BBC AMERICA announced today that Samuel Barnett (Twelfth Night, The History Boys, Penny Dreadful) has been cast in the title role of the network’s new original scripted series Dirk Gently.
The new series, which is based on the comics created by Douglas Adams, is set to premiere in Fall 2016. The announcement comes on the heels of Elijah Wood (The Trust, Cooties, Wilfred) being cast in the role of “Todd”.
The network has announced that Robert Cooper (Stargate Atlantis, Stargate Universe) has been named series’ showrunner and Oscar-winning director Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest, Justified, Masters of Sex) has signed on to direct the series’ first two episodes.
Penned by Max Landis – the mind behind cult classic Chronicle – Dirk Gently is an eight-part co-production of AMC Studios, IDEATE MEDIA and IDW Entertainment with Circle of Confusion producing.
“Dirk Gently’s characters are complete originals,” said Sarah Barnett, President and General Manager of BBC AMERICA. “Sam Barnett and Elijah Wood – who represent genius talent from both sides of the Atlantic – will brilliantly play these unique roles. Plus, with Robert Cooper and Dean Parisot joining Max Landis, the Dirk Gently creative team is now tremendously interconnected through great experience and thrilling vision.”
Dirk Gently is a comedic thriller that follows the bizarre adventures of eccentric “holistic” detective Dirk Gently and his reluctant assistant Todd, as they wend their way through one big, seemingly insane mystery a season, crossing unlikely paths with a bevy of wild and sometimes dangerous characters, each episode landing them a few random steps closer to uncovering the truth.
Dirk has strange, psychic abilities that enable him to sense invisible tangential connections. He’s taken these strange abilities and has invented a new profession for himself: that of “holistic detective,” a term that reflects his belief in the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. However, his abilities have condemned him to a life very much alone – this master of universal interconnectedness has spent a life ironically without human connection.
The series is an adaptation of Douglas Adams’ (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Doctor Who) wildly successful comic novels, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and is set in the unexpected world of the hyper, absurd, eponymous detective Dirk Gently.
Samuel Barnett is a Tony and Olivier Award nominated English actor who has performed on stage, film, television and radio. His numerous credits include: Twelfth Night; The History Boys (a BBC Films/Fox Searchlight production); and a role in the upcoming season of the television series, Penny Dreadful.
Robert Cooper is an acclaimed writer and producer best known for his work on the Stargate franchise. He was formerly an executive producer of Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe. He also co-created both Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe with Brad Wright. Cooper has written, produced and directed many episodes of Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe.
Dean Parisot is an Oscar-winning American film and television director. He won the 1988 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for The Appointments of Dennis Jennings, which was co-written and starred comedian Steven Wright, with whom he shares the award. Among his television credits are episodes of Monk (including the two-hour pilot “Mr. Monk and the Candidate”), Masters of Sex, Northern Exposure and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
In addition to creator, Max Landis, executive producers include Ted Adams and David Ozer for IDW; David Alpert and Rick Jacobs for Circle of Confusion and Zainir Aminullah and Arvind Ethan David for IDEATE MEDIA.
Dirk Gently is the newest addition to BBCA’s scripted slate including Orphan Black, Doctor Who, Undercover, Thirteen, London Spy, The Living and The Dead, Luther and Class.