Laura Palmer is murdered. She is murdered before the pilot episode of Twin Peaks first showed in April 1990. She is found washed up on the river bank, wrapped in plastic. Her death brings in investigators and drives the plot of the first series. Nothing quite attracts television audiences so much as a young dead woman, her life unpicked publicly without her agency, seen through celluloid.
At Dr Sketchy’s Twin Peaks drawing session in the upper room over a pub, Laura Palmer was played by the gloriously named Miss VJ Spankie. She entered through the audience, moving and occupying the whole stage, playing the Twin Peaks theme on the violin. She seemed in wedding weeds, until the eye adjusted and she was seen clothed in industrial plastic sheeting, bound round and round her middle with blue string. She made no eye contact, seemed expressionless but dominated the room, posing for us to draw.