Octavio Karbank talks with Dirk Gently Executive Producer Arvind Ethan David at New York Comic Con,
Not too long ago I sat down with Arvind Ethan David to talk about his hit show Dirk Gently. For those with a keen sense of curiosity, Season 2 debuts this weekend, and you can check out Season One over on Hulu or Netflix, depending where in the world you are.
The Executive Producer and I have spoken before, though this time around Dirk Gently writer Max Landis didn't accompany us. Even so, it was a delight to speak for a few minutes about what audiences could expect in the upcoming season over on BBC America.
OK: From a production standpoint, how's Dirk Gently changed between Season 1 and Season 2?
Arvind David: Season 2 is in one sense a little easier because everyone knows each other…people know what you are. When you go to hire someone they know you. In that sense things got easier and we've been so lucky to have gust starts like Alan Tudyk have come on the show for this season. To have actors of that caliber come to play with us has been a privilege. That said, we've leveled up on ambition. So we didn't want to make it easier for ourselves. If season one was the weirdest show on television, season two takes it up a notch. It's bonkers.
From there, we spoke about both the scope and the theme of Dirk Gently's second season:
The rule of our show is that every season is a new book. Like with the comics, every arc is a new book. It's a new, self-contained case, but at the same time it has to pick up after season one, when we left our characters in a state of some disarray. We had Blackwing capture half of them and the other half of them are on the run. We're dealing with that, that's the ongoing story, but there's a new case. I think the fun of the season is seeing how those two things may or may not be interconnected.
…one thing that's true for a lot of sci-fi and fantasy, and especially for Dirk Gently…is the theme is how do you build a fantasy life. Not in an escapist way, because I think the word "fantasy" is often used as a dirty word. If you can dream what your life to be, and will yourself towards it, I think that's god thing. I think that's the theme of Season 2. All the characters, particularly Dirk, are trying to will themselves into the world they want.
People turn to television because they want those people to turn up in their living room. They want to invite those characters into their families.
And fans should know that everyone you love, all your favorite characters, is back. What we did however is put them in a big box of Jenga pieces and shook the box. You're going to see everyone in different combinations. It's just like in real life; couples break up, best friends shift around.
From there, we discussed how many more seasons Arvind saw Dirk Gently going.
We'll keep going as long as fans keep turning up. Our approach to the show has been each season is a new case. So how many cases can Dirk Gently have? A holistic number! At the moment, all our energies are on Season 2, but if the show does well then we're looking ahead to Season 3 and beyond. There will be 10 episodes this year.
In talking about what he was most excited for people to see this season, I got a couple answers:
Every season will take a speculative, sci-fi trope. Season One was time travel, Season Two, you're not going to see it coming until it comes, but it's a big one. It's one of the biggest speculative fiction tropes out there; it's formed the basis of probably the best-selling books and films of all time. We're going there! We're going where everyone has gone before, but we're going there a new way!
I'm also excited for fans of the show; they are going to have everything they love taken up a level. I'm most excited to see if new people discover the show and what it feels like to come into season 2. Obviously I hope they go back and watch Season One, but I think it'll be interesting to see us go in a way that isn't exclusive. Sometimes sci-fi can feel like a clique, but our show has a big heart and I'm curious to see if there's an audience who don't normally watch fantasy or sci-fi but respond positively.
Finally, I asked about Arvind was surprised by the positive reception of the show, to which he said the following:
I think the thing for me that is most wonderful is that there's a growing amount of people around the world who now love Dirk Gently as much as I do. I don't find that surprising in the sense that I've known how wonderful he is; I'm so happy that I've been able to bring him to a bigger audience!