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Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

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      21.03.2010 11:13
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      Fascinating and fun

      I watched re-runs of this TV Show recently having seen it a number of years ago and I'm still of the same opinion as I had back then that this is one of the strangest TV series I've ever seen but it is good fun as well. Since the TV series there have been a couple of movies, the most recent one being about five years back now. The TV show is a sci-fi series that takes bizarre to a new level.

      The story begins with man named Arthur Dent. He is a normal man who goes about his daily routine and lives his life just like everyone else. One ordinary day he is having a drink in the local pub with his friend Ford Prefect, and until this particular day has no idea he is an alien. He receives some surprising and shocking news that the Earth is about to be destroyed to make way for an intergalactic bypass and he promptly escapes Earth with Ford Prefect before the Earth is demolished.

      It is on their journey that the run really begins and the bizarreness of the universe is revealed. On their travels they encounter many strange and wonderful beings. These creatures include Vogons who spout terrible poetry. They also discover the answer to the ultimate question of life and the universe and everything.

      I have to admit I found the whole journey through time and space very strange but at the same time fascinating and fun. The show looks very old and dated when you look at it now with no amazing special effects, but that for me made it more appealing. The show is very unique and original too.

      If I'm honest alot of younger audiences may not be interested in the TV series but may prefer to watch the movie instead which is good as well. However, it's worth watching the TV Show as it's funny and totally crazy, so crazy to be honest that you will want to watch more of this cult classic to see what will happen next

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      24.03.2009 18:12
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      Sci-fi seen through a warped mind!

      This programme represents one of the defining moments of my childhood - the first thing I remember sitting down with my dad to watch. Childhood memories have a habit of being deceptive... when you revisit them, you realise nostalgia has given them a golden glow they don't deserve. That's certainly not the case with Hitchhiker's, which is still funny today.

      There's no doubt that in its day, Hitchhiker's was a hugely innovative programme. Up until that point, most science fiction was decidedly po-faced, trying to baffle the viewer with pseudo-scientific jargon in order to cover up the holes in the plot and involving lots of dully choreographed fights with men in rubber monster suits. Hitchhiker's took that and added jokes.

      The plot behind the programme is deliberately vague, loose and silly. The Earth is destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass and a single human survivor escapes the blast, along with an alien friend. Outside of that, writer Douglas Adams has the freedom to veer off into pretty much whatever weird and wonderful direction he chooses.

      For Hitchhiker's plots are things that happen to other, lesser programmes and they don't need to make much sense. Try and think about this logically and your head will feel as though you have had one Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster too many. What it allows the show's writer to do, though, is turn his rather warped sense of humour on to all manner of subjects, from language to human behaviour to society generally. The humour is perfectly judged - a mixture of dry, caustic wit, casual observation of the absurdities of life, the sheer stupidity of technology, clever language and visual gags, along with a sprinkling of good, old-fashioned slapstick. It will appeal to all ages, as the humour is very broad. Kids can enjoy the more obvious gags, whilst adults will appreciate some of the more subtle ones. It's one of those shows that you can re-watch and laugh at different things each time. Frankly, if you don't find yourself laughing out loud at several points during each episode, you might want to check your pulse. There is a very real chance you might be dead.

      Hitchhiker's real strength is that it is consistently funny. Of course, there are particular highlights, but it rarely feels flat. The TV series is actually more consistently amusing than the books. In written form, there are longish sections where the plot takes over to give a more traditional, more serious structure. The TV series dispenses with these, compressing the humour and giving a more even, more entertaining experience. By nicking the best elements of the early books, the programme hits some truly sublime heights.

      It helps that the series is well cast. Peter Jones is superb as the Voice of The Book - striking precisely the right balance between being authoritative, and yet light-hearted enough to make the funny lines work. His delivery is absolutely impeccable and you really start to look forward to his "interruptions". Simon Jones is great as the permanently bewildered Arthur Dent, the last surviving earthman, making him suitably idiotic, yet likeable. David Dixon is good as Ford Prefect, Arthur's alien friend, although he does sometime become a little anonymous. And it's impossible to mention Hitchhiker's without mentioning Stephen Moore's Marvin the Paranoid Android. Marvin - a brilliant character brought to life superbly by Moore.

