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12 March 2012 @ 07:29 pm
BBC's Dirk Gently  
Back in 2011, BBC brought to life one of Douglas Adams' beloved detectives in what was listed as a one off episode. Thanks to the success of that one episode, BBC decided to make a series.


The show follows the adventure of Dirk Gently (Stephen Mangan). A private investigator who reveres the "interconnectedness of all things." This is the central philosophy which aids him as he goes about his investigations. But if you're under the impression that Gently is some sort of zen philosophical gentleman, you'll be sorely disappointed. There's no doubting that Gently can talk a mean talk but one gets the feeling he's something of a conman at heart. He's joined in his adventures by his old friend Macduff (Darren Boyd) who is a long suffering target for Gently's unorthodox methods (I'm being kind when I say 'unorthodox').

I never read the Dirk Gently books so I had no expectations or even an idea of what the character was supposed to be like. But apparently there are many who have protectively loved Mr. Gently so there would be a huge fanbase to contend with should the show get it all wrong. From what I've gathered, the reviews have been positive to mixed from the fans. Most seemed to agree that the show captured the irreverent spirit of the books while others accused BBC of dumbing down Douglas Adams. Apparently, the actor they picked to play Gently looks nothing like the Dirk of the books which seems to be a sticking factor for some.

Watching it as a complete novice, I will say that the show is pretty fun if a bit milquetoast. Had this show aired about 5 years ago, it probably would have been a hit. However, in a post-Moffat and RTD world, this show feels like a mix of Sherlock and Doctor Who with significantly less energy and drama. Dirk Gently will never ever be accused of being too angsty (and it really, really should never leave its comedic roots) and the mysteries, despite featuring murder, are often light-hearted in spirit. I can't say there's much substance to this show even if I take into consideration that it's a pure comedy, which often makes me wander off to do other things when I start watching an episode.

Having said that, the strength of the show is in the acting. I'll admit that Mangan's Gently is a little annoying. But I'm guessing he's supposed to be that way. I also have a soft spot for Mangan as the minute I saw his face he got cast in my head as an OC of mine. Darren Boyd does better with the hapless Macduff, a character you often want to sympathetically pat on the back as much as you want to shake him for letting Gently walk all over him.


For anyone interested, the new episode aired tonight!
 
 
 
The other Weird Alaeron_lanart on March 13th, 2012 12:49 am (UTC)
Stephen Mangan may not 'look' right as Dirk but he *feels* right. OK, I haven't read the books in a while but I still squeaked when I realised it was coming back for a short series - I loved the 'one-off' last year and am recording the episodes to watch when I have the time in the next few weeks.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on March 15th, 2012 03:31 am (UTC)
I hope you enjoy the rest of the episodes! I particularly liked the latest episode they aired.
X-parrotxparrot on March 21st, 2012 09:20 pm (UTC)
I have heard that the original DG novel started out as a Who-script (from back when Adams was writing those) that didn't happen, so he turned it into an original novel. While I don't know if this is true or not, I admit that when I heard it I thought it explained a lot about the books!

I had no idea they were being made into a TV series, though - will have to check it out! It's been ages since I read them, and I'm not overly invested, so should be a fun romp even if not a perfect match to my mental images...