The Pilot

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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: The Pilot

Post by Mr. Reindeer »

WindUpBird wrote:Something struck me when re-watching the pilot the other night. Cooper breaks open Laura's diary in a pragmatic but rather callous way. It comes off as an almost a violent act, a man's brutal intrusion of a dead girl's privacy. Since it seems to be a popular theory that the sounds the Fireman plays in S3 being the key unlocking the diary in FWWM maybe there's a something to think about here? If only Maybe also a connection with Carrie Page/the missing page and the way Laura is ripped out of the woods in The Return.
I always took that more as a Gordian knot type moment. Cooper is a Holmesian practicalist. Everyone has been trying to find this key and Dale goes to the more obvious solution. I love the little shrug he gives Harry after doing it, as if to say, “What difference does it make at this point?”
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Re: The Pilot

Post by WindUpBird »

That's very much how I always took it until this rewatch too, but I guess I find myself searching for flaws in Cooper's character these days.
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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: The Pilot

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WindUpBird wrote:That's very much how I always took it until this rewatch too, but I guess I find myself searching for flaws in Cooper's character these days.
Same!
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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: The Pilot

Post by Mr. Reindeer »

It just struck me that Audrey’s very first line is, “Here,” in air-quotes, which is a pretty apt description of her state of being in TR!
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Re: The Pilot

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I sat and watched the pilot yesterday, after finding myself in a very Peaksy mood, and nothing else was going to cut it. It has been wonderful reading through this thread with the episode fresh in my mind.

Although I see myself as a lifelong fan of TP, and have seen it countless amounts of times, I do class myself as someone who pays much more attention to the feel/story of the show, and some of the forensic details of what's on screen, and indeed in the soundtrack/design, can often pass me by. With that in mind, I did however have some thoughts of my own whilst I was watching that I felt obliged to jot down, for myself initially; but I also felt like it would be nice to share a couple of random thoughts I had whilst watching.

First and foremost, is the aura of the Pacific Northwest. It suits this world down to the ground. Even though it was only really filmed here for this episode, and FWWM, I can't help but think of the dark and wet colours of the pilot whenever Peaks comes to mind. It is so ominous, mysterious, spiritual, and moody, yet breathtakingly beautiful, unique, and enchanting. I am still yet to visit, despite setting the intention way back in my teens. Now I'm nearing my forties, I think it's time to say now or never and book a flight, once all this current business washes over!

I made a note of Josie's seemingly altruistic act of closing the mill down for the day in light of the morning's events. Unfortunately, much like Cooper the morning after his dream, I'm unsure of what exactly I was getting at. I do find her character fascinating. She was most definitely written as a femme fatale, but because the character either falls short of the vicious side in the writing, or Chen doesn't quite hit the mark, the sweeter side of her seems to shine much brighter earlier on in the show, especially in her interactions with good ol' Pete. I can't quite see what she sets to gain, on a selfish level, from pulling the plug at the mill. It's quite a nice "moment's silence" type way of showing solidarity with the community, and the only thing I can think of that would make it not quite the selfless act it seems, is that it could perhaps show an upper hand over Catherine. However, Josie herself states that she could have taken that kind of authority several times before, and never has, so it's like it doesn't suit her character to be that way, although as later events show, she's capable of far worse. Like I say... a fascinating character, despite not being one of my favourites.

Lynch's reflection in the glass during Pete's phone call to Truman is definitely one of those things you can't 'unsee' once you notice it!

The old man who spots Ronette on the railway line utters one of my favourite lines from The Cowboy and the Frenchman, and it's even delivered in the same manner: "What the hell?" I know it's a common enough phrase of course, but I like to see a connection there in my head.

The wide shots of both the school and hospital corridors are iconic to me. I remember the look of the slowly creeping shot down the school, combined with the principal's announcement over the speaker, absolutely gutting me when I was younger. More than Sarah/Leland crying, more than Donna's or James's reactions, or anything else, that just filled me to the brim with sadness, even as a kid. The usually teeming space now empty as the news of the death echoes off the walls over the brooding synth of LP's theme, still gives me goosebumps to this day.

Cooper. The man we absolutely love to love. He has a very aloof side to him in the pilot, which i always took issue with, but I've actually come to love now. The way he stands Harry still to set the record straight "off the bat", his slight snap at Jacoby, his sarcasm when interrogating Bobby including his crushing blow at the end, his manner with the doctor looking after Ronette, etc. None of this I could see happening after Episode 1. It's like the charming, child-like enthusiasm ("snowshoe rabbit...") that came alongside this slightly colder side won the writers over, and they went with it full throttle. I don't know if they were going for the superhero trope of having a slightly flawed or darker side to him at the beginning, but it's something I enjoy upon re-watching for some reason, and something that perhaps contributes to his fate in the Black Lodge at the end of the second season.

