Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency: Horizons   Show Only 
October 23, 2016 6:13 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

In the series premiere, eccentric self-proclaimed detective Dirk Gently investigates the death of an isolated millionaire and inadvertently teams up with struggling musician Todd Brotzman to do so.
posted by oh yeah! (30 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Maybe someone who has read the books can start a books-included thread?

I didn't love it, but it left me curious to see where it's going - how the time travel aspect will be introduced, when the different stories will intersect, etc. I do find the Americanization off-putting; there's a generic-ness to the setting (I have no idea what city they're supposed to be in), I think they would have been better off sticking to the 1980's UK setting of the books, maybe making Todd the lone American character. And his sister too, I guess.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:34 AM on October 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


It was definitely interesting. And the fx team must have had a blast creating that opening hotel scene.
posted by davidmsc at 9:49 AM on October 23, 2016


Dirk went from being a short, pudgy fellow in an ill-fitting suit to a young manic pixie channeling Rik Mayall. And I am oddly okay with that even though I am not typically amused by gross diversions from the original print. This was specifically called out to be after the two books, I have some reason to believe that there is a _slight_ callback to the first book but that remains to be seen, and since it's in uncharted territory I'm all right with this being a fairly clean slate rather than specifically trying to rewrite Adams stories and failing. Call this Earth-2 Dirk instead of Earth-1 Dirk, to horribly misuse a comic book cliche.

Anyway, the debut episode was a wild, disjointed mess but that's precisely what it was meant to be, so as to get to the clever bits later where they all get tied together. We shall see in the next few episodes how clever the clever bits turn out to be.
posted by delfin at 5:16 PM on October 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


oh yeah! - the series, at least the first episode, is set in Seattle, Washington.
posted by Moxx of Balhoon at 1:25 PM on October 24, 2016


I read the book, but so long ago, the confused miasma of plot has vanished like morning fog, leaving only an Electric Monk atop a robot horse.

I used 'Electric Monk' as a game handle for a while, but that anchor failed to hold.
posted by arzakh at 5:04 AM on October 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


the main thing I know Max Landis for is that Super Mario World screenplay that got posted to the blue, I don't know if this colored by expectations for good or ill but it definitely prejudiced me in some way I can't really put my finger on

anyway I was excited to hear there was going to be a Dirk Gently TV show but I didn't last past the first commercial break after Dirk showed up
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:57 PM on October 25, 2016


Wait wait when did this happen

How can I watch this, from outside the US
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:25 PM on October 25, 2016


WAIT WHAT, only the first episode is online? I was ready to wreck my week binging tonight. It does seem like it's ramping up the wacky/outrageous/supernatural pretty fast, where are they going after the holistic assassin road trip? I was thinking that harry potter actor has changed a bit. Hope the corgi gets a regular place and that the sister wins in the end and that they go back and give the hotel manager some comeuppance.
posted by sammyo at 6:31 PM on October 25, 2016


This is okay if I think of it as being a tv show that has fuck all to do with the books - which is good, because it has so very little to do with the books other than the mention of the sofa and Thor.

I'm not sure I care for the portrayal of Dirk Gently here. The actor hits some of the right weasel-y notes - maybe it'll improve? Part of that could be the writing or the disjointedness of this episode (which I think was partially on purpose so whatever.) HOWEVER, and this is kind of a big one for me, I actually like Elijah Wood here.

I found the holistic assassin to be kind of hilarious. I enjoyed seeing RIchard Schiff and his eyebrows.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:25 PM on October 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


I am one of those Douglas Adams fans who never ventured much beyond the 3rd book of the original trilogy. I have a love-hate relationship with the 2005 film of HHGttG (mostly hate). I never read the later books because things.

I loved the premiere of DGHDA. It felt like HHGttG meets Torchwood meets Doctor Who meets X-Files season 1. It was cheesy and absurd and loud and off-the-wall, which feels wildly refreshing in comparison the the oh-so-stoic programming of late.

