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The Hitchhikers Guide To the Galaxy Returns With the Original Cast (arstechnica.com) 84

Jonathan M. Gitlin reports via Ars Technica: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy deserves a special place in the geek pantheon. It's the story of hapless BBC radio editor Arthur Dent, his best friend Ford Prefect, and the adventures that result when Prefect saves Dent when the Earth is unexpectedly destroyed to make way for a galactic bypass. Written by the late, great Douglas Adams, THGTTG first appeared as a radio series in the UK back in 1978. On Thursday -- exactly 40 years to the day from that first broadcast -- it made its return home with the start of Hexagonal Phase, a radio dramatization of the sixth and final book of an increasingly misnamed trilogy.

Although Adams died suddenly and unexpectedly in 2001, the universe he gave birth to lived on. Beginning in 2004, the original radio cast was reunited to dramatize the third, fourth, and fifth books. In 2005, a film adaptation was released, and then in 2009 came a final novel in the "trilogy," And Another Thing..., written by the novelist Eoin Colfer. It's this story that the BBC is now dramatizing, again using many of the original cast, along with newcomers like Jim Broadbent, Lenny Henry, and Stephen Hawking. Yes, that Stephen Hawking.

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The Hitchhikers Guide To the Galaxy Returns With the Original Cast

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 09, 2018 @06:17AM (#56232497)

    but Trillian was the object of many fantasies!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 09, 2018 @06:22AM (#56232503)
    There was one Matrix movie, three Star Wars films, and FIVE Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books. NOT. SIX. Fuck that E-oin Culpepper or whoever, and the shit he wrote. No, like, seriously. Fuck that shit. (I actually tried to read it, but when you start out with, "throw away the entirety of the previous books," you might as well just write a different story.) I don't give a good god damn if Adams' widow "AUTHORIZED">/I> the novel, HE did not, and I'm confident WOULD not, and I'm sure you'd all agree, especially if you'd read the fifth book, and witness the effort Douglas Adams went to to TIE the story up in a neat little bow, for some asshole to come along and try to rip-off and capitalize on an INFINITELY better writer's work, his blood, his sweat, and his tears... no, fuck 100% of that shit. Any book(s) E-oin Codswallup shit out and tried to attach to the series is nothing more than shit-smelling fan-fiction, it's NOT CANON, and never can or will be. It is the Star Trek, the Animated Series of HHGTTG, and is more of an insult than that atrocious, god-fucking-awful filthy, pus-dripping abortion that was the "movie" they made of it. Why do lesser people have to take something great someone made before, and wipe their ASSES with it? This shit is just straight-up sad. Fucking sad.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Take it easy dickstain. You run out of cheetohs or something? mom would rub one out for you?

    • by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Friday March 09, 2018 @06:50AM (#56232547) Homepage

      You might want to have somebody LOOK into that random caps-lock KEY of yours.

      • by gnick ( 1211984 )

        He's just excited because he's addressing blasphemy. Continuing HHGTTG after Adams is like continuing Dune after Herbert.

    • by itsdapead ( 734413 ) on Friday March 09, 2018 @07:26AM (#56232629)

      but when you start out with, "throw away the entirety of the previous books,"

      What, a bit like Douglas Adams did when he produced multiple radically different versions of the story for the original radio play, the LP, the book, the TV series, (and the play? - and ISTR he was at least partly responsible for the film version), or the big chunk of the story that turned out to have taken place in a virtual reality universe in the HHGTTG offices? The unresolved cliffhanger at the end of the second radio series where Arthur runs off in the Heart of Gold with a rather nice archaeologist? Or book 4-5 when it turns out that there are parallel universes in which the earth wasn't demolished? Or the lampshading of how an exploding computer transports the gang to the end of the universe (in the versions where that happened)?

      Seriously, the HHGTTG doesn't have "canon" - it has "cannelloni" that you ordered in that odd little bistro that wasn't there when you went back, and if you're going to worry too much about a consistent story, then you'd better put your analyst on danger money,

      • Damn straight. DNA often admitted (and took delight in) the fact that all of the versions of HHGTTG are mutually inconsistent and frequently contradictory.
        • I enjoyed it, stuffed full of modern cultural references as it was; Baywatch indeed. I even recorded it on cassette tape off FM radio just like the first episode 40 years ago (No TV license so cannot legally use the digital BBC product).

          I have no idea what the story-line is, or who all the multiple personalities and daughters are; but it was a pleasant ride. I hope it slows down a bit and the characters have a conversation at some point as the first episode was just relentless soundbites punching me in the

    • by bickerdyke ( 670000 ) on Friday March 09, 2018 @07:50AM (#56232679)

      (I actually tried to read it, but when you start out with, "throw away the entirety of the previous books," you might as well just write a different story.)

