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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 adaption 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.
  • Action Girl:
    • Bart routinely kills entire groups of armed individuals without taking a scratch.
    • Farah is somewhat less of a One-Man Army, but she's still highly trained in the use of a variety of weapons and tactics.
  • Adorkable:
    • Shades of this with both Dirk and Todd as well as Farah and Bart. Farah has some mental issues, and Bart is so hopelessly naive they're endearing in their own way.
    • Lydia Spring-as-Rapunzel is this, thanks to a spot-on dog impression by Alison Thornton.
  • All There in the Manual: In between seasons 1 and 2 is a Dirk Gently comic series following the exploits of an alternate counterpart of Dirk. Said exploits explain some background of the first season and foreshadow plot elements of the second season.
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  • Alpha Bitch: It turns out that Suzie Borten was one in high school, but a series of bad decisions have caused her to become a put-upon loser, and she now sees herself as a bullied underdog.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Bart Curlish seems to be ax crazy, thinking of herself as a "holistic assassin" and kills people because the universe wants her to. Ken tells her that it sounds an awful lot like a psychopathic murder spree. As the first season plays out, however, it shows increasing proof that she is being guided by some higher power to kill those who need killing.
    • Hugo is a more straight-forward example, but it doesn't become fully obvious until the first season finale.
    • The Rowdy Three. They beat the crap out of anyone in their way (including police) while screaming the most insane non-sequiturs.
    • Mr. Priest in Season 2 definitely qualifies.
  • 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.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Lydia Spring.
  • 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.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: Dirk spends the first season as a heedlessly optimistic Cloud Cuckoolander who keeps insisting to more skeptical characters like Todd that everything is connected and will all make sense in the end. The start of the second season sees him have a personal crisis that makes him lose all faith in himself and his methods, forcing Todd to constantly spout his own previous rhetoric at him to keep him from quitting entirely.
  • Big Bad:
    • Lux Dujour and the Men of the Machine are the primary threat in season 1.
    • Season 2 has The Mage, a powerful wizard who wants to conquer his home dimension, but he becomes discontent and wants to cause suffering on Earth instead, leaving Suzie Boreton to be the main villain.
  • 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 pararibulitus 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.
  • Brainless Beauty: Hugo Friedkin looks like a male model, but is thick as oatmeal.
  • Broken-Window Warning: The Rowdy 3 introduce themselves to Amanda by tossing a brick through her window, with a note attached saying simply "Hi".
  • Buffy Speak: "Thing" gets used a lot by multiple characters, as shown here.
  • Bullet Dodges You: Bart describes her inability to be killed as bullets dodging her.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Dirk lets Todd know that he's a part of the investigation whether he likes it or not.
  • 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 were portrayed as a part of the good guys before they got 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
  • Clone Degeneration: Gordon Rimmer points out that some sort of this happened with Gordon's drones. They technically aren't clones, but decades of body-swapping with animals for long periods of time seems to have seriously messed up their minds.
  • Coincidence Magnet:
    • Dirk Gently, and pretty much everyone he associates with. His primary method of investigation is do what he want to until something unusual happens around him.
    • Bart, being his Shadow Archetype, is also a case.
  • Corrupt Cop: Estevez thinks his boss 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.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The city/county of Bergsberg, which means "Mountain 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.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Yeah, Todd did steal from Dorian. But instead of evicting him and calling the police, Dorian trashes his car and then threatens him with a gun.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Bart to Dirk. Just replace "holistic detective" with "holistic assassin".
  • Dumb Muscle: Hugo Friedkin doesn't even bother to read the mission briefings and files he is handed (it is strongly implied that he simply Never Learned to Read), has little-to-no attention span or patience, and just wants to shoot all of the subjects. This is a bit deconstructed in the second season when he's left in charge of Project Blackwing and is seriously stressed about having absolutely no idea what to do.
  • Dunce Cap: In "Little Guy, Black Hair," Farah and Todd are both made to wear these for their execution. They even have "DUNCE" written on them.
  • 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.
  • Fat Bastard: Gordon Rimmer. At least his body's one.
  • Five-Token Band: The Rowdy Three have one white member, one black member, one Asian member, and one Latino member. They later end up getting a female member (Amanda).
    • At the end of season two, they gain a sixth member, The Beast, who will most likely fit the Team Pet slot.
  • 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."
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Bart is a woman. It's apparently short for "Bartine".
  • Girly Run: When Ken is being chased by Bart in the first episode, he demonstrates a decidedly unimpressive running style. It's made all the worse by the fact that Bart, who the name notwithstanding is a girl, runs a lot more skillfully (and quickly catches up with him).
  • 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.
