What Might Have Been Had The Show Either Not Been Cancelled or Had Come Back Sooner: Seasons 3, 4-7, maybe even 10!

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Jonah
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What Might Have Been Had The Show Either Not Been Cancelled or Had Come Back Sooner: Seasons 3, 4-7, maybe even 10!

Postby Jonah » Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:13 pm

What Might Have Been Had The Show Not Been Cancelled or Even Come Back in 1992/1993:

Even though we finally got a Season 3 (aka The Return) a bit over 25 years later, as I rewatch the original series and come to the end of Season 2, I can't help but wonder what might have been had the show not been cancelled. I long for a 90's Season 3 and think the show should have been renewed at least for one more season. I think Frost and Lynch would have been quite involved and the ratings would have slowly gone back up.

We've discussed a lot on here before about what a possible Season 3 might have looked like in 1991 or 1992. A red-headed Sheryl Lee reappearing to be murdered again. Sheriff Truman, Briggs, Andy and Hawk rescuing Cooper from the Black Lodge. Truman driving backwards through a field of corn. Perhaps a planet made out of creamed corn. Perhaps a murderous Coop doppleganger (the Mr. C of Season 3) killing people in the town of TP (including the red-haired Sheryl Lee?). Perhaps we would have learned more about John Justice Wheeler's murdered friend. Perhaps Audrey would have been in a coma or pregnant or both. Maybe she might even have gone down to South America in search of Wheeler and we'd have had an international subplot in S3. Perhaps we might have seen Argentina and Judy, who would have been Josie's twin sister, probably not the entity we saw in The Return.

But going beyond that, let's say the show hadn't just come back for a Season 3. Let's say it had been renewed for longer. We know the cast had five year contracts, based on an interview Kyle had with David Letterman.

So what would a Season 4 have looked like? A season 5? And would it have stopped there? Personally, I feel if they'd managed to go that far, they might have gone up to a Season 7. I think Kyle might have left after his contract at the end of Season 5, and they might have brought in a new special agent, sort of like how they brought a new doctor into Northern Exposure for the last couple of seasons or new agents into The X-Files.

7 Seasons feels like an ideal number to me for Peaks. And it would have encompassed the bulk of the 90's ending before the millennium. Perhaps they might even have gone to 9 seasons and ended in 1999. Or 10 seasons, Lynch's number of completion.

But given how much story they burned through in Season 2, what would additional seasons have looked like? I think a Season 3 would have been a return to form, darker show, with heavy involvement from Lynch. But I think he would have stepped back again for Seasons 4 and beyond, perhaps returning for a final Season 7 or 9 or 10. Frost would have probably been actively involved. And if the show had turned darker for Season 3 and weirder, would it have gone back to lighter for Seasons 4 and on. Or would they have been too afraid to go too light after the weak stretch of episodes in mid-Season 2?

What cast members do you think would have stuck around? What plots do you think we might have gotten? How would they have sustained 3 or 5 or even 8 more seasons? Would we have had more murders and murder mysteries?

It's a miracle we got The Return but they waited too long. We missed out on more Ontkean and more. We just barely got poor Catherine Coulson and Robert Forster and others. But imagine if we went back to the early 90's. Most of the cast are fairly young or in fairly good health. It's still the 90's. Lots of energy. I feel ABC should have at least renewed it for one more season. Most shows have a sophomore slump in their second year, so I'll never understand why they didn't give it one more shot, despite the backlash, which would have faded away. And what if the show had just kept going, on and on, like The X-Files or Northern Exposure or something even insane like Supernatural (which has run for what, 14 or 15 seasons?).

And would we still have gotten a Fire Walk With Me if this had been the case? Perhaps if FWWM had done well in 1992, and the show had been renewed then for a third season or even picked up by Bravo in 1993. But had the show been renewed by ABC in 1991, for a 1991/1992 third season I don't think we ever would have gotten FWWM, unless as part of a flashback episode or two in Season 3. We most likely would not have gotten The Return, though perhaps even had the show run up to the late 90's, we might still have gotten a reboot of sorts in 2017.

