Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

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Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
Dirk Gently UK front cover.jpg
Front cover from the 1988 paperback edition
AuthorDouglas Adams
CountryEngland
LanguageEnglish
SeriesDirk Gently
GenreScience fiction
PublisherUK: William Heinemann Ltd., US: Pocket Books
Publication date
1987
Media typePrint (Paperback and Hardcover), Audiobook (cassette and compact disc)
Pages306 (paperback edition)
ISBN0-671-69267-4
OCLC320855177
Followed byThe Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul 

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency is a humorous detective novel by English writer Douglas Adams, first published in 1987. It is described by the author on its cover as a "thumping good detective-ghost-horror-who dunnit-time travel-romantic-musical-comedy-epic".

The book was followed by a sequel, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. The only recurring major characters are the eponymous Dirk Gently, his secretary Janice Pearce and Sergeant Gilks. Adams also began work on another novel, The Salmon of Doubt, with the intention of publishing it as the third book in the series, but died before completing it.

A BBC Radio 4 adaptation of six episodes was broadcast from October 2007. A second series based on the sequel was broadcast from October 2008. A 2010 television adaptation for BBC Four borrowed some of the characters and some minor plot elements of the novel to create a new story, and a 2016 television adaptation for BBC America served as a continuation of the books.

Writing[edit]

The genesis of the novel was in two Doctor Who serials written by Adams, City of Death (in which an alien tries to change history at the cost of erasing humanity from existence) and in particular the cancelled serial Shada, which first introduces a Cambridge professor called Chronotis who is hundreds of years old. He has been living and working at a Cambridge college for centuries, apparently attracting no attention (noting with appreciation that the porters are very discreet). In Shada, Chronotis's longevity is due to him being a Time Lord, and his time machine is an early model TARDIS. These trademark elements from Doctor Who were removed by Adams for Dirk Gently. Shada was cancelled before completion due to a production strike and later released on VHS with Tom Baker narrating the unfilmed segments. The story was also animated in 2017 and released on DVD.[1]

A number of elements in the novel were inspired by Adams' time at university. For example, one plot thread involves moving a sofa which is irreversibly stuck on the staircase to Richard MacDuff's apartment; according to his simulations, not only is it impossible to remove it, but there is no way for it to have got into that position in the first place. In a similar incident that occurred while Douglas Adams attended St John's College, Cambridge, furniture was placed in the rooms overlooking the river in Third Court while the staircases were being refurbished. When the staircases were completed, it was discovered that the sofas could no longer be removed from the rooms, and the sofas remained in those rooms for several decades.

The South Bank Show revealed that Adams based Chronotis' rooms on the rooms he occupied in his third year at university. Likewise, Richard's room – filled with Macintosh computers and synthesisers – was based on Adams' own flat (visited and photographed by Hi-Fi Choice Magazine). The piece of music by Bach that is heard aboard the satellite is "Ach bleib bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ" from the cantata "Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden", BWV 6 (also an organ chorale BWV 649). Adams stated that this was his personal "absolutely perfect" piece of music, and that he listened to it "over and over; drove my wife completely insane" while writing Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.[2]

Plot summary[edit]

The events of the story begin four billion years before the present day on the primordial Earth. An alien landing craft resembling "an extrusion of magma from one of the more pestilent pits of hell" crash-lands on a plane of mud. The landing craft belongs to a secessionist group of nine dozen Salaxalans, aliens who come from a violent and troubled world, but who wish to start again by colonizing the lifeless Earth, building a paradise of peace, music, art, and enlightenment. All nine dozen of the Salaxalans came down on the crashed landing craft to inspect their new home, and they are destined to be destroyed in a violent explosion when their engineer makes a critical error fixing the damaged engine.

Before the Salaxalan engineer can make the error, however, the human time traveler Michael Wenton-Weakes appears on the plane of mud through a portal in time, carrying with him the four billion year old ghost of the Salaxalan engineer. The ghost intends to prevent his past self from making the error that kills him and his compatriots. The possessed Michael ascends the crash-landed ship and encounters the alien engineer, whereupon the ghost screams horribly and the 'lights' of both the ghost and the living Salaxalan engineer abruptly cease. A millisecond later, before Michael can return to his time portal, the ship's ignition sequence begins and the Salaxalan landing craft explodes anyway, despite the efforts of the time traveling ghost. The massive conflagration causes the next morning to be "an altogether livelier day than any yet known," hinting that some kind of abiogenesis or panspermia has occurred.