  • Greater-Scope Villain:
    • Of the Men of the Machine plot, The Supreme Soul (Rainey), is the one who first found the machine and started the soul-swapping cult, even though Gordon Rimmer is the foe of Dirk and company.
    • Of the series as a whole, it's Wilson, the well-dressed young woman whom Blackwing reports to, dismissed Riggins, put Hugo in charge of the program, and eventually a post Face–Heel Turn Ken. And the main cast has never even met her.
  • 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.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Bart undergoes this after she fails to kill Dirk Gently and is injured by Farah in the process, something that was previously established as being impossible.
    • Estevez after Zimmerfield's death.
    • Dirk in season 2 after mistakenly believing that “the boy” has been killed.
  • 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.
  • Ill Girl: Amanda, Todd's sister, suffers from "pararibulitis", an illness that causes frightening hallucinations and extreme pain. Todd had the same thing (or so he claimed before Amanda contracted it), but his parents spent a fortune on medications for him, leading Amanda to suffer continuously since they are now broke.
  • Immortal Assassin: Bart Curlish. No matter what situation she finds herself in, she manages to get out without a scratch and continue the hunt. At least until she tries to kill someone she's supposed to protect.
  • 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 ballpeen 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.
  • Inspector Javert: The two police detectives, Estevez and Zimmerfield, who believe Dirk and Todd have something to do with with Lydia's disappearance and search for any lead they can.
  • 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.
  • Ironic Name: Sherlock Hobbs, the Bergsberg sheriff, is a pretty poor detective, though he is great at taking notes.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The Rowdy Three might be ultraviolent anarchists, but they genuinely care about Amanda's well-being and will unload a van load of pain on anyone who tries to harm her.
  • 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:
    • Subverted. Gordon has Dirk, Todd and Webb's machine in his grasp. Dirk expects him to start a villainous Motive Rant outlining his end goals and explaining the answers to all their questions for them. Instead he freaks out and immediately begins grilling them about all the same questions they have and more.
    • 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.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Two jerks at the supermarket see Todd's sister freaking out and decide to film her and make fun of her instead of actually help. Cue a heavily-graffitied van pulling up, four thugs stepping out, trashing their car, smashing their phone, and roughing them up. That'll teach ya!
  • Left Hanging: Season 2 (and the series as a whole, if it doesn't end up getting Un-Cancelled) ends without addressing the inciting incident of the whole story arc: where did the boat come from?
  • 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!
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Dirk, already dying from blood loss due to being hit by an arrow, gets shot with yet another arrow in the same shoulder. His reaction is just an exasperated "Really?" before dropping to the floor.
  • 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.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • An actual heartwarming one in regards to the Rowdy Three. Amanda is having an attack of her disease. Cue the Rowdy Three showing up in front of her garage. The audience thinks "oh boy," but they end up helping her. The kicker? When the leader tells Amanda that "she doesn't have to put up with that shit anymore."
    • The season 1 finale; just when it seems that all's well that ends well, Hugo shows up and shoots Estevez.
  • 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.
  • Motor Mouth: One of Dirk's most noticeable traits is that he doesn't seem to be able to keep his mouth shut, much to Todd's (and nearly everyone else's) annoyance. In fact, Dirk enjoyed Sheriff Hobbs' interrogation, because he never interrupted Dirk.
  • My Future Self and Me: In the first episode, Todd sees his future self and thinks it's a vision. In the penultimate episode, Dirk meets his past self and tells him vague references to the events happening, setting the Stable Time Loop.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Todd is remorseful for his landlord's death, feeling that his actions ultimately led to it.
    • He also faked having pararibulitis when he was in college so his parents would give him money without him needing to work. And after he bled his parents dry (without realizing), Amanda started presenting real symptoms.
  • My Greatest Failure: Farah sees Patrick Spring's death as this, since she was kidnapped while looking for Lydia before he was murdered.
  • 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.
    • Scott Riggins calls Dirk 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.
    • "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.
  • Never Bring A Knife To A Gunfight: At the trade-off in episode 2, Todd mentions that Gordon has a gun. Dirk proudly produces a Swiss army knife and invokes the phrase.
    Dirk: You know what they say about bringing a knife to a gunfight?
    Todd: That it's... bad?
    Dirk: [beat] Oh bloody hell, is that what that means?
  • Never Live It Down: invoked 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.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Rowdy Three. There are four of them upon their first introduction and six by the time the series ends. They are quite rowdy, though.
  • 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.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Hugo Friedkin's dimwittedness and Trigger Happy attitude are played as a joke for the majority of the first season –- until he replaces Riggins as the head of the Black Wing project, sends soldiers to capture all psychics (including Dirk, Bart, and the Rowdy Three), and shoots Estevez in cold blood.
