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IT IS HAPPENING AGAIN: What we know, what we think we know, and what we hope to learn when ‘Twin Peaks’ returns

It is anyone’s guess what we are in for during the return of Twin Peaks, this Sunday at 9pm ET on SHOWTIME (available free to Sling TV subscribers beginning Friday, May 19 through Monday, May 22). In preparation for an event 26 years in the making, we have collected what little intel available and posed some burning questions below. Be sure to check out our primer on the original series.

What we definitely know:

  • This is billed as a new, 18-part limited event series.
  • Much of the original cast, led by Kyle MacLachlan as Special Agent Dale Cooper, will reprise their roles. Interestingly, this includes Sheryl Lee, aka homecoming queen Laura Palmer, whose bizarre murder was central to the original series.
  • Series creators Mark Frost and David Lynch wrote the new installments with Lynch directing. We are undoubtedly in store for more wonderful weirdness, coffee and pie.

What we think we know:

  • If iMDB is to be trusted, new cast members include: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Naomi Watts, Michael Cera, David Duchovny, Tim Roth, Ashley Judd, Amanda Seyfried, Matthew Lillard, Eddie Vedder, Ernie Hudson, Trent Reznor, Jim Belushi and many, many more. And yes, you read that all correctly.
  • It is safe to assume deceased original cast members will not make an appearance, unless expert hologram artists or lookalike actors have been called in. RIP Frank Silva (Bob, the killer), Catherine E. Coulson (Log Lady), Don S. Davis (Major Garland Briggs, Bobby’s father), Jack Nance (Pete Martell, manager of the sawmill who found Laura’s body), John Boylan (Mayor Milford). Miguel Ferrer (Albert Rosenfield, snarky FBI forensics specialist) died earlier this year but may pop up.

What we look forward to learning:

  • Noticeably absent from casting reports, will Lara Flynn Boyle (Donna Hayward) make a return?
  • What more will we see from Laura Palmer? She’s still dead, right?!
  • How will moving to a premium network impact the show? While it pushed the limits of permissible content on broadcast TV in the early 1990’s (Murdered teen! Shots of her battered body! Talk of teenage sex and drug use!), SHOWTIME has a ton more freedom.
  • How will Twin Peaks fare in the brave new world of social media and obsessive TV viewing?
  • Are we going to see stories in the vein of an anthology series rather than something highly serialized? Exhibit A: SHOWTIME officially refers to new installments to as “parts” and not “episodes,” possibly suggesting somewhat more contained stories. Exhibit B: It could be difficult to sustain an extremely large cast over the course of the entire season; perhaps more “stories of the week” will be incorporated?
  • Does the tagline “it is happening again” allude to more than just the return of the show itself?