Sleuthing across the universe
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