Four billion years later and two hundred years before the present day, the ghost of the Salaxalan engineer discovers the existence of a time machine at St Cedd's college and tries to influence the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge to convince the time machine's owner, Professor Urban "Reg" Chronotis, to allow him to use it. The ghost was able to influence Samuel Taylor Coleridge because of a sympathy between them, but since Samuel Taylor Coleridge used too much laudanum, he was too calm for the ghost to make him do much. Some of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poetry was influenced by the ghost, particularly the mysterious (and fictional) second part of "Kubla Khan." The ghost's power begins to ebb, and he is unable to influence the living for the next two hundred years.

In the present, computer programmer Richard MacDuff attends the Coleridge dinner at St Cedd's to avoid his boss, Gordon Way. At the dinner Richard witnesses his former tutor, Reg, perform an inexplicable magic trick in which he makes a salt cellar disappear, then reveals it by smashing a clay pot from Ancient Greece, showing it to be embedded within the clay of the pot. No one can explain the trick, but all the other professors dismiss it as merely one of Reg's usual "childish conjuring tricks." Reg performed the trick by palming the salt cruet up his sleeve and 'briefly' excusing himself to go to his time machine, where he traveled back to Ancient Greece, tracked down the man who made the pot over the course of three weeks, persuaded him to bake the cruet into the pot, and then stopped by a planet in the Pleiades star cluster to obtain some powder to disguise his new tan. He then returned to the present, passed his past self on his way back to the dinner, and smashed the pot, revealing the cruet. The dinner concludes with a reading of "Kubla Khan."

Before this trick, Reg had maintained a strict policy of only going back in time to observe past events without changing them (for example, going back in time to re-watch missed television programs) because in a previous excursion through time he successfully prevented the extinction of the coelacanth but, at the same time, accidentally caused the extinction of the dodo bird. Reg wishes to avoid all the paradoxes and unintended consequences associated with time travel, but he broke his rule because the Salaxalan ghost had been influencing him for several weeks, trying to get him to go back in time to prevent the accident that destroyed his ship. Reg and the ghost do not have enough sympathy with one another for the ghost to have a strong influence on Reg, however, so the most the ghost can manage is to make Reg visit the planet in the Pleiades to get some facial powder.

While on the alien planet, the Salaxalan ghost leaves Reg and tries to possess an Electric Monk, an alien labor saving device designed to believe things so people don't have to believe them, in the same way that answering machines listen to phone calls for people or video recorders watch television for people. The ghost assumes that the Electric Monk will be a pliable subject to possess, but this particular Electric Monk is broken and it believes random things too readily for the ghost to control it. The ghost is able to convince the Electric Monk to ride its horse through the time portal leading back to Reg's room on present day Earth, but the ghost cannot control the erratic Electric Monk well enough to get it to operate the time machine. Richard and Reg later find the monk's horse in the professor's bathroom, which does not surprise Reg because he assumes the horse came in through one of his time portals. The Electric Monk goes off and begins believing and doing random things around St Cedd's. An annoyed porter of the college tells the Electric Monk to "shoot off," which induces the malfunctioning monk to hide in the trunk of Gordon Way's car and shoot him with a shotgun when he comes to check why the boot is loose.

Having been violently killed while leaving a lengthy message on his secretary's answering machine intended for his sister, Susan Way, Gordon becomes a ghost and tries to find a way to finish his last call. His ghostly voice is recorded on the answering machine saying, "Susan! Susan, help me! Help me for God's sake. Susan, I'm dead..." but before he can say much more he accidentally hangs up. Meanwhile the Electric Monk, who is not used to people dying when they get shot, decides to drive Gordon's corpse the rest of the way home as a courtesy, leaving Gordon's ghost standing on the roadside.

Back in Reg's room, having failed to possess the Electric Monk, the ghost of the Salaxalan engineer turns its efforts on Richard and tries to control him, still with little success. On his drive home, Richard briefly sees the ghost of Gordon standing on the roadside in his headlights, a fact he reports to the police officer who questions him when his car spins out as a result. Richard returns to his London flat and engages in odd behavior under the influence of the Salaxalan ghost, including climbing a drainpipe to break into the flat belonging to his girlfriend, Gordon's sister Susan, to erase an embarrassing message left on her answering machine because the Salaxalan ghost is enhancing his sense of regret.

