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Episode 5 (Fit The Fifth)

Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy: Primary PhaseThe computer bank behind which Zaphod, Ford, Trillian and Arthur are hiding on Magrathea blows up, but instead of killing them, the explosion propels them millions of years forward in time. They awaken in Milliway’s, the Restaurant at the Edge of the Universe, which was constructed on the ruins of Magrathea eons later. It also turns out that Marvin is there too, though he took the long way, remaining on Magrathea for millennia until Milliway’s was built. Not keen on staying at Milliway’s long enough to be found by the police – to whom, presumably, a few millennia make no difference – Zaphod decides to steal a particularly sleek black ship that has been parked in the restaurant’s docks.

Order this CDwritten by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd
directed by Alick Hale-Munro
music by Paddy Kingsland

Cast: Peter Jones (The Voice of the Book), Antony Sharpe (Garkbit / Zarquon), Roy Hudd (Compere’), Simon Jones (Arthur Dent), Geoffrey McGivern (Ford Prefect), Mark Wing-Davey (Zaphod Beeblebrox), Susan Sheridan (Trillian), Stephen Moore (Marvin)

Episode 26 (Fit The Twenty-Sixth)

Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy: Quintessential PhaseFord arrives on Lamuella, is promptly brained by Arthur’s daughter Random (who then steals his ship), and finds himself stranded with the sandwich maker. Ford had intended to contain the prototype of the new Hitchhiker’s Guide by sending it to Arthur’s backwater planet, and is dismayed to find that the new Guide is now guiding Random’s actions. Ford reveals that the new Guide operates across all dimensions and all planes of probability, and is using Random – just as it used him – to bring about the final destruction of Earth across every reality at the behest of the Vogons. Random pilots Ford’s ship to Earth, where Random starts looking for her mother but finds only the wrong Tricia MacMillan. When the Guide v2.0 fails to provoke Random’s more violent feelings, it leaves her high and dry. Ford and Arthur, despite being on a backwater planet, find a ship to take them to Earth. But as the new Guide brings its programmed plan to a conclusion, it turns out that Earth is a very, very unhealthy place for Arthur Dent to be.

Order this CDwritten by Douglas Adams
adapted by Dirk Maggs from the novel “Mostly Harmless”
directed by Dirk Maggs
music by Paul “Wix” Wickens

Cast: Peter Jones (The Voice of the Book), William Franklyn (The Voice of the Book), Rula Lenska (The Voice of the Bird), Simon Jones (Arthur Dent), Geoffrey McGivern (Ford Prefect), Mark Wing-Davey (Zaphod Beeblebrox), Susan Sheridan (Trillian), Sandra Dickinson (Tricia McMillan), Samantha Beart (Random), Stephen Moore (Marvin), Griff Rhys Jones (Old Thrashbarg), Roger Gregg (Bartender), Michael Cule (Vogon Helmsman), Dominic Hawksley (Thor), Andy Taylor (Grebulon Leader), Michael Fenton-Stevens (Grebulon Lieutenant), Philip Pope (Elvis), Tom Maggs (Runner), Bruce Hyman (Prosser), Don't PanicToby Longworth (Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz), Neil Sleat (Newsreader), Roy Hudd (Max Quordlepleen), Douglas Adams (Agrajag)

Notes: The conclusion of this episode, while it does indeed follow the fatalistic ending of the book “Mostly Harmless”, adds new material that allows several escape routes for Arthur and friends. Douglas Adams once again returns from the dead himself, again appearing as Agrajag in clips originally recorded for a book-on-tape.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Pier Pressure

Doctor Who: Pier PressureSuffering from a serious case of moping, the Doctor reluctantly gives in to Evelyn’s insistence that he needs a vacation…in somplace like Brighton. The TARDIS manages to take them there, in the year 1936, but things are already taking a dark turn when the Doctor overhears a young couple talking about strange noises from the water. The Doctor encounters Professor Talbot, a secretive man who, according to local legend, hasn’t been seen in 15 years. The Doctor instantly senses something horribly wrong with Talbot – he’s doing the bidding of some sort of alien consciousness, while also trying to swindle the being. But the Doctor discovers that he’s facing a power that has the ability to control nearly anyone’s mind – even Evelyn’s, and even his own.

Order this CDwritten by Robert Ross
directed by Gary Russell
music by ERS

Cast: Colin Baker (The Doctor), Maggie Stables (Evelyn Smythe), Roy Hudd (Max Miller), Doug Bradley (Professor Talbot), Chris Simmons (Albert Potter), Sally Ann Curran (Emily Bung), Martin Parsons (Billy)

Timeline: after Medicinal Purposes and before Thicker Than Water

Notes: Roy Hudd is a comic in his own right – and even has a place in British SF history, having played Max Quordlepleen, a comic working a packed house in the Restaurant at the End of the Universe in the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy radio series. In fact, Hudd attended the unveiling of a statue of Brighton comic legend Max Miller in 2005, the very statue that the Doctor told Miller would one day stand there.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

The Green Girl

It's Supertrain!

