Gently: "Well… I can assure you it's all… very much appreciated…"
MacDuff: "It's not though is it. Really? It's not. Words like 'appreciated', 'thankyou', its little tricks for you. You just wheel 'em out whenever you need to, but you don't really mean 'em. Not really. It's just grease to keep things movin' along and you know what? When it was just me? Getting dumped on? That's f… I can handle that. But someone is killing our clients Dirk. People are dying. And there you are you're just… just doing the same little dance you've always done. You know what? I [don't] wanna watch it any more."
Well, I wouldn't mind.
Yes it's official, I actually think Dirk Gently is worth watching after all!
In this final case he gets hired to track down a stalker, which ought to be quite simple when you factor in that said binocular wielding snooper is in fact Dirk himself.
Well, nothing in Dirk's world is ever straightforward, especially when the dead bodies of his previous clients begin to pile up, with Gently himself under suspicion from the literal Detective Inspector Gilks. Might Dirk's own life also be in danger from the real killer? Everyone from his secretary to his cleaner could be a suspect…
While this story once again contains little more interconnectedness than any other ordinary TV murder-mystery, by this point the plotting, direction, editing, acting and music have definitely all come together. The central relationship between the fluttery Gently and his blunt partner/assistant MacDuff is now being realised with both subtle realism and spot-on comic timing. When MacDuff quits and Gently admits that he needs his friend's directness to temper his wild imagination, the way the two complement each other comes through loud and clear.
(slowcoach Gilks, meanwhile, is still just not the worthy adversary he was in the books)
Despite the series having found its feet, I still maintain what I said a year ago after the pilot - that Dirk Gently is ill-suited to the typical ITV murder-mystery-of-the-week format. The level of detail in this guy's world of supposed coincidences and longshots requires a longer ongoing serial for chance to sprawl over time. True, the one hour format has certainly given the individual cases more room to be explored than 40 minutes would have, but the fact of their neat beginnings and endings flatly disagrees with such dependence upon random occurrences. There should be a lot of overlap here. This very episode revolves around Dirk's previous clients getting killed, yet with no mention of those from earlier episodes who we know of.
This mismatched format also appears to have secured the show's failure. Oh it may well have been cancelled due to a lack of budget, but a stronger following might still have proved more persuasive to funders. As it is, with only one pilot and THREE WHOLE EPISODES, of course it hasn't had time to catch on.
In short, a fun, but ordinary, detective series. And only just a series.
Definitely not what made the books so different. Apart from that bit about it only just being a series.
Review of episode one here.
Review of episode two here.
Review of episode three here.