When news recently surfaced that an eight-episode order to an adaptation of the Douglas Adams novel series “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency” had been finalized, my immediate thought was a long-forgotten Yogi Berra quote that said, “It’s Deja-Vu all over again“. Especially when I read that the co-executive producer, Arvind Ethan David, commented, “I’ve been waiting almost 20 years for TV to be ready for this and to find the right person to do it for TV.”
Apparently, he must have forgotten about the 2010/2012 4-part series Dirk Gently series starring Stephen Mangan, Darren Boyd and Helen Baxendale, which was originally produced for BBC4 and aired on a number of public television stations in America.
David has a long history with Dirk Gently and original writer/creator, Douglas Adams. He was so taken with the character, who first appeared in 1987, that he wrote a stage adaptation while he was a student at the Stowe boarding school outside London. Adams, who died of a heart attack in 2001 at age 49, showed up to the performance and befriended David. The play, Dirk, went on to win the Best Adaptation Award at the 28th LA Weekly Theater Awards in 2007. Landis, who read the books as a teenager, credits Adams’ work as “…one of the things that inspired me to be a writer.”
Just this week, Elijah Wood, of Lord of the Rings/Hobbit fame, has been cast in this newest adaptation of Dirk Gently, which will air on BBC America as a companion piece to their Doctor Who franchise. Wood will play Todd, the assistant to Gently, the role played by Darren Boyd in the original series. No word yet on who will play the eccentric “holistic” detective Dirk Gently. Until then, enjoy the original.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is set to premiere on BBC America in Fall 2016.