Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery
Blu-ray | Box Set
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On stunning High Definition Blu-ray, Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery is a comprehensive collection with every episode from the complete television series; both the U.S. and international versions of the series’ Pilot; the North American Blu-ray debut of David Lynch’s follow-up feature Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me; and nearly 90 minutes of deleted and extended scenes from the film. The set also features newly transferred Log Lady introductions for each episode; picture upgrades to many shots in the TV series; a new featurette with series creator Lynch and the actors who portrayed the Palmer family which includes a mesmerizing return to the lives of their characters today; and hours of never-before-released material that dives into the fascinating story behind the celebrated pop culture classic.
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The packaging is nicely done and good quality. However I prefer practical packaging and it takes a little effort to flip through and access the discs. There isn't a booklet listing all of the disc contents, which is a bit frustrating as you have to insert a disc to see which special features it contains. This is nitpicking because it looks very good and there is a neat little surprise after you flip through all of the discs.
HD UPGRADE QUALITY
All episodes of the TV show, including both versions of the pilot, have been meticulously scanned and remastered from the original negatives. People seem to forget that this show was finished in 1990 TV resolution. Thankfully it was shot on film and those film negatives could be used to create HD masters. It took considerable work and expense to upgrade these episodes to HD quality and DTS sound. While the Gold Box versions looked great, these transfers are much better, with 3 times the sharpness and more accurate and striking color. I am watching on a 100" screen and seeing textures and details I never noticed on the DVD. There is a much greater depth which pulls you even deeper into the world of Twin Peaks. Twin Peaks was the first show to be shot in a cinematic style, and it pays off big time on blu-ray. The shows are presented in their original 4x3 aspect ratio.
I have noticed some shots in the first few episodes which were clearly not upgraded to HD, probably because they were part of a special effect. For example, when Laura's mom imagines Donna's face turning into Laura. They were brief moments and didn't detract much from the overall amazing presentation. However in the first episode of season two there is a long montage of superimposed shots while Cooper describes the details of Laura's murder. The whole sequence is noticeably not in HD and it stands out. It is quite distracting and a shame because it is such a crucial and visual scene. I can only guess the producers were unable to locate the original negative for those scenes.
The sound is remixed and remastered in DTS-MA and is amazingly full ranged and detailed considering it was originally created for a 24 year old TV show. The music in particular sounds fantastic.
Fire Walk With Me has not been previously available in HD in the US. The new transfer was scanned from the camera negative in 4k resolution and looks great. It has a very organic, natural film look with great depth and color. Sound is also DTS-MA and is excellent. I have a much greater appreciation for the film after watching it again in HD. There are still moments I don't like, but overall it is brilliant.
The extras have all been upgraded to HD where possible and look great. Even the murky old Log Lady introductions (which is how the entire show looked back then) show a big improvement.
I was thrilled to see that the recaps and previews for each episode have been included in HD. There are also some ABC promos. That really takes me back to watching it on ABC so many years ago.
THE MISSING PIECES
This is the biggest selling point of the set and for good reason. When Fire Walk with Me was released in 1992, many fans (myself included) were sorely disappointed when many favorite characters were not seen in the film. This frustration only increased when it was discovered that many of them were in fact filmed, but cut from the movie. Over the years these deleted scenes have become legendary, with entire websites devoted to drafts of scripts and rare photos from these scenes.
In the era of DVD extra features, fans petitioned to get the deleted scenes released. However, there was a tangle of legal rights which prevented this from happening. Complicating matters was the fact that David Lynch refused to include the scenes in their rough, unfinished state. It would take considerable funding to complete them to Lynch's specifications. After years of trying, it was finally announced that negotiations were at a standstill and the scenes would not be released. That is why they have never been included before.
I don't know exactly how it happened, but somehow the parties involved finally came to an agreement and funding was provided to allow Lynch to finally finish the scenes. Fans who have followed this saga for 22 years know how amazingly lucky we are to finally have 90 minutes of this legendary footage in full HD quality and DTS sound.
Lynch presents the Missing Pieces as it's own movie type experience and they play as a series of vaguely connected vignettes. It doesn't make much sense if you haven't seen FWWM recently, so a fresh viewing first might be a good idea.
And how are the scenes after all of these years? Do they live up to the hype? The answer is a definite YES. There is some amazing stuff here which Twin Peaks fans will love. There are both small character moments and big mind blowing moments. And about 5 minutes which take place AFTER the Season Two finale. You will find out what happens to Annie and get a further glimpse into what might have been with the evil Cooper if there was a season three. It's great stuff and I am still kind of amazed we are finally getting to see it. And in such great quality. I have not encountered audio sync issues as some have reported.
In addition to the Missing Pieces, there are several new extras created for this set. I haven't watched them all yet, but I did watch Between Two Worlds, which has 2 parts. The first is a haunting and surreal conversation with the Palmer family and David Lynch. This is followed by a more casual conversation with the actors who portrayed them. Very entertaining and very Lynchian.
The Atmospherics are trippy short music videos, each with a Twin Peaks theme and footage from the episodes and movie.
There are several previously unreleased deleted scenes and outtakes from the show on Disc Four.
There are 2 features on the making of FWWM, which I haven't watched yet.
Most of the other extras from the Gold Box are included, some in extended form. They are scattered throughout the discs. There are a few extras included from the Artisan season one set.
As for the extras not on this set, Artisan owns the season one commentaries and didn't license them, so blame Aristan. And the SNL skits and coffee commercials are owned by someone else who also didn't want to license them. I would love to have them all on one set, but that's the way it goes. At least we still have them on the DVD sets.
It is hard to emphasize just how much impact Twin Peaks had on television. It had a short run but its influence is felt to this day. Shows from X-Files to Lost and beyond simply would not have existed without Twin Peaks blazing the trail. The show today still seems fresh and innovative, even though it has spawned 24 years of imitators. If any show deserves the deluxe blu-ray treatment, it is Twin Peaks.
So is the set worth the high price tag so many people have been complaining about? Absolutely. The set includes 2 versions of the pilot, 29 hour long episodes and FWWM all newly remastered in HD. Plus you get the 90 minute Missing Pieces newly directed and edited by David Lynch himself in HD, hours of newly produced behind the scenes content and most of the previous extras remastered in HD (some in extended versions).
This is far more content than similarly priced HD single season sets (Star Trek and I Love Lucy come to mind). And Twin Peaks is a cult show with a much smaller audience. So the price is more than fair and completely in line with other releases. They could easily have released Season One, Two and FWWM as separate releases which would have cost far more to purchase individually.
This set is a dream release for Twin Peaks fans. We never thought we would see the deleted scenes from FWWM, much less finished in beautiful HD quality by Lynch himself. After all those years of watching low quality VHS tapes in the 90s, who would have thought we would get the entire show remastered in HD? If price is a concern, I am sure Amazon will drop the price sometime in the near future. But it is well worth every penny they are charging now.
This is the third time I've bought this stuff (first laserdisc, then DVD), but this is the first time I've enjoyed it wholeheartedly. If you were thinking about it, get it. It looks much, much better than what they recently made available on Netflix.
I got them today, they play just fine.
It's a damn good deal for what you get and I am quite happy with the purchase. If you are a Peaky, like me, I say go for it! You won't be disappointed.