2017 has been quite the year for Twin Peaks fans, new and old alike. Indeed the flood banks overflowed. After more than a 25 year gap and a few years of ‘will it, won’t it’ speculation, David Lynch and Mark Frost returned to the idyllic town with the dark secrets, Twin Peaks, Washington.
Prior to the release of the new TV series – branded ‘The Return’, as opposed to ‘Season 3’ – we were treated with a hefty tome by the ground-breaking show’s co-creator, Mark Frost. The Secret History of Twin Peaks was a compendium of documents collected over a period of decades by someone who identified themselves as ‘The Archivist’, with annotation by FBI Agent Tamara Preston.
Twin Peaks – The Final Dossier picks up Preston’s work after the events of The Return and provides us with deeper insight into the characters – both seen and unseen – in the series. It is an appendix to the previous document rather than a new book, but provides some satisfying answers that are not found in the new series.
The book provides us with more information around the fates and futures of characters such as the Packards, Hornes and Haywards; further information on the intervening years of Annie Blackburn, Leo Johnson, James Hurley, Hank Jennings and Major Garland Briggs, between old series and new; as well as a post-series assessment on the part of Agent Preston.
Where the book allows us to find answers and resolutions, it lacks the visual enhancers of its predecessor – the photos, clippings and diagrammatic support documents are gone. Perhaps Frost saw the series as being all the reader would need, as this book is truly the domain of the die-hard fan, not the casual observer – however, it would have provided this slim book with added impact to have had more of its predecessor’s visual detail.
The Final Dossier – as anyone who has seen the most recent series (and hints abound that a future series could happen) will attest – feels like Frost’s companion to what was a heavily Lynchian approach to the return to Twin Peaks, in its televisual format. A straightforward set of answers – as straightforward as anything can be, when it comes to Twin Peaks – in a slight volume, to round out The Return.
Reviewed by Glen Christie
Distributed by: Pan Macmillan Australia
Release Date: November 2017
RRP: $34.99 hardback
Rating out of 10: 7