As the title of this post states, one of the highlights for this year’s New York Comic Con was getting to cover the BBC America panels.
To say that GiGi and I are fans of what BBCA puts out is an understatement…more like we are obsessed.
From the moment we found out about Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, we knew the same would be true about this show.
I could easily say you had us at Elijah Wood but why, oh why stop there!!??
This “trippy mystery” is written by the BRILLIANT Max Landis (Chronicle, American Ultra, Victor Frankenstien (a personal favorite of mine)) and was adapted from the popular works of Douglas Adams.
https://www.facebook.com/DirkGentlyBBCA/videos/1767719880153975/ Robert Cooper (Stargate) is on board as Showrunner/Executive Producer.
When washed up rocker Todd Brotzman stumbles upon the murder scene of a millionaire, all hell breaks loose. Eccentric Detective, Dirk Gently, wholly believes they’re destined to untangle the peculiar events surrounding the mystery together, whether Todd likes it or not
The collection of “wild and dangerous”characters
Todd…the magnet to the worst day on the job…EVER
Dirk is a man of strange psychic abilities that enable him to sense tangential connections. Turning those abilities into a career with the title “holistic detective”, he operates with the belief in the fundamental interconnection of all things. He also operates with assumption that everyone around him will instantly recognize his authority…which he doesn’t usually have.
Amanda is Todd’s spunky, smart, wild and impulsive sister who has been sidelined by Pararibulitis-a hereditary disease that turns eveything around her into a potentially agonizing physical hazard. She remains isolated, having to lean heavily on Todd for support.
Bart, oh Bart…homicidal, deranged, terrifying and fearless, she self identifies as a holistic assassin. Using her psychic gift, instincts and natural draw towards those who harm others, and it’s second nature to her to eliminate them.
Farah Black is the beautiful,bad-ass security officer to a millionaire…could it be the same millionaire that Todd found dead?
Ken is a tech savvy guy who’s side job as a hacker lands him face to face with the above mentioned Bart.
After this thrilling introduction to the show, panel attendees were able to watch the entire first episode of the show.
The showing of Ep 1 was followed by the cutest cast entrance I’ve witnessed (so far) as each of the cast members (minus Elijah Wood who was unable to make it due to attending a friends wedding) were accompanied to the stage by their very own corgi.
The corgis didn’t stay on stage long but I am certain is was because the crowd had a hard time focusing due to their cuteness 🙂
Max Landis is easily the most energetic and enthusiastic creator I have seen on a panel. His energy was contagious!
The first question of the panel was actually asked to the audience by showrunner Robert Cooper…”So, did you like it?” to which the crowd went wild and prompted a slump of relief from Max (see below).
“Rob, I wasn’t going to make them say it” ~Max
Show writer Max Landis took the first question and responded to how he discovered Dirk Gently. It started “when I was 12 I went to a camp, a summer camp called Camp Laurel in Maine” and continued with the story of how he read a book he liked so much that he when he came back from camp he went directly to the bookstore and asked what else that author had written. That author was Douglas Adams and the books were The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul and Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.
The moderator then moved to showrunner Robert Cooper and asked “what did you think when you first read the script?”
RC: I asked my agent if this writer had written anything else…It stood out for me…the voice was so different…It scared me, it scared me a lot because when you read something as a producer you intermediately start going ‘how am I going to actually execute this?’…some of it was impossible in terms of the practical world but I think that was the challenge that excited me.
And with such incredible characters in the show, each of the actors/actresses were asked what they thought of the script and/or their character.
FIONA (playing Bart): I thought I really REALLY want to do it…The script was just so unique and tight that I was just like, “I’d LOVE to audition”…It took me 10 days just to prepare for the audition.
MPHO (playing Ken): I think it starts with the way my character was portrayed…I very much gravitated to the diversity of the show…reading my character and not having an issue with the way he was depicted…that excited me.
Jade (playing Farah): Farah doesn’t have that much in the first episode but when I saw all of the other things Max had for her…I remember reading the pilot in the first three pages and I had to stop every, I was laughing out LOUD all of the time and then after every page I had stop and go ‘do I keep reading or stop and google this man..like who wrote this’…I was drawn into the world and enjoyed every moment of reading it.
Hannah (playing Amanda): Well, Max is one of the few writers that is good at writing everything…some writers are good at characters, some dialogue but Max is good at all of it so I just felt really luck to be involved…I don’t think I am going to get a chance again to have a fake disease…every single episode I am doing something different, hallucinating something horrible but it’s FUN!
Samuel (playing Dirk): Yeah, Dirk Gently is really weird and after a season of playing him I still don’t have him pinned down…I think he is impossible to pin down and I think that is the way he is written. I had about 3 scenes to prepare and 11 pages and I remember thinking ‘this is genius’. I hadn’t read anything that good in ages and I really wanted to read the rest of it.
The panel went on the speak on the casting process and how unique and difficult it was given the complex content of the show. It is clear the creators feel like they really found the best group to bring this story to life.
From there, the audience members were given a chance to ask questions and that ended up to be kind of a love fest on Max Landis. I am pretty sure almost all of the questions were to him which says a great deal about how well he is liked, especially by this crowd.
@BBCAmerica was able to capture the entire panel and it can be viewed below:
Our #DirkGently experience didn’t end there. As we left the Madison Square Garden theater, we were greeted by the Dirk Gently crew who had giant BBCAmerica balloons over their heads and corgis at their feet. We asked but weren’t allowed to take a corgi home…we did get a cute enamel pin though 😉
Back on the convention floor the Dirk Gently crew had an escape room set up and yep, you guessed it, GiGi and I took the case.
Participants in groups of 4 were given a nice tie (in true Dirk style) to wear and allowed to look around the set of Tom’s apartment before beginning to challenge.
When the minute was up, each group was handed a clipboard with clues on it. Based on what you noticed about the surroundings, you were lead the combination to a locked drawer. That drawer contained a set of coasters that were clues to the second puzzle. Once you got the coasters in the correct order, you were given the object for the third and final puzzle. All of this had to be completed in 9min…
How do you think we did?
Our entire experience with everything about the show was extraordinary and we are really looking forward to supporting it’s first season (and more)…
In fact, it premiers in about 5min…Head on over to BBCAmerica and check it out at 9pm!!