SupertrainHarry is less than enthusiastic about a televised, high-stakes international poker tournament to be held aboard Supertrain, but he’s at least relieved that Wayne is the one who has to keep the high-rollers happy. With a $100,000 buy-in, only the five best poker players in the world can even afford to ante up…and one of them doesn’t make it to the station in time to meet the train, replaced instead by a woman who claims to have won that player’s invitation by beating him at poker. Wayne is immediately smitten with the unexpected substitute player, but his personal feelings become a liability when it’s discovered that hundreds of thousands of dollars in the game’s pot of cash has been swapped out with counterfeit bills, leaving the unexpected new arrival at the poker table as the only real suspect.

written by Stephen Kandel
directed by Cliff Bole
music by Bob Cobert

SupertrainCast: Edward Andrews (Harry Flood), Ilene Graff (Penny Whitaker), Harrison Page (George Boone), Robert Alda (Dr. Lewis), Joey Aresco (Wayne Randall), Rebecca Balding (Ellen Bradford), David Huddleston (Duke Burnside), Henry Jones (James Malinson), Clyde Kusatsu (Shimaju Fukuda), Cleavon Little (Preacher Ross), Roddy McDowall (Talcott), Chip Fields (Preacher’s Lady), Maggie Jean Smith (Talcott’s Entourage), Laura Grayson (Talcott’s Entourage), Leigh Walsh (Talcott’s Entourage), Ross Bickell (Milburn)

SupertrainNotes: Wayne says that conductor Harry Flood has ascended to the position of CEO of Supertrain (apparently he’s taken over from Winfield Root sometime since episode one); Boone worked at a bank for three years prior to his stint on Supertrain. This episode is another smorgasbord of ’70s TV royalty, with Chip Fields (from The Amazing Spider-Man) scouting out Supertrain ahead of her Spider-Man co-star Nicholas Hammond’s appearance the following week, and no less than Roddy McDowall (Planet Of The Apes, The Fantastic Journey) putting in a guest shot. (Since Robert Alda is already a regular, this series is a John Saxon guest shot away from peak ’70s TV.) Director Cliff Bole (1937–2014) was early in his very busy career here, having already helmed 11 episodes of The Six Million Dollar Man, one episode of The Amazing Spider-Man, and numerous installments of Charlie’s Angels, Baretta, and BJ And The Bear. He would go on to rack up two dozen directing credits on Fantasy Island, as well as episodes of V, T.J. Hooker, MacGyver, Star Trek: The Next Generation (including the fan-favorite two-parter The Best Of Both Worlds), Star Trek spinoffs Deep Space Nine and Voyager, The X-Files, M.A.N.T.I.S., Millennium, Harsh Realm, and Supernatural. And, of course, Supertrain!

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Hide

Doctor WhoThe TARDIS brings the Doctor and Clara to Caliban House, a reportedly haunted mansion where a paranormal investigator and a potent psychic are trying to solve the mystery of a series of ghost sightings on the property. Claiming to be a government inspector, the Doctor elbows his way into the investigation, learning that the sightings stretch back to the first photographs ever taken at Caliban House. The Doctor is willing to bet that they go back even further than that, traveling backward and forward in time while always remaining in the same spot to prove his point. He discovers that the “ghost” is a time-distorted image of a young woman who may be the first human time travel test pilot. But something else is hot on her heels, and the Doctor risks his own life and his new psychic friend’s sanity to rescue the errant time traveler before she becomes its victim.

Order the DVDwritten by Neil Cross
directed by Jamie Payne
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Jenna-Louise Coleman (Clara), Dougray Scott (Alec Palmer), Jessica Raine (Emma Grayling), Kemi-Bo Jacobs (Hila), Aidan Cook (The Crooked Man)

Notes: In theory, the Doctor’s visit to the (long since destroyed) geographical location of Caliban House on planet Earth’s last day may mean that his ninth incarnation and Rose are Doctor Whoorbiting overhead in Station One, partying down with Cassandra, the Face of Boe, and Jabe (The End Of The World, 2005) at exactly the same time. The Doctor uses a blue crystal from Metebelis 3 (The Green Death, Planet Of The Spiders) to amplify Emma’s psychic powers. The story begins on November 25th, 1974 – eleven years and two days after the premiere of Doctor Who. Jessica Raine would go on to appear as Doctor Who creator Verity Lambert in the docudrama An Adventure In Space And Time.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More