Douglas Adams’ eccentric detective Dirk Gently is to get a second BBC outing just two years after the character last appeared in a Radio 4 adaptation starring Harry Enfield.
This time Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is to be brought to the TV in a new BBC Four drama based on Adams’ cult novel starring Stephen Mangan as Gently with Darren Boyd as sidekick Richard Macduff and Helen Baxendale as Richard’s girlfriend Susan.
Mangan said he’d been “a fan of Douglas Adams ever since the Hitchhiker’s radio series which I used to record as a child and listen to over and over again in my bedroom” adding it was “a thrill to now be playing one of his brilliant characters.”
“Dirk is a chaotic, anarchic force of nature with a totally unique take on the world. He is described as ‘lazy, untidy, dismissive and unreliable’. I’ve absolutely no idea why they thought I’d be right for the role.”
Directed by Damon Thomas, the drama has been adapted for TV by Howard Overman and is being produced by ITV Studios in association with The Welded Tandem Picture Company.
The one-hour single drama has been backed by Douglas Adams’ agent Ed Victor who said the author had been frustrated not to “get films made either of Hitchhiker or Dirk.”
“Douglas once said, memorably, that ‘getting a film made in Hollywood was like trying to cook a steak by having a bunch of people come into the room and breathe on it’! Well, we did eventually get a film made in Hollywood of Hitchhiker and, tragically, Douglas didn’t live to see it. Nor will he see this adaptation of Dirk – but it’s worth bearing in mind that Douglas always thought Dirk would make a better film than Hitchhiker and I feel sure that this new TV drama with a terrific script by Howard Overman will prove his point!”
Shooting commenced this week in Bristol for a winter 2010/2011 transmission.
Twitter users – follow @seenituk for more comment, news and observations.