Faculty of Arts
Department of English
and American Studies
English Language and Literature
Twin Peaks: Revolution on TV
Master’s Diploma Thesis
Supervisor: doc. PhDr. Tomáš Pospíšil, Dr.
I declare that I have worked on this thesis independently, using only the primary and secondary sources listed in the bibliography.
I would like to thank my supervisor, doc. PhDr. Tomáš Pospíšil, Dr., for his kind help, support and valuable advice. Also, I would like to thank Leesa Wheatley for proofreading my thesis.
Table of Contents
02. Twin Peaks25
General facts about Twin Peaks25
Auteur Theory vs. Collaborators (Why Lynch’s Twin Peaks?)27 Plot30
Motifs and Themes43
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me64
04. Television and Media69
Twin Peaks is an ABC television series first aired in 1990 and 1991. It is associated, above all, with the well-known filmmaker David Lynch. Owing to this connection, as well as other factors, Twin Peaks is generally regarded as a television milestone and a series that changed TV. The objective of this thesis is to present the factors that contributed to Twin Peaks’ status as a revolutionary television show. It introduces both David Lynch and his only successful work for television. From several angles, it seeks to analyze why and in what respects Twin Peaks is considered pioneering. The first chapter is about David Lynch, the man behind Twin Peaks. Although Lynch was neither the only author (he co-created the series with Mark Frost, and several other authors participated in writing the screenplay) nor the only director (he only directed two pilots and four more episodes, the remaining twenty-four episodes were directed by other people, usually chosen by him), he was the man whose influence was decisive in making Twin Peaks novel. The chapter sums up Lynch’s filmography, adds basic biographical information and mentions connections with the series. The following chapter focuses on Twin Peaks itself. It gives an overview of the series – main plotlines and characters, themes and motifs – and tries to show what was new and unusual on the television screen in this respect. Chapter 3 deals with Twin Peaks’ affiliation with cinema. It observes cinematic techniques used in the series which are not very common on the small screen, as well as comparing Twin Peaks with Lynch’s films from the same period of time, in particular Blue Velvet preceding the series and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, a prequel to the TV show shot after the series was stopped by ABC. The final chapter, entitled “Television and Media,” adds a few points regarding Twin Peaks that should be mentioned, as they are of importance especially as far as the reception of the series is concerned. The problematic genre classification and the legacy of the series are discussed, along with the crucial role of the media in both promoting Twin Peaks and later contributing to its decline. 01. Lynch
When the words Twin Peaks are uttered, the name of David Lynch immediately springs to the mind of every person at least averagely familiar with television, cinema and popular culture. Although he is far from being the only person behind the series, he is arguably the most important one (and definitely the most famous one). Who is this man, who is generally regarded as ‘weird’ and ‘quirky’ – synonyms that are so often attributed to Twin Peaks as well? What’s...