      Indeed, so strong are the characters, it's hard to imagine anyone else playing them... something which the disappointing film version failed to overcome. Still, lest you think I'm becoming too gushy, there are two slightly weak links: Mark Wing-Davey's Zaphod Beeblebrox and Sandra Dickinson's Trillian can be a little dull.

      Hitchhiker's scores points for being amazingly good at predicting IT developments. The technology? That would be the iphone or e-book. The Guide? Think Wikipedia or the internet. The Babel Fish? Why do you think there's an online translation tool called that? Adams' ideas may have seemed far-fetched and exotic, but many now have some basis in reality.

      It was also influential in other ways, showing science fiction didn't have to be for geeks and blokes with no girlfriends. It paved the way for future sci-fi comedy hybrids, including Red Dwarf and, er, Hyperdrive. Arguably, without Hitchhiker's there might have been no Discworld.

      But let's not get too carried away. There are some elements of the series which have dated badly. This is particularly true of the computer graphics and special effects. The Book graphics may have looked cutting edge in 1981, but now they look like they were done on a BBC Micro (ironically, they were actually hand drawn!) The Vogon Ship and Zaphod's second head also betray the show's low budget. Still, these are easily overlooked and actually add to the charm, since special effects are not central to the story.

      Some people may also bemoan the change of actors. Although most of the cast from the original radio broadcasts return, two (Ford and Trillian) have changed. I guess this depends on which you experience first. I saw the TV show before the broadcasts, so have no complaints. People who head the broadcasts first prefer the original actors. I guess that's just down to taste.

      There's one final criticism which identifies me as a sad pedant who needs to get out more: the series has some pretty poor grammar at times. The title sequence is rendered as "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" and whichever way you look at it, needs an apostrophe somewhere. You could debate where it goes (is "Hitchhikers" meant to be singular or plural), but it definitely needs one. Similarly, the lines of on-screen "Book" text have the odd spelling mistake for the eagle-eyed viewer to spot (occassionally for example, instead of occasionally). OK, this doesn't stop the programme from being funny, but these things matter to sad people like me!

      Hitchhiker's is a bit like James Bond. It's had so many incarnations that everyone has their favourite interpretation. Some prefer the original radio broadcasts, others the books, yet others this TV series. There might even be a few who prefer the film, but thankfully they are mostly locked away, and are no danger to right-thinking Dooyooers.

      This is a brilliant, funny, inventive gem of a programme which has stood the test of time surprisingly well, thanks to its genuinely funny scripts. Far superior to the film in all but special effects, if you've never seen it, buy it on DVD and prepare yourself for a bonkers treat!

      This reminds me of a joke I used to love as a kid and thought I might inflict it on you.

      A taxi is flagged down by a three-eyed, no-armed, one legged alien. The taxi driver takes one look at him and says "Aye aye aye. You look 'armless. 'Op in."

      Cue groans...

      Basic Information
      ----------------------
      The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
      1981
      BBC TV
      6 Episodes (33 minutes each)

      © Copyright SWSt 2009

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        26.07.2008 20:32
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        A million times better than the 2005 film!

        Douglas Adams' Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy is an absolute classic! It started life as a radio series, although my first introduction to it was via the books - which are fantastically well-written. I feel the books are actually the best of all the different versions because I love the way Douglas Adams writes, and a lot of the descriptions and commentary are so much more detailed in the books. I feel some really funny material was left out of both the radio and the television series' - although both are infinitely superior to the 2005 film version - which, quite frankly, was so bad it was painful to watch.

        The story in the television series is pretty much the same as in the books - it opens with Arthur Dent's house being knocked down to make way for a bypass - closely followed by the Earth itself being destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass. Nice bit of irony there! It then follows Arthur and his friend Ford Prefect (who suddenly turned out not to be from Guildford after all, but from Betelgeuse 5) as they hitch a ride on a Vogon spacecraft, then get kicked off (after listening to some excruciating Vogon poetry), and then meet up with Ford's cousin, Zaphod and his girlfriend, Trillian (whom he stole away from Arthur at a party in Islington). And so on. I won't repeat the plot as there are already a number of reviews and I'm sure the plot has been covered pretty well.

