Only from the pen of Douglas Adams could this sort of weird, wonderful and wacky (WWW) event be produced. Not quite “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe,” Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, or just “Dirk Gently” if you have read the books, is over the top action, characters and situations.
“Horizons,” the first episode, is a hit-the-ground running introduction to the eight segment mini-series on BBC America.
Show creator Max Landis says, in an after episode interview on the Beeb American channel, that if “you are not confused, you probably were not watching properly.” The series premiere is hectically busy. Based around the premise that everything is interconnected, the episode features a incredible amount of coincidences and odd characters.
A millionaire, or just incredibly rich business tycoon, is murdered in the penthouse suite where Todd works. The bellhop is sent up to check a drunken woman in one room and then told to check on the suite.
Using a borrowed skeleton key he enters to find a bloody crime scene. At the start of the episode, Dirk Gently is called and told to hurry up. Todd has his car wrecked by his drug dealing landlord and he gets fired from his job.
Character’s introduced are: A small group of tattooed bald men, the “Rowdy 3” (a gang made up of four men), the FBI, two cops, two men from some clandestine organization, a corgi and a kitten.
(Pause for breath.)
Dirk Gently, Todd, Todd’s sister Amanda, the drunk lady, a murderous young lady with a machete – who is a holistic assassin, the murdered man’s daughter, a woman handcuffed to a bed above Todd’s apartment, and a computer hacker.
Everything seems to be revolved around Todd. On the day his car is trashed and he loses his job, Todd discovers the murdered magnate, Spring. He also sees himself on another floor of the hotel.
The “other him” he sees is wearing a fur coat and little else, and is yelling at someone just around a corner.
Dirk Gently is caught breaking into Todd’s apartment and tells the recently fired bellhop and he will be perfect as his new assistant.
Coincidences include: A military sniper shooting through Todd’s window and the bullet ricochets up through the ceiling killing the man who kidnapped the woman on the bed. Todd’s landlord shooting his pistol in the apartment and the bullet ricocheting off the microwave. The flying piece of lead hits the deranged man in the forehead killing him.
(Pause for breath.)
Before the concierge for the hotel is killed a bald headed man asks about a kitten from the murdered man’s room. Later Dirk is found to have a kitten in his bag as well as a gorilla mask. (The mask is seen on a man entering the penthouse suite before the murder.) The corgi was also at the crime scene and Todd sees it several times. He returns the dog and behind the animal’s owner stands the murdered man’s daughter who was reported missing.
A lottery ticket that Todd finds has the winning numbers on it. He wins $10 thousand. Dirk tells him at the start of the episode that Todd’s money problems will be sorted.
Gently is a cross between Dr. Who, sans the Tardis and the whole Time Lord thing, and the Mad Hatter. Todd is the hapless “everyman” whose luck has just taken one heck of a downward turn.
Adapted from the Adam’s books, the series follows the author’s ability to deliver the most absurd of situations in a way that is not only palatable but addictive. Max Landis has served up a feast of comedic occurrences and connected events that are clearly on steroidal speed.
Elijah Wood is the perfect match for Barnett’s fast talking detective. Fiona Dourif (offspring of Brad) proves herself to be “like father, like daughter.” It was lovely to see Michael Eklund chewing up scenery in a part somewhat different from his role in the SyFy cult hit Wynonna Earp.
Fans of Douglas Adams will want to tune into BBC America and catch Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, which airs on Saturdays. Viewers who cannot recite from memory great chunks of Adams’ “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe,” may want to give this one a miss.