We are just over one week to go until the 18 part mini series event that brings Twin Peaks back to the mind of the nation. The EYG Hall of Fame series ran for two seasons in the 1990s, but left such an indelible mark that people have wanted a return since. David Lynch answered all of the Peaks Freaks’ prayers with the new series on Showtime.
In celebration this week, we will be doing several special posts about Twin Peaks, counting down to the big moment next Sunday.
The first of these is my list for top ten favorite Twin Peaks characters. Oh my goodness, there are a ton of great ones, but these are my personal top ten.
I’m starting out at #1 because it should not be a mystery…
And SPOILERS, by the way, if you have not yet watched the first series…what are you waiting for??????
#1. Dale Cooper. The lead character of Twin Peaks was also the most compelling character, bringing a Zen-like philosophy with an attitude that you could not help but love. Dale Cooper’s horrid fate at the end of the final episode of the season two was one of the driving forces behind the fans wishing to bring the series back. You could not have Killer Bob in control of Agent Cooper for the rest of eternity and have it be okay. Everything about Cooper made him the perfect character to come and uncover the dark underbelly of Twin Peaks.
#2. Sheriff Harry S. Truman. The ultimate sidekick to Agent Cooper was the honest and brave sheriff of Twin Peaks with a name that should be easy to remember. Sheriff Truman was more down to earth than Cooper, but he understood that sometimes there was darkness in the woods. One of the Bookhouse Boys, Truman was not afraid to do what needed to be done to solve the crime. The bromance between Cooper and Truman was one of the best ever on television. You believed that they would do anything for one another because of a mutual respect.
#3. Leland Palmer/Killer Bob. I’m placing the two of these characters together even though they could be considered separate, just because. Leland Palmer, the killer of his own daughter Laura, was possessed by the evil spirit Killer Bob and he forced Leland to do the horrendous things that he did. Imagine, ABC reportedly forced David Lynch to come up with an answer to the murder mystery… something Lynch did not want to do. If ABC had stayed out of it, would we ever have gotten a resolution? And what would Leland’s fate have been? The scene where Leland realizes what he has done and kills himself is some of the most powerful acting of the series. Ray Wise is a wonderful actor.
#4. Pete Martell. “She’s dead. Wrapped in plastic…” These words were some of the first words we heard from Pete Martell, with his unusual accent. Pete was the every man of Twin Peaks. The man who could comment on the strange goings on and make you laugh at it. Lines such as “Fellas, don’t drink that coffee! You’d never guess. There was a fish in the percolator! Sorry.” or “I feel like somebody taped my lips to the tailpipe of a bus.” Pete was a wonderful character who we will miss terribly in the return.
#5. The Log Lady. One of those characters that made you understand that Twin Peaks was unlike any television show before it, the Log Lady was an eccentric woman who carried around and spoke to a log. And yet, she was not treated like a coo-coo. She was treated like someone who knew more than just what was in front of everyone. She was almost like a mystic of the woods, where owls aren’t what they seem and lodges could be white or red. Plus, did we ever truly discover what her log saw that night? Who knows.
#6. Deputy Andy Brennan. Andy was more comedic relief int he story, as his love affair with receptionist Lucy brought its share of laughs. I can remember Andy chasing his sperm sample across the floor of the sheriff’s station after he accidentally dropped it. That was one of the best scenes with the deputy. Andy was sweet and loving and really not made out for police work. Yet, there he was, through the tears, doing what he could to help.
#7. Laura Palmer. Actress Sheryl Lee became the most famous dead girl in the land as they pulled her body from the water in episode one of Twin Peaks. We would learn more about Laura over the run of the series in flashbacks, in the Black Lodge and in the movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, but nothing ever changed the fact that she was one of the most tragic characters to ever grace the screen. Laura had such a terrible life and such a horrendous death- all brought about by her father, it is really sad when you think about it. Still, she is probably the most iconic victim ever on TV.
#8. Dr. Lawrence Jacoby. When the town psychiatrist is weirder than most of the town, you know there is going ot be trouble, and that is certainly the fact with Dr. Lawrence Jacoby. Jacoby dressed as eccentric as you could imagine, gaudy bright colors and Oriental robes. He had different colored lenses in his glasses. And he was at the heart of the murder mystery of Laura Palmer, being Laura’s doctor. He was mostly a red (and blue) herring, but he was never going to be forgotten.
#9. Audrey Horne. You know that they regretted making Audrey a high school student because of the tremendous chemistry that she had with Agent Cooper, but Cooper could not be involved with a high schooler. Still, their relationship, as platonic as it had to be, was one of the highlights of the early episodes of Twin Peaks. Despite her high school age, they still placed Audrey into some seriously adult settings, including the remarkably sensual moment where she tied a cherry stem with her tongue.
#10. Gordon Cole. David Lynch himself as the hard of hearing head of the FBI, Gordon was always very funny. He was more than a one-note joke, however, as he was a support to Cooper and back up for some of the more crazy aspects for season two.
Honorable mention: Deputy Hawk, Nadine Hurley, Ben Horne, Catherine Martell, Albert Rosenfield, Bobby Briggs, Garland Briggs, Denise/Dennis Bryson, The Man from Another Place, The Giant, Jerry Horne, Windom Earle, Leo Johnson