The world of Twin Peaks is a place both wonderful and strange. Perhaps one of the strangest (although not necessarily surreal) moments from the original saga came in the form of the mysterious FBI agent Phillip Jeffries in the 1992 prequel/sequel film Fire Walk With Me. The agent was played by a southern-accented David Bowie, who entered the FBI headquarters looking frightened and ranting about an unknown character named Judy, much to the confusion of Agents Dale Cooper (Kyle McLaghlan), Gordon Cole (David Lynch), and Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer).
Bowie’s Jeffries played a large, albeit mostly unseen role, in the Twin Peaks revival that completely obliterated our concept of what television can be throughout this past summer, leaving many to wonder whether Bowie would be making a surprise cameo appearance before the series’ eighteen hours was up. However, Bowie only appeared through the aforementioned Fire Walk With Me footage that had been slightly edited and repurposed to fit the new narrative of the series.
In a recent Reddit AMA, the show’s executive producer Sabrina Sutherland said that Bowie “did give us permission to use his clips in this season.” That said, she never answered a user asking, “Honestly… how close were we to actually seeing David Bowie in this season?”
Although Bowie only appeared in the archival clips, his character did appear more often throughout the series in the form of a large, steaming, talking tea kettle. So far, there is no word on whether Bowie approved of that representation of his character, but it kind of seems like something he would’ve been into. Check out Jeffries’ first kettle appearance, intercut with a glimpse of Bowie’s portrayal of the character, below.