Dirk Gently cancelled by the BBC

News Louisa Mellor 28 May 2012 - 16:20

It ran for a pilot and three episodes, but the BBC’s Dirk Gently adaptation is no more, Stephen Mangan confirms on Twitter

"It gives me no pleasure whatsoever to report that the BBC have decided not to make any more Dirk Gently.” That was the short and simple message Stephen Mangan sent out to his Twitter followers two hours ago, following the show’s cancellation after a pilot and a three-episode series.

While the short series wasn’t without its problems, the combination of a great central cast (led by Stephen Mangan and Darren Boyd) with Douglas Adams’ eccentric humour made it hugely watchable, and well deserved of a second go on the telly carousel. The cancellation is presumably to do with the ratings drop-off as the series went on, as well as recent stringent budget cuts made to the channel's drama and comedy output.

We’ll be adding this one to our grumble list, just underneath BBC Three’s cancellation of BAFTA-winning show The Fades. You can read what we thought of the recent three-part series, here.

Series creator Howard Overman, who's recently been in the US working on the American remake of his hit E4 show, Misfits, has yet to comment.

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DAMN YOU BBC! Expect we'll get another high-quality series of 'Any Dream Will Do'.

I don't think there's any mystery here - it just wasn't very good.....

It may not have been perfect but it was still better than a lot of other tripe they've shown

Hmmm, Darren Boyd stars alongside floppy-haired funny man in Whites - show gets cancelled. Darren Boyd stars alongside floppy-haired funny man in Dirk Gently - show gets cancelled. Now, if I were Darren Boyd right now..... ;-)

Agreed. It was almost like what I expect the new American Sherlock Holmes to be, but with a Saturday Morning Cartoons flair...just kind of...crap.

It was never going to get a second run.  Before it even went to air BBC Four had announced they were no longer commissioning drama or comedy drama series.  So while the show was watchable, with moments of genius here and there anyone expecting a second series was going to be disappointed.

Wonder if ITV will pick it up since they have Misfits...

I think it's a real shame and thought the series was clever and lots of fun. It has been suggested in these comments that the show was cancelled because it wasn't very good but I disagree completely. I think the BBC did a dire job of pushing the show and that's the main reason for its failing. Sure it could have been improved but the show was very strong and I definitely enjoyed it heaps!

Oh come on! How many great series are excellent from the start? If they showed any promise at the beginning then they used to be given a chance to mature at their own pace with a second or third series. It wasn't perfect, but it was an original new sci fi series that was totally  underpromoted.  

Low budget, well performed, engaging comedy - where were the wanna be singers and the hopeless has been dancers - this show didn't understand the BBC audience did it !

 I would agree with you, I really enjoyed the 3 episodes, given the difficulty of writing in the style of a genius like DNA they did a great job - I will certainly be buying it before long, is it out on Blu-Ray? seen it on DVD but can't find BR anywhere..

It may not have continued on BBC 4 but could easily have transfered to BBC 2, it is certainly good enough to go mainstream IMHO..

I'm just glad it's not only American TV making idiot decisions.

I had high hopes for season 2, because the first season of Sherlock was a bit of a hit-or-miss affair, but then the second was AMAZING.  Was thinking just maybe Dirk'd follow that same template, but that's apparently that.  Crap.

There are so many more people who deserve to spin in their graves than Mr. Adams.  He was just now coming to a stop after that movie!  ;)

I'm so disappointed it's not coming back, it was a really enjoyable show, a lot of fun with a great cast. I genuinely thought it had a lot of potential, such a shame.

Mind you, after the BAFTAs, someone at the BBC is probably filling in a McDonalds job application for cancelling The Fades. That's what we pay our licence fee for.

Like the Tertiary to Quintessential Phases of H2G2 broadcast on Radio 4 in 2003/4, this series suffered from not being written by Douglas Adams.
Instead they took a few bits from the two & a half Dirk Gentley books and ruined them...

First Fades, then this i'm pretty meh about it as they were both rather good in a way.

Caught a bit of it, didn't really grab me.

 The pilot showed it had potential. The series showed the writers didn't know how to use it. (And I still haven't forgiven them for saying that ghosts don't exist: that completely changes the genre of the series from that of the books where you had ghosts, norse gods, and even a living half-a-cat)

This is a good thing. In a few years time someone can give it another go, and make a decent job of it. They can even bring back Stephen Mangan as he was a great choice for Dirk and I'm sure would be again.

I'd rather they just revamped it for the second season than wait who knows how long until someone decides on another attempt.

That said, perhaps Howard Overman, as much as I like his style, just wasn't of the same mould as Douglas Adams.  Maybe these adaptations should wait until a writer of suitable sensibilities comes along. But who?

 AIUI it was a choice between The Fades and Being Human and the latter won, I haven't seen The Fades but I do like BH...

Oh goody now we can have more episodes of 'snog, marry, avoid"

Yet another great show bites the dust. Another short-sighted decision by the BBC, so depressingly unaware what distinctive quality television (that they are always harping on about!!) actually constitutes... 

Unbelievable! Some of the crap reality shows the bbc air get ads nearly every 5 minutes and they completely ignore what was actually some good, hearty british comedy. Who is running the bbc these days!?? this is proof that young people do actually enjoy watching something other than 'snog marry avoid' or 'sun sex and suspicious parents'... im 17 and think this show was one of the few remotely good sitcoms on tv nowdays!!!

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