  • 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.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: At the end of season 1, Bart and Ken come face to face with Blackwing operatives, who have them surrounded on a road with soldiers, trucks, and a tank. The last we see is Bart picking up a rock. The next season, we learn that somehow, she escaped.
  • 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.
  • One Extra Member: The Rowdy Three have four members, then five, then six.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Gordon usually has a nasal, sibilant manner of speaking, but when he's really getting dangerous, he adopts a deeper and more confident voice more akin to his Lux Dujour persona. Sometimes this is subverted when he suddenly breaks down again into a nasally whine.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The Rowdy Three seem to suck life force out of Dirk. They're also a rowdy group. According to Riggins, they're Blackwing subjects under the title "Incubus", and they actually feed on psychic energy. They also feed off of Amanda when she has attacks, which relieves her symptoms.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Bart's modus operandi. According to herself, she has never killed someone who didn't deserve it. As the show progresses, it increasingly suggests that she's telling the truth. In fact, the one time she decides not to kill someone she was supposed to kill, that person turns out to not only be horrible but The Dragon.
  • Pet the Dog: After menacingly following Amanda in the second and third episode, the Rowdy Three step in when Amanda has a freakout after purchasing groceries. They beat up some teenagers trying to record Amanda and do something strange to her mind, but ultimately Amanda wakes up in her own garage unharmed with her groceries right next to her. From that point on, it becomes clear that they're not villains.
  • 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 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.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Bart gets a pretty succinct one during her Big Damn Heroes moment in episode 8:
    Mook: Who's that, Ed?
    Bart: [beat] Yo. [shoots Ed]
  • 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.
  • Psycho for Hire: Priest, who is responsible for rounding up supernatural people for Project Blackwing and takes a perverse joy in attacking his targets. His manic expressions and mannerisms even during normal conversations reveal that he's pretty unhinged.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: Todd delivers a highly satisfying one to Suzie in the second season finale, telling her that far from being the heroine of the story like she keeps insisting that she is, she's not even properly the villain - she's just some random psycho who keeps showing up and ruining things for others, and no one can figure out why she's doing it or what she's got to do with anything.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Todd and Farah, between the first and second seasons, confirmed when Farah recalls that time she and Todd made out in episode five.
  • 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 it's in different places chronologically.
      • 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.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Zachariah Webb wages a stupendously glorious and catastrophic one against the Men of the Machine during the penultimate episode.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Gordon murders a woman just to prove that he's left his days as Lux Du Jour behind and assert his dominance to his followers.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Zimmerfield is killed in the fifth episode, demonstrating just how dangerous the Men of the Machine are.
  • 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.
  • Shoot the Television: In "Little Guy, Black Hair," a cursed television has Suzie Borton's husband, Bob, in a trance. When Farah and Tina discover this, the Mage speaks to them through the television and then he and Suzie direct Bob to kill them. Farah shoots the television to pieces, ending the curse.
  • 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".
    • 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.
  • Speak in Unison: Dirk and Bart when they meet face to face.
  • 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. For all we know, Sheriff Hobbs picked it out himself based on his own small reference pool.
  • The Starscream:
    • Gordon Rimmer plans to take over Rainey's position as the Supreme Soul.
    • At the end of season 1, Hugo Friedkin usurps Colonel Riggins' command and has all Black Wing subjects arrested.
    • Hugo ends up on the receiving end of this from Ken during season 2.
  • 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.
  • Theme Naming: All of Gordon's mooks have names that rhyme with 'Ed'.
  • 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.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Poor Lydia Spring... She gets kidnapped, gets turned into a dog, watches her father get killed, lives on the streets for weeks, gets thrown off a bridge, and the list goes on. She seems none the worse for wear in the end, however — although she is pissed.
  • Two Aliases, One Character: Three. Zachariah Webb, Edgar Spring and Patrick Spring are the same person.
  • 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.
  • The Walls Are Closing In: In Episode 4, Todd and Dirk are trapped in a room where walls of light bulbs start start closing in. They get out of it by placing their light bulb into an empty socket which turns into a doorknob.
  • The Watson:
    • This is Todd's role in the story, though he denies it at first.
    • Correspondingly, Ken is Bart's Watson.
  • 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.
  • You ALL Look Familiar: All of Gordon's drones share the same bald-headed, bug-eyed appearance and disjointed speech pattern unless their soul's inhabiting another's body, in which case the latter becomes an identifying Verbal Tic.
  • 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.
  • You Monster!: Todd is not happy when he discovers that that Dirk actually met with Future-Dirk beforehand and told him "Three Questions, One Answer" and to seek out Todd, and that Dirk was hiding the truth about knowing time travel was involved.

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