Our pages of information on the wholly remarkable entity that is The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy
First appearing on BBC Radio, this Science Fiction comedy from the pen of (the sadly departed) Douglas Adams, spawned five books, a TV series, a computer game, and towels. In our opinion, the BBC radio series is the best way to experience Hitchhikers, and fortunately, the original radio series, plus three new series, are available.
If you’re new to the world of Hitch-hiker’s Guide – a) Where have you been? and b) No excuses – get yourself a copy of the original radio series (CD or download), and get immersed. Essentially, this is the story of Arthur Dent, a man who wakes up in the morning, and shortly thereafter, has his planet blown up. He manages to escape the Earth in the company of his odd friend Ford Prefect, who’s a researcher for that wholly remarkable book, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
The series follows a fairly random wander through the galaxy, on a quest for the ultimate question of Life, The Universe and Everything. Arthur’s sub-quest, is to find a nice hot cup of tea.
Hitchhiker’s Guide is an inspired piece of comedy / sci-fi, written for the best medium for such comedy… radio. Go listen to it now. Before it’s too late!
Here are links to some of the versions of HHGG:
May 2005 – Final radio series , ‘Mostly Harmless’ started 31 May 2005 on Radio 4. Hitchhiker’s on the radio.
May 2005 – New products announced – London’s Science Museum will be holding an exhibition dedicated H2G2 from 28 May to 27 November 2005. Visitors will learn about Douglas Adams and the heritage of the Hitchhiker s Guide to the Galaxy. Something not to be missed.
April 2005 – New products announced – A look around Amazon reveals some new products, in time for this month’s movie launch – these include the book, CD and film “making of”, the scripts for the three new radio series, and an Anthology at End of Universe. Click on the images below for more…
Jan 2005 – The Year of the Film is upon us! Details of Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – The Movie are firmed up, and the film is currently is post-production. We can expect to see it in early May, and if you’re clever and know you’re way around the Internet, you should be able to get to a trailer of what the film is likely to offer. Hopefully, this will see a big surge of interest in Hitch-Hikers (again), introducing a whole new generation to HHGG.
Know who’s cast as Arthur, who’ll play ‘The Guide’, and which bearded English comic will play the rather unlucky sperm whale?
For a few more details, and links to a trailer, see our HHGG Movie page
Oct 2004 –The Tertiary phase of the Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio series finished its first run on Radio 4 on the 26th October.
Most of the original cast are reunited to help stop the Krikkit robots rebuilding the Wikkit key and setting their master’s free. If you missed it, it’s available on CD and audio cassette from Amazon and the BBC Online Shop
According to Dirk Maggs, director of the new series, we can expect eight more half hour episodes comprising the Quandary (So long, and thanks for all the fish) and Quintessential (Mostly Harmless) phases in late April 2005 .
Sept 2004 – NEW Radio Series! The third series of the Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio series started at 6:30pm on Tuesday 21st September on BBC Radio 4. The original series was broadcast in March 1978, with the second series first being heard in January 1980. Twenty-four years later, we can now hear the “Tertiary phase”, recorded with many of the original series cast. For more, see Radio 4’s Hitch-hikers page. To talk about the new radio series, go to our Comedy forum
Sept 2004 – A busy time for HHGG fans! The brand-new radio series (the Tertiary phase) starts this month, the film is moving ever onwards, and some new audio stuff is on the way. Amazon and the BBC Online Shop are now taking orders for HHGG Tertiary Phase on CD and cassette, as well as Douglas Adams at the BBC. Talk about Hitch-Hikers in our Comedy forum
June 2004 – Brand new Hitch Hikers radio series due for transmission on the BBC being recorded by the BBC, for transmission on 21st September 2004. For the full story, see the BBC HitchHiker’s page…
January 2004– Hitch-Hiker’s Guide Movie taking shape. Talk of an HHGG movie does the rounds every few years. The latest gossip talks about Bill Nighy (Love Actually) being cast as Slartibartfast, and Martin Freeman (Tim, from The Office) as Arthur Dent. For more, see MJ Simpson’s site…
Oct 2003 – Three CD set, “Douglas Adams at the BBC” due for release in a year’s time. October 2004 sees the release of this exciting compilation from the BBC. Available from the BBC Online Shop
June 2003 – Discovery of the year. Found this gem in a disused lavatory at the back of my local MVC store – I thought I’d discovered all of the sources of Hitch-Hiker’s “Making of” material, but this two-hour audio cassette had slipped through the sub-ether net. This BBC twin-cassette box, for about £8, contains interviews with Douglas, Simon Jones, radio producer Geoffrey Perkins, Stephen Moore (Marvin) and a host of others. It explains how the radio series was put together (and nearly didn’t make it to air!). Narrated by Peter Jones, this is a must-have! Presumably this is the extra material that’s now packaged with the MP3 CD (see below). It’s available by mail order from Amazon: Douglas Adams’s Guide to “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”
May 2003 – Amazing new product… Complete Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (MP3-CD). This is a single CD containing 7 and a half hours of Hitchhikers – this includes 6 hours of the original radio series (all 12 episodes), but also included is Douglas Adams’s Guide to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a behind-the-scenes look at the show, a fascinating compilation of anecdotes and interviews. It also features a previously unbroadcast full-length interview with author Douglas Adams. It’s available for under £20 from the BBC Online Shop
March 2003 – Wonderful to see this back in print, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – The Original Radio Scripts is a must for any fan on the radio series, the first incarnation of the series. This nearly-A4 publication of 260 pages commemorates the 25th anniversary of HHGG and has been updated with new material since the first publication back in 1985. New material includes a lost Hitchhiker’s script and a who’s who. The book is dedicated to all BBC Studio Managers, and includes a great insight into the series recording, including how Marvin’s effect loop kept getting lost and trodden on, how they made the choir of robots, and how the last episode nearly didn’t make it air at all. Each episode is listed with original direction notes and effects, plus notes on the recording techniques and problems they encountered during the making of the series. A must-have, and not much over £10 from Amazon.
March 2003– ‘Hitchhiker: a Biography of Douglas Adams‘, by M.J. Simpson published. This book tells the story of Douglas’ life and works, including interviews with colleagues and friends. At the time of writing, I’m working through Douglas’s school years (plus snippets from his early writings for the school magazine.. late, of course), and it’s an excellent and engrossing read. Hardback, and available from Amazon.
May 2002 – If you’re a Douglas Adams fan, take a look at The Salmon of Doubt – a posthumous book based on the contents of DNA’s Mac harddrive. The title comes from the unfinished third book in the Dirk Gently Holistic Detective Agency series, and includes as much of the story as could be re-created. Many of the rest of the 50 or so articles in the book are non-fiction, and reflect Douglas’s interests, including computing, technology and wildlife. By it’s very nature, it’s a disjoined book, through which those not familiar with Douglas’ work will struggle – but for those who’ve followed his work, this gives an insight into what he was working on in the latter years of his life.
- The BBC’s Hitch-Hikers Guide page
- Above the Title Productions – The production company responsible for the excellent Tertiary, Quandary and Quintessential Phases of the radio series (2004-2005)
- Hitch-Hikers in the real world – Just how real is the H2G2 Universe created by Douglas?
- Audible.co.uk – Offering various Hitchhiker’s dramatisations for immediate download
- Merchandise, including DVDs, CDs and cassettes from the BBC Online Shop
- ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha – The Official fan club