He solved the mystery of MacDuff’s sofa. He’s traveled through time to stop murders. He’s worked with the police on a case involving a blood contract with a scythe-wielding green-eyed monster. He knows Thor!
He is Svlad Cjelli, also known as Dirk Gently, and he is a holistic detective.
There have been several adaptation of Douglas Adams’ book series since it began in 1987, telling the story of Dirk Gently and his unintentional assistant Richard MacDuff as they solve the mystery of murder, a house that is a time machine, and so much more. It’s all connected.
Initially I did not want there to be an American Dirk Gently series. There was already one television adaptation in England in 2012 which I loved, and saw doing an Americanized version, even with a British actor, would be demeaning to the story. The 2012 series showed that it was possible to update the premise without losing the flavor, but that wasn’t much issue.
Thankfully last year I was proven wrong. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is now one of my favorite shows on television. After Todd (Elijah Wood) sees himself at the other end of a hall shortly before discovering the outcome of a crime scene, he is met by Dirk Gently (Samuel Barnett), a strange, tall man in a yellow leather coat, climbing into Todd’s window on the top floor of his building. This is only the start, as they are also met by energy vampires, the Rowdy 3; Bart (Fiona Dourif), a homicidal murderer on the hunt for Dirk; Patrick Spring, an eccentric millionaire whose daughter is kidnapped by Gordon Rimmer, an eccentric cult leader using brain-transfer technology; and Farrah (Jade Eshete), the obsessive-compulsive security agent in charge of tracking down Spring’s daughter. While this series does not tell Adams’ original stories, the new storyline incorporates a large amount, if not all of, his humor and writing style. From nobody else would I expect to see Dirk’s fast-talking ridiculous case-solving, or even Todd and his sister’s unique mental illness, pararibulitis (seeing and/or feeling massive imaginary pain and hallucinations).
The new season began last weekend on BBC America (season 1 is currently available on Hulu), where Dirk is being held hostage by the government agency that supposedly gave him his power of deduction, while Todd and Farrah are on the run from the law after hacking federal databases for information about Dirk’s whereabouts. Meanwhile, medieval scissor-wielding soldiers from a parallel dimension are searching for Dirk to help save their world. Oh, and Alan Tudyk. No word about his character, but I’m not real picky if he’s on the show.
If you haven’t experienced a Dirk Gently story, I highly recommend starting the series on Hulu, or picking up the original novel. Once you’ve completed these, check out the original British miniseries or any of the IDW graphic novels, which recently blended the original novel characters with the new series—that’s right, two Dirks. It’s worth connecting the dots.