What do you think the show would have looked like had it stayed on the air? And what do you think the legacy of the show would be now? The fact that it was cancelled early contributed to its cult status and made a lot of us fervent fans. How different would that have been had it stayed on the air? Would it have run out of steam and lost its fanbase or gained an even bigger and more fervent set of fans?

What are your thoughts?
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Re: What Might Have Been Had The Show Either Not Been Cancelled or Had Come Back Sooner: Seasons 3, 4-7, maybe even 10!

Postby krishnanspace » Sat Oct 19, 2019 2:14 am

We would have had maybe more murders and new residents coming in Twin Peaks. More Tremomds , more backstory to the Lodges. Gordon recruiting new Agents after Cooper etc
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Re: What Might Have Been Had The Show Either Not Been Cancelled or Had Come Back Sooner: Seasons 3, 4-7, maybe even 10!

Postby mtwentz » Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:48 am

Maybe this is just my personal taste, but if they had been renewed for a third season, I would like to have seen Bad Cooper stick around. I think they could have milked that for quite a long time. Would anyone in the town or FBI figure out the good Coop was still in the Lodge? Or would they be hoodwinked? And then there WOULD be more murders, and the question would be: did Bad Coop commit them or was it someone else?

But my understanding is that in the few discussions that went on about a possible Season 3 for 1991, the writers were discussing Cooper being de-possessed fairly early on. I think that would have been a mistake. The possession of Cooper and bad acts being committed by BOB in Coop’s name wold have been really interesting.

Fast forward 25 years and we did get Mr C, and I thought he was great, but most of his bad acts are committed outside of Twin Peaks. I wonder what could have been with a young Mr C being the antihero, the investigator but also the prime suspect (for the audience at least).
"Dougie is COOPER? How the Hell is this!?"
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Re: What Might Have Been Had The Show Either Not Been Cancelled or Had Come Back Sooner: Seasons 3, 4-7, maybe even 10!

Postby N. Needleman » Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:28 pm

IIRC they were planning to end the doppel-Cooper story and then do a 5-year timejump, to get the young stars out of playing high schoolers. Cooper would allegedly have become 'the local pharmacist.' That frankly sounds like a Peyton/Engels idea that Lynch would not have been keen on IMO.

I don't think it would have been possible for the original series to run very long. It was not built or plotted that way to last. Lynch and Frost were reinventing TV and narrative on the fly and Season 2 was beset by that reality. Piling season upon season and following an X-Files trajectory - they just couldn't have done it, IMO. And I think it might've cheapened it or turned it into Northern Exposure or something. I think it would've gone a max two more seasons.
AnotherBlueRoseCase wrote:The Return is clearly guaranteed a future audience among stoners and other drug users.
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Re: What Might Have Been Had The Show Either Not Been Cancelled or Had Come Back Sooner: Seasons 3, 4-7, maybe even 10!

Postby Jonah » Sun Oct 20, 2019 2:46 am

N. Needleman wrote:Piling season upon season and following an X-Files trajectory - they just couldn't have done it, IMO. And I think it might've cheapened it or turned it into Northern Exposure or something. I think it would've gone a max two more seasons.


I think you're probably right about this. The direction I ultimately think it would have gone had it stayed on the air is like Northern Exposure or Due South. Sort of like that whole Dale-is-in-trouble-with-the-FBI episode. That sort of tone. With flashes of oddness and quirkiness.

I would've given anything for a 90's-set Season 3, though. I think Lynch/Frost would have been back on the case at least for awhile (I think they'd both wander away again later). We'd still have all the cast alive and well. The original Red Room. I get such a sense of longing for it whenever I come to the end of Season 2 on a rewatch. It's just such a shame ABC cancelled it and didn't give it another shot or that Bravo didn't even pick it up in 1993. Heck, even if someone had revived it in 1995.

I like The Return now (for the most part - I still have some gripes), but it doesn't feel like Season 3 to me at all. And maybe it's not supposed to. That's probably the point, the anti-nostalgia thing. It just feels like its own thing, a David Lynch mammoth movie, or David Lynch Variety Hour TV show (as I've said before) with elements of Twin Peaks. But a 90's-set Season 3 mostly in Twin Peaks and with all the old gang, such as Ontkean and Silva, that would have been beyond amazing. I'd even settle for John Justice Wheeler and my most hated character (Lana) returning.

