The Return of Peyton Place, and its Progeny, Twin Peaks 2017

May 1, 2017 | By

There are still smoldering EMBERS under the grim, grey ASHES ! ! !

Whether it’s a case of good release strategy or great timing, Peyton Place‘s debut on Blu-ray via Twilight Time whets the appetite for more tales of dirty behaviour and dark secrets in a mill town, where Grace Metalious set her 1956 debut novel, and whose tone, themes, characters, and antics inspired David Lynch and Mark Frost to create Twin Peaks in 1990.

Metalious’ novel spawned a film, an okay sequel, a hit TV series that flamed out, and two belated TV movies, whereas Lynch & Frost’s brilliantly weird concept begat an impeccable first season + riveting pilot, a third of an okay second season followed by utter crap, and a feature film from which the first hour could be largely jettisoned and a taut ‘prequel’ standalone episode could be cut.

Flash forward 27 years later, and Twin Peaks is set to return May 21st and answer the question fans were left with after the second season’s finale: What the fuck?

Whereas Lynch & Frost are reportedly starting Season 3 from where the last ended (Really?), Peyton‘s  film and TV writers took a lot of liberties with Metalious’ source material, restricted by the Production Code and network Standards & Practices, and what was deemed risque for its time. The novel and perhaps its cash-in sequel could be remade today, but you could also argue Twin Peaks took care of that by taking core elements and transcending melodrama with Lynchian weirdness, to which there’s really no equivalent.

That Metalious, Lynch, and Frost are still interconnected adds to the mystique of the Peyton Place world, and the most logical thing would be to follow Twilight Time’s disc with a Blu-ray of Return to Peyton Place (1961), and for Shout Factory to release the whole TV series and the two TV movies to give veteran fans closure, and the rest of us a plum opportunity to watch the show which starred very young Mia Farrow, Ryan O’Neal, Dorothy Malone, and Barbara Parkins.

Even Lynch & Frost would welcome such a beastly set.




Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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