Douglas Adams has always been a tough nut to crack. There have been very few film or television adaptations of his work, mostly because they’re so hard to adapt from book to film. “Only four things happen in Hitchhikers [Guide to the Galaxy], and one of them is the Earth exploding! And there’s no emotional payoff,” says Max Landis, series creator of the new BBC America adaptation of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency that premieres tonight in the United States.
With that in mind, Landis chose to make his adaptation more in the spirit of Douglas Adams, rather than a straight adaptation. He’s returned some of the supernatural elements to the story that the previous BBC series from 2010-2012 removed, and the story is not a direct adaptation of any of the novels Adams published.
The result? The series is very weird, but also incredibly charming and funny. By the end of the first episode I was hooked, and episodes 2 and 3 only reinforced that opinion. The series won’t be for everyone, it may just be too weird for most. But it’s likely to be one of those shows that you either love off the bat, or you just don’t get. It’s worth getting through at least that first hour to figure out which you are.
If you’re still trying to decide, perhaps the cast of the series can help convince you. At the series premiere event at Paley Center this week we spoke with cast members Elijah Wood (Todd), Samuel Barnett (Dirk Gently), Jade Eshete (Farah Black), and Fiona Dourif (Bart Curlish).
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency premieres on BBC America in the US tonight. The series will hit Netflix in the UK sometime in December (likely after the final episode airs in the US on Dec 17th).
Photo credit: Imeh Byrant for the Paley Center