I'm more than willing to accept that fans of the novels might not love the adaptation, but having never read the novels (bad fan, BAD) I am so in.
posted by Mishi at 9:21 PM on October 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


It should probably be titled "Dirk Gently's other Adventures in the Colonies" and if it's taken as not the book but a story about Dirk's cousin Dirk who is not quite the same but close enough to save the world again (possibly) and not try to map it onto the books story, it may be easier on some aficionados.
posted by sammyo at 11:32 AM on October 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


It definitely piqued my curiosity enough to want to watch the next episode. The holistic assassin was most excellent and Elijah Wood could be a decent foil, but Dirk seems like a cardboard cut-out take on eccentric. Hopefully his character will develop some more appealing aspects.
posted by dazed_one at 8:53 PM on October 27, 2016


Does anyone else feel like the "I'm not your Watson!" line was meant as a way to hang a lampshade on the fact that they cast two leads who look a whole lot like the leads of BBC's Sherlock?

Looking forward to the rest of this. It reminds me of season four of Arrested Development inasmuch as I expect the first episode to be full of stuff that makes much more sense after seeing it through to the end.
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:09 AM on October 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


oh yeah!: Maybe someone who has read the books can start a books-included thread?

sammyo: It should probably be titled "Dirk Gently's other Adventures in the Colonies" and if it's taken as not the book but a story about Dirk's cousin Dirk who is not quite the same but close enough to save the world again (possibly) and not try to map it onto the books story, it may be easier on some aficionados.

This Dirk said it perfectly: "I can already tell we've got oodles in common. We both like, um, eating, breathing. We both can, walk. Listen, there's an ocean of commonalities here for us to draw on." (copied and fixed from a transcript, with some errors currently).

I felt like that was a solid jab at the similar-but-different Dirk and his adventures. There are a ton of nods to the original story and maybe the sequel (I've only read the first book, the next is up next). From a recent reading and viewing, there are a number of lines that are pulled from or reference the first story, plus cute nods to that "source of inspiration," like Dirk's minor pizza obsession and the fact that Dirk will probably not pay Todd for his work as Dirk's assistant, to name a few I picked up.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:21 AM on October 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sorry if I wasn't clear in the starting thread - I didn't mean to encourage book-to-show comparisons here in the show-only post, I just meant that maybe a book-reader should write the books-included episode thread so there was somewhere for in-depth discussion. I can't/won't start it myself; not having read the books I don't want spoilers popping up in my Recent Activity. Maybe someone can do it for episode 2 tonight, I expect I'll be posting another show-only thread if nobody gets to it before me.
posted by oh yeah! at 11:21 AM on October 29, 2016


Honestly, from that first episode the impression I got was that there would be no spoilers, only Easter eggs, for book readers, as this appears to be an entirely new story.
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:13 PM on October 29, 2016


DoctorFedora, I agree, and that was my point, too. There are passing resemblances (thus my enjoyment of the lines "I can already tell we've got oodles in common. We both like, um, eating, breathing. We both can, walk. Listen, there's an ocean of commonalities here for us to draw on") with a shared name (Dirk Gently, AKA other names), him being kind of quirky guy who foists himself upon others, plus other thematic elements, and references that pop up as Easter eggs, and that's about it.

From what I've seen, you can't track the book to this series, but I've read the first book, read the summary and started into the second, so I could be missing something.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:14 AM on November 1, 2016


There already is a book thread. It's here.

One of the things that I very much approved of prior to seeing this is that it was explicitly not a retelling of the books. The writer said that quite distinctly. So no need to worry about spoilers.

This Dirk may well have met Thor and had problems with a Sofa but it was a different Thor and a different Sofa.
Also, Dirk Gently's real name is Svlad Cjelli. This may well be a different detective who follows a similar (if slightly different) interpretation of holistic detectiving who also changed his name to DirkGently.
It's so highly improbable that two holistic detectives would both choose independantly to be called Dirk Gently that it was inevitable.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:41 PM on November 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is Elijah Wood basically playing his character from Wilfred? Because I'm fine with that.

