Wednesday, October 31, 2007

DVD Review - Twin Peaks: Definitive Gold Box Edition (*****)



I've spent a good chunk of this decade vainly attempting to piece to together the complete Twin Peaks experience. After the shows final episode in 1991, the series surfaced in a massive VHS collection which left more than a little to be desired in regards to picture quality. At the time however, it was the only way to relive David Lynch and Mark Frost's miraculously original journey into the land of damn fine coffee and cherry pie. DVD was just around the corner though, so who really needed it, right? Well little did we know that the show would hang in legal limbo between studios for the better part of the next decade. The first season (sans pilot episode) saw release on DVD right at the turn of the millennium, but quickly and unceremoniously went out of print not long after. And then silence...

Twin Peaks would linger in obscurity for the next six years, with dedicated fans paying large sums of money for the 1st season DVDs, but even more for VHS copies of the extremely rare pilot. Footage would sporadically show up on the internet, along with copies of the shooting scripts, but not a word from CBS/Paramount about the release of season two or the re-release of the season one, not to mention the two highly sought after versions of the pilot. Word came early in 2007 however that David Lynch and CBS/Paramount had come to an agreement for the release of season 2 - great news for fans like me who had obtained copied of the 1st season, but no such luck for neophytes or less tech savvy fans. We were still without the pilot however, a 90 minute piece of television that had built up such as mystique that a release seemed nearly impossible.

October 30, 2007. That day will now live in infamy among Peaks Freaks, as that is the day that the complete Twin Peaks series - 90 minute Pilot episode (US & European versions), 7 Season One episodes and 22 Season Two episodes - was released on DVD. Spread over 10 discs and housed in a gold sheathed case, The Twin Peaks: Definitive Gold Box Edition is quite simply the best and most important DVD release of the year. Each episode has been remastered by David Lynch himself, as well as being remixed for 5.1 surround sound. To say the least, the show looks amazing - colors are vibrant and nicely corrected to accentuate all the muted tones and rainy environs of the shows Pacific Northwest locales. The only thing not remastered are the log lady introductions to each episode. The soundtrack is now full and heavy, wonderfully bringing to life Angelo Badalamenti's beautiful music. From a technical standpoint, this is a nearly flawless presentation of the show.

Unfortunately, as most TP fans know, a majority of the deleted scenes from the series have been destroyed over the years, but 4 are indeed included on the 9th disc of this set - none too revelatory, but nice nonetheless. The 10th disc is given over to a complete set of new special features however, and it is an embarrassment of riches. As much as I enjoyed the interviews that accompanied both the previous seasons on DVD, they were a little slight. The Gold Box remedies this however, as a large chunk of the features is given over to a massive 105 minute making-of documentary, broken down into 4 segments, which covers every facet of the show, from conception to cancellation.

Another bonus: for the first time ever, Lynch speaks openly about the creation of the show, in a nice coffee shop sit-down with stars Kyle Maclachlin and Madchen Amick. You also get the SNL skit which starred Maclachlin, a mini-doc on the annual Twin Peaks fan festival, including footage from the weekend as well as a tour through the various locations where the pilot and subsequent film was shot. And if that wasn't enough, there is a bevy of promo materials: TV spots, production photos, tie-in commercials, on-air promos and bumpers. The whole thing retails for close to $90, but for anyone who knows how difficult it has been to obtain the entire series in one place, they will be more than happy with their purchase. Twin Peaks is, was and forever will be the most innovative, influential and groundbreaking show of all time, and it finally has received the release it so richly deserves. Bravo.

1 comment:

the fish in the percolator said...

i heard disc 6 is the best out of all of them...