I like to think there's a parallel world where TP did come back for Season 3. And another world where it's still running, even watered down, like The Simpsons.
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Re: What Might Have Been Had The Show Either Not Been Cancelled or Had Come Back Sooner: Seasons 3, 4-7, maybe even 10!

Postby N. Needleman » Sun Oct 20, 2019 2:53 am

I like the Season 3 we have, myself.
AnotherBlueRoseCase wrote:The Return is clearly guaranteed a future audience among stoners and other drug users.
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Re: What Might Have Been Had The Show Either Not Been Cancelled or Had Come Back Sooner: Seasons 3, 4-7, maybe even 10!

Postby Jonah » Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:02 am

I liked it a lot more on the latest rewatch, but would have loved a Season 3 back then moreso I think. A lot of that being down to the cast, moreso than the weird direction The Return took, as even a Season 3 back in the day might have gone similarly weird, though I have a feeling it would have been set in and around TP more due to network constraints.
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Re: What Might Have Been Had The Show Either Not Been Cancelled or Had Come Back Sooner: Seasons 3, 4-7, maybe even 10!

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:25 am

As Needleman noted, based on what we’ve heard from Engels, the “bad Coop” storyline would likely have been resolved quickly and boiled down to a conventional cliffhanger/resolve. I think what we ended up getting was much more poignant, with Cooper and others suffering real consequences. Also based on everything Engels has said about his understanding of what S3 would have been, I’m skeptical that the quality would have improved much from the back half of S2. And while I agree it’s a shame we couldn’t get Ontkean back, for the most part, it’s incredible how fully represented the original cast was in TR.

Perhaps most importantly, a S3+ in the ‘90s might have meant no FWWM. I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to sacrifice that film and Sheryl Lee’s incredible performance for a watered-down Northern Exposure season of the show.
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Re: What Might Have Been Had The Show Either Not Been Cancelled or Had Come Back Sooner: Seasons 3, 4-7, maybe even 10!

Postby Jonah » Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:48 am

Mr. Reindeer wrote:Perhaps most importantly, a S3+ in the ‘90s might have meant no FWWM. I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to sacrifice that film and Sheryl Lee’s incredible performance for a watered-down Northern Exposure season of the show.

I don't think it would have become watered-down or Northern Exposure like until a later season, if it had kept running. I think a 90's Season 3 would have had Lynch and Frost on board, given their dual interview together for COOP, urging the network to keep the show on the air. I don't think it would have been quite as intense and strange as The Return, but I think it would have been pretty dark and weird, whether or not they resolved Coop quickly (and they might have changed their mind about that especially if Lynch was involved). After that, it might have become watered down. I agree we probably wouldn't have gotten FWWM though unless Lynch's desire to explore Laura Palmer's backstory led to Lynch-directed flashback episode or two of the show. In my fantasy of a 90's-set Season 3, I sometimes imagine it coming after FWWM, the movie being such a big success that ABC decided to reboot the show, or Bravo financed a Season 3 when it bought the rights to the show. As it was, Lynch directed all those Log Lady intros for Bravo. Shame they didn't commission another season, even a short one. But oh well. It's a miracle we got The Return at all.
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Re: What Might Have Been Had The Show Either Not Been Cancelled or Had Come Back Sooner: Seasons 3, 4-7, maybe even 10!

Postby Agent Earle » Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:02 am

Jonah wrote:
I would've given anything for a 90's-set Season 3, though. I think Lynch/Frost would have been back on the case at least for awhile (I think they'd both wander away again later). We'd still have all the cast alive and well. The original Red Room. I get such a sense of longing for it whenever I come to the end of Season 2 on a rewatch. It's just such a shame ABC cancelled it and didn't give it another shot or that Bravo didn't even pick it up in 1993. Heck, even if someone had revived it in 1995.