Susan returns from a night out with Michael Wenton-Weakes. Seeing that he cannot control Richard, the Salaxalan ghost tries to possess Michael. Michael, with the encouragement of the ghost, murders his professional rival Ross. He has a strong sympathy with the Salaxalan ghost, who views humanity disdainfully as "slimy things with legs" that supplanted the Salaxalans and overran what should have been the Salaxalans' paradise planet. Michael is also intensely interested in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poetry, and it is implied that this interest greatly enhances the power the Salaxalan ghost has over Michael. Because of their strong sympathy, the Salaxalan ghost is able to assume direct control of Michael's body and goes to buy scuba gear.

The next day Richard visits former schoolmate Svald Cjelli, who has since changed his name several times and is currently calling himself Dirk Gently. Dirk is a self-claimed "Holistic Detective" who believes in the "fundamental interconnectedness of all things" and is currently searching for a missing cat. Dirk informs Richard that he is a suspect in the murder of Gordon, offers to take Richard as a client, and begins to unravel the chain of events which Richard describes. Dirk concludes that Richard had been possessed by a ghost and that something impossible must have occurred for the salt cellar to end up embedded inside the ancient pot, though he cannot fathom what.

Dirk investigates Richard's house and discovers the recording of Gordon's last call, which Gordon's secretary had given to Richard so that he could pass it on to Susan. Dirk hears Gordon's last living words, the gunshot that killed him, and Gordon's short posthumous message. Gordon's ghost tries to possess Dirk, but Dirk recognizes that he is being influenced and furiously rebukes the attempt. Dirk records over the last portion of the tape, erasing Gordon's ghostly message and ensuring that the tape will serve to prove Richard's innocence in Gordon's murder. This act drives Gordon's ghost into a rage. Gordon goes off and stumbles upon the mutilated body of Ross, Michael's professional rival. Gordon then goes to Dirk's office and desperately tries to phone Susan to warn her about Michael, but he has trouble operating the phone and only gets Susan's answering machine.

After several failed attempts to figure out Reg's magic trick, Dirk finds a child on the street and relates his conundrum. Upon hearing Dirk's story the child sarcastically says, "It's bleedin' obvious, innit, he must've 'ad a bleedin' time machine," which causes Dirk to realize that Reg must be in possession of a time machine. Dirk is reluctant to go back to St Cedd's, having been expelled from the college on charges of plagiarism, but he is so intent upon the case that he convinces Richard to go with him to meet Reg. Confronted by Dirk and Richard, Reg admits that he does have a time machine and explains that he is an extremely ancient, possibly immortal, retired time traveler. Reg also explains that time travel paradoxes regularly occur, and that they do not result in the destruction of the universe, but merely a lot of uncertainty and confused memories for everyone involved.

The Salaxalan ghost, still in possession of Michael, arrives at Reg's quarters and begs them to take him back in time to just prior to the explosion of the Salaxalan ship so that he can prevent his past self from messing up the engine repairs. Dirk is suspicious of the Salaxalan ghost and insists on seeing the Salaxalan mother ship, which is still in orbit four billion years later. The four of them use Reg's time machine to open a portal to the alien ship and Richard hears some of the Salaxalans' music for the first time, which is very similar to the works of Johann Sebastian Bach and other classical music. He is so overcome by emotion upon hearing "the music of life" that he faints. Dirk and Reg take him to Reg's bed to lie down.

Reg's time machine intercepts a call from Susan intended for Richard and reroutes it to Reg's phone. Richard picks up and speaks to Susan, who had gotten a call from Gordon's ghost warning her of Michael's murder of Ross. Richard rushes to tell Reg and Dirk, but Michael has already gone through the time portal to the primordial Earth. As they watch the Salaxalan ghost take Michael's body out towards the ship, Dirk realizes that the similarity between Michael's jealousy toward his rival and the Salaxalan ghost's jealousy of humanity was what allowed the Salaxalan ghost to possess him. Dirk concludes that the Salaxalans intended to settle permanently on Earth and that the explosion of their ship was what caused the beginning of life on the planet. Averting the explosion of the Salaxalan landing craft may erase humanity from time, along with all life on Earth. The trio can think of no way to prevent Michael from reaching the ship since he has already gone out into the poisonous atmosphere of the primordial Earth wearing his scuba gear and they cannot follow. Dirk sits down dejectedly on Michael's discarded coat and finds a book of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poetry, which inspires him with a way to disrupt the sympathy between Michael and the Salaxalan ghost. In order to foil the Salaxalan ghost's plans, Dirk, Richard, and Reg travel to the 19th century, where Dirk interrupts Samuel Taylor Coleridge as he is composing "Kubla Khan," becoming the "man from Porlock" and preventing the second half of "Kubla Khan" from ever being written.

