Dirk Gently’s holistic hour

Despite BBC Four’s huge cutbacks resulting in most of its programming now just archive footage, somehow Dirk Gently slipped onto the airwaves.

Loosely based on the books by Douglas Adams, Stephen Mangan has stepped into the shoes of main character Dirk who runs his very own holistic detective agency. There was a trial run of the series back in December 2010 which was fantastic and it is good to see it wangled its way back. Darren Boyd is also back to play Dirk’s assistant, Richard MacDuff who seems to have decided that it is a sensible career move to work at the detective agency which has a lack a paying customers.

There has been some talk that Dirk Gently would suffer in a post Moffat Sherlock world because that has the perfect twosome with a knack for solving crimes, but these comparisons are missing the point. There are similarities; the fantastic music sounds similar, it focuses on two men and they are usually in the middle of some dangerous hijinks. However, the show is more like a drama rather than a detective show. Dirk’s logic to solving crime is his gift that no one else gets. Instead the fun comes from watching Dirk and everyone’s responses to his unusual behaviour.

The real comparison which is hard for the show is the books. There are so many things happening which can be expressed well in a book but sort of lose their meaning and end up confusing when put on the television. So I think the show has done well to retain the essence of Dirk whilst also still making sense.

There are also some great lines, one of my favourite that I will now be using whenever I am having a bad day is: “I believe we are having one those days were even Mother Theresa would kick babies.”

Fingers crossed another series slips onto the BBC Four before anyone realises that it is something that costs money on that channel. Catch up with the series on BBC iPlayer.


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