The Long Dark Tea-Time Comes To An End... Dirk Gently Returns




In December of 2010, BBC Four aired a pilot episode of Dirk Gently, a modern adaptation of Douglas Adams' other book series. Much was made, round the ol' internet, of the looseness of the adaptation, which was true. While the books were a strange mismatch of science fiction-fantasy-absurdism, the show was a straight up procedural mystery, more grounded in airquote realism. Gone were the Robot Monks, unsettled ghosts and time paradoxes, leaving a fairly straight forward whodunit (or rather, a where'd-they-go-it), which lacked the extremes you'd expect from Adams (or from an adapted Doctor Who script, which the books were). That's not to say the science fiction elements were gone entirely, they were just toned down, and when used, used to maximum effect.

It was also bloody brilliant.

Howard Overman, creator of the equally fantastic Misfits, was able to distill the tone and elements of the books and rearrange them to work better in a serial format, cherry-picking specific gags and characters which worked best within the episode's context. Not knowing if the series would be picked up, the pilot was an excellent one-off showing, and would have stood on it's own as an adaptation had the series never materialized. Luckily, we don't have to live in such a world, as Dirk will be returning to (British) screens this March for a three episode engagement (much like the wonderful Sherlock series over on BBC One). It remains to be seen what Dirk will be getting up to, and if the cynical horse will make an appearance.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.

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