The Man from Another Place (played by Michael J. Anderson) is a fictional character from the television series Twin Peaks, created by David Lynch and Mark Frost. He is an inhabitant of the Black Lodge, a realm of pure evil. Early on in the series, The Man gives Agent Dale Cooper clues to apprehending The Man's nemesis, Killer BOB. He later makes recurring appearances in relation to the Black Lodge.
The Man from Another Place first appears in the series' second episode, in a dream experienced by Cooper. Although, being a spirit, he technically has no corporeal form, he appears to Cooper as a dwarf in a red three piece suit and brown cowboy boots. In the dream, The Man gives Cooper a series of esoteric clues which ultimately prove helpful in determining the identity of Laura Palmer's killer, The Man's fellow Black Lodge spirit, Killer BOB. One of these clues is a strange 1940s-style jazz dance, a sequence which makes repeated appearances throughout the course of the series. The series never made clear The Man's reasons for wanting to help Cooper, or his true identity; following Cooper's dream, he appears only a few more times: Once, following BOB after BOB appeared to Cooper following the death of Josie Packard, and again at the end of the series when Cooper ventured into the Black Lodge.
The film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me expands upon The Man from Another Place's identity and his reasons for wanting to help Cooper.
Fire Walk with Me explains that The Man from Another Place is somehow connected to — or is — Mike, the faceless spirit entity who possesses Philip Gerard, The One Armed Man, on the series. The script explicitly states that the Man from Another Place is, in fact, Mike. In the series, the one-armed Gerard, under Mike's influence, tells Cooper a story about cutting off his own arm. In Fire Walk With Me, The Man from Another Place tells Cooper, "I Am the Arm, and I sound like this". He then makes a siren-like noise with his hand and mouth, which later accompanies the first appearance of Gerard, speaking under Mike's influence. At the end of the film, when BOB enters the Black Lodge and stands beside his host, Leland Palmer, The Man From Another place appears, standing beside Philip Gerard.
It is revealed that The Man from Another Place had a dispute with Killer BOB over stolen garmonbozia, the physical manifestation of human beings' suffering and fear, which serves as a source of sustenance for inhabitants of the Black Lodge. Killer BOB, Mike/The Man from Another Place's familiar, was supposed to collect garmonbozia and bring it to The Man from Another Place; instead, BOB consumed it himself. This sparked a feud between the two spirits, which resulted in BOB being ordered to collect more garmonbozia to pay back the Man from Another Place. At the end of the film, Killer BOB uses the garmonbozia he collected from Laura Palmer's feelings of terror before her death — represented by her blood — to pay back the Man from Another Place. The Man from Another Place still regards BOB with animosity, however, resulting in his helping Cooper identify BOB's host, thus preventing BOB from collecting any more garmonbozia for himself.
The strange cadence of the Man’s dialogue was achieved by having Anderson speak into a recorder. This was then played in reverse, and Anderson was directed to repeat the reversed original. This “reverse-speak” was then reversed again in editing to bring it back to the normal direction. This created the strange rhythm and accentuation that set Cooper’s dream world apart from the real world.
Anderson recalls that his reverse-speak was not difficult to master as, coincidentally, he had used it as a secret language with his junior high school friends. Series creator David Lynch was unaware of this when he cast Anderson in the part, and even hired a trainer to help Anderson with the enunciations. When he found out Anderson could already talk backwards, he canceled the trainer and wrote more and more difficult lines of dialogue for Anderson to read.