David Lynch and Mark Frost’s masterful paranormal/mystery/soap opera/procedural (whew) Twin Peaks is back on screens in May. With over 25 years since we last visited the town where the owls are not what they seem, the show has become a major pop culture force, especially in the world of television. So here are 10 shows that are heavily influenced by Twin Peaks.
The CW’s Archie comic’s adaptation is the Twin Peaks of 2017, nearly stealing the return of the original shows thunder. The choice to reboot the characters in the comics, and make the town of Riverdale the centre of a murder mystery plot, as well as the casting of Twin Peaks alum Madcken Amick, has seen the show become a popular cult hit, much like Twin Peaks before it.
Wayward Pines takes the idea of a strange town full of strange people to a place that may be weirder than Twin Peaks ever was. That said, the influence of the show is all over Wayward Pines first season, until that is, the nature of Wayward Pines is revealed.
The X Files
Twin Peaks always felt like the kind of town that would, sooner or later, attract Mulder and Scully, what with the disappearances and ritualistic undertones. The X Files has had many episodes in which the agents investigate small towns with paranormal secrets. On a side note: Twin Peaks actually gave David Duchovny his first hit role as a FBI agent who was also a transvestite.
Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller has proudly stated that he approached his adaptation of Hannibal Lecter with one idea: how would David Lynch do it. Lynch’s influence is all over Hannibal, right down to the FBI agent who has prophetic dreams. While Hannibal grounded its characters in reality, Fuller used Lynch’s influence to explore the shows inner demons, many of which are actually its titular characters
This may be cheating a little bit. The Simpsons weren’t so much influenced by Twin Peaks, as used the show for some excellent jokes. Case in point: “Who Shot Mr Burns Part Two” featured a very Twin Peaks-like dream sequence in which a backwards-talking Lisa uses flaming playing cards to point out a clue to Chief Wiggum.
Again, the influence here is subtle, and only makes itself known when current Who showrunner Steven Moffat first took charge. This came through with the likes of The Silence, an alien threat right out of a Lynchian nightmare, and in Asylum of the Daleks, Amy has a very Twin Peaks hallucination as she mistakes a room full of Daleks as people dancing to jazz music.
Broadchurch, a classic example of the whodunit, starred David Tennant and Olivia Colman as police investigating the death of a young boy that has rocked the community of the seaside town Broadchurch. There are no paranormal shenanigans going on here, but Broadchurch, much like Twin Peaks, grabbed the attention of millions of viewers who desperately tried to solve the case before the characters.
Lost is a strange, iconic, and frustrating show. Like Twin Peaks it was based around a central mystery only it was set on an island with a group of stranded survivors. Just like Twin Peaks, Lost made the nature of its setting part of the mystery, and like Twin Peaks, it also suffered a dip in form in season two. Hopefully Season three of Twin Peaks will have a less polarising end to its story than Lost did.
FX’s recently superhero hit, from Fargo creator Noah Hawley, Legion is basically a whole show set in a Twin Peaks dream sequence, with David Haller’s (Dan Stevens) mind as the black lodge. Also like Twin Peaks, Legion’s main villain is an entity that can take control of people and make them do horrible things, much like Bob.
The easier question when it comes to Stranger Things is to ask what it wasn’t influenced by, since along with the movies of Spielberg, and the novels of Stephen King, Stranger Things also has a healthy dose of Twin Peaks in the mix. Like the town of Twin Peaks, Stranger Things’ town of Hawkins also has a military complex which studies, and sometimes lets loose, things of a paranormal nature.