Friday, March 16, 2018

'The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Hexagonal Phase' by Dirk Maggs

16 March 2018

Long time readers with good memories may recall me writing here in October 2009 about the 30th anniversary of the original radio broadcast of Douglas Adams’ 'The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy' (which was to be marked by the publication of an authorised Hitch Hiker sequel by Eoin Colfer). Now, nearly nine years later, the BBC is marking the 40th anniversary (well time is a funny thing!) with a new series on BBC Radio 4. 'The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Hexagonal Phase' (broadcast on Thursdays at 6.30 pm) is written and directed by Dirk Maggs and based on ‘And Another Thing...’ by Eoin Colfer – the sixth book in the famous Hitchhiker's Guide trilogy – with additional unpublished material by Douglas Adams. It’s a real treat for us HHGG fans, with the remaining members of the original cast reunited for another surreal journey through space and time. But for the uninitiated this is probably not the best place to start. 'The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy' has become increasingly self-reverential: although a convoluted explanation is provided for why there are now two Trillians, it is no secret that this is merely an excuse for involving both Susan Sheridan and Sandra Dickinson who respectively played Trillian in the original radio series and the 1981 TV adaptation. There are also some poignant tributes to those actors who are no longer available to reprise their roles: in the first episode of the new series we hear The Book explaining the concept of the Babel Fish in the voices of Peter Jones (from the original radio series), Stephen Fry (from the film) and John Lloyd (who co-wrote some of the original series with Douglas Adams). Jim Broadbent does a good job of filling the aching aluminium feet of Stephen Moore’s Marvin the Paranoid Android. And there is an added poignancy now to the appearance of the late Stephen Hawking as The Guide Mark II. See:

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