Something Different: A Review of “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency”

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By Kate Hawthorne, Staff Writer

BBC America’s new show “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency” kicked off its first season on Oct. 22, 2016 with an hour-long pilot episode entitled “Horizons.” The new series, directed by Max Landis, boasts an amazing cast and features the hilarious duo of Samuel Barnett as the title character Dirk Gently and Elijah Wood — known for his role as Frodo in “The Lord of the Rings” — as Todd Brotzman, Dirk’s reluctant sidekick. First shown at the BBC America panel at New York Comic Con, the first episode of the TV series introduces a number of other characters of varying importance and presents the main mystery of the series, but it does not really get around to explaining a lot. The first series covers the mystery of a missing girl and the murder of the girl’s father, a prominent businessman. It also introduces a strange and mysterious disease Todd’s sister has, which seems to cause hallucinations that can actually hurt her. Other odd occurrences can be seen throughout the first episode, including a man in a gorilla mask, a strange and gruesome murder scene, a person in two places at once, a lottery ticket, and a corgi that keeps popping up.

“Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency” is one of the strangest TV series to date. It seems to be a mix of Sherlock and Doctor Who but only really rises to similar mix of insanity and wonderfulness in the last few episodes of the season. By contrast, the first episodes are more of a slog, partially due to the fact that the viewer understands very little. The new series is based on a series of books by Douglas Adams (author of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”) by the same name and yet, according to other reviewers, the only thing the TV series and the book series seem to have in common are the main character. Still, the first season ended on a high note in comparison to previous episodes. The first season had eight episodes, but the series has already been renewed for a second season which promises another ten episodes and is set to debut some time this fall. Intrigued? The series is not yet available on Netflix, but can be bought on iTunes or watched on the BBC America website until Feb. 8.

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