IN­TER­CON­NECTED DE­TEC­TIVE

Sa­muel Bar­nett on be­com­ing Dou­glas Adams’s piz­zalov­ing pri­vate eye…

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red alert -

How would you de­scribe your Dirk Gen­tly?

I feel it’s got the essence and the spirit of the Dirk in the books. I feel Max has re­ally cap­tured that. But ob­vi­ously I think I look very dif­fer­ent to the Dirk that Dou­glas Adams cre­ated, who was more mid­dle-aged, slightly portly.

Did you re­view how other ac­tors have played Dirk Gen­tly?

I lis­tened to both sea­sons of the ra­dio adap­ta­tion with Harry En­field and I watched all the episodes Stephen Man­gan had done and I re­ally loved both of them. In fact, I was slightly go­ing, “These are re­ally good.” When it was an­nounced that I’d got the job there were loads of peo­ple on Twit­ter say­ing, “What hap­pened to Steven Man­gan? Why can’t we have more shows with him be­cause he was great?” and I was think­ing, “Yeah, in a way I to­tally agree with you.”

How does the show in­tro­duce Gen­tly to a new gen­er­a­tion?

What’s great is that you don’t need to know any­thing. One of the things I re­ally love about Amer­i­can TV and the way it’s writ­ten is the plot­ting. They are able to plot one story that keeps you com­pletely hang­ing on be­cause they drip feed the in­for­ma­tion to you. In our ver­sion you’ll see Dirk go about his busi­ness, get it all wrong be­cause he’s chaotic and you don’t learn much about him straight away apart from how he op­er­ates. Then sud­denly, in episode three, you get this scene where you get a tiny bit of back­story about him and go, “What was that? Where did that come from?”

What was it like work­ing with Eli­jah Wood?

They needed some­one who could bring a lot of heart and a lot of em­pa­thy but also a real ground­ed­ness and nor­mal­ity be­cause oth­er­wise you would have a show in which there would be no an­chor; there would be no one to guide you through where you should be at any given mo­ment in the story. Eli­jah will never tell you what to think and feel and he won’t spoon-feed you any­thing, but he will kind of guide you in the same way that Todd ends up re­ally guid­ing Dirk.

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