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Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency is a BBC America science-fiction detective series based on the Douglas Adams novel series of the same name. Written by Max Landis, it stars Samuel Barnett as the eponymous detective Dirk Gently and Elijah Wood as his reluctant sidekick Todd. The series is a co-production between BBC America and Netflix, with episodes airing on BBC America in the United States on October 22, 2016, and all episodes being available to stream on Netflix worldwide outside of the United States. Both seasons are also available on DVD.

The show ran from 2016 to 2017, for a total of 18 episodes. However, there is a petition for a Season 3.

Not to be confused with Dirk Gently, the other adaptation of the Dirk Gently novels.

Has a Character Page that needs some attention.


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Dirk Gently provides examples of:

  • 555: The number on the business card Antonio Cardolla got was 555-424-2424
  • Abhorrent Admirer: A female creature in Wendimoor known as the Beast becomes obsessed with Dirk and even ties him up at one point to prevent him from running away.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the novels, Dirk is described as short, overweight and dumpy, and one character even find him "hideously unattractive." In the show, played by Samuel Barnett, he's tall, slender and conventionally attractive.
  • Adaptational Location Change: The show takes place in America (Seattle in season 1, Montana in season 2), while the book it's based on takes place in England.
  • All There in the Manual: In between seasons 1 and 2 is a Dirk Gently comic series (The Salmon of Truth, not to be confused with the unfinished Douglas Adams novel whose title it borrowed), which follows the exploits of an alternate counterpart of Dirk, the book version, who briefly ends up meeting Show!Dirk. Said exploits explain some background of the first season and foreshadow plot elements of the second season.
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  • And I Must Scream: A comparatively merciful example, as befitting Wendimoor's Sugar Bowl nature, but the Mage was originally destined to be trapped on a train eternally orbiting the sky. When Suzie replaces him as Wendimoor's Big Bad, she ends up with this fate instead.
  • Annoying Arrows: Subverted. When Dirk is shot in the shoulder, he initially appears to follow the trope by walking around like a human pincushion for a while. However, the arrow is actually causing him to bleed out so by the end of the episode, he is barely functioning. When he gets hit with a second arrow, he needs to be rushed to the hospital to save his life.
  • Anti-Hero: A lot of characters who initially seem to be outright villainous aren't. Bart and the Rowdy Three are both examples. Todd and Dirk are both anti-heroes, in their own ways.
  • Arc Words:
    • "Everything is connected" for the series as a whole.
    • "Three questions, one answer" for Season 1.
    • "Find the boy" for Season 2.
    • "Fate and chance are not mutually exclusive," and variants thereof, in Season 2.
  • The Artifact: The design aesthetic of the title screen is based on complex geometric shapes drawn with thin lines, which is a reference to the Men of the Machine's obsession with such sigils. The same title sequence is carried into season two, but there's nothing in that season with this aesthetic.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: The nerve disease from which Amanda suffers, "pararibulitis," is not a real condition. Even the name is a meaningless jumble of terminology.
  • Artistic License – Military: Hugo Friedkin's rank jumps up and down depending on the episode and while he's referred to by various enlisted ranks, he's seen wearing officer's insignia when in uniform.
  • Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: The final fate of Hugo after being shoved into the Backstage.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The crossbows used by the Men of the Machine. Arrows that impale and electrocute their targets to make them die quicker are awesome in theory, but the weapons take a long while to reload and guns are shown to be readily available to the cult.
  • Back from the Dead: Francis Cardenas, the creator of Wendimoor, resurrects all of its murdered citizens after he returns to the land.
  • Badass Boast: Mona makes one when Hugo tells her he's afraid that she will turn into a bear and maul them. She informs him if she wanted to kill him, she'd turn into an aircraft carrier and destroy the entire complex.
  • Badass in Distress: Farah spends the first two episodes tied up and held hostage by Gordon and his minions.
  • Ballroom Blitz: Suzie attempts one at the rock concert, but she casts the wrong spell to try and get the crowd out of her way and starts a love-in by mistake, which is actually more disruptive.
  • Bears Are Bad News: When Mona is finally captured in human form, she is kept under guard to prevent her from turning into "I dunno... a bear." When she hears this, Mona responds that if she wanted to kill everyone, she can be a lot more creative than turning into a bear.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Or anti-heroes in this case, with the Mage's knights about to attack the village of Bofuki Napoo in force, Amanda is able to pull Martin, Cross and Gripps out of their prison just in time for the battle. And they are hungry. Dirk, the Rowdy Three, and the Beast provide another example later in the season, arriving in the nick of time to save Todd and Amanda from execution.
