Fans, meet your Dirk Gently.
Triple threat stage, television and film actor Samuel Barnett has been cast in BBC America’s upcoming Dirk Gently. Barnett will be playing the lead self- proclaimed “holistic detective”. The Max Landis (Chronicle)- penned show is based on the comedic book series written by Douglas Adams, who wrote for a little BBC show called Doctor Who and a lesser- known science fiction novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
The series will follow Dirk and his put- upon partner Todd (who BBC America previously announced will be played by Elijah Wood) as they solve unusual cases using unusual methods. The network’s press release explains that he “has strange, psychic abilities that enable him to sense invisible tangential connections.” The fictional job title of “holistic detective” reflects his uncanny ability. Though the release also goes on to say that this doesn’t make Dirk the easiest person to be around. “His abilities have condemned him to a life very much alone – this master of universal interconnectedness has spent a life ironically without human connection.”
British Samuel Barnett was in the BBC production The History Boys. Barnett was also nominated in 2014 for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play, incidentally for playing the lead female Viola in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (he also has played Queen Elizabeth in Richard III). Most Yanks probably recognize him most from his role on the HBO mini series John Adams, which also starred Paul Giamatti. Barnett is also set to appear in the upcoming season of Showtime’s Penny Dreadful.
“Dirk Gently’s characters are complete originals,” Sarah Barnett, the President and General Manager of BBC America said in a statement. “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.”
Landis also shared his excitement over the casting via twitter.
In the mean time, direct your excitement to @mrSamuelBarnett.
I laughed every time he got hit by the shoe in the audition. #dirkgently
— Max Landis (@Uptomyknees) March 29, 2016
BBC America also named Stargate (all three of ’em) franchise producer/ creator Robert Cooper as showrunner. Veteran television director Dean Parisot (Masters of Sex, Monk, Northern Exposure) is also set to direct the first two episodes.