The first time I saw the miserable businessman strip off his clothes and money to return to the ocean while the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy went:
Many were increasingly of the opinion that they’d all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.
I thought ok, I’m a decent swimmer after all, I can manage this, this going back to the oceans thing.
So the reason why I love Dirk Gently is pretty much the same. I read it and thought ok, I can manage this quantum mechanics thing. Incidentally, it’s also the reason why I love Stephen Hawking.
But of course I never told my yoga guru that these are the thoughts that cross my mind, of oceans and quantum mechanics, while he invites us to feel the reptile quality of the movement of our spine, entering a nagasana in a particularly smooth way, or when he tells us there’s a fish kind of pleasure in arching the back in the fish position (beyond the sheer pain I mean), or when he guides an absolute beginner into a nice headstand position and in the end the fellow just can’t believe gravity could be defeated so easily.
It happens my yoga guru is also a medical doctor, so he enjoys bringing out compared embryology here and there, as well as asking you to name the bones of the hand, like in one of those old ER episodes.
In particular, my yoga guru does not need to know what happened in my mind last week during the mental exercise, the one to clear thoughts out, you know, the one where you’re supposed to stop following your stream of consciousness, picture the empty sky and just wait for an image to emerge spontaneously.
Well I pictured a nice pale blue sky with a few scattered clouds, and after a few seconds the image that emerged spontaneously was that of GERTI crossing it with Captain Martin Crieff on the flight deck (that’s because I was listening to Cabin Pressure while going to yoga class). Now when the image is there you’re supposed to observe it for a while and then slowly move away from it, so I let GERTI become smaller and smaller in the nice pale blue sky, and waited for the next image to emerge. Which turned out to be, to my delight, that of a dragon, Haku of Spirited Away to be precise, flying very reptile around GERTI and arching its back like it was swimming in the water (that’s of course because Cumberbatch is going to be Smaug in The Hobbit but nothing is known so far about the character design so my mind must have borrowed another dragon I love, and Castle in the Sky is out at the cinema in Italy this week anyway). So I let Haku swim past me, and GERTI disappear far away in the sky, and then my mind was successfully clear of thoughts, and the class was dismissed.
To come to the point, I didn’t have expectations to be lived up to with Dirk Gently BBC, I was just curious. It turns out it’s enjoyable enough, improvable in general. We’re a little far from thinking the unthinkable, doing the undoable and preparing to grapple with the ineffable itself (and seeing if we may not eff it after all). Still, let’s admit it, sporting dark curls and a purple shirt, or shirts in general, is not an easy job nowadays for a detective on the BBC. Stephen Mangan manages to be convincing, even on what appears to be a low budget (just look at that whiteboard, poor sod).
And that’s what the holistic thing is about, as far as I’m concerned.