Douglas Adams is headed back to TV! IDW announced this morning that they’d acquired the rights to the author’s 1987 novel, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. The publisher has partnered up with Ideate Media and enlisted writer Max Landis to write the pilot, and the plan is to develop so that Dirk Gently heads direct-to-series with Landis executive producing.
Introduced in the 1987 novel of the same name (which I haven’t read in a minute), Dirk Gently – well, the first novel defies easy explanation. But basically, it’s a time-traveling murder mystery featuring ancient alien ghosts and the titular private eye who operates on the principle of the “fundamental interconnectedness of all things.”
This would be the second time the character made his way to TV, following a four-episode series which debuted back in late 2010 on the BBC. That show largely borrowed elements from the book rather than the outright plot, with Billy Elliot actor Stephen Mangan cast as the lead.
So what will the show be like? IDW offers its synopsis, which gives the show a little more of a procedural/supernatural edge than I remember from the first novel, or its followup, 1988’s The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul:
“Dirk Gently is a charismatic, mysterious, troubled, brilliant, figure – cursed with a relentless intellect, psychic powers he doesn’t fully understand or want, a gift for self-mythologizing, and a supernatural ability to detect disturbances in the fabric of reality, Dirk has found a strange calling as a private detective for impossible crimes.”
In the press release, Landis lavishes praise on Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Dirk Gently creator Douglas Adams, saying that the show offers him infinite possibilities to throw whatever he wants at Dirk.
IDW and Ideate haven’t found a network (or streaming service) for the series, but hopefully news on that front will materialize once the pilot has been hired up and shot.