The City of Absurdity   TWIN PEAKS

  "Twin Peaks" heads for the big screen to resolve its multiple cliffhangers

excerpts from Noel Holston TV column
Minneapolis/St. Paul Star Tribune, June 28 1991

"Production of a TP film will begin in August, according to co-executive producer Mark Frost..."

"Frost said the movie, financed through a foreign syndication of the series will have a bigger budget than the weekly episodes and will shoot more in the Pacific Northwest, although the existing interior sets in Van Nuys, CA also will be used."

"'If the movie works, i suppose there's an opportunity to do like a 'Star Trek' movie every couple of years, if that's what we [Lynch & Frost] want to do,' Frost said."

"While Lynch and TP head writer Bob Engles have been working up the movie script, Frost has been in New Orleans directing his first theatrical freature, 'Storyville,' a political drama that takes its name from the city's turn of the century red-light district."

"Next spring Frost is scheduled to direct another feature, a romantic comedy he wrote called "The 72 Hour Club." Meanwhile, he and Lynch have a six episode commitment from ABC for "On the Air" a sitcom about an early 1950's live TV show, which will go into production in early fall.

"Reflecting on the experience of TP [in the ratings] Frost suggested that a limited series which ended when Laura Palmer's murder was solved may have been a better way to go." [He goes on to explain that network TV required a series which had the possibility to be extended. Also, Frost says, TP wouldn't work as a mini-series, because the networks want are more cautious: "Look at the fall season...everybody has retreated from any kind of risk-taking at all."

"Although Twin Peaks has often been labeled Lynch's baby, Frost actually has more hands-on involvement than Lynch. The latter left Twin Peaks to work on "Wild at Heart" after directing the pilot and co-writing the first 2 weekly episodes with Frost. "He wasn't really around for the first season," Frost said. "It was me and Bob Engles and Harley Peyton. We were shooting in an old ball-bearings factory with a skeletal production staff, just barely making the shows for the budget we had. It was like guerilla filmmaking. We made seven shows in 49 days, and I guess that was what was so much fun about it."

"Frost said ABC's top brass never cared much for the show, especially chairman Leonard Goldenson, who he said openly expressed distaste. Despite ABC's Increased meddling and its suicide-mission scheduling of the show last fall, Frost said he wouldn't trade the experience for anything. 'We got to write a long, extended, multilayerd Victorian novel and film the whole thing, and that was enormously satisfying. It was like shooting every page of a Dickens book."

ABC's censors on the cherry-stem: "I got an astonishing note from one of the censhoad they thought the act of twisting the chery stem was in some way a reference to oral sex. I called her up and said, 'What in the world would make you think that? You must have an absolutely filthy mind.' Censors, the whole idea is so childish. You feel like you're talking to hall monitors in school again."

"I'm a realist about how the networks work," said Frost, who got his first TV job writing for "The $6 million man" in 1974 while he was in college. "In a business that's driven purely by economics, the fact that one or two unique shows happen to get on and reach the public for a brief time doesn't constitute a trend. I kept saying let's wait and see what happens. I didn't think Twin Peaks would change television. I thought TV would go on being what it's always been, which is a kind of flea market for entertainment browsers."

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