    • In the second season finale, Lord Badevil has just impaled Hugo and our heroes are cornered... until Boom, Headshot! and Ken enters the picture. Subverted, however. Turns out it's not Big Damn Heroes but rather Make Way For New Villains as Ken is now a bigger threat than Badevil was.
    Vogle: Take a picture; we’re big heroes!
  • Bittersweet Ending: Each season seems to end in one.
    • Season 1. The girl is safe, the time travel loop is closed and the machine will never be used again. But Friedkin has taken over Project Blackwing, Dirk and the Rowdy 3 are captured, and Todd is having a pararibulitis episode. Oh, and Todd and Farrah are wanted by the FBI.
    • Season 2. Wendimoor is at peace with Francis/Moloch returned to his throne; Hobbs and Tina are okay; Dirk, Todd, and Farah finally start the detective agency together; and the Rowdy 3 are off on a holistic road trip. But Ken is evil now, Bart is back in Blackwing, and there's still the underlying issue that the universe is somehow broken. Oh, and Hugo has apparently Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence, so make of that what you will.
  • Bloody Hilarious: The series frequently uses violence for comedic purposes, particularly when Bart is around.
  • Blood-Stained Letter: Zachariah Webb received a note which has Dirk's blood on it.
  • Body Surf: Gordon Rimmer and his followers use a mysterious machine built by Zachariah Webb to swap bodies with the rich and famous. It's later revealed that they've been doing this for close to 50 years.
  • Bolivian Army Cliffhanger: The first season finale ends with the government hunting down the Project Blackwing subjects, with Hugo personally going after Dirk.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In the finale episode, Mona is revealed to be hiding in Dirk's office. She turns to the audience and shushes us.
  • Buffy Speak: Dirk refers to anything noteworthy in his investigations as "a thing." He quickly gets Todd and Amanda doing it as well.
  • Call-Back: Midway through season two, Todd and Dirk reminisce about their previous adventure in season one. "Remember when we went back in time?"
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Dirk lets Todd know that he's a part of the investigation whether he likes it or not.
  • Canon Foreigner: Besides Dirk, everyone in the show was created for it.
  • Cargo Cult: The main antagonists of the first season, the Men of the Machine, started out as a hippie commune in the 1960s before they got their hands on one of Zachariah Webb's inventions. They initially used the body-swapping function only to swap into animals, and other cult members, as part of a spiritual out-of-body experience. The cult has since strayed from their original ideals, and now use Webb's invention to escape old age, place cult members into powerful positions to protect the cult, or take over the lives of rich and famous people out of sheer hedonism.
  • Chainsaw Good: Bart's chosen weapon when she is about to get vengeance for the Mage's murder of Panto.
  • Chekhov's Armoury and Chekhov's Army: Pretty much how the series operates, in that everything appears to be linked to something else either directly or by proxy. This is consistent with the source material, which centres around the same theme.
  • The Chosen One:
    • According to Francis, the universe is broken, and the Blackwing subjects have their abilities because it created them to fix itself.
    • Amanda is told repeatedly in Season 2 that she will play a key role in fixing the broken universe in the near future.
  • CIA Evil, FBI Good: The FBI agents are portrayed as a part of the good guys, even if they are a little bit dickish before they get killed. The CIA serves as the Greater-Scope Villain in season 1.
  • Cliffhanger: After a subverted And the Adventure Continues ending (Ken continues to stick around with Bart, Dirk talks to Farah about making a detective agency with Todd joining, Amanda joining the Rowdy Three, Riggins telling Dirk that he was proud of him), it's revealed that Hugo has put most of the pieces together, killing The Mole in the police station and shooting Estevez multiple times, attempting to round up the subjects of Riggins's research (including Dirk and the Rowdy Three), and it turns out Todd has developed pararibulitis for real. Given Estevez's death after all he went through it becomes something of a Downer Ending
  • Corrupt Cop: Estevez thinks Da Chief is in on the conspiracy and he is shown to be correct.