That's all I really have, for now. I loved diving back into the world again, and got very engrossed in the story/emotions like old times. I may bore you all with thoughts on other episodes soon. :lol:
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Re: The Pilot

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Rewatched this today for the first time in a while and noticed a few things that may or may not have been mentioned before:

The calendar at the saw mill suggests the date is Monday 20th Feb 1989. There again, previous weeks look like they've been struck out in a single line, in which case there's no inconsistency with Cooper giving the date as February 24th.

Cooper also mentions it's 11.30am while driving into Twin Peaks, yet he's already had lunch. It also suggests he'd had some sort of premonition Ronette would step outside the state line. Either that or he was close by when the call came through, which seems doubtful - although not made explicit, there's a sense he's been travelling for some time to reach TP.

Shelly's finishing her shift before school begins. The obvious suggestion is she's worked a night shift, although we know from later episode the Double R isn't open all night. At the other end of the spectrum, Lucy puts in one helluva working day. Would there really be enough daylight in Feb in the pacific northwest for fishing & football practice before the school/work day kicks in? Bobby never actually makes it to practice, which you'd suspect might get him demoted from captain.

The background school kids look a lot more 80s in their clothes and hairstyle than the main cast.

It's twilight when Bobby leaves the police station but looks like daylight during Donna's subsequent interview and definitely daylight when Cooper & Truman visit the crime scene.

None of the Fleshworld ads appear to relate to Ronette's photo. The ad beneath her picture looks like it should be for her but mentions she's 35.

The toy bird outside the wooden bird cage in Harriett's bedroom made me think of Waldo being out of his cage on the night of Laura's murder, while the ornamental cat brought to mind Audrey's disguise at One Eyed Jacques (although I doubt either of these had been thought of when the set was dressed).

No sign of Jacques Renault at the Roadhouse, and Ed does a very dramatic roll when he hits the ground!

Ronette Pulaski, Sylvia Horne, Johnny Horne, Joey Paulsen & Harriet Hayward all look like they're being primed to play larger roles than they ended up getting. Moreso in all cases than Nadine Hurley, The Log Lady & Mayor Milford who all go on to play substantial parts. While all 5 reappear in the series, I can't help but think there was room to flesh them out more.

'Sheriff, we've got a lot to talk about.' Cooper's line at the morgue would roughly be where a normal length episode would end and wouldn't have been a bad cliff-hanger (in my opinion at least). This would then mean Ed & Donna at the garage being the first scene of the next episode. Again, I think this would've worked well too.

Overall, it's a nearly-flawless introduction to the series. In my mind, I always think of the first half being perfect and then the second half wandering slightly. This time I didn't get that feeling at all, although the James/Donna conversation in the woods still feels just a hair too long, and the Sylvia/Audrey/Johnny scene could maybe go since Sylvia & Johnny are in it so little later on and Audrey doesn't speak. Maybe wouldn't have hurt to spend a little longer with Truman/Josie/Catherine/Ben in the Blue Pine Lodge scene - especially as we haven't seen Ben in a while (I remember the first time I watched it I didn't connect that this was the same guy from the hotel). These are all miniscule niggles, however, compared to the many, many things to love about the pilot. In an hour and a half it makes you feel like you know the town and its characters, and care about what happens to them next.
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Re: The Pilot

Post by marchug »

I first ever saw the pilot way back on a VHS tape that I rented in small university town. My girlfriend at the time and I had heard about how great Twin Peaks was and asked the clerk at the video shop about it. He emphatically agreed with what we'd heard. He said when we watch the pilot that we ABSOLUTELY have to make sure we stopped at a certain point or it would screw up the rest of the series. He described the Josie/Truman scene and a set of traffic lights and said there was a scene that followed after that which he didn't want to spoil but then described the Lucy/Andy scene following it and that we HAVE to stop it when we see them. So this was how I had seen the pilot for years and years before I managed to find a Korean bootleg DVD of the TV pilot. When I finally saw it I was utterly shocked at how, well, lame the end played out. Sarah Palmer was reacting the same way she had seeing Bob in Laura's room for all those years (to me) but suddenly it was a gloved hand picking up the locket. It was pretty disappointing to say the least. Anyway, I still actually have trouble with that part and on my rewatches usually opt for the European pilot stopping where the video store clerk had instructed me to all those years ago.
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Re: The Pilot

Post by Jonah »

Jonah wrote: Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:35 pm Additional comments based on the European ending:

They utilized the best footage in Episode 2.

