EXCLUSIVE: Dirk Gently TV Writer Speaks

It’s not a straight adaptation of the books, reveals Howard Overman

“I’m aware that it’s a bit of a poison chalice,” he tells us frankly, before revealing the big secret behind this new adaptation. “What I did was take the character, Dirk Gently, and his detection method, and write a new story. It has elements from the book, obviously, in it, but it’s kind of a different story. Because if you’ve ever read the book, the story in there isn’t really adaptable for TV. Especially not on the budget we’ve been made to do it on, because it involves an alien planet and all sorts of weird and wacky ideas.

“So basically what I’ve done is take the central character and his sort of peculiar methodology as a detective, and then come up with a story of my own. It does share some elements to the first novel, but I haven’t basically tried to adapt that story which I am sure I will be hated for, especially by the hardcore fans. But I just thought the story as it stood wasn’t adaptable. I’m sure it will be quite controversial, but at the end of the day I have got to make it work as a TV show.

“I think that’s perhaps where sometimes people make mistakes. The difference between a book and a TV show is quite huge in terms of what they need to achieve. Sticking too closely to the book, you can make a bad TV show of a great book. Whereas I wanted to make a good TV show.”

He’s a brave man, to be sure, but if his Dirk is anywhere near as good as Misfits , we’ll be happy.