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A lot of people my age will only know that really bad film or the even worse TV series but for me the original radio series was the best version of this. The Hitch-Hikers guide to the Galaxy was originally a radio series and the books came after.
For me the best thing about the radio series is that your imagination can see what is happening far better than the TV series or film ever could.
In the series the 'Hitch-hikers guide' is a digital book which holds all the information about every planet and species in the universe. As well as all the advice that any intergalactic hitch hiker needs to know.
Douglas Adams' writing is superb and at times it does parody real life is as far as all the beurocracy in building a 'hyperspace bypass' and all the questions people have always asked but have never found the answer for. The use of the narration as 'the book' is possibly one of the cleverest parts of it.
The underlying plot of the series is that the book is out of date and one of the main characters has had the job of updating it. The job gets far more difficult than he was expecting.
There are also lots of parodies within the series such as the building of a bypass and opinions on which forms of employment are worthwhile or not.
Some of the main characters:
'The Book' (Peter Jones) - this is the main narration of the series. It is in reality a digital book which holds all the information anyone needs to know. It is currently being updated by Ford Prefect.
Arthur Dent (Simon Jones) - A somewhat unremarkable earthman who escapes from the earth with Ford Prefect just before the earth was destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass.
Ford Prefect (Geoff McGivern) - An alien from somewhere close to beetlejuce. He arrived on earth some years ago to research for the update of 'the book'.
Trillian (Susan Sheridan) - an earthling who Arthur once met at a party, she is now travailing round space with Zaphod Beeblebrox.
Zaphod (Mark Wing-Davey) - A two headed alien who is the 'intergalactic President' who is on the run after he stole a space ship he was supposed to be launching.
Marvin (Stephen Moore) - The manically depressed android. Claims to have 'a brain the size of a planet' but he never stops complaining and everything is awful.
Slartibartfast (Richard Vernon) - a coastline designer who won an award for his work on Norway.
A new bypass has to be built; the only trouble is that Arthur Dent's house is right in the middle of the proposed route. This however is nothing compared to the new hyperspace bypass which needs to be built and the planet earth is right in the middle of it and so has to be destroyed. (The beurocracy of each of these is well matched).
Fortunately for Arthur his friend, Ford Prefect, saves them both a few seconds before the earth is destroyed by hitching a lift on the 'constructor fleet'.
Ford tells Arthur about 'the hitch-hikers guide' and that he is updating it. With the earth gone, Arthur tags along with Ford as they continue to travel round the galaxy in an attempt to get the new version of the book updated.
This job is not straight forward especially when the two meet up with Zaphod Beeblebrox who is in his own mind 'too cool to worry'. He manages to get everyone into trouble several times over. Even when the end up at the 'restaurant at the end of the universe' things don't go as the others would like.
Along the way Arthur learns the answer to the ultimate question of life the universe and everything, that mankind was only the third most intelligent species on the planet and why the earth existed in the first place.
For me the first series is the best. It was original broadcast in 1978 but I heard the series about 7 years ago when it was repeated. After this I bought the CD series from Amazon at the time I paid £15.99
Well, I was 15 when I firststarted listening to this series,as my dad got me it as an Xmas present. Now, it hs been replacedtwice and put on to my mp3 I enjoyed it so much.
Basically, Arthur Dent's house is going to be destroyed to mkeroom for a by-pass. He is lyingin frontof a bulldozer when his friend, Ford Prefect, an alien, persuades him to go to the pub. Here they prepare for the demolition of Earth. They catch a lift on a Vogon constructorship,and this story follows their journey, to Maggrathea and Earth MK2.
Everybody in this book is perfect for the part, Jeffrey McGiven is hilarious as Ford Prefect and this story will remain timeless. With the bloated two-headed Zapphod Beeblebrox, and cxonfused Arthur Dent.
Don't Panic. If you have never read /listened to or watched hitch-hikers guide to the galaxy you will not know what I am talking about but if you have you will. I watched the TV series many moons ago and thought that it was brill. The a few years ago I read the book and that got me hooked. As hubby and I do not own a telly it made no sense buying the videos so I suggested we get the cd he said yes. I took it to the till and nearly passed out when the person behind the till said £17.99 please. Well it is three cds long. All I could say is brill. This is the original play that was broadcast on the radio in 1978. I laughed and laughed it was so funny. I did find it hard to disassociate the TV series with the recording but I found that I could in then end if I really tried. I will cover the story in brief as most people tend to know the story. It is about a man called Arthur Dent and his friend called Ford Prefect who claims that he is from Guildford. He turns out to be from a little planet near Betelgeuse. And is here on earth to update the hitch-hikers guide to the Galaxy entry for earth. He got stuck here for 15 years. The best he could think of was mostly harmless. Mind you the entry before he updated was harmless. See what I mean. Any way he had to rescue Arthur, as the world is about to end. The earth is going to be destroyed by the vogons who are building an interstellar motorway. And earth is in the way. In the end they hitch a lift with the vogons and that is the start of the adventures for Ford and Arthur. They meet many weird and wonderful characters like Zaphod Bebblebroks his semi second cousin that share 3 of the same mothers. Also Marvin the paranoid Android. "I am not getting you down am I" that is one of Marvins stock phrases. And remember that the answer to life the universe is 42. Don't panic are the words that are written on the front of t
he hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy. The guide is an electronic book. That will guide you guess where through the Galaxy. A couple of bits of useless information: 1) the hitch-hikers was written as a script for a radio play first then put in to book form. 2) Douglas Adams was only 28 when he wrote it. I want some of what he was on to write such an amazing play. All I can say is size 9 chucker boots. You have to listened to the play to know what I mean.
One of the first things I did when hearing of Douglas Adams' death was to find and listen to the original HHGTTG radio series. It's still funny, still sharp and witty, and still thoroughly deserving of the widest audience possible. The HHGTTG was, originally, a radio comedy drama, scriped by Douglas Adams himself, before being turned into a series of books, and a TV show. This box of two tapes or three CDs captures the first half of the HHGTTG radio saga, and on the first listen you can see how it became such a phenomenon. The writing and scenarios are superb, if a little wacky, and the humour is always spot-on. The plot revolves, as in the books and the TV series, around a human being named Arthur Dent, and what happens to him when the Earth is demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass. Having found out that his best friend of five years, Ford Prefect, isn't in fact human but a roving reporter for "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (an electronic book which also seems to act as the narrator for the radio drama), he hitches a lift on the demolition ship and goes off around the galaxy, cheating death, time-travelling and generally getting in eveyone's way. Before you go off in an anti-SciFi moment, however, I should tell you that I'm not that into SciFi myself. No, what makes this brilliant is the humour and situations Arthur finds himself in. Vogon poetry, Eddie the Ship's Computer, and the Guide itself, are brilliant concepts which fit so tightly into the story. Unlike most audiobooks, this isn't just a reading of the novels. Indeed, in several areas the storyline is quite different, and the different actors reading their roles makes this far more entralling than the books. You have the best of both worlds - your imagination allows you to make up the images of how you believe things are, but you don't have to concentrate so much on who's saying what. I
9;d recommend both this and the Secondary Phase, since both are funny and clever, and well worth a tenner of anyone's money. It's a shame we'll never see a continuation.
A reissue of the first series of BBC Radio 4's humorous science-fiction drama. The story begins when Arthur Dent, not really your average man-in-the-street, finds that the Earth is suddenly destroyed around him, and the great hitch-hike begins.