During Dirk's escapades with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Reg and Richard discuss how this fix will change the timeline. Reg realizes that making Michael loose his sympathy with the Salaxalan ghost and causing the Salaxalan ship to explode all over again will result in two ghosts of the Salaxalan engineer (the original ghost and the time-traveling ghost) being forced to suffer for four billion more years. Dissatisfied with this outcome, Reg excuses himself to go behind a tree "for a moment." He goes back to his time machine and uses it to save the Salaxalans a millisecond before the explosion of their landing craft, conveying them forward in time to their orbiting mother ship in the 19th century and sending them to go look for a different world to build their paradise on. He also steals some samples of the Salaxalans' music, which he noticed Richard loved, and goes throughout history distributing the samples to various composers, including Bach, so that Richard will be able to listen to more of it later. He regrets that he is unable to save more of the Salaxalan music for Richard, but he decides it is more important to avert the suffering of the two Salaxalan ghosts and send the Salaxalans on their way. A flare of light in the night sky above Samuel Taylor Coleridge's cottage signals the departure of the Salaxalan mother ship. Because of Reg's intervention, Dirk's attempt to confound Samuel Taylor Coleridge's writing of "Kubla Khan," thus disrupting the sympathy between Michael and the Salaxalan ghost, may ultimately have had little or nothing to do with humanity's salvation. When Reg returns from his 'momentary' trip behind the tree Richard remarks on his new beard and Reg demurs, saying that he was only doing "a little surgery... nothing drastic."

Upon arrival back in the present Dirk, Richard, and Reg find small changes as a result of their actions in the past, including the works of Bach, which had not existed in their original timeline. When Richard calls Reg to ask about the music, Reg explains what he did, and mentions that the Electric Monk stopped by his place and that he sent the monk and its horse back to where they belonged. Reg also tells Richard that an intelligent young man from British Telecom came and fixed his phone, but broke his time machine in the process. Reg is happy to trade the use of the phone for the time machine, as he can now enjoy his retirement without the temptation of time travel. Dirk learns that the missing cat he was searching for never went missing in this new timeline, instead having died two years earlier in its owners arms, a humorous allusion to Schrödinger's cat, a cat which is alive in one universe and dead in an alternate universe. Dirk sends his client a revised bill that reads, "To: saving human race from total extinction – no charge."

Characters[edit]

  • Dirk Gently (also known by a number of other names, including Svlad Cjelli), the operator of the eponymous detective agency that operates based on the "fundamental interconnectedness of all things." He specialises in missing cats and messy divorces. At university, Dirk, seemingly deliberately, created rumours about having clairvoyant abilities by vigorously denying that he had any. He concocted a "get-rich scheme" offering a university exam preparation service and was eventually sent to prison when, by sheer coincidence, he accurately duplicated the exam papers for that year without having seen them.
  • Richard MacDuff, a young software engineer working for WayForward Technologies II, owned by Gordon Way. His Anthem software, which is designed as a spreadsheet, but also has a unique feature to convert corporate accounts into music, was extremely popular, but he is falling behind in his deadlines to create an updated version. Throughout the book, he tries to figure out how a couch became impossibly stuck in the L-shaped stairway to his flat, forcing him and any visitors to climb over it on their way in or out.
  • Urban "Reg" Chronotis, the Regius Professor of Chronology at St. Cedd's College. He served as Richard's tutor during the latter's student days at the college and is a fellow there. He has no apparent duties and is described as being "on the older side of completely indeterminate", with a love of childish conjuring tricks and a very poor memory.
  • Gordon Way, the owner of WayForward, who is pressuring Richard to complete his behind-schedule software project, and ends up getting shot for no immediately obvious reason a few chapters into the book.
  • Susan Way, sister of Gordon Way and professional cellist, and Richard's sometime girlfriend who is annoyed at his habit of letting his work get in the way of dates with her.
  • An Electric Monk from a planet very far from the Earth. Electric monks are coincidentally humanoid robots designed to practice religion in their owners' stead. This particular monk had accidentally been connected to a video recorder and, in attempting to believe everything on the TV, had malfunctioned and begun to believe "all kinds of things, more or less at random", including things like tables being hermaphrodites and God wanting a lot of money sent to a certain address. Since it was cheaper to replace the Monk than to repair it, the Monk was cast out in the wilderness to believe whatever it liked. The Monk also owns a somewhat cynical horse, which he was allowed to keep because "horses were so cheap to make". Upon his arrival on Earth, the Monk has several humorous misadventures.
  • Michael Wenton-Weakes, the spoiled son of wealthy parents, known pejoratively as "Michael Wednesday-Week", which is when he promises to have things done by, such as the next issue of his poorly-managed magazine Fathom. His mother sold Fathom to Gordon Way after his father's accidental death when the latter was changing an electric plug. While Michael seems largely apathetic and yielding to others, the loss of Fathom bothers him much more deeply than anyone realises.
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge, writer, one of the founders of the English Romantic Movement. Also a famous laudanum user. In the novel, he is an alumnus of St. Cedd's College. His poems Kubla Khan and Rime of the Ancient Mariner figure prominently in the plot.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach, the composer, does not in fact exist in the novel's universe. At the beginning of the story Susan, a concert cellist, is having problems practising a piece. During the novel Prof. Chronotis uses his time machine to board the Salaxian ship, still in orbit around the Earth. Inside the ship they encounter elaborate and beautiful music that seems to be the result of the ship's computer system operation, similar to Richard's Anthem program. After they have foiled the ghost's plot and destroyed the ship, Richard finds Susan practising the same music he heard aboard the ship. She tells him it is by Bach. Prof. Chronotis later tells Richard how he managed to retrieve some of the music by introducing it in the Baroque period through the invention of a fake composer.