I love the bit with the candles.

It's a shame the Lucy and Andy scene was never reused elsewhere, even briefly.

Couple of things I noticed:

The scene with Bob behind the bed when Sarah sees him doesn't seem to be the same footage of him behind the bed we see in Episode 2. So it was reshot? Or they used a different angle? This is interesting because I assumed they just reused this footage in Episode 2, like they did for the dream sequence, but this shot looks slightly different.

I always forget we don't see Sarah describing Bob for Hawk to sketch here, even though the sketch itself appears. The actual scene appears in the series proper, but all of these ideas began here.

At the very end of the Sarah on the couch sequence here, you see Bob turn his head in the mirror. You don't see this in the actual series.

We see Room 315! I'd forgotten this. Our first proper time seeing Coop's room is Episode 1, Season 1 - on a different set I think? One that was built for the series? The one here looks a bit different. It's the same idea but the gun over the bed is at a different angle, its affixed to something different, and there's no lamps on the wall. The wooden headboard looks different too. And the bedside lamp is not the same. Wondering if this was an actual room in the Salish Lodge, circa 1989/1990 - or if they built this on a set, as most of the Pilot was shot on location. These sets weren't used or built until the series itself. This is interesting especially since all the recent talk of Room 315 - and how it will look - in the new series!

While I know this ending was poor as an overall wrap-up to the "movie"/VHS release, it's amazing to look back and see how much of the series's mythology arose here - especially the red room, but so much more.

And I just realised the iconic line "When two separate events occur simultaneously pertaining to the same object of inquiry we must always pay strict attention" arises here too! This is used again later in the series. I forget where. But didn't realise it started here. Later on, it's prefaced by "Gentleman", but here it's spoken to Diane.
Rewatched just the international pilot (not the rest of it).

Some more thoughts:

Do we see a longer close-up of the little man and "Laura" clutching hands in the red room? Is the shot even in Episode 2? (Edit - we don't. I knew the ending was cut down in general for Episode 2, but I had thought the red room sequence itself was the same with no cuts, but it too was cut for Episode 2. Was this the only thing cut or was there more cut out of the red room sequence?)

So so so so much starts here in the international ending that I feel it should be studied and discussed more than it is, and it's often unfairly dismissed imo. Obviously, the whole dream sequence in Episode 2 - that arguably made the show famous - comes from here. But so much else starts here too. The first time we see Cooper's bedroom in the Great Northern, later redressed in the series to look like this set-up except different lamp and a gun rack on the wall (here it's just a gun directly on the wall), maybe more differences - but I wasn't watching on my computer so didn't get a screenshot properly. (I still need to take a screenshot of the bedroom here, in E1-E29, and The Missing Pieces to compare.) First time we see Coop in pyjamas. They are also, weirdly, recreated for the actual series. Is this the first time we see Coop speaking to Diane? (I'm watching out of order, so fresh my memory - does he earlier in the pilot or is the actual first time in Episode 1?) If it does begin here along with everything else, that's pretty amazing but I think it probably happened earlier. We also get the first use of Cooper's iconic line as I noted above. Mike and Bob's backstory (mostly). The first mention of the convenience store. The first mention of "Fire walk with me" in dialogue. And Bob has it tattooed on his arm. It's just amazing to unpack how much of the series's mythology began here, in this tacked-on ending. Even the iconic red room, the lodges, all of it began here. And the "twenty-five years later" thing (Is it even used again in the original series itself as a screen title? I don't think so.) began here that would later be a major factor of The Return, so so much of not just the original series but even the revival all began here in this discarded, often unfairly dismissed ending.

Lucy and Andy's little scene is great - pity it was never reused elsewhere, even a short shot of them sitting side by side, lost in their own little pursuits, would have been cool and could have been used anywhere.

The pan from one end of Laura's room to another as Sarah enters and sees Bob behind the bed. I know the shot of Bob was reused with the owl over his face, but was much of the rest of this scene reused?

A longer shot of Bob in the mirror behind Sarah and he even turns his head as if someone's speaking to him (maybe telling him to get out of the shot). And this mistake of course led to the creation of Bob, so another part of the mythology that began here.

(As I'm rewatching, remind me - does Hawk see the One-Armed man in the pilot or Episode 1? Here Cooper tells him he was there earlier, which would connect with the pilot and I remember it that way. But in Episode 2 we see a previously on of Hawk seeing him and then he calls Cooper to say he has, as if it just happened in Episode 1. I'll be rewatching that episode soon, but not sure when I'll get to the pilot itself. I had remembered it as being in the pilot, but if so the placement of the phone call in Episode 2 is odd.)

