It’s hard to overstate just how much of a delicious treasure trove the Twin Peaks box set Twin Peaks: From Z to A is when you’re a longtime fan of the series and of one of its co-creators, director David Lynch. The world of Twin Peaks, from its moody Pacific Northwest setting to its colorful (and that’s putting it mildly) coterie of characters, has been a permanent fixture in the zeitgeist since Season 1 premiered all the way back in April 1990. It’s a long time to be in love with something, sure, but it has maintained itself a piece of art continuously distorting and revealing itself to viewers and making it worthy of repeat visits. As such, the From Z to A limited edition box set (there’s only 25,000 available!) is an ideal investment for anyone who has loved the show to any degree and wants to continue to explore it.
From Z to A contains multitudes. Included in the box set is: Twin Peaks Seasons 1 and 2 (which originally aired 1990 to 1991) and 2017’s Twin Peaks: The Return; the prequel movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me; the deleted scenes turned into another film, Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces. As far as bonus materials go, all of the special features — interviews, deleted scenes, featurettes — included in previous releases of the aforementioned movies and TV seasons are on From Z to A plus new features. They are: an interview with supporting co-stars Harry Goaz and Kimmy Robertson; an extended interview with series leads Kyle McLachlan and Sheryl Lee; “Behind the Curtain,” an 18-part series of behind-the-scenes videos taken on the set of The Return which put you in the world of the story; full-length performances of every musical number performed at the The Roadhouse bar in The Return; plus, there are goodies like curated cards featuring shots from memorable moments inside the Red Room.
And friends, it’s like Christmas morning when you crack that box open for the first time.
We’d be here for eternity if I broke down each and every aspect of this box set. However, I’d like to try and wade through the enormity of it all by touching on some of the best parts of it in addition to all three seasons of the Twin Peaks TV series and the feature films. If and when you finish binge-watching the series and movies (and yes, you absolutely must binge it), I’d highly recommend turning to the extended interview with McLachlan and Lee as the first part of your debrief. Filmed before the release of The Return, the interview sees the Twin Peaks stars taking a winding tour through the broad strokes and minute details of making Lynch’s vision come to life. McLachlan and Lee’s recollections are a joy to dive into since they cover how the respective actors got involved with the project, McLachlan’s longtime friendship with Lynch, Lee’s memories of her time learning how to act while playing a dead body in Season 1, and beyond. A particular favorite of mine from the hour-and-a-half-long conversation involves McLachlan remembering how the filming of the memorable Season 1 rock-throwing scene came together, which includes revelations about putting the scene on film.
The other particularly invaluable and delicious feature is the 18-part “Behind the Curtain” featurette series. Each part takes you behind the scenes on the set of The Return, with footage beginning in 2015. In a move seeming to echo the structure of the show itself, there is no narrative or shape to the way the footage is cut together; you simply live in it. Because of the proximity to Lynch, the cast, and the crew, you immediately get sucked it and swept up. Stolen moments are now broadcast on your TV screen and in high res, to boot. It’s truly and deeply fascinating to see how Lynch, arguably very much an actor’s director, working closely with The Return series stars including McLachlan, Goaz, Naomi Watts, Matthew Lillard, and Eamon Farren. It’s all there: Quickly-whispered lines during run-throughs before the camera rolls, Lynch’s expressions as he watches scenes unfold from his director’s chair, the camaraderie captured from the camera after the success of a well-done scene. Thanks to the 18 parts available, “Behind the Curtain” feels like another movie entirely, using an entirely different spell to cast as it reveals even more new and energetic aspects of the world of Twin Peaks to you.
When you watch anything Twin Peaks related, it feels as if you’re being invited to cash in some secret winning lottery ticket and enjoy a show nobody else knows about. Lynch’s impressionistic stylings and the performances turned in by a cult favorite cast facilitates the telling of a story as epic and as sprawling and as complex as more readily accessible water cooler TV like Game of Thrones. From Z to A makes it plain just how important Twin Peaks‘ place in history is and will always be. Even better, the special features included in this limited edition box set only add to the joys of watching the series, never detracting from the mystery box presented to you as you watch.
As I write this, I’m still thinking about one of Lee’s comments during her co-interview with McLachlan truly is. Early on, she remarks, “One of the things [Lynch] is a master at is being able to create an environment or a mood so that what he wants to happen can live in that and spontaneously happen,” and I don’t think I’ve heard a truer or better comment about the magic of Twin Peaks. The From Z to A box set is well worth the money and time you give to it; don’t skip out on this one.
Twin Peaks: From Z to A is currently available for purchase on Amazon.