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Retro : Taking Another 'Peak' : BRAVO AIRS ALL 30 EPISODES OF SERIES WITH REAL LYNCHIAN INTROS

June 13, 1993|SUSAN KING | TIMES STAFF WRITER

"Twin Peaks" has returned to television. So brew a damn fine cup of coffee and munch down a few doughnuts as the mysterious case of "Who Killed Laura Palmer?" meanders again.

FBI Agent Dale Cooper and the bizarre residents of Twin Peaks are back thanks to Bravo. The cable network began repeats last Friday of David Lynch and Mark Frost's cult 1990-91 ABC series.

The 30 episodes of "Twin Peaks" kicks off Bravo's new showcase, "TV Too Good for TV." Lynch has written and directed introductions for the episodes featuring the infamous "Twin Peaks" Log Lady, played by Catherine Coulson.

"TV Too Good For TV" is the brainchild of Bravo general manager Kathleen Dore. "We are constantly looking for ways to expand what we think is Bravo's niche, but to maintain the integrity of a cultural channel," Dore explains. "It seems that television itself is becoming so much a part of our culture. There's so much good television that never really either made it or made it for very long."

Since Bravo is a commercial-free service and isn't dependent on ratings, Dore says, "It would be appropriate for us to showcase television that had a specific artistic vision that was sort of out of the ordinary."

And "Twin Peaks," which stars Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Joan Chen, Piper Laurie, Richard Beymer, Lara Flynn Boyle, Peggy Lipton and Jack Nance, certainly fits Bravo's criteria. After Bravo acquired the rights to the series, the network contacted Lynch. "He was very interested in working with us on it," she says.

Coulson was thrilled to get the opportunity to play the magical, mystical Log Lady again. "For the people who have seen the show, I think they will enjoy these new introductions," she says. "For the people who have never seen it, the introductions serve as a real David Lynch introduction to what I think is the soul of the show--the little ruminations she makes on life, love, death, dogs and creamed corn. They are just delicious."

The introductions vary in length. "Some of them kind of go on in this wonderful stream-of-consciousness that the Log Lady speaks," she says. "I was very impressed with the work David did. He wrote them while he was out in the woods. He really gave his heart and soul to it and he flew back the next day and started directing me in them. We had this amazing connection with each other."

Coulson and Lynch have been friends for 20 years, ever since she appeared as the nurse in the director's classic "Eraserhead." Coulson recalls Lynch telling her then that one day she would play a Log Lady in a TV series. "I said, 'Sure,' " Coulson says, laughing. "I have always said yes to Lynch because what he comes up with has always been a wonderful journey through the imagination."

Doing the introductions was another "terrific journey" for Coulson. "I imagined this as kind of Alistair Cooke with a log," she says. "But I talked to David the other day and asked him if that thought was accurate and he said, 'I think it is more the hostess with the mostess. There aren't very many hosts who have their own log.' "

Coulson, who also appeared in the 1992 feature "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me," still gets fan mail daily. "I have gotten a lot of logs and wonderful owls," she says.

The Log Lady's log is now safe in a bank vault. "'The bark is getting kind of dry--it is the same log we have had from the very beginning," Coulson says. "It is very well-taken care of."

The two-hour pilot of "Twin Peaks" airs again Sunday at 7 p.m. and Monday at 12:30 a.m.; the first episode airs Friday at 5 and 10 p.m. and repeats June 20th at 7 p.m. and June 21 at 12:30 a.m.; subsequent episodes air Fridays at 5 and 10 p.m and repeat Sundays at 7 and Mondays at 12:30 a.m. on Bravo.

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