Tuesday, December 27, 2016

TV Review: Dirk Gently Episode One

A detective who can pull answers out of thin air from seemingly random observations...a partner who assists the great detective and asks the relevant questions that keep the viewer informed of the plot...

What did you say?

No, Sherlock has not come back earlier than expected, this is the return of Dirk Gently!
This is the creation of Douglas Adams, not Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. And it is written by the best genre writer this side of Steven Moffat, namely one Howard Overman, who created the Misfits and is responsible for some of the best Merlin episodes as well.

But although comparing Dirk Gently to Sherlock is apples and oranges in so many ways, it really cannot be avoided as although Dirk is the anti-Holmes, a world premise is the same, just imagine Sherlock in dire need of funds and with a bit funnier hair.


Past that, the first of three new episodes of Dirk Gently is a fun viewing experience all the way through as we are lead back the world where such random things as horoscopes and the pentagon can play integral parts in both in the murder of one man and the reason behind another's affair.

Howard Overman really has delivered here with the script, it is clever, laugh out loud funny at times and although some of the clues and revelations were easy to spot, you will not have figured out all the twists by the time you are lead up to the big reveals. It is a worthy successor to the one off pilot that proved to be so popular in 2010.

The returning actors seemed also to jump right back into their characters, with Stephen Mangan flawless at Dirk, Darren Boyd an effortless Macduff and although it is still odd seeing Jason Watkins as DI Gilks after three years of  being cop vampire leader Herrick in Being Human, I guess I can deal with expecting him to have black eyes and fangs every time he steps out of a police car.

Dirk's unpaid secretary Janice (Lisa Jackson) is a nice minor supporting character (Or is she a 'minor' character judging by Macduff's reaction to..oops..spoilers!) who provides wonderful little moments each time Dirk and Macduff pass by into Dirk's office.

What flaws there are are minor but the biggest one is the length of the show, which at least for this episode could have been cut down a bit with needless scenes that really did not move the plot forward or make any significant developments at all. Also, a refresher about the relationships of the main characters might have been in order as well, especially as it could have made those overly long bits that should have been left on the cutting room floor have a bit of purpose as well.

At the end of the day Dirk Gently is something that any fan of Doctor Who, Sherlock or the works of Douglas Adams should enjoy. Just mind the smell of brie. 

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