Friday, January 8, 2016

Gently does it

It's a funny old global BBC at the moment.

In Deember 2010, BBC Four broadcast a pilot tv version of Dirk Gently, based on characters created by Douglas Adams, starring Stephen Mangan. It attracted around a million viewers - not earth-shattering, but four times the channel average for the slot. So three more episodes were commissioned, and all four got a run out in 2012.

However, in May 2012, the BBC said there would be no more, as a result of the licence fee deal and Delivering Quality First cuts: “We’ve loved having Dirk on the channel but the licence fee freeze means less British drama on BBC Four. In future we will focus on the best dramas from around the globe, like The Killing and Borgen".

Today, BBC America, 50% owned by the BBC, announced that it has commissioned an eight episode take on Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, in which our hero, as yet uncast, heads to the USA.

BBC America president Sarah Barnett tells Variety: "Dirk Gently is a very original series, fresh and unlike anything else. The novels have legions of fans, and with Max Landis’ brilliant and audacious take on this material we are excited to bring Dirk to life for our BBCA super-fans”

There's no sign of BBC proper-production funds in this; perhaps we can bring it back as a cheap import. But then it would be American, and that's bad, isn't it ?

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