“I’m not going for just the tip of Douglas Adams’ weirdness, I’m going full weird,” Max Landis said today at the Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency panel at Madison Square Garden for New York Comic-Con. Based on Douglas Adams’ beloved duo of late-1980s novels, DGHDA is set to debut on October 22 on BBC America.

“One of the things that is hard about Douglas Adams is the hero of any Douglas Adams book is Douglas Adams,” Landis asserted. So when trying to replicate for the screen, the DGHDA writer and EP added, “we want even more humanity than in the books.”

dirk-gently-pic

As the opening of BBC America’s multi-panel event, with Doctor Who and its spinoff Class to follow, the DGHDA gathering included self-declared Adams “fan” Landis and Dirk Gently himself Samuel Barnett, fellow cast members Hannah Marks — entering with corgis — Jade Eshete, Mpho Koaho and Fiona Dourif and showrunner Robert Cooper. “Max is one of the few writers who is just good at everything,” Marks told the audience of the American Ultra scribe. “There is a tone to the show that balances comedy and drama.”

Before the panel at the Theater at MSG, BBC America showed a brief video of Barnett joking that co-star Elijah Wood was dead and hence wouldn’t be joining the event. A far-from-deceased Wood walked into the clip to explain that he actually was attending a wedding and was really sorry he couldn’t make it – see it here:

After that well-received explanation, as previously announced, the first episode of the eight-part first season of DGHDA was played, setting up the series with a murder, a very nice bellhop outfit on Wood, twists galore and men in leather with baseball bats – the crowd loved it.

The very first NYCC event at the Theater at MSG, where the Javits Center-based confab has expanded to this year, the takeover certainly displays the deep bench strength the AMC-owned network has with the fanboys and fangirls.

“I would credit BBC America’s longstanding and deep relationship with fans as a big factor in our current momentum,” network president Sarah Barnett told me prior to the takeover today. ”They have propelled our shows like Doctor Who and Orphan Black into the pop culture, so in launching Dirk Gently and Class we couldn’t think of a more incredible premiere screening opportunity than the theater at Madison Square Garden, New York Comic-Con’s new marquee venue.”

NY Comic-con runs through Sunday.