This second attempt to bring Douglas Adams' holistic detective to TV has little in common with Adams' books, and instead plays more like a supercharged Doctor Who adventure. That's not a bad thing--unlike the first Dirk Gently series from a few years ago, this one is superior in every aspect, especially in the casting, the characters and the script. It takes an episode or two to hit its stride, but if you make it that far, you'll likely be drawn in and stick with it to the end, mesmerized by the mystery, the intensity of it all, and the joy of watching things become clear. The story is a fairly standard time-travel adventure, but real pleasure is provided by the large cast of characters and the offbeat structure of the plot. Samuel Barnett is Dirk and Elijah Wood is his reluctant assistant, and their presentation here is head and shoulders above their previous TV incarnations, who, although they were played by fine actors, had zero chemistry together and little help from the lackluster scripts. Most importantly, in that series, Dirk was blatantly obnoxious and unlikable, and that, more than anything I think, doomed the show to a well-deserved cancellation. That's definitely not the case here. Wood and Barnett make a compelling, appealing team and their past stories, once revealed, gain our sympathy and put us squarely on their side. The eccentric backup characters are no slouches either, and the scope of the story is downright epic, even if it's wildly schizophrenic. Diehard fans of Douglas Adams will likely have problems with the many liberties taken, but the bottom line is that this is a seriously engaging show, and if given a chance, even they should be royally entertained. I give this series a solid five stars. Well done!
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