Is Sam Hodiak From 'Aquarius' A Real Person? This Uptight Detective Serves To Contrast The 60s Lifestyle
Well folks, have you binged on the NBC series Aquarius yet? Despite the odd new way of releasing the episodes (the first two aired live on NBC, and the rest were immediately made available to stream online), the show has an amazing hook. This is a tense re-imagining of the Charles Manson story, and while I never pictured that as something that needed embellishing, Aquarius managed to turn it into a pulpy crime drama. But, is Charles Manson the only based-on-a-true-story character, or is detective Sam Hodiak also based on a real person? David Duchovny is the gruff and wry Hodiak, also known as the clear lead and forever heartthrob. (Sorry Gethin Anthony and Gray Damon.) And, while his character exists surrounded by people based on real figures (Charles Manson, Bunchy Carter, Mary Brunner), Hodiak himself is 100% fictional.
This not-quite-by-the-books archetype cop is the perfect uptight man to contrast all of the craziness that goes down in the 60s. Even though he seems like a very realistic version of a member of The Greatest Generation — back from war and at a loss as to what America has become in his absence — he isn't actually modeled off of any one person. Series creator John McNamara talked to Deadline about his inspiration for both Hodiak and the show, saying, "I thought of this idea of an older cop during the 1960s and how a 45-year old would see hippies."
Could he have drawn inspiration from other real life people or characters? Absolutely, though we are veering into speculation territory here. His character feels familiar, but not overdone. He strikes me as classic Raymond Chandler type: One part Philip Marlowe and the other part Sam Spade — the gruff old-school gum shoe trying to help the broad in trouble.
The humor and the wry attitude that Duchovny brings to the character is also fairly reminiscent of the 1930s detectives Nick and Nora Charles from The Thin Man series. But, while he has a dash of all of these fictional cops and detectives, Hodiak still manages to stand out as a unique (and totally fictional) character.
Still in doubt? Well, let David Duchovny convince you himself.
Images: Vivian Zink/NBC (2)