        If you've read the books then you will surely enjoy the television series. It is fantastic and really stays very true to the books, most of the time. There is one rather glaring difference, though, and in fact one that I found extremely disappointing when I first saw the series. In the books, there comes a point where our heroes are on the legendary planet of Magrathea, being chased by Trillian's pet mice, who want to cut up Arthur's brain in order to get at the ultimate question. They are then cornered by a pair of Galactic cops (Zaphod is on the run for having stolen a spaceship), and just as they appear to be about to meet their end the cops mysteriously die, and our heroes escape. It later transpires that the cops' life support unit was linked to their spaceship - and Marvin, the paranoid android, had plugged himself into their spaceship to have a conversation with the shipboard computer. The computer then committed suicide in order to end the excruciating conversation with the manically depressed robot - and this caused the cops' life support systems to fail.

        I thought this part was hilariously well written in the book and was really disappointed that it was omitted from the television series. In the television series, they remain cornered by the cops, then there is a massive explosion and suddenly they are transported way into the future to Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe - which just happens to have been built on the same site. Because of the way the story jumps here there is a big chunk of book 1 missing and an enormous chunk of book 2 missing from the television series. I think that's a real shame. But don't let it spoil your enjoyment of the television series - it is still great!

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          05.10.2003 17:13
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          If the title seems to imply that I find the script the greatest thing, by far, about this 1980 sci-fi comedy show, that's probably because I do. Douglas Adams' Hitch-Hikers series began as a BBC radio show, then progressed onto book format (the books continued to come out and expand the stories well into the 1990s), and the TV adaptation. Personally, I find the books the superior incarnation of the stories, mainly because Adams' real humour comes through in his descriptions. This can be seen by the number of times the guidebook is brought in to narrate something irrelevant but hilarious in the show. Prior to seeing the series, I had read on the internet that it was a disappointing show that looked too dated to be enjoyable, and with some bad casting decisions. I eventually decided to hire a video out from a library, after months of deciding I didn't want my mental pictures forever scarred by rubbish sets, an I was pleasantly surprised by the show which was supervised by Adams- thank God. Last thing the world needs is a BBC sitcomed-up version of a classic idea. The storyline is more or less exactly the same as in the first radio series, with each of the six episodes beginning and ending at the same points. The books expanded on some ideas, took a couple away and basically added loads more to pad out the 200 pages, so I was already familiar with the plot, which is: Arthur Dent lies in front of a bulldozer to stop his house getting demolished to make way for a bypass. "You've got to build bypasses" is the only logical answer a builder can give him. Arthur's peculiar friend Ford Prefect arrives and tells Arthur that the world is about to end, which it unfortunately does, however Arthur and his alien pal have managed to stow away on the attackers' vessel. Through the course of the series they are blown into space, reunited with Ford's relative Zaphod Beeblebrox, they discover an ancient planet, Arthur
          learns incredible things about the nature of the Earth, the group done at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, they are involved in an intergalactic conflict, and Arthur and Ford eventually end up where they began... about two million years in the past. I cannot fault the storyline one bit, it had me laughing out loud when I read the books, and it is still very amusing on the screen. However, these are my major gripes with the TV series: - stuff looks dodgy. This doesn't matter most of the time, but some things look cringingly crap. Zaphod Beeblebrox's second animatronic head is infamous for its unbelievability, while some of the model shots looks too much like toys for a time when Star Wars and Star Trek films were winning awards for such things. I know, the BBC's low budgets for shows like this, but it does distract. - a couple of characters are not as enjoyable or interesting as in the book. Trillian, the pleasant looking lady, is physically different from the one described, and although she was clearly the least interesting character anyway, she is even less believable here with an American accent and bouts of extreme intelligence and stupidity. The guy playing Ford Prefect is sometimes a little annoying in the way he delivers lines too. - some jokes don't work. I get the distinct impression that if I hadn't read the books first, and been granted time to dwell on some of the great non-plot moments, I would have found some of the things happening here a little unnecessary. An example is the morphing of attacking missiles into a whale, which proceeds to fall to the ground and try and understand its existence before the end, and a bowl of petunias, which only thinks "oh no, not again." Aside from this however, if I had been able to appreciate non-child TV programmes in 1980, this would have been one of my very favourites. As far as I can tell, this was the first successful science fiction-based
          comedy, obviously forerunning the amazing Red Dwarf. A good thing about the TV format is the portrayal of things that are not completely unconvincing, or at least not so much that it's rubbish. Planetscapes and pieces of galactic history are shown which is very nice. Also, Simon Jones' portrayal of Arthur Dent is fantastic; from the physical description to the 'not quite at ease with himself' personality and that hilarious questioning voice, Simon Jones was the perfect choice for Adams' protagonist. One of the main attractions of the programme for me is the Hitch-Hiker's Guide itself; an electronic book that is basically the narrator of some of the less easily-understandable issues such as the Babel Fish translator and galactic wealth. Although the limited computer graphics and animation look like the old BBC Schools programmes you may have had to endure in school, or low budget 'head to the snack bar' ads in cinemas, it works surprisingly well and doesn't actually look that dated if you assume that the guide is trying to explain things as simply as possible. The narration is by Peter Jones, who also narrated on the radio show. In fact, many faces (voices) from that show reappear here, including Zaphod, Arthur and Slartibartfast. My advice to fans of the science fiction comedy medium would be to DEFINITELY get round to either seeing, hearing or reading the Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It is a fantastically written comedy with a huge number of obvious and subtle descriptions of completely warped alien ideas and characters that will keep you laughing and wishing you could remember all the best bits for your Dooyoo review. You should be able to work out which incarnation would be the most enjoyable for yourself; having read the Red Dwarf books and finding them even better than the first couple of series, it was no surprise that I would enjoy the books. They'll always be in your local library, or if you
          can't be bothered with reading you'll probably find the Hitch-Hiker's guide videos in a local Cash Converters or whatever second hand video sellers are. Not my favourite version of HHGTTG, but certainly worth my viewing time. I would definitely buy it on DVD now if I didn't already own the books and radio shows... I still might. All fans will like this, although some less than others! This also has the advantage that it could be enjoyed by all ages, I know that if my dad had watched it when I was little I would have loved it.