  • Couch Gag: The TV screens that precede the Cold Open in the first season show different images in every episode.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Wendimoor is colourful and quirky and everything in it is childish and silly. That doesn't stop its inhabitants from being involved in a brutal, bloody family feud, Fantastic Racism is rampant, and it's on the brink of being conquered by the Evil Overlord. It wasn't supposed to be like that, but with its creator unable to maintain it, it spiraled out of control over the course of the decades - resulting in, among other things, the Harmless Villain actually winning all the battles he was meant to lose.
  • Creepy Monotone: Most of Gordon's drones speak with a childlike flatness to their voices.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Patrick Spring (and two Mooks) via the soul of a hammerhead shark inside a kitten.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Zachariah Webb/Patrick Spring guns down dozens of cultists without breaking a sweat.
    • The universe makes sure that Bart vs anyone is this, except when she tries to kill Dirk, who she's supposed to protect.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Dirk advises Todd that he needs to stop reacting and work towards bettering his life.
  • Dark Reprise:
    • The song "First Things First" by Neon Trees is featured twice in the first series. At first it seems to refer to the characters finally seeing the benefits of their hard work, but at the end of the finale it shows up to highlight a moment of Laser-Guided Karma when Todd finally experiences the terrible symptoms of the disease he once pretended to have.
    First things first, get what you deserve.
    • At the beginning of Season 2, "Mr Sandman" by the Chordettes plays as Suzie uses the Mage's second wand to jazz up herself and her house. Later on the in the season, a much darker cover plays as Todd and Amanda are being led to their execution in Wendimoor.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The city/county of Bergsberg, which means "Mountain's Mountain" in German.
  • Diesel Punk: Zachariah Webb's old-fashioned but highly advanced electrical contraptions.
  • Didn't See That Coming: The Men of the Machine get hit with this trope hard. Every time they get some kind of advantage, random people seem to wander into the scene and mess everything up.
  • Disability Superpower: In Wendimoor, Todd and Amanda's paribulitus is capable of letting them summon objects from their hallucinations, and open doors between Wendimoor and the real world.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Bart to Dirk. Just replace "holistic detective" with "holistic assassin".
  • "Eureka!" Moment: When Dirk solves the season's case, he will have this. Ideally, it helps him fix whatever caused the problem in the first place.
  • Expy: Blackwing in Season 2 is essentially The SCP Foundation in all but name and containment criteria; not surprising, considering Max Landis, creator of the show, wrote an SCP.
  • Eye Colour Change: Entering "the backstage of reality" does this, giving you enlarged irises with strange black symbols for pupils. Todd and Amanda get pale blue eyes, while Freidkin gets red.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Ken becomes the leader of Operation Blackwing by the end of Season Two.
  • Foreseeing My Death: Patrick Springs did this thanks to time travel.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Amanda's brief visions of the future when the Rowdy Three ease her hallucinations the first time feature a lot of this, though the most notable and prominent is Hugo with blood on his hands saying "I'm just doing my job."
    • Todd's television in the first episode is playing a newscast about Lydia's disappearance, but at the bottom there's a headline banner about a truck stolen from the Seattle zoo. Guess what Dirk and Todd do when they travel back in time later in the season?
    • Suzie's various snarky sweatshirts don't seem very in-character for such a downtrodden sadsack, but we eventually learn that she was an Alpha Bitch before her life went to hell.
    • Bart tells Suzie it feels like she should kill her. Lazer, Suzie turns into the Big Bad.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: Wendimoor was originally a normal fairy-tale land where good prevailed and evil was defeated, but slowly became more and more violent as time went on thanks to its creator, Francis Cardenas, accidentally giving the evil Mage an army instead of a few soldiers, allowing him to easily win battles he was supposed to lose. Things only got worse when Francis had a stroke and unintentionally created portals between Wendimoor and Earth, which the Mage used. He introduced modern-day weapons like guns to the fantasy land and used his Knights to further divide the two feuding families, which ultimately resulted in the massacre of most of the land's citizens. Wendimoor eventually reverts back to its original state when Francis returns and sets things right.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: An enraged Bart is about to carve through a hundred of the Mage's men with a chainsaw when the scene cuts away.
  • Grandfather Paradox: Briefly explained by Dirk to Lydia as to why they need to complete the Stable Time Loop.
  • Happily Ever After: Silas and Panto get their happy ending together after order is restored to Wendimoor. It makes sense, given they live in a fairy-tale.
  • Have We Met Yet?: Gordon Rimmer has been introduced to Dirk and Todd despite neither of the two having met him, because of time travel.
