Revenge of the Hitchhiker's Guide

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    It’s back. On radio. With most of the original cast. Again. [LINK]
    Simon Jones

    In 1978 the worlds of science fiction and comedy were united when BBC Radio broadcast The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams, followed by four further series between 1980 and 2005. Now, for the 40th anniversary of Hitchhiker’s radio debut, the original radio cast will star in a sixth instalment titled The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy: Hexagonal Phase.

    Produced by Dirk Maggs, chosen by Douglas Adams to bring Hitchhiker’s back to Radio 4 with the Tertiary, Quandary and Quintessential Phases, this series will be adapted from Eoin Colfer’s And Another Thing…, which was commissioned by the Douglas Adams Estate in 2009 to mark the 30th anniversary of the first novel. It will also include unpublished Hitchhiker’s material by Douglas Adams, sourced from notebooks and writings preserved in the library at St. John’s College in Cambridge.

    Across six episodes, Simon Jones will reprise his role as the main protagonist, the quintessentially English Arthur Dent, as he continues to travel through space and time following the destruction of Earth. Starring alongside Simon will be members of the classic radio, television and stage casts, including Geoff McGivern as Ford Prefect, Mark Wing-Davey as Zaphod Beeblebrox and Sandra Dickinson as Trillian, as well as special guest stars including Jane Horrocks as Fenchurch. Following in the footsteps of the late Peter Jones and William Franklyn, Douglas Adams’ friend, co-author and former flatmate John Lloyd will step into the the voice of The Book.

    And as for the other one that sounds a lot like a Quatermass spoof?

    The Quanderhorn Xperimentations is a new six-part series from Rob Grant, Red Dwarf co-creator, and Andrew Marshall, 2point4 Children and The Burkiss Way creator, which promises adventure, thrills, romance, and mind-warping technology.

    It’s 1952. Permanently. Reality is trapped in a time loop by Professor Darius Quanderhorn’s bizarre Xperimentations His rag-tag team face threats and terrors beyond human understanding on a daily basis, together with their own neuroses. Martian invasions, giant space lasers, shape-shifting troglodytes and living feral underwear are all part of a day’s work for the Quanderteam: Dr. Gemini Janussen has clockwork-driven emotions, Guuuurk the Magnificent is a Martian hostage who fancies himself a gentleman cad, Troy, the professor’s “son”, who is part human, part insect, all idiot, and Brian Nylon, who has completely forgotten that he is the unit’s Test Pilot.

    Rob Grant and Andrew Marshall say: “For far too long, the facts about Professor Quanderhorn have been kept from the public. We felt it was high time to expose them. The facts, not the public. They can expose themselves.”

    I try not to expose myself too much…it’ll be interesting to hear what Grant is up to minus Naylor.

    Steve WSteve W
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    Well, I hope that they drastically change the story from And Another Thing, since it was basically authorized fan fiction. The only good thing I can say about it is, I bought the audiobook to listen on the drive up to Tulsa for the Oklahoma Video Game Expo, started it in my driveway and by the time I got home that night it ended just as I turned on to my street. It was the perfect length for that drive. Again, that’s the best thing I can say about it.

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    If it’s any reassurance, a few fairly significant changes were made to translate Adams’ third, fourth and fifth books to radio, including an ending that completely undid the fatalistic ending of Mostly Harmless (a book which, IMO, had about as much reason to exist as Colfer’s book). I can argue until I’m blue in the face for or against Authorial Intent, but Hitchhiker’s is a special case, because every iteration of the story has always varied from the others. The novels differed from the original radio series, as did the TV series, the movie, the Infocom game, the LPs… so Maggs might actually improve upon the material.

    Like a sarcastic starship captain recently said in another franchise, it would be hard to do worse.

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