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            17.02.2002 16:50
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            The Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy sprang up from nowhere to become an overnight success story as a radio show. Written by the late Douglas Adams, the story soon became so popular that it spawned a trilogy of five novels (!) and an award winning TV series. This DVD presents the complete series, together with tons of extra footage and a making of documentary. Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy is a strange and humorous story about one man and his attempt to come to terms with the fact that Earth has just been destroyed and he is about to travel to far off planets, dressed only in his dressing gown. Arthur Dent is a normal, if slightly troubled, Earthman who has unknowingly befriended a guy from Betetlgeuse, who goes by the name of Ford Prefect. This is fortunate for Arthur, as it also allows him to hitchhike aboard a passing spaceship, just as the Earth is destroyed to make way for a new hyperspace bypass (the plans for which had been available on Alpha Centuri for years). So begins a weird and wonderful journey where improbability can be used to propel spacecraft and mice attempt to find the answer to Life, The Universe and Everything. Douglas Adams wasn’t one to let his project go to someone with no experience who might turn it into something completely different, so he jumped aboard to make the story as near to the original radio plays and books as possible, working with the BBC to create a Sci-Fi comedy masterpiece. The show was commissioned for the first two books (the original run of the radio show) and many of the radio version’s actors were drafted in to play their parts on television. As was usual with the BBC during the 80’s, Hitch-Hikers was made on a strict budget, and this shows in some of the monster designs and the special effects, but the effects team have still gone all out to produce some of the most memorable creatures ever seen and also to provide almost believable extra limbs to Zaphod Beeblebr
            ox, using effects which were state of the art at the time. Despite the aging of the effects, the show still stands up to scrutiny today thanks largely to a great script based on an even greater radio play and to the actors, who really do relish the parts they have been given and go for it full throttle. Who can forget the old and wise Slartybartfast, or one of the BBCs greatest creature creations, Marvin, the paranoid android? But why would you want this series on DVD, you might ask. Surely it’s too old to have any advantages on the digital format? Well, the inclusion of the Making Of film, “Don’t Panic”, is a big must and it even includes updates to this by the creator of the original. The disc also includes some behind the scenes footage from the radio play and also some TV appearances of the characters and the special effects team. Not only this, but the disc includes a preview showing of the first episode with a specially recorded introduction from Peter Jones (the voice of the book). The series presented on the DVD also contains more footage than the television version, adding something to the storyline in the process. Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy on DVD is a must for any fans of the books and of the TV series itself. It deserves well more than just one viewing and the addition of newly sourced material is a great bonus to an already amazing package that should indeed become ‘more popular than the Celestial Home Care Omnibus’ and ‘cheaper than the Encyclopaedia Galactica.’

