New York – Today is going to be my longest day at New York Comic-Con this year, starting with the Peter Capaldi panel at 10:30 this morning and ending, sometime tonight, with an “Orville” panel and then one for “Family Guy” (those two pieces will be up on TVInsider.com). Sandwiched between those things was a second BBC America panel, this one for “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.”
The hour-long affair began with the premiere episode of the show’s second season, which is set to air October 14 at 9pm on BBC America. As the show runs an hour (minus commercials), that didn’t leave a lot of time for the relatively large panel, which included Max Landis (creator), Samuel Barnett (Dirk), Elijah Wood (Todd Brotzman), Jade Eshete (Farah), Hannah Marks (Amanda Brotzman), Fiona Dourif (Bart), and Mpho Koaho (Ken) to have an extended discussion. Even so, there was a certain amount of zaniness.
If you haven’t seen “Dirk Gently,” yes, it is indeed based upon the Douglas Adams books, and in its best moments the series has an utterly manic energy, whipping from one idea or sequence to another. The season premiere unquestionably does this, dropping the audience right back into the story, throwing in new characters, revisiting old ones, and there’s even a bit with medieval characters with scissors swords. Well, I say “medieval” and that’s mainly due to their dress, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if they’re not actually medieval because that’s the sort of switcheroo one might expect from “Dirk Gently.”
What can we expect moving forward from the show? According to Landis, every season of the show has to be different, to have a different feel. The example he used here was the relatively staid nature of the first novel from the definitely not staid nature of the second. But, specifics about what is going to occur were decidedly short. When asked about her favorite part of season two, Eshete said that she most enjoyed a moment from the end of the season but, predictably, would not offer any specifics about the moment itself.
Of course she wouldn’t say. There is no saying. This is a show that is all about surprises, all about seeing the wacky, ridiculous way in which “everything is connected.” Even if she wanted to offer a succinct answer, one imagines that it would require more backstory than it would be possible to offer. That’s “Dirk Gently.” It’s why I can’t do much explaining here about the Rowdy Three or what is going on with Bart (I will say that her return did get the most applause during the premiere) or why an old house or a rabbit or a magic wand might figure into things. There are answers, but it might be way faster for someone to watch the series than it would be to read my explanation.
The good news is this – if you enjoyed the first season of “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency” it seems quite likely, despite whatever changes are in store for this year, that you’re going to like this one as well. Not only that, but one gets the impression that there are already plans for what is going to come next (if there is a next).