Maybe someone who has read the books can start a books-included thread?

oh yeah! I don't think you have worry about spoilers and I'm not sure that will be enough commenters to sustain two threads. It looks like the premise is "let's reboot Dirk Gently," but other than Dirk himself, none of the characters, plot or locations are being reused. I think that like Westworld and Sherlock/Elementary there may be some Easter eggs for people familiar with the source material, but it's its own thing.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:04 PM on November 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


I reacted calmly (and even chuckled once or twice) to the corpses, disembodied limbs and gore in the opening scene, but when the camera panned to the broken piano my first thought was "what a terrible way to treat a piano!" Am I a bad person, or should I just stop watching so much CSI?
posted by ubiquity at 12:06 PM on November 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


When Dorian busts in and threatens Todd and Dirk, Todd holds up his vintage telecaster to shield himself. That guitar is easily worth 600$. Just give him the guitar! I am the nitpicker.
posted by adept256 at 5:07 PM on November 13, 2016


Does anyone else feel like the "I'm not your Watson!" line was meant as a way to hang a lampshade on the fact that they cast two leads who look a whole lot like the leads of BBC's Sherlock?

My thought exactly.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:30 AM on November 18, 2016


>>Does anyone else feel like the "I'm not your Watson!" line was meant as a way to hang a lampshade on the fact that they cast two leads who look a whole lot like the leads of BBC's Sherlock?

>>My thought exactly.

I don't see any physical resemblance, really. If it was a lampshade, I can only see it as a nod to the Holmesian dynamic of 'crazed genius' + 'faithful assistant'.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:10 AM on November 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


So has anyone else seen the British TV series? It sounds like entirely new plots from the book... but is it new from. The UK series as well?
posted by chapps at 1:17 AM on December 12, 2016


It is also separate plots than the UK version.
The Stephen Mangan version has a different tone again.

Dirk is very much self serving and deceitful, he has an "assistant" throughout in classic Dr. Who sense who is called Richard MacDuff, but is a different Richard MacDuff than the one in the first book.

There are more lost cats in the UK version, and also each episode is it's own self contained case.
The Mangan version has plots which feel a little closer to the book (Missing Cats, Cambridge, A computer program to make predictions) and has a lighter tone. (Also Dirk drives around in an Austin Princess, which sets a rather different tone than the blue sports car Dirk is in, in this show)

I'd recommend them.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:08 AM on December 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Whoa, I didn't even realize that there WAS a whole series — I'd thought the UK thing was just a one-off! Is it available for streaming anywhere?
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:09 PM on December 12, 2016


I see the Mangan 2010 Dirk Gently on imdb - seems to be on Amazon streaming, and DVD-only on Netflix. But I'm confused, are you using the description 'UK version' and 'Mangan version' interchangeably, or is there a 3rd Dirk Gently series out there?
posted by oh yeah! at 7:24 PM on December 12, 2016


No, UK Version = Mangan.
I can see how it might have looked like I was referring to different things. I wasn't. Sorry.

There is another version with Harry Enfield playing Dirk, but that's a radio play mostly based on the books whereas the UK Version is all new stories in the vein of the books.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:41 AM on December 13, 2016


It's turned up on Netflix UK. I enjoyed the first episode considerably more than I thought I would. So far I particularly like Todd and Bart Curlish (although I share Ken's confusion as to the distinction between a holistic assassin and a serial killer), and I'm currently wishing her luck in her Dirkcidal task.
posted by Grangousier at 2:42 PM on December 17, 2016


Oh, and I'm glad to see the music is by Cristobal Tapia de Veer, who did the wonderful score for Utopia. Also: I'm assuming for the moment that the reason Todd holds out little hope for Amanda's recovery is that he never actually recovered, just pretended he did.
posted by Grangousier at 2:53 PM on December 17, 2016


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