UK fans of Twin Peaks have had a long time to wait to own the whole series on DVD. The first season was released many years ago but the second season box set never materialised in the UK. The second season was released in America though and there was also a box set released in America and other parts of Europe that contained both seasons and was described as The Definitive Gold Box Edition. This Gold Box Edition has now finally been released in the UK and it was worth the wait.
Twin Peaks was a series created in 1990 by David Lynch and Mark Frost and ran for 30 episodes (including the pilot). It centres on an investigation into the murder of popular high school girl Laura Palmer whose body is found in the pilot washed up on a river bank and “wrapped in plastic”. I won’t go in to too much more detail about the story as there are already a few posts about the content of the series on HeyUGuys and we’ll be posting even more soon.
On the subject of the content though I have to admit that I am totally in love with this series; it mixes beautifully the thrilling mystery of the plot with horror, romance and comedy. I’ve now seen the whole series four times and I will definitely be revisiting it in the future.
I can say with certainty that, until we see a Blu-Ray release, the only way you should watch the series is this DVD box set. Having had to suffer the dreadful UK VHS release of this series which seemed to use the cheapest videos available and give little care to the transfer, it is so refreshing to watch this set of DVDs.
The picture quality in the Gold Box Edition (not done justice in these stills) is absolutely stunning and some of the best transfers I’ve seen outside of Blu-Ray. It is on par with the excellent work done by The Criterion Collection and Masters of Cinema and like many of their releases the transfer has been approved by someone involved in the original production, here David Lynch himself. The series was shot on film and a lot of red filters were used during the making of the series giving it the warm and almost off balance colour. This is beautifully restored on these discs and it is great to see the intended look of the series properly represented.
The audio is presented in both 5.1 and the original 2.0 and is clear and of exceptional quality. Angelo Badalamenti’s score sounds beautiful but the mix never lets it overwhelm the dialogue. Probably my only criticism of this set is that it is missing the commentaries that featured on the Region 2 DVD release of the first season which is a shame as without these it is not quite as definitive as the title suggests.
The extras included on this set are very good though and I am sure will be enjoyable to any Peaks fan. Probably the most significant extra is the feature length documentary, ‘Secrets From Another Place’, which includes brand new interviews and looks at a lot of different aspects of the show. I really enjoyed the documentary and even for a Twin Peaks Geek like me there was still a lot of interesting new information.
Although the deleted scenes on these discs are a good addition to the set they don’t actually add a lot to the series but I am glad they were included as they are of some interest. Also important in completing the set is the introductions to each episode by the Log Lady which you have the option to either have on or off. Other features worth noting are the SNL sketches which are pretty funny and ‘A Slice of Lynch’ which features Lynch taking a look back at the series with Kyle MacLachlan, Mädchen Amick and JohnWentworth.
On an incredibly geeky note I have to complement the makers of the set for the menu screens. Each disc has a different menu screen and each one is like a beautiful little scene from Twin Peaks. So often DVDs have annoying or lazily put together menu screens and it really nice to see that no detail in this set was ignored.
If you like Twin Peaks and you don’t already own the Season one box set (which includes the commentaries) then this set is a must buy. If you already own it you could just buy the Season two set but having the whole series in one beautifully put together set is really fantastic. I love this series so much and will be rewatching individual episodes and the whole series again in the future and I am very pleased that finally there is a box set that does justice to this excellent show and one that will make that viewing experience even more pleasurable.
I have listed the main features of the set below and embedded the trailer for the box set at the bottom of this post.
- All 29 Episodes plus the Original Pilot: Both U.S. network and international versions of the pilot
- Remastered Picture from the original negative with newly-created 5.1 Audio, personally approved by David Lynch – also includes original 2.0 Audio
- Deleted Scenes: Lost footage saved from the cutting room floor
- Exclusive feature-length documentary, “Secrets from Another Place,” exploring the show’s origins,production and impact – featuring brand-new interviews with the cast and crew and never-before-seen footage
- “A Slice of Lynch”: David Lynch takes a strange and amusing look back with help from Kyle MacLachlan, Mädchen Amick and JohnWentworth
- “Return to Twin Peaks”: Follow a group of devoted “Peaks Freaks” and cast members to the 2006 Twin Peaks Festival
- Interactive Map: The show’s unforgettable locations and how to find them in real life
- The complete Log Lady Introductions
- Saturday Night Live: Kyle MacLachlan’s monologue and the hilarious Twin Peaks comedy sketch featuring the SNL cast
- The “Falling” Music Video with Julee Cruise
- And Many Golden Nuggets: On-air promos, TV spots, production documents, rare photos and more