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Under the Radar DVD of the Week: 'Dirk Gently'

Dennis King Published: April 2, 2013

This week, the oddest DVD to appear on release lists is:

“Dirk Gently”

Leave it to cosmic author Douglas Adams, creator of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” to inject a healthy dose of holistic whimsy into the usually grim genre of British detective mysteries with sci-fi and crime mash-up “Dirk Gently” (due out on DVD Tuesday).

This 2012 Brit TV series starred Stephen Mangan (“Billy Elliot”) in the title role as a disheveled gumshoe who heads the Holistic Detective Agency where, with the sad sack help of his put-upon aide McDuff (Darren Boyd), Dirk solves mysteries with an blithe, New Age touch. Dirk firmly believes in the universal interconnectedness of all things. In his world, there is no coincidence.

And so he takes on all cases – from finding a lost cat to solving a murder that may implicate the Pentagon – with a high tolerance for chaos, a deceptively keen intellect and an affable air of optimism.

The series includes a pilot and three episodes from the first season, and the stories, drawn from a pair Adams’ novels, follow the London P.I. as he unravels seeming coincidences into explanations for murky and muddled mysteries. Naturally, coppers from staid old Scotland Yard regard Dirk as a con man, but the fumbling detective never fails to deliver astonishing results with his unorthodox tactics.

The cast features the usual high caliber of English acting talent, including Jason Watkins as skeptical D.I. Gilks, Bill Patterson as Dirk’s brainy mentor Prof. Jericho and Lisa Jackson as Dirk’s unpaid secretary.

“Dirk Gently” is not rated and runs 240 minutes on two discs. It’s being released by Acorn Media.

- Dennis King