DVD Release Date: January 24, 2017
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency Season 1 (2017) is based on Douglas Adams’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency series. Shortly after Todd (Elijah Wood) finds the body of Partick Spring, a billionaire with a lot of secrets, Holistic Detective Dirk Gently (Samuel Barnett) crawls through his window and presses him into investigating the murder. With a holistic assassin (Fiona Dourif) on Dirk’s heels, can he solve the case before he’s swimming with the fishes?You’ve heard the phrase, “The names have been changed to protect the innocent?” In the case of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (Season One) the names are perhaps the only thing to remain the same. Todd is a beaten down bellboy who owes money to his brutally violent landlord. When Dirk crawls through his window, Todd is reeling from the bizarre murder that took place in the hotel and from seeing himself looking quite different in the hallway just before the discovery. Though Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (Season One) only loosely resembles the book, I think author Douglas Adams would wholeheartedly approve of the manic humor of the piece.
The first episodes of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (Season One) are confusing. Barnett plays Dirk as an absentminded, persistent, resourceful and not hard to love but exceptionally easy to fear character. Wood is the perfect person to play the version of Todd depicted. He’s shrinking and has things he’s willing to fight for but would much prefer to run or reason than fight.
I absolutely adore Fiona Dourif as Bart Curlish, the holistic assassin. She doesn’t know who Dirk is but feels as though she can find him just by instinct because it’s her destiny to kill him. We meet her when she goes after some hapless guy that she believes to be Dirk. When he’s finally able to tell her that he’s not she asks, “Well, why did you run?” From the woman trying to kill him? Dourif plays the character as so matter of fact that it feels so wrong but you can’t help but laugh.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (Season One) has a lot of moving parts and there are moments that the story seems to go off in weird directions. Canadian actor Dustin Milligan (you may not recognize his name but you have seen him. He’s been in shows from 90210 to X Company and most recently Schitt’s Creek as the lovestruck veterinarian) plays a misfocused agent tracking Dirk separate from the holistic assassin also looking for him. Add to the mix, Todd’s sister (Hannah Marks) who suffers from a hereditary condition that causes her to hallucinate. Ultimately the goal is to solve the Spring murder but with so many distractions, will it remain the central point of the story or is Dirk’s inherent weirdness and Todd’s reaction to him the real story?
The acting is top notch in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (Season One) and the story is well edited. Many things come together in the course of the season though there are points that feel intentionally left open for subsequent seasons. Stick with the show beyond the first episode and the story is funny, engaging and entertaining. I binged the 8 episodes in two long blocks. It’s exactly the weird and different you’d expect to be inspired by a great surrealist author. If you’re at a loose end, check Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (Season One) out. If you love Adams, you will not regret it.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is available as a DVD, Blu-ray and on Amazon Instant Video
|Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency Season 1
|Paco Cabezas, Dean Parisot, Michael Patrick Jann
|Samuel Barnett, Elijah Wood, Hannah Marks, Fiona Dourif, Jade Eshete
|January 24, 2017