"Head's up, tails up, run you scallywags. Night falls, morning calls, I'll catch you with my death bag. You may think I've gone insane, but I promise, I will kill again!"
Even accounting for it being a show oriented around a murder mystery, Twin Peaks touches on some surprisingly dark territory. And there’s no character that exemplifies it more than the show’s big bad, Killer BOB.
A demon from the mysterious Black Lodge, BOB’s motives – or the full extent of his powers – are never really revealed throughout the series. But you can piece together bits and pieces; BOB and his fellow Black Lodge spirits seem to feed off the emotions generated by terror, and that terror is largely created through rape and murder. Using the human host of Leland Palmer, BOB has been able to carry on this way for a number of years – until, of course, FBI Agent Dale Cooper arrives in town. More mystically attuned than your average law enforcement officer, Cooper begins to realise there’s more at work in Twin Peaks than a simple serial killer.
Interestingly enough, the character of BOB was largely created by accident. While working as a set dresser on the pilot, Frank Silva’s reflection was caught in a mirror. On noticing the mistake, David Lynch decided he’d found his villain, and went from there – hence the street clothes. Coincidence? Perhaps in the real world…but in the universe of Twin Peaks, it’s just another example of synchronicity in action.
BOB the POP is not quite as terrifying as his onscreen counterpart, but this may well be for the best. He’s got his hands clenched into claw-like gestures, and even without the snarling mouth you can pick up that he’s not a good guy. It’s an impressively cutesy take on a horrific character, and would fit nicely in with a horror collection even if you didn’t pick up any of the other characters from the line.
Unfortunately, Frank Silva is unlikely to be appearing in this year’s revival of the series, unless it’s in archive footage – he passed away in 1994 as a result of AIDS-related complications. Whether BOB himself return remains to be seen, though I’d say it’s a safe bet he will. Perhaps the new host will even be Michael Cera? Stranger things have happened…