TP Gold Box Full Review
TWIN PEAKS Definitive Gold Edition (full review)
It's been a tough ride over the years for Twin Peaks fans on getting a hold of the complete series. After changing owner's hands a couple of times, and with no DVD release of the pilot, CBS Paramount has provided Twin Peaks fans with what is truly the definitive edition of Twin Peaks. The entire series, including the pilot and the international version, are finally in one well-done box set.
So let's not waste anymore time.
First and foremost, I know many fans were unhappy with the cover of the box and were hoping for something different. However, after seeing the physical box, I tend to think the cover is actually okay. Yes, it doesn't feel exactly like Twin Peaks, but I think it looks better than many of the digital images we've seen online. I asked a coworker who doesn't know the series about the case and he thought it looked good, and that it grabbed your attention. In the end, I think this is a good sign, and may result in new Twin Peaks fans who see it standing out in the store amongst all the other DVDs. The back of the box lists all of the features of the box set, including a quote from David Lynch: "I think this is a great defintive Twin Peaks Gold Set..."
The DVD Case
Recently, TV shows DVDs have box sets that open out. This DVD case is slightly different (not sure what it's called). This case feels more like a "book." It opens up and you can page through each plastic page which contains each DVD. Inside the sleeve of the book is an envelope with 12 of 61 postcards. These are nice quality picture postcards. According to the official Twin Peaks DVD site, you also get a chance to win a rare gold card.
There's 10 DVDs. Each DVD has a nice gold-tan color to it. Here's a description of each disc:
DISC 1 - picture of the sawmill, and contains The Original Pilot and the International Version.
DISC 2 - picture of Big Ed's Gas Farm and contains Episodes 1 to 4
DISC 3 - picture of the Great Northern and Falls, and contains Episodes 5 to 7
DISC 4 - picture of the Double R Diner and contains Episodes 8 to 10
DISC 5 - picture of an owl and contains Episodes 11 to 14
DISC 6 - picture of the One-Eyed Jack's sign and contains Episodes 15 to 18
DISC 7 - picture of a coffee cup and doughnut and contains Episodes 19 to 22
DISC 8 - picture of Windom Earle's cabin and contains Episodes 23 to 26
DISC 9 - picture of the Bang Bang Bar sign and contains Episodes 27 to 29, and deleted scenes and production documents
DISC 10 - picture of the hallway in the Black Lodge, and contains the rest of the special features (see below)
I didn't check each and every single disc, but it looks like the front of the disc also matches the scene (or the concept) in the menu....speaking of which...
I was never thrilled with Season 1's menu. I found many of the special features hard to navigate. Season 2 never felt "Twin Peaks" enough to me. With the Definitive Edition, the menus are very well done, and contain different scenes from the series. For example, Disc 1 is the shot of the saw from the opening credits. Disc 3 is a shot of the Great Northern Lodge. Each click of an option opens up a different screen with a different background. These are all very easy to use and navigate like most DVDs. Below are some screenshots to give you an idea of the menus.
The Episodes - Video and Audio Quality
The quality of the audio and video of the episodes is very much like we saw with Season 2. All of the episodes have been remastered from the original negative, and they look great! Both were supervised and approved by David Lynch. If you have 5.1 surround sound setup, you can choose the newly-created 5.1 audio, or you can choose the original 2.0 audio. Obviously, I've not been able to watch every single episode, but I did watch all of the end of the international version of the pilot. The quality of the video is so good that you can see the "Fire Walk With Me" tattoo on BOB's arm. Another nice feature for the Pilot is the ability to jump directly to the end of the pilot so you can watch only the international version's ending. There's also a play all option on each disc as you can see from the shots.
As you can see from the screenshots, the video quality of the series is great. I lightened up the shot of BOB just a bit so you can see the detail.
Each episode, including the pilot, has the Log Lady Introduction related to it. You can choose to watch the episodes with or without the introductions. The Log Lady Introductions have not been remastered which I had hoped they would've been.
The one item that is missing from the episodes that I wish was included were the "Previously on Twin Peaks" segments. It would've been nice if they could've been included like the Log Lady introductions - with an option to turn them off or on. In the end, I think this might be my only complaint.