      I'm afraid to burst your bubble, but THAT happened at the 3rd book. Could anyone imagine a better end than when at the end of the 2nd book, all literally comes together and the story forms a perfect circle?

      Yes, Douglas Adams put lots of his typical humor in the next three volumes - but it will always feel like an add-on that's just loosely attached. And then... what is canon? I'd go for the books, but they already were re-writes that would not match a hypothetical "radio series canon".

      My only consolidation is that Douglas Adams himself said, he didn't care about continuity because he had so much fun re-inventing the whole story again and again for each medium and rather cared what worked in that form (from TV to computer game) than what matches the previous installments.

    • There's more anger in your critique of Eoin Colfer than there is is Luther's critique of Catholicism or the Sunni critique of the Shia.

      I like the Radio 4 adaption of THGTTG, not so much the HERETICAL TV series or movies, but come on now.

      • by caseih ( 160668 )

        Didn't the TV series and the books come after the Radio version? My understanding is that the radio drama was the original HHGTG.

        • Yeah the radio series came first, then the books, then the TV series, then the movie.

          The radio series is remarkable.

  • by Snufu ( 1049644 ) on Friday March 09, 2018 @06:31AM (#56232515)

    The BBC couldn't wait two more years?

  • by Hal_Porter ( 817932 ) on Friday March 09, 2018 @06:55AM (#56232559)

    https://www.engadget.com/2014/... [engadget.com]

    I was going to wait till the summer to install it, but I succumbed and installed it last week. It takes a little getting used to, old habits are hard to reform, and it's not quite finished (what software ever is), and much of the software that's out to run on it is Beta.

    But...

    I think it's brilliant. I've fallen completely in love with it. And the promise of what's to come once people start developing in Cocoa is awesome...

    A few weeks later he was dead.

  • Why? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Rik Sweeney ( 471717 ) on Friday March 09, 2018 @07:01AM (#56232577) Homepage

    "And Another Thing..." is awful. There are no original ideas in it at all, it's just a rehash characters from the previous books.

    You should never allow another author to play in your universe, Dune and Harry Potter alone are proof of that.

    • I object.

      With Harry Potter I had the feeling that the story created that magical universe and it is a shame to waste it's potential. I want to see what stories other authors can find in there! I want to see how "Scrubs" would happen at St. Mungos. Or the Adventures of two Aurors in "Miami Vice" style.

      HHGTTG was about people. and other authors indeed shouldn't play with them. We follow them through a series of settings, but without ever returning to the, see a development or creating a background story for t

    • You should never allow another author to play in your universe

      Yeah, no shit... those Rendezvous with Rama books weren't bad - that pederast knew how to write - but they lost their appeal turned after another took over.

      Then there was the case of the duplicated Clive Cussler novel: I suspect the author of having succumbed to serious senility; he "co-wrote" a book with someone and apparently didn't realize they used the exact same premise and plotline from one of Cussler's earlier novels... I almost threw up in disgust.

  • There are authors and authors, and some age better than others. I used to be amused by THGTTG, and Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, but that it is a long time ago. So, for me, Douglas Adams does not age as well as Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Pratchett is (was) wittier and seemed to understand technology much better, while Gaiman's work in the fantasy realm is unmatchable (American Gods vs. The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul).

    • by Kiuas ( 1084567 )

      I used to be amused by THGTTG, and Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, but that it is a long time ago.

      Aha, found the guy working for the complaints department of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation!

      The Hitchhiker's Travel Guide describes the Marketing Department of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as:

      "A bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes."

      Curiously, an edition of the Encyclopedia Galactica which conveniently fell through a rift in the time-space cont

  • Fucking whitewashing.

  • Stephen Moore retired and apparently could not be persuaded to do the series. Jim Broadbent is doing it instead - have just finished listening to the episode and...well, he's good as ever. But he's not Stephen Moore.
  • by portwojc ( 201398 ) on Friday March 09, 2018 @10:18AM (#56233187) Homepage

    Unexpectedly destroyed? Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz makes it quite clear that all the planning charts and demolition orders were on display for fifty Earth years.

  • by pele ( 151312 )

    Arthur Dent a BBC radio editor? Since when?

  • by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Friday March 09, 2018 @04:37PM (#56235241)

    the rest of the cast doesn't matter - the only one who does is Peter Jones, the book itself. Unfortunately he died in 2000 but was taken over by William Franklin who sounds just like him.

    When I play Startopia, it's always a fuzzy feeling because of the voice over, done by Franklin.

    Unfortunately he died in 2006 so they've got Hawking to be the book, but he doesn't sound anything like rural Shropshire.

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