Villordsutch reviews Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency Season 1 Episode 1 – “Horizons”…
There’s always a worry that when something is as quintessentially British, as say a Douglas Adams “Dirk Gently” novel, falls into the palms of a country called “America” and then they announce that they’re going to make a TV series out of it, that this is going to go amazingly wrong and everybody in-turn will hate said Douglas Adams novel. Now no offence intended towards Max Landis, for you have made me smile on numerous occasions – still today when I’m low I turn to The Slap to raise my spirits – but the dread had set in before I finished reading the first paragraph of the announcement.
In truth I shouldn’t feel like this at all; America has shown me, on multiple occasions, via Chris Ryall and Arvind Ethan David that they know Dirk Gently from their IDW Publishing comics, which have impressed me to the point of having a Cheshire Cat grin across my bearded face. But there’s that ignorant itch that whispers, “America can’t actually do Douglas Adams!”, festering in my head, even before I’ve clicked play on Netflix.
Launching around the globe on Netflix comes the latest incarnation of the Holistic Detective, starring Samuel Barnett (History Boys, Twenty Twelve) as Dirk Gently and also Elijah Wood (Lord of The Rings/Open Windows) as Todd, the poor soul who today his rather pathetic life has finally decided to up end itself and lead him in a direction where he – spiritually – comes alive; by having people die in front of him… a lot.
For those that don’t know Dirk Gently, he’s a holistic detective who solves crimes not by using fingerprint kits or stalking evil wrong doers in the dead of night. No, he’d rather just walk into your home uninvited, because it was meant to happen as your door was open and “clearly” that must be a clue to something! Interconnectedness is the way of Dirk Gently, as all things are.
The opening episode to this new series starts off rather bloody, with a massacred room of dismembered bodies surrounding a black kitten and it continues to bloom from there. It first introduces us to Todd’s world, showing us his sister who suffers from Pararibulitis, Todd’s scruples and how far he will go to protect those he cares for. We also get to see the world around both Todd and Dirk with droplets of their surrounding backstory being feed to us like The Rowdy 3 (though obviously there are four of them), the Holistic Assassin, and Riggins who’s tailing Dirk due to Project Icarus. I have to let people know, the comic books seem to be running alongside the series rather splendidly right now.
The opening episode of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, is surprisingly enjoyable. Max Landis and the team behind it clearly know the source material of Dirk Gently and this is a show where you can smirk, look confused ,smile, blurt out a laugh, wonder, realise, ponder and wait for an ultimate conclusion. Pieces are being brought out onto a board and there is no rush to deliver answers instantly, humour is there, so is tragedy, so are pieces to connect, but most importantly of all Dirk Gently is here.
If you’re looking at Dirk Gently on Netflix and thinking, ‘Should I click that?’, the answer is a big “Yes!”. Dirk Gently has begun rather splendidly on Netflix and I am rather pleased about it.