Twin Peaks returns in May

With David Lynch at the helm of all 18 episodes

Midway through the original run of Twin Peaks, David Lynch grew so frustrated with the network's meddling that he relinquished creative control. He was forced to reveal who'd murdered his ingénue, Laura Palmer. Quality. dropped. Viewers switched off. But the world Lynch created was so singularly, so resonant, that its legacy endures. Which is two years ago, Showtime commissioned a return to Twin Peaks. And yesterday, the network revealed that Lynch has directed all 18 episodes.

The show debuts on 21 May, with a two-hour special, followed by 16 one-hour episodes. The new series picks up 25 years after the last, where the same characters are still haunted by Palmer's murder. At the launch, Showtime boss David Nevins described the series as "the pure heroin David Lynch," a promise that should assuage any concerns that Lynch might, again, be stymied by notes. Television is enjoying a golden age that Twin Peaks helped ushered in – one in which auteur directors dictate terms and plots are given a series to unfurl, not an episode. Now, Lynch has the chance to enjoy the era he created.

Twin Peaks launches on Showtime on 21 May