Sleuthing across the uni­verse

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Pay Television - Dirk Gen­tly’s Holis­tic De­tec­tive Agency,

Equal parts whimsy and weird­ness, this ter­rific new eight-part sci-fi de­tec­tive se­ries from BBC Amer­ica re­cently launched on Net­flix. It is based on the book of the same name by Dou­glas Adams (of The Hitch­hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame), which he de­scribed as a “thump­ing good de­tec­tive-ghost-hor­ror-who­dunit-time-trav­el­ro­man­tic-mu­si­cal-com­edy-epic”.

Dirk Gen­tly’s Holis­tic De­tec­tive Agency stars Shake­spearean the­atre ac­tor Samuel Bar­nett in the ti­tle role as an un­ortho­dox crime fighter who be­lieves ev­ery­thing in the uni­verse is in­ter­con­nected.

Eli­jah Wood plays Todd, a ho­tel worker with debts to pay and a mun­dane ex­is­tence — un­til a mur­der of in­ex­pli­ca­ble fe­roc­ity oc­curs in his work­place. Gen­tly climbs in his win­dow, and voila, Todd be­comes his re­luc­tant side­kick.

Ev­ery good de­tec­tive story needs a vil­lain: en­ter Fiona Dou­rif as Bart Curl­ish, in many ways Dirk Gen­tly’s Holis­tic De­tec­tive Agency Gen­tly’s evil dop­pel­ganger. Curl­ish is a holis­tic as­sas­sin who be­lieves the uni­verse leads her to the peo­ple she is sup­posed to as­sas­si­nate, where for all ap­pear­ances she is sim­ply on a ran­dom killing spree.

Mpho Koaho as Ken, her hostage, is par­tic­u­larly funny. And Richard Schiff, best re­mem­bered as Toby from The West Wing, here plays a grouchy miss­ing per­sons de­tec­tive.

Crit­ics have praised the show ( Sher­lock suf­fused with Benny Hill, wrote one), not­ing that it is a pretty loose adap­ta­tion of Adams’s work, re­flect­ing more the vir­tu­osic writ­ing tal­ents of the show’s cre­ator and showrun­ner Max Lan­dis ( Amer­i­can Ul­tra). It has al­ready been re­newed for a sec­ond sea­son of 10 episodes, due to pre­miere in 2017. stream­ing on Net­flix.

Eli­jah Wood and Samuel Bar­nett on the case in

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