The (New) Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
YAY! ALL NEW episode of the Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy Radio Show!
And so the universe ended.
One of the major selling points of that wholly remarkable book, The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy, apart form its relative cheapness and the fact that it has the words 'Don't Panic' written in large friendly letters on the cover, is its compendious and occasionally accurate glossary. For instance, the statistics relating to the go-social nature of the Universe are deftly set out between pages five hundred and seventy six thousand three hundred and twenty four, and five hundred and seventy six thousand three hundred and twenty six. The simplistic style is partly explained by the fact that its editors, having to meet a publishing deadline, copied the information off the back of a pack of breakfast cereal, hastily embroidering it with a few footnotes in order to avoid prosecution under the incomprehensibly tortuous Galactic copyright laws. It is interesting to note that a later and wilier editor sent the book backwards in time through a temporal warp and then successfully sued the breakfast cereal company for infringement of the same laws.
The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy, apart from it being a trilogy in five parts, started life as a radio drama somewhere in the basement of the BBC, in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door sayingn "Beware of the Leopard." It then proceeded to morph itself like a Haggunenon from Vicissitus Three into a series of books, avaliable both in print and read by the author, and a 'so bad it's good' movie.
The original set of twelve episodes (two seasons as the Heart of Gold flies) was translated more or less directy into the first two books. Douglas Adams, being a bright, funny, intelligent man, perfectly capable of cashing in on a successful franchise, proceeded to turn the duo into a trilogy of five books. The last of which, Mostly Harmless, I found to be incomprehenisbly coherent and well written. I guess being able to sit down and write a book in something other than half hour weekly skits agreed with him. Douglas Adams passed away in 2001, and was never able to extend the franchise into a series of new radio episodes based on the books, or a second (and hopefully better) movie.
Now it seems that BBC Radio 4, in their infinite wisdom and good taste has taken it upon themselves to create a wholly new series in three seasons to cover the latter three books in the trilogy.
These new broadcasts will not only cover all remaining HHGG material, it will re-unite all the cast members that could be reunited. It will even cast Douglas Adams himself by digitally extracting his voice from a reading of the books he did.
The new series premiers September 21st at 6:30pm "British Time" and the first episode will be repeated on September 23rd at 11pm "British Time" for all of you who forgot to set your alarm clock and slept through the first. If you miss that, or don't live anywhere near Britain, you can listen on the BBC's Radio On Demand Radio Player.
- The BBC Radio 4's Webpage about HHGG
- Their page about the upcoming episodes, including all sorts of goodies, like photos, trailers, and even some video of the recording sessions.
- The BBC Radio On Demand Radio Player
Now dig the "study guide" in the Google Adwords. Are they really teaching this thing in school? -->
- The book
- The hilariously bad DVD (dig Zaphod's second head)
- The unabriged audio version of the first book (read by the author)
- The not-available-on-cd unabridged reading of the first four books, aslo read by the author.
- The Neil Gaiman (of Sandman Comic fame) Companion to the Guide.
- The original Hitchhiker radio scripts
- Play the Video Game Online! Yes, Douglas Adams had a hand in writing it, and yes it's good.
And yes, I own all of these in one form or another (I even have an original-packaging version of the game that I picked up real cheap about 7 years ago).
It seems the only thing missing from Amazon is the actual radio show. Oh, well there is a CD of MP3's, but all the reviews say they're crackly.
page first created on Sunday, September 12, 2004
© Mark Wieczorek