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              15.10.2001 02:55
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              The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, written by Douglas Adams, was originally a radio show, then a book and then the T.V show. Douglas Adams originally intended to write a science fiction/comedy (He practically invented the genre) radio show called The Ends of the Earth. This was going to be 6 episodes, each about an alternative destruction of the earth. He realised that he would need someone, probably an alien, to tell the reader what was happening. This is what led him to Ford Prefect (a nicely inconspicuous name). He whilst trying to work out a reason an alien would be living on earth when he remembered a field in Innsbruck, Austria. He had been lying drunk in this field ten years earlier with his copy of The Hitch-Hikers Guide to Europe by Ken Walsh. This made him joke to himself that if someone wrote a Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy he would be off to explore instantly. He decided that Ford Prefect would be a researcher for the Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy and gradually became more obsessed with the idea, until deciding it would actually be the centre of his story. This was when he renamed it. He kept the first bit of the story the same, with the destruction of the earth only happening once. He wrote six episodes and they were broadcast on Radio 4 starting in March 1978. The show became immensely popular and Pan Books asked him to write a book version. The T.V version was first broadcast in 1981 by the BBC and closely followed the plot of the radio series (Unlike the book which was the same story but rearranged and rewritten). After this came much more including another four books, a couple of games, a record version of the radio series and a towel. A film was also planned but I don’t know if this will be made now after Douglas’ death. - The Story - Arthur Dent wakes up one Thursday morning (he never could get the hang of Thursdays, nor could Douglas, neither can I, mysteriously) and remembers
              that he had found out the night before that his house was going to be knocked down to build a new bypass. He, without even getting dressed, runs downstairs, out the door and lies down in front of the bulldozer. He is finally dragged off by a close friend, Ford Prefect, who takes him to the pub where reveals that he is an alien, researching for the HHGG, and the world is about to be destroyed by a Vogon Constructor fleet (the Vogons are one of the most evil races in the galaxy) to make room for a hyper-space bypass. The world is destroyed. Luckily Ford is an expert hitchhiker and manages to get the to of them transported up to the Vogon ship just before this. Unluckily, the Vogons hate hitchhikers. They find themselves thrown out into space with the chance of being picked up by a passing space ship are two to the power two hundred and seventy six, seven hundred and nine to one… - The Characters - Here are some of the main characters in the story (there are many others) Arthur Dent Arthur Dent is the main character; he spends the entire story in his dressing gown, as a consequence of not getting dressed on that fateful day. He never gets used to being in space, and never finds somewhere to get a satisfactory cup of tea. He only ever finds happiness in the game when he is shipwrecked on a primitive planet similar to earth. He never could get the hang of Thursdays. Ford Prefect Ford is a researcher for the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy. He comes to the earth to update the entry for the planet, but finds himself stranded there for fifteen years, not being able to leave until the Vogons come to destroy earth. His name isn’t really Ford Prefect, it is a name that can only be pronounced by the inhabitants of Betelgeuse seven, which no longer exists. Zaphod Beeblebrox Zaphod Beeblebrox is a bit of a crazy drinker, and spent a long time as Galactic President (most of his time as president
              was spent in jail) but became a wanted criminal when he stole the most powerful spaceship in the galaxy. He also has three arms, and two heads. Trillian Originally called Tricia McMillian, she changed her name when she left the earth with her date at a party, who had revealed himself to be an alien. If she hadn’t left the planet she would have become a reporter and eventually working on U.S morning T.V. One of the only two humans left in the galaxy after the destcruction of the earth. Slartibartfast Slatibartfast was responsible for the design of the fjords in Norway, reveals the meaning of life, the universe and everything to Arthur and tries to save the universe from destruction by a evil warlike race. Marvin the Paranoid Android Marvin has been programmed with G.P.P (Genuine People Personalities) but unfortunately, being a prototype, is only capable of one emotion. His one emotion is Maniac Depression. He hates everything and everyone, moans about everything and has terrible luck. - The other versions - Here is where I moan. As I said in the title ‘the pictures are better on the radio’. The graphics and special effects in the series looked poor even then and just look silly now. Zaphod’s spare head just hangs on his body and looks silly, and the actual Guide is the size of a Briefcase (with today’s computing power you would expect it to look like a personal organizer). The T.V series is still good though, and I know many people who couldn’t cope with actually reading a book, or listening to tapes and only know the story through watching the T.V version. I enjoyed the book and the radio version more though and recommend those to anyone with concentration span.

