Teenage characters de-aged by the network?

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laughingpinecone
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Teenage characters de-aged by the network?

Postby laughingpinecone » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:23 am

I was talking to someone on Tumblr and they mentioned that "Looking [the population sign thing] up a bit, it seems the meddling also de-aged the characters to high schoolers, which makes sense since barely any of them passed as one anyway." I asked for clarification since it's the first time I hear about it, and they read it on the somethingawful boards and kindly copypasted the post to me. It goes as follows:

Reading and writing in this thread has kicked loose a lot of old memories. I used to be a real Twin Peaks nut back in the day - I was in the Army at the time, in the first Gulf War when it premiered, and when I finally re-aligned in the real world it was late 91 and half way through the second season.

DVR’s, etc were of course unheard of then, but I did have a VCR in my room and a friend back home would mail me video tapes of each episode as she recorded them. It was like the world’s slowest bittorrent client, for you young punks:) I’ve seen it many times since but I still have fond memories of watching it in the barracks while drinking with my buddies, none of whom had the slightest fucking idea what was going on (neither did I at first, I think it took two full viewings of the series before I finally got it).

The same friend and I later went to see Fire Walk with Me opening day. Anyway, for years I was really in to trivia about the show, and kept up with rumors on newsgroups, some of which later turned out to be true, so here’s a few:

Bravo, which ran a revival of Twin Peaks in the mid-90’s, tried heroically to get Lynch and/or Mark Frost to restart the series. Eventually Lynch did film a few new scenes and special “log lady” intros for the episodes (he didn’t do all of the latter) but nothing else came of it.

Twin Peaks was always planned to be a small town, population 5,100, but this was changed at the last minute at the request of ABC, who for whatever reason thought that was too small and would limit the shows scope. So they bumped it to 51,000+, and this accounts for a lot of oddities in the show, for example why the town even has a department store (an idea brought in with the population expansion) yet runs like a small town with a small town police department, has a visiting judge, etc. There’s tons of little details that make more sense when you realize this.

From the very beginning it was planned that Agent Cooper and Audrey Horn would have a “will they/won’t they” relationship - the show Moonlighting, which was still on the air at the time, saw skyrocketing ratings due to Bruce Willis/Cybil Shepard playing out a similar romance (never mind that when they finally did get together ratings plummeted), and network execs were keen to try to duplicate that. One reason the 25 year old Sheryln Fenn was cast in the role was so she could play an older ingenue type; her character was meant to be a college dropout visiting home to annoy her rich family.

One of the consequences of the population cap bump was that the network (or writers, it’s unclear) decided that the younger characters could be in school and thus appeal to the younger demographic. Everyone thought 51,000 was still too small for a college setting, so they settled on high school. This ended up being a little ridiculous - the only actors who even remotely looked like they could be 18 were Lara Flynn Boyle and Madchen Amick (who both were 20) and the latter was portrayed as a dropout in any event. Still, they went with it, and it more or less worked, except:

Kyle MacLachlan was dating Lara Flynn Boyle throughout the show (this wasn’t a secret, there were even press releases about it from ABC). There were persistent rumors that Boyle herself got MacLachlan to torpedo the planned romance with Audrey, whether out of personal jealousy or a (non) professional desire to keep Fenn out of the spotlight (from the start, Fenn and her famous cherry-stem scene were almost as popular as Cooper and his coffee) is unknown. What is a fact is that Kyle MacLachlan himself firmly refused to do any “romance” scenes involving his character and Fenn’s, on the grounds that as portrayed in the show, Fenn’s character was 18, in high school, and would not have been considered proper to date by a straight-arrow character like Cooper.

And of course he had a point, but it ended up throwing quite a bit of the show out of whack - instead of a season 2 “will they or won’t they” plot with Audrey/Dale, they had to introduce two new characters (to an already large cast) who viewers weren’t used to and didn’t really care about. Instead of Audrey/Dale in the finale, we got Annie/Dale, and a completely irrelevant subplot involving Audrey, Pete, and the bank that literally went nowhere (it remains unresolved). Of all the things that happened to Twin Peaks, next to the constant time slot changes I think this is what really threw the show off track.

