The BBC has axed another of its popular science-fiction drama series, blaming the decision on the six-year licence-fee freeze imposed by the UK Con-Dem government in 2010.
The decision not to order any new episodes of Dirk Gently was made public by Stephen Mangan via his Twitter feed.
Mangan – who can currently be seen on British TV screens in Episodes, with Matt LeBlanc (Friends) and Tamsin Greig (The Archers) – plays the title role of Dirk Gently in the BBC 4 series, which was created by Howard Overman (Misfits) and is based on the novels the late Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy).
Mangan tweeted, "It gives me no pleasure whatsoever to report that the BBC have decided not to make any more."
A pilot episode of Dirk Gently was broadcast on BBC 4 in 2010. A three-part series followed earlier this year, making it the first drama series to be commissioned specifically by the station. However, such further programming from the channel had already been put into doubt following the British government’s cuts to the BBC.
Yesterday, a spokesperson for the BBC confirmed Mangan's claim, saying, "We've loved having Dirk on the channel but the licence-fee freeze means less British drama on BBC4."
The government's freeze on increases to the television licence fee was announced by Chancellor George Osborne in October 2010.
Outcasts cast out and The Fades fades away
In 2011, the BBC 1-commissioned science-fiction series Outcastswas cancelled after just one series; and, earlier this month, Digital Journal reported that another BBC science-fiction series, The Fades, had been cancelled after only one series.
The character of Dirk Gently first appeared in two Adams-penned novels, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.