For the most part there will be two type of viewers that watch BBC America’s upcoming new series, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. The first will be those that know little to nothing about the novels of Douglas Adams, upon which the show is based, and therefore also don’t know just how nuts the whole thing is. This group will have a lot in common with the cast of the show, none of whom were all that familiar with the character before reading the script for the series. The rest of the audience will be made up of people (like me) who are basically cult members in the Douglas Adams society. That puts us in the camp with series creator and writer Max Landis, except it’s tough to imagine any of us are quite as devoted to the cause as he is.
“I love Dirk Gently so f***ing much that it makes me insane,” said Landis.
He wasn’t exaggerating, because while speaking with him about the show at Comic-Con, his passion for Douglas Adams’ unorthodox detective had him physically coming up out of his seat each time he talked about bringing the story to air.
“I think Douglas Adams fans will f***ing love this show,” he said, “This is a tribute album; this is a Douglas Adams mural.”
A tribute album sounds like a perfect analogy, because it’s not a straight adaptation, but instead a new story about the unorthodox detective. Hannah Marks, who plays Amanda Brotzman on the show, said it puts Dirk Gently into a Max Landis world. Landis interpreted this as meaning there is “a carefree danger,” where, even though there is a “sense of fun,” the characters exist in a universe that “doesn’t compromise for them.”
That certainly sounds like the world of Dirk Gently, but showrunner Robert Cooper’s description of the show as”an orgy of absurdity” might have fans even more excited. The craziness of the script was a point that kept coming up with the cast, all now Dirk Gently converts themselves, who said they can’t wait for people to see how crazy the show really is. In fact, Elijah Wood, who plays reluctant sidekick Todd Brotzman, said he’s more excited for people to re-watch the eight-episode season after a first viewing and pick up all the clues they missed.
Just like the first Dirk Gently novel, the show will not see the world through Dirk’s eyes, but rather from the perspective of Wood’s character. As such, confused audience members will have a voice on the show to address the insanity of it all.
Landis, who said the mystery of the show is so complicated it took multiple boards and a lengthy explanation to try and explain it during his first pitch, added that while the ability to go anywhere with the story was exciting and fun, this also meant they needed just the right man for the role of Dirk. According to Landis and Cooper, who saw hundreds of parts for the title role of Dirk, Samuel Barnett nailed it from his first read. “He’s nailed it every day on set too,” said Landis.
Barnett said that part of what makes the show work so well is that the “characters’ needs were so clear,” which is saying something since Dirk Gently is not like any other detectives. His methods aren’t just unorthodox, they don’t really make any sense… except when they all do.
…Kinda. Either way, a whole new group of people will introduced to the wonderful world Douglas Adams created with Dirk Gently, and the most dedicated member of the cause is leading the way.”I am all the way the f*** in,” said Landis. Of course he is. There’s no other way to be in a cult.What are you most looking forward to with the new series? Tell us in the comments below.