Volume 5, Issue 2

(Winter 2019)

Special Issue: Twin Peaks

Guest editor: Franck Boulègue

Print run sold out. 


Cover Image: The Trinity nuclear test, July 16, 1945. Photograph by Jack Aeby of the Special Engineering Detachment, Manhattan Project, Los Alamos. Image is in the public domain. <www.mbe.doe.gov/me70/manhattan/trinity_photograph.htm>

Introduction, by Franck Boulègue (7-18)


"Gotta Light?": Intersections of Science and the Supernatural in Twin Peaks, by Miranda Corcoran (19-44)


Abstract: In the eighth episode of Twin Peaks: The Return, the visceral horrors of history and the imaginative constructs of fiction converge amidst the incendiary wrath of a massive nuclear conflagration. As the world's first nuclear detonation generates a massive explosion over the desert plains of New Mexico, the fabric of reality appears to rupture, unleashing a horde of sinister, scorched figures, whose shadowy forms seem to crackle with radioactive menace. In this moment of scientific apotheosis, the ostensibly divergent realms of the scientific and the supernatural unite to create a horror that traverses the boundary between the natural and the unnatural. However, this unsettling genesis is not the first time that the apparently distinct realms of the rational and the mystical have converged within the strange universe of Twin Peaks. Indeed, across the vast mythopoeia of Twin Peaks, the scientific and the supernatural constantly collide, intertwine, and merge. Drawing on this perspective, this essay explores the many diverse intersections of the scientific and the supernatural that occur within the world of Twin Peaks.

Keywords: atomic bomb, electromagnetism, mysticism, Project Blue Book

Mark Frost's The Secret History of Twin Peaks & Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier, reviewed by Johnny Truant (45-48)


Under The Skin of the World: The Multiversal Spaces of Twin Peaks, by Adam Daniel (49-72)


Abstract: This article assesses how David Lynch and Mark Frost employ location not only as a setting for action, but also as a way of interrogating the possibilities of parallel internal and external realities. Drawing on multiverse theory, it examines the metaphysical implications of the universe that Lynch and Frost have created and how the show questions the orthodoxy of singular space-time configurations. Taking Margaret Lanterman's questions that introduce episodes in syndication to interrogate how the show literalizes and thematizes worlds behind worlds, it examines the possibility that the apartment above the convenience store is one of many junction points for these multiple realities, acting as a nexus of worlds. Twin Peaks: The Return engages with the affective capacities of the sound and image to open up this expanded conception of worlds that exist under the skin of our world.

Keywords: images, multiverse, parallel realities, space-time

Gregg Almquist, Tricia Brock, Robert Engels, Lise Friedman & Harley Peyton's Welcome to Twin Peaks: An Access Guide to the Town, reviewed by Andrew Burt (73-75)


"Ladies and gentlemen [...] The Nine Inch Nails": Twin Peaks and Fictional World and Alternative Earth, by David Sweeney (76-94)


Abstract: In one sense, all fictional worlds, no matter how 'realistic,' are alternative earths, populated as they are with characters who either do not exist in the real world or are invented versions of people who do, but alternative history fiction requires a point of divergence in order to ask 'what if?' questions. While none of the installments of the Twin Peaks franchise explicitly address a point of divergence, the scenes set in 1945 and 1956 in The Return provide a historical context previously absent from the series. This article argues that the alternative earth in which Twin Peaks is set diverged from our own with the supernatural incursion created by the Trinity explosion. One characteristic of this alternative universe is 'retromania,' pop culture's fascination with its past, which in the world of the series seems less exercises in nostalgia than signifiers of the milieu of an alternative earth, one which is similar to yet different enough from our own to make us consider the history of the real world anew.

Keywords: 1950s, alternative earths, dimensions, retromania

Jennifer Lynch's The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, reviewed by Ernesto Acosta Sandoval (95-97)


Twin Peaks: The Return as Subversive Fairy Tale, by Courtenay Stallings (98-116)


Abstract: This article considers Twin Peaks: The Return as a supernatural fairy tale, employing as it does forces that defy scientific explanation (including the other-dimensional worlds of the Red Room, the Purple Palace, and the White Lodge) and fairy tale tropes like a hero sent on a quest, magic, giants, monsters, and talking animals. However, the narrative does not follow conventional storytelling practices. The fairy tale of The Return allows viewers to grapple with real-life dark forces and trauma. The dream-like story provides a supernatural coding to allow viewers to confront the horror of violence and despair, comforted by the fact that Agent Cooper is on a quest to rescue the princess and battle darkness.

Keywords: civilizing process, fairy tales, folklore, quests, self-transformation

Mark Frost's The List of Seven & The Six Messiahs, reviewed by Diana Heyne (117-119)


Thousands of Miles and Many Centuries: Eastern Mysticism and Spiritual Possession in Twin Peaks, by Brett H. Butler (120-144)


Abstract: The concept of possession in Western culture is typically associated with Christian mythos, but numerous characters in Twin Peaks reflect non-Christian ideologies and the supernatural world of Twin Peaks cannot be accurately evaluated with Western, Christian myths. This article analyzes the amalgam of Eastern and Native American spiritualism and mysticism that the show employs to explain the paranormal occupation of and influence over characters in Twin Peaks to address why the White and Black Lodges exist, why their spirit inhabitants occupy certain characters in the series, and why only certain characters can see/interact with these spirits.

