I posed a question on Twitter last week; “who is the greatest TV character of all time?”
The response I got included a few names that you would expect to see on the list – Del Trotter, Basil Fawlty, The Doctor and a few surprises, namely Hawkeye from M*A*S*H and Francis Urquhart from House of Cards.
A special mention has to go to my friend Simon who noted that Gordon the Gopher, Philip Schofield’s old sidekick, had some of the best comedy timing in BBC history.
He may have only squeaked his way through episodes of Going Live! but, as they say, it’s always the quiet ones...
The reason why I brought up the subject in the first place is that I have finally managed to re-watch the television programme that for the past 20 years I have lauded as my all-time favourite.
The show in question is Twin Peaks, the US murder-mystery with hints of soap, a soupcon of film noir and big chunks of “what-on-earth-is-going-on?”.
The show managed to blend the unusual with real drama and paved the way for Northern Exposure, The X Files and Life on Mars.
I loved it every bit as much as when I first watched it and, to my surprise, the long-suffering Mrs Gregg did too (well all apart from the ending, but no spoilers here).
That’s in no small part down to the brilliant Kyle MacLachlan who plays main character Special Agent Dale Cooper. He manages to be serious yet whimsical, unforgiving yet understanding, strict yet tolerant.
He’s a character who, if he had been written or acted any less brilliantly, would have been insufferable but is actually as close to perfect as a fictional Federal Agent can be.
It’s rare that a book, television show or movie can create a character who you can really believe in. I’m sure when I dig out Twin Peaks in another 20 years I’ll still love it.