Even though this was a VHS release, it was still essentially a movie and for many people around the world, the only Twin Peaks they would see or get to rewatch for many years. Even when the DVD was finally released in the US and maybe elsewhere, the pilot was missing so it was just episodes 1 - 7 and this on VHS.

So it was essentially a pilot made into a feature film. The next time Lynch did this was .... Mulholland Drive, which was also a pilot with a tacked-on ending. Whereas this ending was done more quickly, that ending he had more time to come up with, and I think that one is much more successful as a resolution (though, like this one, still leaves a lot of loose ends and story plots (but not as many) - I always felt it would have been stronger if they had cut down on some of the hitmen and goons stuff, things they were obviously pilot material). Anyway, what are your thoughts regarding the two versions of a Lynch pilot with a tacked-on ending to make it a feature film between this and MD, the only two times almost the exact same thing occurred, although one was ahead of time just in case (what? that the pilot wouldn't be picked up or the overall series wouldn't do well in the ratings?) and the other was after the fact to salvage a cancelled pilot.

Interesting that the killer (or one half of the killer) was revealed here. What did people who saw this and then watched the series think when Bob showed up? Did you think he wasn't really the killer or just that there was more to it or did you think he was the killer and didn't understand why it was even a mystery? Interesting too that they didn't reject Bob once it went to series or reject him as the killer, but just made him a spirit that inhabited the real killer, which became the mystery. But of course no one knew this - so I always wondered what people thought of Bob before the big reveal, whether you had seen this version of the pilot or not. Did you think he was a red herring or the actual killer? Did anyone guess the spirit reveal?

(I wrote this out quickly and it's late, so forgive any typos till I have a chance to re-read this and make some edits.)
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Re: The Pilot

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Jonah wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 7:53 pm
I love the bit with the candles.
The scene in TMP interestingly parallels this. Circle of candles. Also seem to be nickels on the floor (paralleling Mike asking if they have a nickel).

The scene with Bob behind the bed when Sarah sees him doesn't seem to be the same footage of him behind the bed we see in Episode 2. So it was reshot? Or they used a different angle? This is interesting because I assumed they just reused this footage in Episode 2, like they did for the dream sequence, but this shot looks slightly different.
I thought this was identical. But maybe I’m misremembering.
I always forget we don't see Sarah describing Bob for Hawk to sketch here, even though the sketch itself appears. The actual scene appears in the series proper, but all of these ideas began here.
The bald dude sketch (who looks vaguely like Clark Middleton!) always cracks me up, as does Mike’s exasperated line delivery.
We see Room 315! I'd forgotten this. Our first proper time seeing Coop's room is Episode 1, Season 1 - on a different set I think? One that was built for the series? The one here looks a bit different. It's the same idea but the gun over the bed is at a different angle, its affixed to something different, and there's no lamps on the wall. The wooden headboard looks different too. And the bedside lamp is not the same. Wondering if this was an actual room in the Salish Lodge, circa 1989/1990 - or if they built this on a set, as most of the Pilot was shot on location. These sets weren't used or built until the series itself. This is interesting especially since all the recent talk of Room 315 - and how it will look - in the new series!
Different studio in LA. Before they booked the warehouse for the series proper. I don’t believe a single frame of Peaks was ever shot inside the Salish. I think Jerry or Brad can confirm.

Do we see a longer close-up of the little man and "Laura" clutching hands in the red room? Is the shot even in Episode 2? (Edit - we don't. I knew the ending was cut down in general for Episode 2, but I had thought the red room sequence itself was the same with no cuts, but it too was cut for Episode 2. Was this the only thing cut or was there more cut out of the red room sequence?)
I think that was the only edit/cut in the Red Room sequence.
s this the first time we see Coop speaking to Diane? (I'm watching out of order, so fresh my memory - does he earlier in the pilot or is the actual first time in Episode 1?) If it does begin here along with everything else, that's pretty amazing but I think it probably happened earlier.
Coop’s very first onscreen appearance was a Diane tape. Lamplighter Inn, “I’d rather be here than Philadelphia,” etc.
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Re: The Pilot

Post by Jonah »

Mr. Reindeer wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:06 pm Coop’s very first onscreen appearance was a Diane tape. Lamplighter Inn, “I’d rather be here than Philadelphia,” etc.
Of course, where is my head. I suppose I was thinking it was the first time we see him talking to her in his bedroom, which happens in the series proper in Episode 1.
I don't always need television shows with red curtains in the woods or magic islands - but it helps!
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