  • His Name Really Is "Barkeep": Discussed. In season two, Hugo realizes that his assistant is actually a lieutenant... Lt. Assistent.
  • Hit Me, Dammit!: When Amanda and Todd are accused of being spies and imprisoned by the Dengdamoors — because her Pararibulitis manifests as magical powers in Wendimoor, Amanda asks Todd to hit her to trigger an attack to help them escape. When Todd obviously refuses to hit his sister, Amanda then bitch-slaps him multiple times to get him to hit her back, which eventually turns into them slapping each other silly and laughing. Needless to say, it didn't work.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Nearly every episode title is taken from a line said in said episode.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: The natives of the fantasy dimension introduced in season 2 wield weapons which, although sword-like in size, are basically giant scissors. One warrior wields a giant carpenter's hammer.
  • Improbably Cool Car: The electric blue Corvette Stingray that Dirk drives. He says it's a rental and gives it away without batting an eyelash.
  • Inherently Funny Words: Everything in Wendimoor seems to be named so as to sound as ridiculous as possible. This is evident by Amanda taking a moment to light and drag a marijuana joint during an Info Dump about the land and its people.
  • Ironic Echo: In the pilot episode, Friedkin shoots at Dirk despite Riggins telling him, "Don't take the shot." Later in season 2, Friedkin finds himself ordering Priest "Do not take the shot," and the look on his face immediately after he says it suggests that he realizes the irony.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: Both seasons feature a lot of bizarre and seemingly unrelated events that all turn out to be connected in the end.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: In season 1, the FBI, Missing Persons and the CIA are all mixed up in the mess and none of them are particularly happy with each other.
  • Just Between You and Me:
    • Played frighteningly straight with Hugo revealing his plans to round up the Project Blackwing subjects to a dying Estevez.
    • In the final battle in Wendimoor, Todd tries to figure out how Suzie Borton figures into all of this. When she actually indulges him in questions, he realizes that the wand is malfunctioning (thanks to the Rowdy 3 leeching some of its energy) and blasts her with the air gun.
  • Killer Rabbit: The cute kitten found at the scene of Patrick Spring's murder turns out to be the murder weapon – the spirit of a shark trapped inside the body of a kitten.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The show is filmed in Canada, which is fairly obvious given the abundance of Canadian character actors in supporting roles. In season two, Amanda has to remind the Rowdy Three that Wendimoor isn't on Mars. One of them then asserts, "We're in Canada!" When Amanda snaps, "We're not in Canada," he points to a random extra and says, "This guy's Canadian!"
  • Left Hanging: Season 2 ends on a few cliffhangers and turned out to be the final episode of the series. We won't find out what happens with Bart in Blackwing and Ken in charge, Hugo "behind the curtain of reality," or Mona hiding in Dirk's new agency.
  • Lethal Joke Weapon: People in Wendimoor fight with slingshots and oversized scissors, among other things. It looks ridiculous, right up until they start using them and demonstrate how terrifyingly effective they are with them. Especially the one-hit-kill slingshots.
  • Long Title: Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. Word of God says he has to keep on referring to the full name while talking about the show in interviews, because there's another show called Dirk Gently.
  • Love Spell: Susan accidentally casts one of these over an entire concert.
    Tina: I want to fuck everybody here!
  • Make Way for the New Villains: The first season ends with the government going after the Project Blackwing subjects, including Bart and the Rowdy Three.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The Kellum knights spray bullets towards Bart while she calmly walks towards them. And then she picks up a chainsaw, they start backing away quick.
  • The Mole: Thanks to their body-swapping abilities, the Men of the Machine have spies everywhere:
    • When they manage to capture FBI agent Weedle, they destroy his soul and have one of their own take over his body.
    • The chief of police turns out to be part of their Cult as well.
  • Motive Decay: Due to heavy Sanity Slippage, Rimmer goes from wanting to take Zachariah Webb's second Machine and taking over the cult to simply wanting his dog back.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Dirk mentions being on cases involving a couch and an encounter with Thor, both references to events in the books by Douglas Adams.
    • Members of Blackwing sometimes address Dirk as "Slavd." In the books, Svlad Cjelli is Dirk's real name.
    • As per the Dirk Gently tradition, a cat is an important element in the mystery.
    • Bart's interest in "shows between the shows that tell you about things you can buy in stores" is reminiscent of the kid in Teatime who was only aware of the world around him when the adverts ended and the news started.
