Get out a fresh piece of cherry pie and a mug of piping hot coffee, and get ready for one of television”s strangest and most watched phenomena, because Artisan has released the first season of David Lynch”s campy but irresistible series “Twin Peaks” on DVD. Full of bizarre features and excellent picture and sound, the set is worth getting even if you weren”t among the millions glued to your TVs every week during the original run in 1990.

The seven episode set concerns the events following the murder of Laura Palmer, a popular high school student and all around “good girl.” Agent Dale Cooper (played by Kyle McLachlan, who redefines deadpan) is called to Twin Peaks after another girl is found injured (and possibly attacked by the same person that killed Laura).

Both Cooper and the local sheriff, Harry S Truman, soon realize that the case goes deeper than they could have imagined, but when Cooper has a bizarre dream, he begins to sort through the maze of secret relationships and hidden motives that exist in the town. Like a soap opera on acid, “Twin Peaks” has some of the strangest characters to grace the idiot box.

The set has one major flaw: The pilot episode, which is currently tied up in litigation, is not included with episode one through seven. Although there is a detailed description of the events of the pilot episode, if you want to truly enjoy the experience, your only option is to scour e-bay for the Chinese bootleg, since it is currently out of print.

Despite this rather sizable omission, the four disc set is excellent. The interactive menu is one of the most innovative of any recent DVD, with eerie music and the cracking of electricity filling your ears.

The episodes themselves look and sound perfect, with the high definition transfer and the DTS digital surround sound taking the episodes light years beyond the previously grainy and dark pictures and muffled sound. On the DVD, every gloomy and unnatural scene and every note on the deliberately saccharin synthesizer soundtrack is crystal clear.

Each episode has optional features that can be turned on, including introductions by the Log Lady (if you don”t know what that is, there”s no way to explain it).

The episodes also feature director commentary, which ranges from insightful observations to somewhat boring technical details. There is also an optional feature that allows you, during an episode, to jump to a screen where an explanation of deleted material is given, but take heed, because occasionally, secrets from the second season are given away.

The extras, listed under the heading of “Tibet,” are plentiful, but some of them are just plain boring, and it becomes clear that David Lynch had little to do with the production of these features, most likely since he has been tied up getting www.davidlynch.com up and running.

Interviews with everyone from the woman who owns the so-called “Double R Diner” to a painfully long phone call with series co-creator Mark Frost burden the largely uninteresting special features.

The “Introduction to David Lynch” section is laughable, because Lynch doesn”t appear once in the entire set of interviews.

The most bizarre and hilarious feature is “Learning to Speak in the Red Room,” in which the “man from another place” tries to teach you how to (without giving anything away) speak the way that he does in Cooper”s infamous dream, which seems like a good idea until you realize that he really isn”t making any sense. Overall, the features suffer from a distinct lack of Lynch.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.