I like The Return now (for the most part - I still have some gripes), but it doesn't feel like Season 3 to me at all. And maybe it's not supposed to. That's probably the point, the anti-nostalgia thing. It just feels like its own thing, a David Lynch mammoth movie, or David Lynch Variety Hour TV show (as I've said before) with elements of Twin Peaks. But a 90's-set Season 3 mostly in Twin Peaks and with all the old gang, such as Ontkean and Silva, that would have been beyond amazing. I'd even settle for John Justice Wheeler and my most hated character (Lana) returning.

I like to think there's a parallel world where TP did come back for Season 3. And another world where it's still running, even watered down, like The Simpsons.


Amen. A 90's-set outlandish soap opera with pitch-black excursions into the supernatural over the Vegas and Dougie nonsense? It's a no-brainer.
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Re: What Might Have Been Had The Show Either Not Been Cancelled or Had Come Back Sooner: Seasons 3, 4-7, maybe even 10!

Postby Agent Earle » Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:08 am

Mr. Reindeer wrote:As Needleman noted, based on what we’ve heard from Engels, the “bad Coop” storyline would likely have been resolved quickly and boiled down to a conventional cliffhanger/resolve. I think what we ended up getting was much more poignant, with Cooper and others suffering real consequences.



Yeah, that sounds incredibly nice, great even. It's a shame it doesn't come across as such on the screen. David Lynch Variety Hour indeed.
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Re: What Might Have Been Had The Show Either Not Been Cancelled or Had Come Back Sooner: Seasons 3, 4-7, maybe even 10!

Postby Metamorphia » Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:40 am

Jonah wrote:What Might Have Been Had The Show Not Been Cancelled or Even Come Back in 1992/1993:

Even though we finally got a Season 3 (aka The Return) a bit over 25 years later, as I rewatch the original series and come to the end of Season 2, I can't help but wonder what might have been had the show not been cancelled. I long for a 90's Season 3 and think the show should have been renewed at least for one more season. I think Frost and Lynch would have been quite involved and the ratings would have slowly gone back up.

We've discussed a lot on here before about what a possible Season 3 might have looked like in 1991 or 1992. A red-headed Sheryl Lee reappearing to be murdered again. Sheriff Truman, Briggs, Andy and Hawk rescuing Cooper from the Black Lodge. Truman driving backwards through a field of corn. Perhaps a planet made out of creamed corn. Perhaps a murderous Coop doppleganger (the Mr. C of Season 3) killing people in the town of TP (including the red-haired Sheryl Lee?). Perhaps we would have learned more about John Justice Wheeler's murdered friend. Perhaps Audrey would have been in a coma or pregnant or both. Maybe she might even have gone down to South America in search of Wheeler and we'd have had an international subplot in S3. Perhaps we might have seen Argentina and Judy, who would have been Josie's twin sister, probably not the entity we saw in The Return.

But going beyond that, let's say the show hadn't just come back for a Season 3. Let's say it had been renewed for longer. We know the cast had five year contracts, based on an interview Kyle had with David Letterman.

So what would a Season 4 have looked like? A season 5? And would it have stopped there? Personally, I feel if they'd managed to go that far, they might have gone up to a Season 7. I think Kyle might have left after his contract at the end of Season 5, and they might have brought in a new special agent, sort of like how they brought a new doctor into Northern Exposure for the last couple of seasons or new agents into The X-Files.

7 Seasons feels like an ideal number to me for Peaks. And it would have encompassed the bulk of the 90's ending before the millennium. Perhaps they might even have gone to 9 seasons and ended in 1999. Or 10 seasons, Lynch's number of completion.

But given how much story they burned through in Season 2, what would additional seasons have looked like? I think a Season 3 would have been a return to form, darker show, with heavy involvement from Lynch. But I think he would have stepped back again for Seasons 4 and beyond, perhaps returning for a final Season 7 or 9 or 10. Frost would have probably been actively involved. And if the show had turned darker for Season 3 and weirder, would it have gone back to lighter for Seasons 4 and on. Or would they have been too afraid to go too light after the weak stretch of episodes in mid-Season 2?

What cast members do you think would have stuck around? What plots do you think we might have gotten? How would they have sustained 3 or 5 or even 8 more seasons? Would we have had more murders and murder mysteries?

