Elijah Wood to Star in BBC America’s ‘Dirk Gently’ Series

     March 22, 2016


BBC America’s long-in-development adaptation of Douglas Adams‘ novel Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency got the straight-to-series greenlight earlier this year, and now the Max Landis (Chronicle) scripted series is casting up. The comedic thriller, which will have eight hour-long episodes in its first season, follows the titular holistic detective and his reluctant assistant Todd as they investigate the supernatural, uncovering the truths behind one big metaphysical mystery each season.

Deadline reports that Elijah Wood has signed on to co-lead the series as Todd, Dirk’s highly competent assistant, who is nobody’s sidekick. Here’s the character breakdown:

Todd does not consider himself a sidekick. He is just flat out better than Dirk at a lot of things. He always attempts to solve matters with the fewest steps possible; despite being a compassionate, sweet, smarter-than-average man with biting wit, Todd often finds himself at the intersection of morally gray crossroads. Thus, his bad habits of lying and stealing have dire consequences that he can’t put off forever, even though he tries. As Todd describes himself to Dirk: “I am not your Watson, a**hole. I am not available for side-kicking on something I am not involved with. I am my own messed up person with my own messed up problems.”

elijah-wood-safeLandis, who wrote the pilot and will executive produce, is a self-proclaimed life-long fan of Adams’ work. Here’s what he told THR when the project was first announced.

This is any writer’s ultimate project, and in the current TV space, it fits ridiculously well. Imagine a playground where you could come with any mystery, no matter how improbable, convoluted or totally insane and then, simply by finding the right connections, you could tie it all down to one man, one private eye. If you’re familiar with the property, you know: there’s no freaking rules. Ancient gods? Sure. Larceny and petty crimes? Of course. Extra-dimensional aliens? I mean, probably; as long as you can make it funny, Dirk’s on the case. This is a dream project of mine, no joke, and I absolutely positively couldn’t be happier.

As he’s demonstrated with his scripts for Chronicle, Victor Frankenstein and American Ultra, Landis likes putting an unconventional spin on rote genres, so Dirk Gently seems a natural fit. As for Wood, he’s a known genre enthusiast who not only stars in such projects on the regular but runs the production company SpectreVision, which aims to tell unique stories within the genre space. So yeah, he seems a pretty natural fit as well. He’s also no stranger to television, having headed up the FX series Wilfred for four seasons.

No official premiere date has been announced, but Dirk Gently is expected to debut on BBC America in fall 2016.