Harry Enfield exuberantly returns as Dirk Gently, who, fallen on hard times and dressed as a gypsy woman, is using his irritatingly accurate clairvoyant powers to read palms. He is saved when a frantic client turns up with a ludicrous story about being stalked by a goblin waving a contract accompanied by a hairy, green-eyed, scythe-wielding monster. When Detective Superintendent Gilks decides a headless body found in a sealed room is the result of a particularly irritating suicide, Dirk is plunged into a mystery where the interconnectedness of all things is tested to the limit...
This is the second of three series adapted from the Dirk Gently books, directed by Dirk Maggs (chosen by Douglas Adams to conclude the award-winning Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy). Guest stars include Peter Davison (Doctor Who), Jan Ravens (Dead Ringers), Philip Jackson (Poirot), John Fortune (Bremner, Bird & Fortune), Morwenna Banks (Absolutely), Stephen Moore (The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy) and returning cast members Olivia Colman (Peep Show), Jim Carter (The Golden Compass) and Billy Boyd (The Lord Of The Rings). This release contains over 30 minutes of additional unbroadcast material.
©2008 BBC Audiobooks Ltd; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
If you loved the first Dirk Gently novel then you'll adore this one as I believe it is even better.
The cast is strong and the direction is beautifully adapted to make the very complex tale both easy to follow and twisted enough to hide the surprises.
Once again Harry Enfield's Dirk is magnificent but I particularly love Olivia Coleman's angry drinks machine.
It has all the buff and polish that you'd expect of a Dirk Maggs production and could certainly hold its own next to the more popular Hitchhikers series.
This performance of Long dark .... is better than expected. The updated version is how I believe Doug Adams would have done it. The actors flow was well paced and the sound effects were great at creating a visual for me as I did chores. I get a kick out of Adams work, he had a knee slapping humor. Bless his fun loving legacy. The goblin is a great added touch. They did a fantastic job of this. It helped me get the through the mid west winter blues.
"More to say about 'Rubbish'"
It's so strange to find the first installment of this series (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency) so incredibly good and this one so Incredibly Bad. But whoever rewrote the book for THIS dramatization seemed to forget what should be completely plain from the title of the first book- i.e.- this is a DETECTIVE story, like the Hitchiker's Guide Books are road stories (kind of). And the point of a detective story, even one with such an odd detective, is to not give the game away Until The Very End. Among other things, there is a scene in here of a meeting which basically explains (gives away) the whole book-in the first five minutes of chapter 1! So the plot is shot, the suspense is gone, and what's left? One dimensional, tired, forced slapstick. In the original book, there's a buildup of strange events intruding into a familiar world that lends a depth to the story, but this version's just irritating. Maybe this is just a case of cashing in on a sequel. Just don't blame Douglas Adams, someone mauled a good story. On the bright side, this one made me realize that the good Mr. Adams was more than just a comedy writer (although he was VERY funny), he could really WRITE.
"A laugh a minute."
I was glad to hear of the BBC's adaptations of the Dirk Gently novels. After listening to and being thoroughly impressed with their handling of holistic Detective Agency I took a listen to the sequel, Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul. Again I found myself laughing so hard I was surprised when I didn't pee my pants. They made some changes to the story to bring it into the modern age, and while I generally hate it when people make such changes, it worked surprisingly well here. It helped that they picked an excellent cast for these whacky characters.
It all started while Kate Schechter was waiting to catch a plane to Norway. Already running late as it was, she's delayed even more by a big, angry Nordic man who also wants to catch the flight but is prevented from doing so by is lack of a credt card, bank account, passport or any kind of identification. Any chance of either of them making the flight is irrevocably lost when the check-in desk suddenly shoots up through the ceiling engulfed in a ball of orange flame.
Meanwhile, holistic investigator Dirk Gently is forced by poverty to make ends meet by putting his frustratingly accurate powers of clairvoyance to use as a cross dressing fortune teller. Things get hectic when Dirk is retained by a rich record company executive who claims to be pursued by a gobblin waiving a contract signed in blood and a giant, hairy green-eyed monster with a sythe. Though initially skeptical of this excentric's story, Dirk begins to take it seriously when he arrives several hours late for an appointment with his client only to find him brutally decapitated with his head sitting squarely in the center of his record player's turntable, which happens to be playing a copy of a record he helped get released. As Dirk digs deeper he discovers shocking truthes behind his client's murder, truthes that may even have a bearing on the bizarre incident at the airport as well as the disappearance of the girl working at the exploded check-in desk and a fighter pilot who went missing during a mission over the North Sea.
All in all this is an excellent adaptation well worth adding to your library, particularly if you like British humor. And despite his absence from the actual novel I actually liked how they brought Richard MacDuf back for this presentation since it gives a bit more of a sense of continuity. I also got to wondering if the Kate from the original novel of Holistic Detective Agency is the same Kate who features prominently in this presentation, now carrying a different name. If you havent given this a listen yet I wholeheartedly recommend it. You might just be in for a good time.
"Rewritten for BBC Radio"
Read all of Douglas Adams
Disappointed that they did not stick closer to the book. While i give the book 5 stars I only give this dramatization 2 stars. They converted a mystery story into a straight "comedy". The mystery in the book is given away in the second act. And they rewrote the ending so it is different from the book.
"The interconnectedness of all things"
I've just finished both "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" and "The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul," only to find today is the anniversary of Douglas Adams' birth, thus proving "the interconnectedness of all things."
Both provided laugh-out-loud madness, although I think this was my favorite of the two. Note: I never read the books, so I am taking the radio dramas as I find them, not making comparisons.
Dirk Gently, aka Svlad Cjelli, is one of the most original comic characters I've come across. Here he is still attempting "to win against his better nature or at least hurl it to the ground" as he tries to help a hapless music executive who believes he's being chased by a hairy monster waving a scythe. More to the point, he's a paying client, not an elderly woman with a lost cat who may question his tally of entirely necessary but nonsensical "expenses."
Sadly, being Dirk, he oversleeps. Staying abed has dramatic consequences, as he is to discover. After all, maybe the Great Zarganza's horoscope isn't a wind-up, all things considered:
Thor is trying to fly to Norway on British Airways, where Dirk's former secretary Janice has just started as a check-in clerk. A journalist named Kate finds herself investigating the Woodshead Clinic, a place where they "give scholarships to particularly gifted diseases."
Valhalla and the Saint Pancras railway station may have more in common than we ever suspected.
Using his time-honored techniques, including asking insensitive questions and driving guided by "zen navigation," we are caught up in the surreality of the above (and more) as Dirk attempts to discover why his client was murdered, and by whom. All the while he must make sense of his I Ching calculator's chattering "happy good and lucky day" and "a suffusion of yellow."
It's all just about as much fun as you can have on a rainy afternoon in March. I loved every minute. Happy Birthday, Mr. Adams. You were one of a kind.
"More to enjoy!"
For those of you who are fans of Dirk Gently, be prepared for a wonderful aural experience that will amaze your inner mind (or at least the part that isn't full of penguins). This adaptation of the late Douglas Adams' second Dirk Gently story offers wonderful insights into the many characters introduced in this story. It also offers an excellent look at the characters we came to know and love in the first Dirk Gently dramatization.
Not funny, not interesting, not engaging.
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