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I have a spreadsheet that contains everything Michael Eklund has acted in and my goal is to watch all of it and blog about it along the way. There will be spoilers.
Holistic detective Dirk Gently investigates cases involving the supernatural. Martin is a member of the Rowdy 3 and a psychic vampire. 14 episodes
I was trying to find a way to do this entire review in gifs, (Martin is a character that is better seen than read), but I think some words are necessary. Michael Eklund is in 14/18 episodes of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency as Martin, often for just a few minutes with the other members of the Rowdy 3. Don’t mistake screen time for impact though, he’s a very important character and that guy knows impact…
With his baseball bat in season 1 and wooden club in season 2, surprisingly this Rowdy 3 leader offers some of the more subdued performances when it comes to the crazy antics of the Blackwing project known as Project Incubus. He can be loud and showy, but otherwise he’s usually toned down. He saves his words when they important, often the most sensible voice amongst the group he runs with. As the defacto leader (until Amanda shows up and they start to take on almost co-parenting type of hierarchy) the other members of Project Incubus look to him for how they should act and what they should do. Even after Amanda joins the Rowdy 3, Martin is seen to be the most in control with Amanda looking to him even while the rest of the group calls her “Boss”. Part of the fun with the Rowdy 3 is their interactions on screen often in the background. While other Projects we see consist of one member, Project Incubus consists of Vogel, Gripps, Cross, and Martin, then later Amanda and the Rainbow Beast.
This is the first Michael Eklund performance I saw and damn, I started with a good one. Martin is a well-written if underused character. Like Mark Sheppard’s Crowley in Supernatural, Eklund’s performance here made me want to watch everything he had done and rewatch all of his time on screen over and over again. This character is the reason I’m on this crazy journey to watch all the things and blog all the things. He’s a kickass, punk, psychic vampire with a close bond to the other Rowdies and a love (romantic or otherwise) for drummer girl Amanda. His animal qualities are captivating and after I started watching other Eklund projects I saw the repeating theme of the wolf. With Martin he’s seen howling like a wolf before a hunt, but at times I think he’s better described as a cat. Look at that affection.
Fun fact: the ship name for Martin/Amanda is DrummerWolf.
The glasses Martin wears, which unlike his actor Martin needs, but doesn’t have in season 2. Took me a little bit to figure out that he didn’t have them because they take them at Blackwing and when Amanda rescues them they don’t come with him. This is a character that Eklund looks like he really vanishes into even if Dimi 2 in Altered Carbon has a very similar aesthetic. Part of that, to be fair, is the close production between Dirk Gently and Altered Carbon.
Speaking of aesthetic! I swear this isn’t going to become a thing
it’s probably going to become a thing the bracelets I mentioned in the Chokeslam review are back. I want to say I heard/read somewhere that those are just Michael’s personal jewelry and he wears them to fill out a character sometimes. A nice fill is also those little squiggles that look almost like the symbols that correspond with the Blackwing projects.
Martin is a supporting character and unfortunately the Rowdy 3 don’t get their own episode to flesh out their relationship with their world and each other. With the show cancelled and no season three we can only imagine what could have been in store for the group. This is exactly the time when fanfiction writers should take up their keyboards. Without the promise of more TV show, fans have stepped up and done a great job fleshing the characters out and picking apart the small amounts of time Martin’s on screen. If you’re interested, check out the “DGHDA Martin” tag on tumblr or the “Rowdy 3” tag on AO3.
We see him in season 1, falling for Amanda, “Drummer” or “Drummergirl” he calls her, going so far as to take her framed picture from Todd’s apartment. It’s unclear whether he takes the picture because of Amanda being in it or just takes it just because he can as a last screw you after trashing the place. Regardless, after he takes that picture they begin showing up in Amanda’s life more and more. Martin especially seems to take it upon himself to make sure Amanda doesn’t just stand on the sidelines. This does trigger an attack and they’re able to feed off her energy, but I don’t think it was on purpose.
In season 2 we have Martin and the Rowdies rescued by Amanda from their captivity in Blackwing and a very affectionate and happy Martin reunited with Amanda who is alive and well.
Unhappy Martin imprisoned at Blackwing.
As I mentioned above, fansdo the dynamics of Martin and his Rowdies justice. I’ve watched the music video below set to a combination of the Rowdy 3 theme song and Childish Gambino’s song: IV. Sweatpants, so many times I’ve had to download it and put it on my phone so I can watch it offline. It fills a wonderful space in my life of both hype up song and relaxation song. Check it out and if you haven’t already seen Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and have Netflix, last I checked both seasons were on there.
A last Drummerwolf image just to further shove that image into your brains. (Romantic or platonic love, your choice.)