'Twin Peaks' Offers a Weird (and On-Brand) Retrospective in Comic-Con Debut

The franchise shared a damn fine cup of coffee (and many memories) about the show's long history during its first-ever Comic-Con appearance.
Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME
For those expecting Showtime's Twin Peaks Comic-Con panel to be filled with new footage or broader looks at what's to come in its upcoming episodes, it's unlikely you know David Lynch. Instead, what old and new fans of the franchise got during the show's Comic-Con debut Friday were stories about their time in Twin Peaks, what working with co-creator Lynch is like and perhaps the tiniest tease of an upcoming interaction.
 
The panel, which also served as a reminder of the show's move to Sundays at 8 p.m. starting Aug. 6, opened with moderator Damon Lindelof setting the tone in Hall H by introducing a welcome video from Lynch. While neither he nor co-creator Mark Frost were able to attend the panel, the greeting was the perfect amount of weirdness (aka, a lot). 
 
The footage began with the director welcoming everyone to the panel before suddenly warning someone behind the camera not to go through a door or they'll fall four stories to the ground. They did and the camera cut out. When it came back, Lynch was holding a seemingly dead human arm, from which he pried a golf ball. "This is supposedly the last golf ball O.J. Simpson hit before he went to prison," Lynch explained before the camera cut to static.
 
 
Finally, Lynch got his proper introduction out of the way, greeting the audience. From there, it all became a calamity as behind the camera, Lynch chastised someone for bringing a horse into the room. What followed was an array of gunshots, horse sounds and broken glass as the director shouted, "That was a damn good lamp!" Lastly, after claiming the horse stepped on his cat, Lynch walked offcamera only to be attacked by the feline.
 
Could there have been a better way to kick off a Twin Peaks panel? We think not.
 
The cast then took the stage and did the best they could to talk about the show without giving anything away. It was most difficult for James Marshall (Jimmy Hurley), as his character has only briefly been seen this season. What he was able to share was that this version of Jimmy is a lot different from the kid fans remember. He likened it to the vast change in Bobby (Dana Ashbrook), who went from misguided youth to deputy in the original series.
 
 
Ashbrook, for his part, is ecstatic for his role in The Return. He also hinted, albeit on accident, that Bobby and Hutch (Tim Roth), evil doppelganger Dale Cooper's (Kyle MacLachlan) associate, may have an interaction at some point in the new series.
 
Given that the focus of the new season has been on finding the Black Lodge, with Bobby leading Sheriff Truman (Robert Forster) and Hawk (Michael Horse) into the woods based on a note from his deceased father, it's entirely possible that the good guys of Twin Peaks would cross paths with evil Cooper and his gang of thugs. When that happens is anyone's guess.
 
Beyond that small tease of what's to come, the majority of the panel played like more of a retrospective than anything else, as the cast told stories about how they became involved and went through their own personal histories with Lynch and Twin Peaks. Surprisingly, a few of the new cast have yet to watch the original series.
 
They all couldn't speak more highly of their leader though.
 
"[Lynch is] full of joy and life, and he has this peace about him that's unlike anyone I've ever experienced," Matthew Lillard (William Hastings) said. "He's a fantastic human being."
 
MacLachlan added, "His belief in his process and his vision and his point of view is so profound and focused, and he inspires me that way because he follows this dream in his mind. I find that inspirational in my life, to go after the thing I believe in the strongest."
 
 
However, there is one thing Lynch is stern about, according to MacLachlan, and that's actors improvising dialogue. "In one scene, Jim [Belushi] decided he was going to ad-lib a line in this heightened moment of euphoria, which he did," the actor remembered. "And we heard, 'Cut!' David has one of those megaphones, and he said, 'Mr. Belushi, do I have to report you to the principal's office?' And Jim went, 'No sir! Got it!'"
 
It's these stories and insights to working within the world of Twin Peaks that made the panel special — remember, Comic-Con is an event for fans and rarely has breaking news. After all, a major TV show coming to Comic-Con and not showing any sort of footage or revealing anything major in terms of the plot is not very common. Yet for Twin Peaks it makes perfect sense. Besides, even the cast has no idea where the story is going, so spoilers are practically impossible.
 
Twin Peaks airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Showtime. As of Aug. 6, it will move to 8 p.m.
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