Dirk Gently

Composed by: Daniel Pemberton

Distributed by: MovieScore Media

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Based on the character created by novelist Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently is a British comedy detective series starring Stephen Mangan as Dirk Gently, holistic detective, and Darren Boyd as Richard MacDuff, his trusty sidekick.  The first season of the series aired to positive reviews on BBC Four, the pilot attracting over a million viewers.

            The musical score of Dirk Gently was created by British composer Daniel Pemberton. most recognized for the scores he has created for the television series Peep Show, Hells Kitchen and Desperate Romantics, Pemberton has also composed scores for documentaries such as Hiroshima and George Orwell - A Life in Pictures and for the big budget family adventure Prehistoric Park.   Daniel Pemberton won an Ivor Novello Award and has been nominated twice for the BAFTA and Royal Television Society Awards.  He is known as a composer who is prepared to take risks to get the best results out of his musical scores.

            When I started listening to the Dirk Gently Soundtrack, I was prepared for some age-old detective noir used in most detective series, but of course, Dirk Gently is billed as a holistic detective and therefore, he’s quite a bit different than your average detective.  Thus, the soundtrack is not anything I would have expected featuring harpsichords, electric guitars, zithers and percussion.  The harpsichord gives the soundtrack a bit of an older feel, but the electric guitars and percussion add a more modern and actiony feel.  The zither gives it a bit of an exotic tone as well.

            The musical score of Dirk Gently is quite unique and, according to the composer, one of the most enjoyable musical scores he has ever worked on.  The composer wanted to “make a soundtrack that I hope presses all the buttons that those of us who grew up on great British TV series like Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, The Prisoner, The Persuaders and The Sweeney will love.”  Perhaps this true – I have never watched these series and couldn’t quite say as to whether Pemberton succeeded in his goal.  However unique the musical score is, I found myself rather bored with the Dirk Gently Soundtrack and its recurring themes. 

This may be one of those soundtracks that will only appeal to fans of the series.  For me, it was an interesting experience, but not one I’d want to listen to again or go out of my way to purchase.


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