Both the log lady and the Black Lodge, two well known parts of Twin Peaks usually attributed to David Lynch, were actually the brainchild of co-producer Mark Frost. In the case of the log lady Frost, who hated “Eddie Explainers” (i.e. needless exposition) devised her as a way move the plot along without actually revealing anything, indeed making things even weirder.

This post is too long as it is - I’m damn near approaching ‘sprerg territory - but if anyone is interested I’ll keep going later.


Another post by the same user reveals the source as WiP and also contradicts itself with the reason behind the change in the town's population number:

The “Annie problem” started all the way in the pre-production script stage. Twin Peaks was supposed to be a larger town, and the High School was meant to be a college (at least a community college).

In a classic example of the domino effect, the town population cap was lowered (by a factor of 10) for budgetary reasons/to give a more homey feel, the college became a high school, the college students became (very old) high school students, and the seeds for the destruction of the Audrey/Cooper romance were sown.

Too bad, because it really throws off S2 in a lot of places - besides Annie (a character we have little sympathy for, played by an actress with little range) it also threw off Audrey’s arc, shoehorning in a romance with her and the Billy Zane character. Would have played out much better as envisioned.

Read that in Wrapped in Plastic, the TP fanzine, years and years ago.


Now, there's at least one blatant falsehood in there (the Log Lady predates Twin Peaks!), and an open contradiction, so I'm not taking this person's posts as gospel. But as it's the first time I hear about the high school kids being meant to be college kids, my question is... have YOU ever heard of it, where/how/deets pls. Thank you in advance for any light you might be able to spread on the matter!
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Manwith
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Re: Teenage characters de-aged by the network?

Postby Manwith » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:22 am

Maybe try asking Mark Frost on twitter if it's true they originally wanted Twin Peaks to have college age not high school age kids? Seems like a question you could fit in a tweet.
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Soolsma
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Re: Teenage characters de-aged by the network?

Postby Soolsma » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:50 pm

The only light I'm able to shed on the matter is: this person seems to either pull stuff out of their ass, or their memories got a bit fuzzy.

Eventually Lynch did film a few new scenes and special “log lady” intros for the episodes (he didn’t do all of the latter) but nothing else came of it.


^- More BS? What are those few new scenes, besides the intros? And he did direct all the log lady intros in 1993! Or did they mean ''episodes'' with ''the latter''?

Pineyconey, I'd regard this as misinformation. No, I have never heard of a supposed college setting.

Come on, this person is even assigning typical Lynchian narrative tropes to Frost:
In the case of the log lady, Frost, who hated “Eddie Explainers” (i.e. needless exposition) devised her as a way move the plot along without actually revealing anything, indeed making things even weirder.


Not to mention everybody knows Frost is our favorite ''Eddie Explainer''.
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Re: Teenage characters de-aged by the network?

Postby N. Needleman » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:16 pm

This is just wildly untrue on many levels. Lynch wrote and shot all Catherine's intros. And the "Log Lady" character - as both Lynch and Catherine discussed many times - was thought up by the both of them as the "Log Girl" in the '70s while doing Eraserhead.

I'm pretty sure a lot of the rest is nonsense and/or personal supposition too.
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laughingpinecone
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Re: Teenage characters de-aged by the network?

Postby laughingpinecone » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:15 am

Okay, thank you very much! Seems like nobody's heard of this, and if the people of dugpa, of all places, haven't heard about some TP trivia, chances are... :D Combined with the couple of verifiably false tidbits in the same post, I can rest easy and call nonsense on the whole thing.

Beside the Log Lady stuff, there's also "[Audrey] was meant to be a college dropout visiting home to annoy her rich family" which is highly unlikely afaik, since the online version of the script predates casting (Josie still Italian, Hawk still black, Harry still Dan) and already has her in high school.
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