Dirk Gently is the shot out of a cannon, quirky, yet touching, adventure that every Doctor Who fans wants and needs. It debuts this Saturday on BBC America, and it’s exactly what the Doctor ordered.
Yes, my fellow Whovians, we are all suffering because other than the Doctor Who Christmas Special, we aren’t getting any Doctor Who until 2017.
The good news, on the other hand, is that BBC America has a solution. Not since Orphan Black has BBC America had a show that has such addictive, runaway-hit potential. We’ve seen episode 1 and it’s must watch. Let us repeat that… must watch TV.
Here’s why you need to tune in, set those DVRs, and make Dirk Gently a priority.
A refreshingly smart sibling relationship
I’m not talking heady pseudo-intellectualism here. I’m talking characters who are we are intrinsically drawn to within a scene of meeting them. The relationship between Todd Brontzman (Elijah Wood) and his sister Amanda (Hannah Marks) is what every drama and comedy wants to accomplish, and literally fails in a spectacular and cliched way.
The relationship between the Brontzmans is filled with layers of loyalty, hardship, and desperation wrapped around love and intensity. This is a brother and sister who don’t get wrapped up in the stupid stuff. They have each other’s backs, and would die for each other.
Quirky but not too annoying
To say that our title character Dirk Gently (Samuel Barnett) is quirky, is like saying Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory is slightly awkward. Never mind moving to the beat of a different drummer, Dirk has a entire galactic orchestra whose beat only he can hear.
Dirk is a holistic detective, which means according to BBC America, that “he has strange psychic abilities that enable him to sense tangential connections. He’s turned these abilities into his new profession: that of a ‘holistic detective,’ a term that reflects his belief in the fundamental interconnectedness of all things.”
Dirk can say something touchingly honest and human one minute, and the next moment he’s giving ambiguous orders about stray corgis and running from marauders in a heavy metal van. There are no dull moments with Dirk. He’s this odd combo of the 10th and 11th Doctor, with a little bit of Sherlock, rolled into something that is just simply, lovably Dirk.
Befuddled law enforcement
Without giving away why law enforcement is even involved, let’s just say that there is an epic, ongoing turf war between the Seattle police force and the CIA. The Seattle detectives are Estevez (Neil Brown Jr.) and Zimmerfield (Richard Schiff), and their CIA nemesis are Colonel Scott Riggens (Miguel Sandoval) and Sergeant Hugo Friedkin (Dustin Milligan).
Fans, deservedly, have high expectations of Richard Schiff and Miguel Sandoval, as these two actors have impressive credits. No one is resting on their laurels here. Schiff and Sandoval as the “elder statesmen” officers are nothing short of comic gold as they deal with the lunacies of Todd and Dirk, not to mention their lackluster, respective partners.
The WTF factor
Dirk Gently is a series that you have to pay attention to. You’re going to want to pause, go back, and rewatch. It’s Twin Peaks meets LOST on steroids. It will be the series everyone is tweeting about.
There is so much information, much of it visual, thrown at you in the first episode that you are going to start making lists trying to figure out how it all connects. It makes absolutely no sense, but it’s compelling, intriguing, and often hilarious.
Dirk Gently makes wibbly wobbly, timey wimey look like a kindergarten class. We’ve never had so much fun being so utterly confused.
Do not miss Dirk Gently this Saturday, October 22 on BBC America at 9:00/8:00.