The Special Features
CBS Paramount brought on Charles de Lauzirika to handle the Special Features for the DVD. Charles has handled the special features on the Alien Quadrilogy DVD set, Gladiator DVD, and has recently been working on the upcoming Blade Runner DVD. (Here's a good interview with Charles if you're interested, including a discussion on Hannibal and Ridley Scott DVDs.)
As I've written this review, I've been watching the making of Twin Peaks featurette on the computer. Charles and his team have brought together a huge number of interviews, including Mark Frost, Kyle MachLachlan, Sheryl Lee, Piper Laurie, and many, many more. This 105 minute feature covers both seasons and the music of Twin Peaks. In this segment, there's an amazing interview with Angelo Badalementi as he describes how the Twin Peaks music came to be. Listening to his story about how he and Lynch came up with the music, specifically Laura's Theme, I think it was, is amazing, and sent a chill up my spine. During this segment, we also have an interview with Julee Cruise. The interviewees talk a lot about why the series failed in the second season in a very candid way. I think fans will be thrilled with the quality of the interviews and how well this piece was put together.
There are two other major special feature pieces that are also very good. First, we have Slice of Lynch which is a well-done, very-"Lynch" special feature. It's a round table discussion between Lynch, MacLachlan, Amick, and John Wentworth. They are sitting at a Roadhouse style bar drinking coffee discussing the show and their memories from it. This feature is very intimate and has a nice informal style to it. It's funny to hear David call Kyle MacLachlan by a different name throughout the piece - he calls him "Kayle" and he explains why during the feature.
The other featurette is about the 2006 Twin Peaks Festival. This is a very personal feature for me because Kelly and I helped to run the Festival the past few years, along with Amanda Hicks and Jared Lyon (who you will also see in the feature). So with this feature, I am very bias. :-) "Return To Twin Peaks" follows a group of Fest-goers to the Snoqualmie area where the pilot and Fire Walk With Me was filmed. Even though the box set focuses specifically on the series, you'll see just a couple of FWWM locations. Along with this feature is also another which shows some of the locations and their addresses using the fictional map of Twin Peaks, but also telling you where you can find the actual location.
Some of the other features on the 10th disc include MacLachlan's opening monologue on Saturday Night Live, inlcuding the Twin Peaks sketch (and now that I think about it - The Simpson's TP episode would've been fun too). There is also the 4 minute Falling music video, the Georgia Coffee commercials, a Richard Beymer image gallery, a unit photography gallery containing some rare photos, and the gallery of Twin Peaks trading cards, on-air promos and spots (including my favorite spot of Cooper waking from a bad dream of being on Saturday nights), the 1-900 Hotline messages, and the Lucy bumpers ("Twin Peaks will be right back" bumpers -- shows don't do these anymore).
Over on Disc 9, you'll find some more special features. They include the four deleted scenes and also production documents. Some fans were eager to see more deleted scenes, but as the DVD explains, much of the original footage from Twin Peaks has been destroyed through the years. The four scenes include one with Jerry Horne at One-Eyed Jack's, one with Lucy and Andy buying donuts, one with Jacoby and Cooper with Johnny Horne in the background, and finally, a scene involving Sylvia Horne, Jacoby, Johnny and Audrey which we learn a little more about why Johnny is the way he is. The Production Documents are a series of shots of a variety of shooting and location documents that some might find interesting.
All in all, this is a very good set, and is truly a definitive edition of Twin Peaks. It's a single box set that gives fans almost everything you need to enjoy a good cup of coffee and a cherry pie while enjoying watching the series for the 100th time -- with a clear picture and surround sound! This is the best DVD set so far of Lynch's work, and it's great that Lynch was involved in the production of this set. The audio and video is great, as are the special features. Fans will not be disappointed.
(Thanks to CBS Paramount for the review copy. And also a big thank you to David Lynch, Mark Frost, CBS Paramount, Charles de Lauzirika and his team, and to all of the actors, actresses and Twin Peaks production team for providing fans a wonderful box set.)
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