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                16.08.2001 20:57
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                You can't tell from my user name, but I share the last name of a certain character from this series of books (hint : it's not Slartibartfast). Consequently, throughout my time at school, university and indeed, at work, people have -upon meeting me for the first time - uttered the immortal phrase..."isn't that the name of the guy from Hitch..?" They tend to stop at this point to pick themselves up from the ground, following my swift jab to the throat and/or groin. Despite the mental scarring resulting from being linked to this programme, I still like Hitch-hikers. I first saw it when I was about 8, and enjoyed the unusual slant on science-fiction (and comedy in general). It suffers from the curse of the BBC's budget (in terms of attempting to make a man wearing silver painted cardboard boxes resemble a robot), but more than makes up for it in energy. I enjoy it less today than when I first saw it on TV, because it really hasn't aged at all well. Humour as moved on to different realms, and poor old HHGTTG has been left behind.. The plot (if you can call it that) swoops around in time, space and the Universe following my hapless namesake around the Galaxy encountering amongst other things, hyper-intelligent mice, towels, depressed robots (but rarely tea). By the way, if these mice are hyper-intelligent, is that by mouse standards or human? Isn't a hyper-intelligent mouse about at our level ? Anyway.... Although my opinion is slightly skewed, I'd recommend you check out this series at least once. The plot defies logical explanantion, so I haven't really attempted - suffice it to say it's far out, man.

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                  13.08.2001 06:43
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                  Although i was not born when this was first shown, i have just watched the repeats, and i wished i had seen them earlier, because this was a real joy to watch. The TV series captured the imagination of the book brilliantly. The detail at some points was amazing, and you really did feel as though you were there, watching arthur andthe gang on their mishap through space and time trying to discover the meaning to life, the universe and everything. The theme tune is still rattling around my head even now, and i can still remeber that opening scene at Arthur Dents house. Yet there were one or two things that i foudn i didn't like. Firstly, i would say that the overall Englishness of Arthur Dent was a little bit unnerving, as i never imagined him at all to be so stereotypical, but perhaps this was wha the BBC thought and English hero should be like. Second, i have to say that the graphics for the credits were not as advanced as they could have been. I look to Dr Who or various films that had far better and classier titels, and i did et the whole feeling that the budget for the series was not very big. But this did not detract from my enjoyment of a TV series that has rightly joined the book in cult status.

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                    22.05.2001 01:59
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                    Update.......... To all "Hitch Hikers Guide to The Galaxy" fans. BBC2 are screening the series over consecitive nights starting July 30 (Monday) at 11:20pm. Hip Hip Horay................. The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy was a short but extremely funny science fiction TV series from the 1980's. Made from a book by Douglas Adams who died in May of this year and won't get to see the movie update of his great series. The story started with a lack lustre Arther Dent waking one morning to find his house due for demolition. He decides to lie in front of the bulldozer. He then has a visit from his agitated friend Ford Prefect who persuades Arther to let an official from the demolition squad to take his place while they go to the pub. Scratch one house. Ford explains he does not need the house because they need to get drunk to relieve the effects of thumbing a lift and only have ten minutes. But all this did not sink in as Arthur worried about his house. Then arrives a Vogon Constructor Fleet and announces Earth is due for demolition as the new hyper space bypass is coming through. The Vogons are shocked to hear the people complain so tells them the plans were lodged years ago on a far off planet and its not his fault the Earth people had not been there to look themselves. So they destroy Earth. At the same time Arther and Ford hitch a lift on the Vogon ship using an electronic thumb. And the adventure starts. Main characters...... Auther Dent, A slightly sad man going through live feeling sorry for himself which gets on Fords nerves. Ford Prefect, Arthur's friend who turns out not to be from Guildford but from a planet called Betelgeuse. He is researching the Hitch-Hikers guide to the Galaxy and has just upgraded Earth from harmless to mostly harmless, Which Arthur wasn't very pleased about. Marvin, The paranoid android with the brain the size of a planet
                    and always complaining about only serving drinks and cheerful automatic doors that keep saying "have a good day" when you use them. Zaphod Beeblebrox, A really cool laid back dude. Oh, He also has two heads and three arms. Startibartfast, An old guy who is always so overjoyed about winning awards for designing the patterns for earth's Fjords. Trillian, Also from earth and Zaphod's girlfriend. A pretty and intelligent girl in a dumb sort of way. The hitch-hikers guide is the book Ford is researching, Its a electronic book with the encouraging words DON'T PANIC flashing on the cover. This book tells travellers all they need to know. This is done on screen with some good computer animation as we zoom into the book. The book is voiced by Peter Jones. Something's explained by the book, Babel Fish, A translating device placed in the ear. This translates any language into your own . Sirius Cybernetics Corp, Mad scientists determined to invent something everyone wants. Infinite Improbability Drive, I think you'll need the guide for this one. Deep Thought, A big, really big computer with an equally big ego. The 6 episodes were. 1) Arthur's house and the Vogon ship. 2) Leave Vogon's to join Zaphod, Trillian and Marvin. 3) Search the dead planet of Magrathea for fame and fortune. Also Staribartfast. 4) Mice searching for the meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything. 5) Restaurant at the end of the Universe, Where you have a last meal. A live meal which tells you the best bits to eat. 6) Story comes full circle as Arthur and Ford find themselves back on Earth. I remember watching this many time's and it was always funny. A refreshingly good Science Fiction series. The story was really good and the actors played there parts well. The sets were well made and the animation of the book was excellent even way back in the 1980's, And compared to othe
                    r shows of the time, Blake Seven to name just one. Sorry I can't remember everything but its been awhile since this was shown on TV. I recommend you watch this series if you get the chance and read the book as well, It was as good as the series. There was also the radio series which I can only just remember. Coming to a cinema soon we also have a full length movie version. I can't wait.

