Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. Image shows from L to R: Detective Sergeant Gilks (Jim Carter), Dirk Gently (Harry Enfield). Copyright: Above The Title Productions / BBC.

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

BBC Radio 4 sitcom following Douglas Adams's comic detective. 12 episodes (2 series), 2007 - 2008. Stars Harry Enfield, Billy Boyd, Jim Carter, Olivia Colman and others.

The Long Dark Tea-Time Of The Soul, Episode 2

Gilks makes a discovery and Dirk breaks a nose.

Further details

When Dirk's first client in months claimed he was being followed on the bus by a goblin and a hairy, green-eyed, scythe-wielding monster it seemed like a delusion - but now Geoff Anstey is discovered in his locked basement, listening to his old gramophone in a unique way - his body seated in an armchair several feet away from his head, which has been plonked on the turntable. Dirk's nemesis Detective Superintendent Gilks is convinced this is a particularly irritating suicide - but Dirk feels there must be some connection between the murdered man and his neighbours - the soulless advertising executive Cynthia Draycott and her lawyer husband Simon.

Little does Dirk realise that the Draycotts have acquired the rights to the immortal soul of Odin, father of the Ancient Norse Gods, who still walk the earth, destitute and ignored, and whose champion, Odin's son Thor, is the prisoner of the sinister dwarf Toe Rag, who attempts to persuade him to follow Odin and make a deal with the Draycotts for his godlike powers. But Thor is not Odin, who has become a feeble, depressed old man with an unhealthy obsession for clean sheets with crisp folds. Thor refuses to play ball - or at least he would do if he was not still unconscious from the freak act of indoor global warming that his loss of temper caused to occur in Heathrow Terminal 5, turning Dirk's ex-secretary Miss Pearce into a vending machine for cold drinks.

Meanwhile, searching the dead man's house with the terminally stupid Constable Luke, Dirk discovers an envelope hidden behind a gold disc in the murdered man's bathroom - a very fat legal-looking envelope covered in names, including the Draycotts' all crossed out, save the last - Geoff Anstey. The gold disc is for the hit record HOT POTATO - and it seems that Anstey was lefting a very hot potato indeed to get himself murdered so horribly.

As all this takes place, the other victim of the Heathrow incident, the American journalist Kate Schechter, finds herself waking up in hospital unharmed but confused. The unconscious Norwegian Mr Thor who was admitted with her has gone, as has the vending machine by her bed and the giant eagle perched on the windowsill. And the person who is helping her discharge herself is a refreshingly normal and charming Welsh girl, Nurse Sally Mills, rather than the ugly smelly goblin who claimed to be Nurse Sally Mills in Kate's dream during the night. Kate decides to look for Mr Thor - and Sally suspects she is after more than a story. Meanwhile back in Islington Dirk is too preoccupied nursing a broken nose from an encounter with the head of a small and unpleasant child to notice that his cleaning lady Elena has disappeared (in a bizarre fridge-cleaning accident). While Dirk buys a paper to check his worst fears about his horoscope, by The Great Zaganza, someone who seems to bear him a deep seated and unreasonable grudge, his sense of impending doom is paid off when an eagle attacks him in the street.

Broadcast details

Thursday 9th October 2008
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Harry Enfield Dirk Gently
Jim Carter Detective Sergeant Gilks
Olivia Colman Janice Pearce
Peter Davison Simon Draycott
Jan Ravens Cynthia Draycott
Laurel Lefkow Kate Schechter
Stephen Moore Odin
Rupert Degas Thor
Michael Roberts Toe Rag
Guest cast
Wayne Forester Constable Luke
Sally Grace Elena
Sally Grace Sister Bailey
Morwenna Banks Nurse Sally Mills
Jon Glover Bates
Writing team
Douglas Adams Writer
Dirk Maggs Writer (Adapted By)
Production team
Dirk Maggs Director
Dirk Maggs Producer
Philip Pope Composer