BBC America’s science fiction show Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is based on a pair of novels by Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Science fiction author Tom Gerencer loves the idea of Dirk Gently—a detective who trusts in fate and leaves everything up to chance.
“He’s not a brilliant detective,” Gerencer says in Episode 281 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast, “but in a way he’s making these other brilliant realizations that step completely off logic and go into the realm of ‘let go of all that stuff and get into the flow of things, and you’re going to find that things work out a lot better for you that way.’”
Leah Schnelbach on Dirk Gently vs. Sherlock Holmes:
“A lot of people were comparing Dirk particularly—and Samuel Barnett’s performance—to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock, which could not be more different, I don’t think. And Samuel Barnett, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, said that ‘Sherlock has his mind palace, but I have my neuroses cottage,’ which I really love, because it’s such a perfect way to sum him up. He’s a much warmer character—I mean, he does have that same desire for friendships with people and the complete inability to gain friendships, but he is also a much warmer character. And also he’s reliant on the universe to throw clues at him, rather than deducing with his massive brain the way Sherlock does.”
Tom Gerencer on mortality:
“In one of the last books in the Hitchhiker series, Mostly Harmless, they do all die—spoiler alert. But they’ve been about to die 50 times throughout the series, and Ford is always kind of OK with it. Arthur’s always very stressed out, and Ford is always very Dirk Gently-like. He’s like, ‘Hey, well, you know, just try to hold your breath. If you fall from a skyscraper and you’re about to hit the ground, swing your knees around, try to roll with it, or try to miss the ground if you can.’ But he’s just always happy-go-lucky, and when they finally realize, ‘No, we really are going to die now,’ and Arthur’s so stressed out about it, he asks Ford, ‘Well, aren’t you stressed out?’ And he’s like, ‘No.’ He’s still got the same attitude he always did. He really knows that this is it, they’re not going to get rescued this time, but he’s still got the same attitude he’s always had. Just like, ‘Hey, well, that’s what’s going to happen now.’ It’s no big deal to him.”
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