Literary significance and reception[edit]

Reviewing the book for The Times, John Nicholson wrote it was "endearingly dotty", but doubted its commercial potential.[3] Austin MacCurtain of the Sunday Times reviewed the paperback edition in 1988, saying that it was "more of the same" as Hitchhiker's, and that the "cosmic romp is stretched thin at times but will not disappoint fans".[4] The book was the 9th highest-selling hardback in the UK in 1987.[5]

J. Michael Caparula reviewed Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency in Space Gamer/Fantasy Gamer No. 84.[6] Caparula commented that "The writing is wry and quite British, and the novel's quirky spirit is reminiscent of Rudy Rucker's mathematical farces. A nice change for Adams, proof that his talent goes far beyond the meandering Hitchhiker saga."[6]

In 1990, the Magill Book Reviews said "The author's whimsical sense of humor and his sense that the universe has many unexplored possibilities will arouse the interest of a wide readership."[7]

This novel caused Adams to become acquainted with the well-known scientist Richard Dawkins. As Dawkins explains, "As soon as I finished it, I turned back to page one and read it straight through again – the only time I have ever done that, and I wrote to tell him so. He replied that he was a fan of my books, and he invited me to his house in London."[8] Adams would later introduce Dawkins to the woman who was to become his third wife, the actress Lalla Ward, best known for playing the character Romana in Doctor Who. One of her early serials on the programme was City of Death, which Adams wrote, and which shares certain plot elements with the novel.

Adaptations[edit]

On 5 January 1992, Dirk Gently, Richard MacDuff, Dirk's secretary, and the Electric Monk all appeared in the Douglas Adams episode of the British arts documentary series The South Bank Show.[9] Michael Bywater played Dirk, while Paul Shearer played both Richard and the Monk. Several characters from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy were also featured, played by the original television series actors.

The book has been adapted for stage performance as Dirk and in 2005, some fans of Douglas Adams produced an amateur radio series based on the first book. Their efforts began and were coordinated on the Douglas Adams Continuum website.[10] Three episodes were completed.[11] Apart from the radio broadcasts, Douglas Adams recorded both unabridged and abridged readings of the first novel for the audiobook market.

BBC Radio adaptation[edit]

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
Running time30 minutes
Home stationBBC Radio 4
StarringHarry Enfield
Written byDouglas Adams, Dirk Maggs
No. of episodes6

Announced on 26 January 2007, BBC Radio 4 commissioned Above the Title Productions to make eighteen 30-minute adaptations of Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently books (including The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul and the unfinished The Salmon of Doubt), running in three series of six episodes.[12]

The first series began on 3 October 2007 and features Harry Enfield as Dirk, Billy Boyd as Richard, Olivia Colman as Janice, Jim Carter as Gilks, Andrew Sachs as Reg, Felicity Montagu as Susan, Robert Duncan as Gordon, Toby Longworth as the Monk, Michael Fenton Stevens as Michael, Andrew Secombe, Jon Glover, Jeffrey Holland, Wayne Forester and Tamsin Heatley.[13][14][15]

The script for Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency was written by Dirk Maggs, who also directs, and John Langdon. The show was produced by Maggs and Jo Wheeler. As with the previous Hitchhiker's series, the CD version features greatly expanded episodes.[16] There are a number of structural and detail differences between the radio adaptation and the book, mostly to aid the comprehension of the story when split into six half-hour episodes.

