Film makers are having yet another stab at bringing holistic detective Dirk Gently to the screens.
Gently comes from the pen of Douglas Adams, author of the hugely successful sci-fi series Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
The last incarnation was with the mild mannered Stephen Mangan seemingly made for the part of Dirk Gently, but the BBC TV series was cancelled for ‘unknown’ reasons after just three episodes.
Mangan went on to become the star of BBC’s Episodes, about a hapless couple of British TV writers snapped up by Hollywood.
Mangan will not reprise his role. Instead, Gently will be relocated to the USA with Samuel Barnett from the much under-rated Penny Dreadful taking over. His reluctant partner will be Lord of the rings star Elijah Wood.
New series in can
The BBC and online streaming portal Netflix will produce the series for broadcast on BBC America in November and Netflix UK in December.
“Dirk Gently and his assistant Todd will wend their way through a big, seemly insane case each season, crossing unlikely paths with unseemly characters but moving a few steps closer to the truth with each episode,” said a Netflix spokesman.
Going to America may seem sinful for fans of Adams, the quintessential Englishman, but Adams was considering shifting his stories to the States while writing the third and unfinished Dirk Gently novel The Salmon of Doubt.
Despite numerous efforts to bring the Guide and Gently to radio, cinema and TV, the ventures have fallen flat.
Directors have failed to capture the minute complexity of the prose and utter stupidity hidden in the writing of Adams.
Mangan probably came the closest managing to capture the madness springing from incomprehensible but solid logic of Dirk Gently.
For instance, Gently has no destination for a journey and just follows a random car, believing that wherever the car goes is where he is meant to be.
Samuel Barnett is a British actor who came to fame in Alan Bennett’s The History Boys and The Lady In The Van. He played Dracula’s assistant Renfield in series three of Penny Dreadful.
Elijah Wood played lead character Frodo Baggins in the Peter Jackson epic trilogy of JRR Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings fantasy.