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Dirk Gently casts Samuel Barnett in title role in BBC America adaptation

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Ian West/AP

English actor Samuel Barnett has been cast as the title character in BBC America’s original series Dirk Gently.

The Tony-nominated Barnett will star as the eccentric Gently, who uses his psychic abilities to become a “holistic” detective. Barnett, best known for his stage work, will next be seen on the upcoming third season of Showtime’s Penny DreadfulHe joins the previously cast Elijah Wood, who plays Todd, Gently’s reluctant assistant.

Dirk Gently’s characters are complete originals,” Sarah Barnett, president and general manager of BBC America, said in a press statement. “Sam Barnett and Elijah Wood – who represent genius talent from both sides of the Atlantic – will brilliantly play these unique roles.”

The comedic thriller is based on Douglas Adams’ novels Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and was adapted by Max Landis, the writer of the found footage film Chronicle.

Robert Cooper (Stargate Atlantis, Stargate Universe) will serve as the series’ showrunner and Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest, Red 2) will direct the first two episodes.

Dirk Gently is set to debut its eight-episode first season this fall.