It's a miracle we got The Return but they waited too long. We missed out on more Ontkean and more. We just barely got poor Catherine Coulson and Robert Forster and others. But imagine if we went back to the early 90's. Most of the cast are fairly young or in fairly good health. It's still the 90's. Lots of energy. I feel ABC should have at least renewed it for one more season. Most shows have a sophomore slump in their second year, so I'll never understand why they didn't give it one more shot, despite the backlash, which would have faded away. And what if the show had just kept going, on and on, like The X-Files or Northern Exposure or something even insane like Supernatural (which has run for what, 14 or 15 seasons?).

And would we still have gotten a Fire Walk With Me if this had been the case? Perhaps if FWWM had done well in 1992, and the show had been renewed then for a third season or even picked up by Bravo in 1993. But had the show been renewed by ABC in 1991, for a 1991/1992 third season I don't think we ever would have gotten FWWM, unless as part of a flashback episode or two in Season 3. We most likely would not have gotten The Return, though perhaps even had the show run up to the late 90's, we might still have gotten a reboot of sorts in 2017.

What do you think the show would have looked like had it stayed on the air? And what do you think the legacy of the show would be now? The fact that it was cancelled early contributed to its cult status and made a lot of us fervent fans. How different would that have been had it stayed on the air? Would it have run out of steam and lost its fanbase or gained an even bigger and more fervent set of fans?

What are your thoughts?


Anther interesting thought experiment is what if The Return started shooting in September 2005 instead of September 2015. Obviously you'd lose the 25 years later aspect, but I was struck by that possibility when I watched the interview DKL did with Kyle and Madchen for the Gold set (which was about 2007, right?)
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Re: What Might Have Been Had The Show Either Not Been Cancelled or Had Come Back Sooner: Seasons 3, 4-7, maybe even 10!

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:13 am

Agent Earle wrote:
Mr. Reindeer wrote:As Needleman noted, based on what we’ve heard from Engels, the “bad Coop” storyline would likely have been resolved quickly and boiled down to a conventional cliffhanger/resolve. I think what we ended up getting was much more poignant, with Cooper and others suffering real consequences.



Yeah, that sounds incredibly nice, great even. It's a shame it doesn't come across as such on the screen. David Lynch Variety Hour indeed.


YMMV, obviously, but I think the resolution of the Dougie storyline pretty poignantly paid off the thread from the original series of Cooper’s desire to have a family, and his mixed feelings about sacrificing that part of life for his career. And I think it’s pretty obvious in Kyle’s performance that the “Cooper” of P18 is a haunted man who has lost much of himself and a large chunk of his life due to his time imprisoned in the Red Room and the sins of his doppelganger. I can understand you wishing the story had been told on a more conventional way, but it’s hard to deny that that loss comes through at least in Kyle’s performance, IMO, and the distinctions between the various Coopers we see.
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Re: What Might Have Been Had The Show Either Not Been Cancelled or Had Come Back Sooner: Seasons 3, 4-7, maybe even 10!

Postby Jonah » Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:35 am

Mr. Reindeer wrote:YMMV, obviously, but I think the resolution of the Dougie storyline pretty poignantly paid off the thread from the original series of Cooper’s desire to have a family, and his mixed feelings about sacrificing that part of life for his career.
I never thought of the Dougie storyline like that. I like that idea.

-

I've warmed to The Return a lot, but I understand people having issues with it. I do think the Dougie thing went on way too long. I would've liked to see perhaps an episode or 2 dealing with Dougie, his new family, and Vegas, 2 episodes tops, then onto the next thing. As it was, I felt it was too stretched out. I will say it's a lot better when you can rewatch it/binge it than watching it week to week. It doesn't feel quite as dragged out that way. But overall The Return is its own thing in many ways. There's a lot I like about it and some things I definitely don't like, but it is what it is. It's definitely not the nostalgic 90's Season 3 I think many (including me) wanted, but once you make peace with that, I think there's a lot to admire about TR, though you can still long for what might've been had the show not been cancelled. They really should have given it one more year back in the day. As I said before, most shows have a sophomore slump in their second season.

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