Connecting everything in a not-so-normal detective show

Everything is connected in BBC America’s new series, “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency”, based off the book by Douglas Adams.

The series follows the story of Todd (Elijah Wood), who, after a very strong stroke of bad luck, including an insane landlord demanding rent, losing his job at a hotel where he worked as a bellhop, and a murder involving a kitten, meets the eccentric holistic detective Dirk Gently (Samuel Barnett). Dirk is investigating the kidnapping of a young girl named Lydia Spring (Alison Thornton) and employs the reluctant Todd as his assistant. Along the way, they rescue and join forces with a bodyguard, Farah Black (Jade Eshete), hired by Lydia’s father.

Meanwhile, a federal agency and the local police investigate the same case, often crossing paths with Dirk and Todd, hindering their progress. Also, a holistic assassin, Bart (Fiona Dourif), pledges to kill Dirk Gently according to the whims of the universe. By the end of the first season, it becomes unusual to hear a sentence that does not involve soul swapping, time travel, or shark-kittens.

The series had an excellent cast, with a strong performance from Samuel Barnett, who captured the eccentricity and deep seated insecurities of Dirk Gently perfectly. Elijah Wood does an amazing American accent and created a convincing personality for Todd, who interacted in natural and organic ways with his sister Amanda (Hannah Marks). Marks also created a great face for her character, who suffered from pararibulitis, a disease causing the brain to misinterpret signals.

The villains were as quirky and original as the protagonists, each having convincing motivations and complex pasts, that were hinted at just enough to make the audience want more. It is the mark of a good show when the villains are just as compelling as the protagonists

Unfortunately, some of the villains’ lines were lost due to a combination of mumbled words and poor audio quality, which took away from some otherwise very well constructed script work. The script was clever and quick, both drawing the audience in and keeping the show interesting. With a twist every episode, the show remained fresh and creative throughout the season.

The effects of the show were a little gaudy, but they actually worked almost seamlessly with the other oddities in the story, and everything matched in mood.

The season finale was ambitious and left me clammering for more, with one of the most well executed cliff hangers I have seen in a very long time; season two promises to be just as strong as season one.

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