    • The Rowdy Three consisting of four, then five, and later six members may be a reference to Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series being referred to as an "increasingly inaccurate Hitchhiker's Trilogy."
    • Each episode is 42 minutes long.
    • There are 42 Blackwing projects.
    • Farah is sometimes seen in a tracksuit top with 42 written on it.
    • "Hoopy frood" is an insult in Wendimoor. This a reference to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, where it's a compliment.
    • The Boreton family dog is named Agrajag, which was also the name of a character in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
    • An innocuous enough phrase, but before jumping into the portal to Blackwing HQ, Dirk tells himself "Don't Panic," the same words printed on the front page of the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams' other famous book series.
    • The second season isn't the first time Dirk has solved a case in which the rightful-but-absent ruler of an otherworldly kingdom, without whom said kingdom has fallen into dark times, turns out to have been lying around in bed all along.
  • Noodle Incident: Dirk's previous case, which involved a horse faking its own death. It involved deception, danger, double-crosses, an all around perversion of higher emotion and (dare he say it) romance.
  • Odd Couple:
    • Dirk is a cheerful Cloudcuckoolander and Todd is a downtrodden Everyman.
    • Ken is a put-upon rogue electrician and Bart is a single-minded assassin.
    • Hobbs is an excitable police sheriff who wants something interesting to happen (the stranger the better), while Tina is a stoner deputy who rather enjoys the blandness of a small town.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: A Running Gag in the show has Rimmer asking Dirk and Todd why they burnt his house down. They never have an answer because they did it accidentally and they didn't know they were involved with it.
  • Once More, with Clarity!:
    • In the first episode, Todd sees himself in the hotel with a black eye, a shirt with the Stars & Stripes, and a fur coat. Later on, when Dirk gives him the shirt, Todd realizes that he will step into being the "other" Todd. He later gets the black eye from Estevez and the fur coat from Gordon Rimmer.
    • Episode 1 gives us an incredibly bloody murder scene. In episode 7, we see how it actually happened.
  • Plot Armor: Justified. As Bart demonstrates to Ken, the universe prevents her from being harmed, no matter how inexplicable. Except when she's doing something she's not supposed to (Farah is able to stab her), but it will pick right back up afterwards.
  • Police Are Useless:
    • The police are trying to do their jobs, and quickly see that certain things cannot be a coincidence, but in a case with body swapping, psychics, and time travel, they find themselves in over their heads. Becomes justified when we learn that the police chief is a member of the Men of the Machine and has been deliberately derailing their efforts.
    • In Season 2, Tina is so freaked out that she suggests calling the cops when bad stuff goes down, perhaps forgetting that she is a police officer.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: As with the previous adaptation, Landis opted to create a new story using the themes of Adams' original works. The Surreal Humour and Chekhov's Armoury of the original stories are intact, as are several plot elements, but the mystery and the characters (except for Dirk Gently himself) are original.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Just about everybody who catches a bullet in the show takes it between the eyes, leaving a neat little hole and very little mess.
  • Preserve Your Gays: Panto and Silas are shot to death when the Kellum knights attack. However, they - along with everyone else in Wendimoor - are later resurrected by Francis Cardenas upon his return to the dimension, meaning they get their happy ending.
  • Reckless Gun Usage:
    • After the gang experiments shooting the zap gun from Wendimoor, Tina points it at Todd and herself while inspecting it. She's not the greatest cop.
    • During a breakdown, Hugo points his pistol at his temple. It's not clear if he's intentionally doing it because he's suicidal, or if he's too stupid or distracted to realize what he's doing.
  • Relationship Upgrade: After some obvious mutual attraction in season one, Todd and Farah get into a relationship while running from the law between the first and second seasons.
  • The Reveal:
    • Season 1:
      • The dog is Lydia Spring.
      • Todd never had pararibulitis.
      • Zachariah Webb is Patrick Spring.
      • There's only one time machine. There just seems to be more than one because its timeline overlaps itself.
      • Before meeting Todd, Dirk encountered his future self, who told him to find Todd and gave him the hint of "Three questions, one answer"
      • Hilariously subverted when it turns out Gordon Rimmer knows even less than Dirk and Todd do about the whole situation.
    • Season 2:
      • The stress toy from Season 1 is really Mona Wilder the shapeshifter.
      • There was a second boy.
      • The Boy was Project Moloch, who was in Blackwing the whole time.
      • Suzie was a terrible person before her life went to hell.