Dirk Maggs parted ways with Above the Title Productions when he started his own production company, Perfectly Normal Productions, and so the project was never completed and the proposed radio series of The Salmon of Doubt remains unmade.

Comic book adaptations[edit]

Cartoonist Ray Friesen made an unlicensed comic adaptation of the first novel for a book report. A few years later, in 2004, he posted 18 pages of it online as a webcomic.[17]

IDW Entertainment and Ideate Media have adapted Dirk Gently into an limited comic book series and, later, an American television series for BBC America. The comic series premiered in May 2015.[18][19][20]

Television adaptations[edit]

There have been two television series based on Dirk Gently books and characters.

The first series, Dirk Gently, featuring the character was announced during Hitchcon, a 2009 Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy event to launch the sixth Hitchhiker's book. Ed Victor, a literary agent who represents Adams' estate, announced that a television adaptation of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency was in production. Stephen Mangan played Gently, with Darren Boyd as Macduff and Helen Baxendale as Susan. It was broadcast on BBC Four on 16 December 2010.[21] The hour-long pilot was well-received, leading to three further episodes being commissioned.[22] These aired on BBC4 during March 2012.

A second series, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency was released in January 2016. BBC America produced 18 episodes starring Samuel Barnett as Dirk Gently, Elijah Wood as Todd Brotzman, Hannah Marks as Amanda Brotzman, and Jade Eshete as Farah Black. As of July 2020 it is available on the Hulu streaming service.

Inconsistencies with ending[edit]

In a thread on the official Message Boards of Douglas Adams' website, when a reader inquired about the specific mechanics of how the ending worked out, Adams responded: "Ahem. All I can say is that it was as clear as day to me when I wrote it and now I can't figure it out myself. Sorry about that. I'm actually thinking about it at the moment as I've been re-reading the book in preparation for doing a screenplay. I've got a little bit of sorting out to do..."[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Doctor Who – Classic Series – Webcasts – Shada". BBC. 24 October 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  2. ^ Interview with M. Throsby, ABC Classic FM, 1999, 17 May 2001 (repeat)
  3. ^ Nicholson, John (18 June 1987). "Books: Plot thin but jolly jokes – Review of recent fiction". The Times.
  4. ^ MacCurtain, Austin (26 June 1988). "Paperbacks reviewed – Books". The Sunday Times.
  5. ^ "Arts (Books): BEST SELLERS of 1987". The Sunday Times. 3 January 1988.
  6. ^ a b Caparula, J. Michael (December 1988). "Space/Fantasy Reader". Space Gamer/Fantasy Gamer. World Wide Wargames (84): 44.
  7. ^ "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency". Magill Book Reviews. 1 May 1990. ISSN 0890-7722.
  8. ^ Dawkins, Richard (14 May 2001). "Lament for Douglas Adams". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 29 June 2007.
  9. ^ "Cast list for The South Bank Show episode". IMDb.com. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 February 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2006.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency | Free Podcasts | PodOmatic". Dirkgently.podomatic.com. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  12. ^ "BBC Radio 4 – Comedy – Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency – Home Page". Bbc.co.uk. 6 November 2008. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  13. ^ "BBC – Press Office – Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency opens for business". Retrieved 14 August 2007.
  14. ^ "Dirk Maggs News & New Projects". Archived from the original on 9 December 2002. Retrieved 9 March 2007.
  15. ^ "BBC Radio 4 – Comedy – Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency – Home Page". Bbc.co.uk. 6 November 2008. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 21 September 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ Ray Friesen. "Comic book adaptation of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency". Archived from the original on 10 April 2004.
  18. ^ Johnson, Rich (4 August 2014). "IDW To Create US TV And Comic Book Adaptations of Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently's Detective Agency". Bleeding Cool News. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  19. ^ Hughes, William (4 August 2014). "Max Landis is turning Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently books into a TV series". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  20. ^ "IDW Publishing page for DIRK GENTLY'S HOLISTIC DETECTIVE AGENCY #1". IDW Publishing. May 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  21. ^ "BBC News – Stephen Mangan to star as detective Dirk Gently". 6 October 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
  22. ^ Jason Deans, "Dirk Gently to return to BBC4", The Guardian, 31 March 2011
  23. ^ "DNA/Forum/Info". Douglasadams.com (archived). Archived from the original on 17 August 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)

External links[edit]