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                      26.04.2001 03:30
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                      The Hitch-hikers guide to the galaxy is a TV show based on the trilogy of books (which for some strange reason in this case is a series of 5 books) following the exploits of earthman Arthur Dent as he travels round the galaxy, hitching his way through life with his friends, Ford Prefect. I can`t even start to give you many details of the storyline, so weird and surreal is the series. The TV show has cut out some of the weird stuff, but it is still very weird. Basically Arthur Dent is rescued from the planet Earth before it is destroyed by the Vogons (a race of aliens who are very nasty indeed), and goes on a nice long adventure. He sees the end of the universe, meets the mice who placed the original contract to build the planet Earth and plenty more besides. The name comes from an electronic book carried round by his friend (Ford Prefect) called the Hitch-hikers guide to the galaxy. It`s got "Don`t panic" written on the front of it, and contains everything you need to know to hitch-hike your way through the galaxy with the minimum amount of fuss. The show itself is obviosuly produced on a very low budget with the usual quarry playing the part of alien landscapes, but despite this (or maybe because of this) the show still grabs your atention and gives you a good laugh. I`ve got this show on a video double set which has all the episodes running together, which is IMHO the best way to see this show. I`d strongly suggest you get hold of a copy from somewhere and watch it as soon as you can!

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                        31.01.2001 03:33
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                        That's the Meaning of Life. So they tell us. Or so Douglas Adams does, in his bizarre tale of "Hitchikers' Guide to the Galaxy." Now, I'm far too young (a-hem) to remember this first time round, but I remember watching it when I was in the sixth form and not really understanding it, particularly the penguins (what??), but having lengthy converstaions with my schoolpals, where we just pretended we knew all about the concepts in the programme. Now I'm a fully-fledged adult, I still don't really understand it, I've even read all the books and bought the videos for prosperity. However, this lack of understanding is really the whole point of this series which is one of those "cult classics." Basically, this status either means that people really, really like it or they really, really hate it. A bit like Monty Python, really. With the three main characters named Arthur Dent, Zaphod Beeblebrox and Trillian, this hardly lends itself to Albert Square, really, does it? When you then discover that one of them has two heads, that makes things even worse. If I tell you that the story itself is made even harder to follow by the clever interjection of snippets from the "Hitchiker's Guide" itself, narrated by Peter Jones, now I've really lost you, I'm sure. Perhaps the back of the video sleeve will explain things a little more clearly, though I doubt it, and I quote; "To Arthur Dent, ape descendant, lying in front of a large yellow bulldozer which is about to demolish his house, this is a slightly less than ordinary Thursday...." Erm, maybe not then. Everyone's favourite character in the series just has to be Marvin the Paranoid Android..."Brain the size of a planet and all they ask me to do is park cars.." If you've never watched this series before, you must watch the whole series before making a judgement as it does get better
                        , and you must judge it in the time that it was made.