Keywords: dance, misakis, possession, Tibetan Book of the Dead

Scott Frost's The Autobiography of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes, reviewed by Franck Boulègue (145-147)


The Secret History of BOB: Transmedia Storytelling and Twin Peaks, by Mark Yates (148-170)


Abstract: This article investigates the ways in which the transmedia epitexts of Twin Peaks--which include tie-in books, audio cassettes, collector's cards, websites, and video featurettes--contributed to the development of Twin Peaks' supernatural mythology. Bu focusing on the series' supernatural antagonist, BOB, it argues that the epitextual media not only fulfilled its paratextual function of presenting and commenting on Twin Peaks but also expanded and complicated the show's supernatural mythology through its uses of transmedia storytelling. Applying Gérard Genette's paratextual methodologies and Henry Jenkins' concept of transmedia storytelling to explore the transmedia epitexts of Twin Peaks, this article considers the ways in which these epitexts expanded upon the show's supernatural mythologies to such an extent that the majority of their mysteries have remained unacknowledged within the show's canon. Exploring these unacknowledged mysteries reveals a transmedia storytelling strategy that not only promoted Twin Peaks but also created an immersive narrative experience that both reinforced and complicated the show's supernatural mythologies.

Keywords: epitextuality, intertextuality, paratextuality, transmediality

Mark Frost's The Paladin ProphecyAlliance & Rogue, reviewed by Marisa C. Hayes (171-173)


"If Jupiter and Saturn Meet": Astrological Dualities and Time in Twin Peaks, by Karla Lončar (174-193)


Abstract: Within the spiritual/mystical realms of Twin Peaks and the array of occult, spiritual, and mythological symbols employed to shape their story and its world, David Lynch and Mark Frost include references to the classical-to-medieval era sciences of astrology and alchemy, most prominently those that engage with the Jupiter-Saturn dichotomy. This article argues that these references embody tensions between the Black (Saturn) and White (Jupiter) Lodge, and the "real" (Jupiter) and shadow self (Saturn), which correspond with Jungian psychoanalysis; additionally, tensions between the traditional generic elements (Saturn) and the avant-garde Lynchian devices (Jupiter) and audiovisual explorations of time and space manifest as long and repetitive takes (Saturn) in opposition with immersive and dynamic sequences (Jupiter). 

Keywords: astrology, Carl Jung, planets, psychoanalysis, time and space



Franck Boulègue is a French scholar and cinema critic who has published extensively about Twin Peaks over the years. In 2013, together with Marisa C. Hayes, he co-edited Fan Phenomena: Twin Peaks (Intellect), a collection of essays for fans of the series. In 2016, he wrote Twin Peaks: Unwrapping the Plastic (Intellect), his personal and more academic take on Twin Peaks in its first two seasons and in film. He has also published several articles about the series in French magazines such as Cahiers du Cinéma, Positif, and La Septième Obsession. Besides his love for the works of David Lynch, he regularly creates dance films and co-runs a screendance festival in Burgundy. You can follow his research about Twin Peaks on his blog, www. unwrappingtheplastic.com

Brett Butler is an assistant professor of Professional Writing at Morgan State University. His interests and research also span many aspects of popular culture, including comics books, horror film, and supernatural television. Much of his interest in these areas was inspired by the dark and fantastic narrative of the original Twin Peaks series.

Miranda Corcoran received her PhD from the School of English, University College Cork. Her doctoral thesis explores representations of social paranoia in Cold-War American and Soviet Russian fiction. Her research interests include postmodern theory, absurdist fiction, intersections of literature and psychology, and American popular culture. She has also taught numerous undergraduate courses on genre fiction, science fiction, and horror.

Adam Daniel is a film and media scholar at Western Sydney University, and a member of WSU’s Writing and Society Research Centre. His PhD thesis investigates the modern evolution of the horror film form, with a particular focus on the intersection of embodied spectatorship, technology and new media, and Deleuzian philosophy. He also writes on screenwriting practice and theory.

Karla Lončar is a Croatian film scholar and film critic who holds a degree in Comparative Literature and Sociology from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, where she is enrolled in the PhD program in Literature, Performance Studies, Film and Culture. She is employed at the Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography in Zagreb, working as a Full-Time Expert Associate on compiling The Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Cinema. She currently lives in New York City and is doing her dissertation research at the Pratt Institute on the dream world of Twin Peaks, for which she was awarded a Fulbright scholarship. The co-editor of the Croatian Film Chronicle, Lončar also regularly publishes in various journals. Her recent essays have been primarily focused on Twin Peaks and have been published in Zarez, Filmonaut, and Muf, as well as in the international film portal Desistfilm. In 2011, Lončar was awarded the Vladimir Vuković Award for the best aspiring film critic the by Croatian Society of Film Critics, and she has taken part in Sarajevo (2013) and Berlinale Talent Press (2014).

Courtenay Stallings is the assistant director of Pepperdine Graphic Media and a professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. Stallings is also the associate editor for the Blue Rose Magazine, a quarterly publication dedicated to Twin Peaks and David Lynch. She is completing her doctorate in cultural studies and history at Claremont Graduate University and is currently working on a book titled Laura’s Ghost: Women Speak about Twin Peaks, which explores the legacy of Laura Palmer. She would like you to know that the good Courtenay is in the lodge, and she can’t leave. Write it in your diary.

David Sweeney is a lecturer in Design History and Theory at the Glasgow School of Art specializing in popular culture. He has spoken at several academic conferences in the UK and North America and published articles and book chapters on comic books, film and TV. He can be contacted at d.sweeney@gsa.ac.uk.

Mark Yates received a joint PhD in English Literature from the University of Salford and Ghent University. The author of a variety of articles on William Blake and Twin Peaks, he is currently an associate lecturer of English Literature at the University of Salford.

*These notes appear on pages 194-195 of the print issue.