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Return to the world of Twin Peaks

The Washington state locations became characters in the 90s TV series, which is back for a new season after 26 years

Wind whistles through the Douglas fir trees dotting the Washington state horizon, the cascading waters of Snoqualmie Falls crash into a ravine and a freshly baked cherry pie sits atop the counter of the Double R Diner.

Welcome back to Twin Peaks, the fictional small town from US director David Lynch's ground-breaking 1990 to 1991 TV series of the same name about murdered homecoming queen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). Its highly-anticipated and long-overdue revival premiered on Sunday on US cable network Showtime after 26 years.

Those involved with the show closely guarded details of the new season, but the spectacular scenery of Washington state is expected to play a starring role once again.

Twin Peaks is not a real town, but many of the show's locations can be found between Fall City and North Bend, off Interstate 90 highway east of Seattle.

"A sense of place is important," Lynch said.

"You try to get the place to marry with the ideas, so we found these places - and that is Twin Peaks."

Driving along the highway flanked by towering Douglas firs evokes the pilot episode's opening scenes, in which the esoteric Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) drives into Twin Peaks marvelling at the trees, saying "they are really something".

A dense mist arises from the Snoqualmie Falls and blankets the grandiose Salish Lodge & Spa at the top of the waters, the exterior of the show's Great Northern Hotel, run by the duplicitous Ben Horne (Richard Beymer). The vinyl booths of the Double R Diner, in which the lovers of Twin Peaks canoodled, can be found at Twede's Cafe in North Bend.


The locations became characters in Twin Peaks, harbouring sordid secrets in the wake of Palmer's murder.

The facade of the Roadhouse Restaurant & Inn in Fall City doubled for the show's Roadhouse bar, where her killer is revealed to Cooper. In Snoqualmie, a rusted trestle bridge over the Snoqualmie River was where a bloodied Ronette Pulaski (Phoebe Augustine) stumbled across after escaping from the same killer.

Production of Twin Peaks moved to California after the first episode, but the real locations still draw fans.

The facade and smoke funnels of the abandoned Weyerhaeuser mill stand out against the verdant Snoqualmie hills, the former setting of Twin Peaks' Packard Sawmill. Nearby, the former mill office is now a driving range business, but it was the sheriff's department in the show. A replica the Twin Peaks sheriff's vehicle sits in the parking lot, welcoming fans but warning them not to disturb the driving range.

The picturesque Kiana Lodge in Poulsbo, west of Seattle and sitting on the Suquamish reservation overlooking the Puget Sound, played numerous roles in Twin Peaks. The cedar-panelled hall inside is where a coquettish Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) interrupted a convention of Norwegian investors at the Great Northern Hotel.

The rustic venue also doubled as the show's Blue Pine Lodge, home to the Martells and Josie Packard (Joan Chen), who ran the sawmill.

"The scenes filmed in the pilot are still a vital part of how the Twin Peaks series is portrayed," lodge director Jay Mills said. Most notably, the lodge is where Palmer's plastic-wrapped body washed up next to a large log.

Today, a plaque a few metres away commemorates the "pivotal scene", where fans of the show like to take photos lying next to Palmer's Log. - REUTERS