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                        28.12.2000 00:31
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                        This show originally started life as a BBC radio show in 1978, written by Douglas Adams. It was then transformed into a novel, and only after that did it become a TV series, being aired for the first time on the BBC in 1983. The storyline involves the travels of Arthur Dent, a rather boring Englishman who becomes the only remaining human being alive after the Earth is destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass. Along with his friend Ford Prefect, who is an alien from Betelgeuse, Arthur travels all over the galaxy, meeting various weird and wacky characters including Marvin the Paranoid Android and Zaphod Beeblebrox, a two-headed party-loving ex-President of the Galaxy. The style of the show is fantastic, especially considering how long ago it was made. The ‘Hitch-Hiker’s Guide’ itself is like an electronic ‘Rough Guide to the Universe’ and whenever it is shown on screen the words scroll along like on a computer. However when the show was made this kind of technology was not available and so it was all done by hand, and it still holds up well as a special effect now. One of the best parts of the show is the humour, most of it coming out of Douglas Adams’ head. Adams was a writer for DOCTOR WHO during the Tom Baker era, and some of the weird and wacky storylines from that time for that show also came from him. The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide universe has grown and grown, with records, computer games, comics and a plethora of novels, all of which provide slightly different versions of the same basic story. Although some of the jokes are dated today, this is still a show worth watching. LITTLE KNOWN FACT: Douglas Adams himself actually appears in the second episode of the show, as a man walking into the sea with no clothes on!

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                          17.11.2000 01:33
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                          I first encountered The HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy on Radio and although the TV series is enjoyable I think I still prefer being able to imagine some scenes. Basically it tells the story of Arthur Dent who is rescued from Earth by Ford Prefect just before the earth is demolished to make way for an intergalactic highway. It is this sort of humour – mixing the ordinary into an extraordinary situation that is the great thing about this. A later example is the “Dish of the Day “ being still alive and recommending to the diners which cut to have. The Guide of the title is supposed to contain all the information in the universe. This is one area where TV scores over radio because when it is consulted it can show graphics as well as text. (But I wish they would go a little slower so I could read them all). The series led to the adoption of several catch ideas (rather than phrases) – especially “Don’t Panic” which is on the front of the guide but also “six impossible things before breakfast” and the answer to everything being 42. If the kind of humour above appeals you will love this.

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                            12.11.2000 19:00
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                            That's an indication of just how mad the HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy really is. The books are now upto 5, for a trilogy that's quite a lot! Of course, this is based on the first book, named amazingly enough The HitchHiker's Guide to The Galaxy, with a little bit of the second book thrown in too, just for good measure! The story revolves around the destruction of earth, to make way for a new solar bypass system, and of course no one went and checked the local planning office to complain about it. The only survivors are Ford Prefect and Arthur Dent.. one of whom is actually Human! Ford is actually an employee of the HitchHiker's guide, and has been researching the planet, in order to change it's description in the book.. from "Harmless" to "Mostly Harmless".. this took him quite a few years to accomplish. Arthur has just had his home demolished, and then his planet too, so he's in a bit of shock, but that's the least of his problems as the story rolls on!! Of course, the special FX look distinctly ropey nowadays, but the comedy shines through, and Marvin the Paranoid Android is absolutely brilliantly done! If you like the books, you'll love this, and there's talk of a new hollywood feature film soon!

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                            26.09.2000 03:12
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                            I was exactly the right age to appreciate this when it first came out and still appreciate it to this day. I possess a copy of the entire series and have watched them more times than I care to remember. I laughed then and I laugh now. I have to admit (something I do rarely) that I can recite almost the entire series. I love this series. For any sci-fi fan with a sense of humour this is it. The all time best. Some of the most classic lines ever are in this series......"What's this fish doing in my ear?" "It must be Thursday, I never could get the hang of Thursdays" and, of course........."Life, don't talk to me about life" Basically, this is the story of Arthur Dent - (a 6' tall ape descendent) who discovers that his best friend is an alien just as earth gets destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass. The rest is basically a story of their travels through time and space and the people they meet with, of course, the "Book".....the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy. They meet a paranoid android, a man with 2 heads and 3 arms, the mice who built earth etc Are you following me???? I very much doubt it so why not just get hold of a copy and watch it. A definite must!

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