  • Running Gag: Dirk refers to any potential clues or plot points as "things." This causes him to make statements like, "This... is a thing!" Todd joins in on the act, occasionally asking, "Is this a thing?" They sometimes argue about whether something is or isn't "a thing." In season two, Amanda even asks a person, "Are you... a thing?"
  • Series Goal:
    • Season 1:
      • For Dirk, it’s to find out who — or what — killed Patrick Spring, and rescue Lydia Spring.
      • For Bart, it's to kill Dirk Gently. Or so she believes; "meet" would be more accurate than "kill".
    • Season 2:
      • For Dirk, it’s to find out who and where the Boy is, and bring him back to Wendimoor.
      • For Bart, it’s to find Ken.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Dirk, Bart and all the other holistics pretty much have this as a superpower, thanks to the universe breaking apart.
  • Sexy Shirt Switch: After the love spell incident at The Sound Of Nothing concert, Todd and Farah wake up on the floor of the Sheriff's station wearing each other's shirts.
  • Shear Menace: People in Wendimoor use oversized scissors instead of swords. They're a lot more deadly than they look.
  • Shout-Out: A couple to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy show up in the second season:
    • The dream sequence where Farah and Todd rescue Dirk has Todd mentioning that they're going to meet up with Thor, who was a semi-regular background character in the latter half of the "Trilogy".
    • In the second episode, Farrah said the car's odometer had only 42 miles on it. 42 is the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.
    • The Boretons' dog is named Agrajag, a character from Life, the Universe and Everything.
    • The phrase "Hoopy Frood" is a colloquialism in Wendimoor.
    • Right before Dirk is about to jump into a portal directly to Blackwing HQ, he says one of the more famous quotes from the Guide: "Don't Panic."
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Farah confronts Mr. Priest when he arrives to capture Dirk. He takes her out so fast he doesn't even break his stride.
  • Slobs vs. Snobs: The feud between the Trost and Dengdamor families. The Trosts are rustic nobility who rule over farmers, while the Dengdamors are the richest family in Inglenook.
  • Stable Time Loop: This is, in a nutshell, the whole plot of season 1. Zackaraiah Webb invented a time machine, which immediately disappeared. A different time machine arrived a few moments later with a note from Dirk, which prompted him to go forward in time to find out what was going on.
  • Standard Police Motto: The Bergsberg Sheriff's Office's motto is "Protect and Serve," coincidentally just like the LAPD.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Bart and Dirk get a lot of scenes where their dialogue to their reluctant assistants are exactly the same.
  • Surreal Humour: As with the original books, the TV series gets quite a lot of its humour out of the absurdity of the situations the protagonists are thrown in.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: It's a bit complicated, but Zachariah Webb only ever built one machine. The entire history of the device, including its use as a soul-swapper and an unlimited energy device, ends when Estevez destroys the oldest version, which happens before the version modified by the Men of the Machine is sent back in time to Webb, starting the cycle all over again...
  • Those Two Guys: The missing persons department, the FBI agents, and the Blackwing project guys. Later Subverted when one of the FBI agents is murdered and the other's body is used as The Mole for Gordon, Hugo is promoted to head of the mission to round up the subjects of Blackwing, and Zimmerfield is killed.
  • Threatening Shark: The murder weapon is a kitten with the soul of a hammerhead shark. Which it can project as a lightning shark.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: After losing his job, becoming a murder suspect and having his apartment trashed, Todd sees that the lottery ticket he found is the winning one (not the jackpot, but enough to repair the apartment and his car).
  • Time Travel: A key plot point of season 1.
  • Title Drop: In addition to the series title being said by Dirk a couple of times, each individual episode has its title spoken in dialogue.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: Dirk and Bart and people like them are meant to fix the universe, which is in some way broken, and bad stuff is bound to happen in the future, which is lampshaded numerous times.
  • Whodunnit to Me?: Patrick Spring can't save himself from getting murdered, so he goes back in time to ensure that his murder will be solved. The irony is that he killed himself (that is, the younger self accidentally killed the older self), and he already knows this.
  • The Wise Prince: All four of the Trost and Dengdamor heirs (Panto, Silas, Farson and Litzbitz) are portrayed as being against having a pointless war, and generally more moral and intelligent than their respective surviving parents.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: The past version of Patrick Spring and the future versions of Todd and Dirk attempt to stop the murder of Patrick Spring but their meddling causes it to happen exactly as it did in the original timeline.

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