Dirk Gently is taking his Holistic Detective Agency toys and coming to America

Dirk Gently, Douglas Adams’ holistic detective, who was brought to life by Stephen Mangan (Green Wing, Episodes) in a one and done-series, four-episode BBC4 adapatation, will get another shot at success across the pond. Gently bases his methods on the “fundamental interconnectedness of all things”, which relies on random chance methods to uncover connections between seemingly-unrelated cases.


While he may not completely understand what they are, Gently follows the principles of quantum mechanics and practices the art of ‘Zen navigation’, the following of people or vehicles who look like they know where they are going, in the hope that they will lead somewhere you want to be. According to Radio Times, the new series, which will be produced for broadcast on BBC America, will be written by Chronicle’s Max Landis, and set in America “..in the unexpected world of the hyper, absurd, ridiculous Dirk Gently. With an utterly fresh, comically self-aware tone, this series is equally sincere in its danger, humor, violence and drama. 

Personally, I can’t see anyone but Mangan as Dirk Gently. And, with the greatness of Darren Boyd as his sidekick, Richard MacDuff, Helen Baxendale as MacDuff’s girlfriend and Jason Watkins as Dirk’s nemesis DI Gilks cast opposite Mangan, this has all the makings of yet another situation where an American remake is completely unnecessary.

The novel Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency has its origins in the incomplete 1979 Doctor Who television serial Shada, which featured Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor. Best known for his 1978 BBC Radio comedy, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Adams wrote several Doctor Who episodes, including “Shada”. Location filming in Cambridge had been completed, but a studio technicians’ dispute at the BBC meant that studio segments were not completed, and the serial was never transmitted. This led to Adams incorporating elements of the DW serial into his 1987 Dirk Gently novel.


In: Comedy

  • MorganHamilton

    I agree that a US remake is probably not needed. Thank heavens that there won’t be anymore episodes of the BBC version!!! I admit it’s been YEARS since I read the book but I don’t remember Dirk being quite that much of a complete a$$hat. Maybe it was hidden by the humor. Maybe the book just doesn’t translate well to the screen. What ever it is I didn’t care for 90% of the series.

    • Sue_DeNimm

      Wow – I thought that the BBC series was a great interpretation. Not direct but when there are only two books to base a series on, how could it be? But Stephen Mangan’s Gently for me was the ideal type of nut who would stand on a roof and yell “Stop it” at the Universe itself.

      • Bill_Young


      • MorganHamilton

        As I said, it’s been years since I read the book (when it came out IIRC) but I seem to remember Dirk as more of an exasperating goofball than the annoying jerk shown in the series. Plus two books (or even only one) can be plenty to base a series on, especially one in the short season format.

        To me the Dirk in the show came across as much more mean than merely thoughtless. He just didn’t CARE about what consequences his actions might have for others as long as things worked for him. I honestly don’t remember him being that way in the book but if he was then mea culpa but I still found the show more disheartening than humorous.