “Scully Effect,” in which the character of Dana Scully encouraged more females to pursue careers in government, law, and medicine.
All in all, Twin Peaks and The X-Files are long over-due for a return to the television screens of their loyal fan bases, and quite possibly, a whole new generation of admirers waiting to be born.