BBC plans Dirk Gently TV series

Adams adaptation in development

The BBC is developing a TV comedy-drama based on Douglas Adams’s Dirk Gently detective novels.

Literary agent Ed Victor, who represents the author’s estate revealed the news at a Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy celebration in central London.

He said he had seen ‘a great script – not just a good script’ for the planned adaptation, but warned: ‘With the BBC, it can take forever’.

He said the producer attached to the project – thought to be former Cosby Show executive Caryn Mandabach – described the novels as ‘the greatest storytelling opportunity for television since Star Trek’.

However, Victor revealed that Adams’ estate had cancelled plans for a radio series based on the unfinished third Dirk Gently novel, A Salmon Of Doubt, saying ‘there was not enough of Douglas’ in the project to make it worthwhile.

Victor also raised the possibility of a remake of the original Hitchhikers TV series, saying the BBC had ‘made noises’ about returning to the successful franchise, but ‘glaciers move faster’.

Any remake would require a licence from Disney, who brought the rights to the Hitchhikers ‘brand’ for the 2005 film.

Victor previously sold rights to the film three times – to American sitcom guru Don Tafner, Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman, and Monkee Mike Nesmith – although none came to fruition, despite Adams’ contributions. Only posthumously did a movie get off the ground.

‘The movie wouldn’t have got made if Douglas was still here,’ Victor added.

Referring to Adams’s constant tinkering with scripts, he added: ‘He just could couldn’t stop stirring the pot.’

The news came at the Hitchcon convention at London’s Royal Festival Hall, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the first Hitchhikers novel and launching the sixth book in the series, And Another Thing..., written by Eoin Colfer, creator of the Artemis Fowl series of children’s books.

The day also included Colfer reading from the new volume, a read-though of extracts from the original radio series by some of the cast, and a photocall of fans in dressing gowns and carrying towels, in homage to Hitchhikers hero Arthur Dent.

Here they are:

Published: 11 Oct 2009

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