The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was the first radio comedy show to be recorded in stereophonic sound and it was acted out by a full cast of profe..Show More »ssional actors, but what really sets this show apart is the sound effects which were completely innovative at the time. "One of Adams's stated goals was to be experimental in the use of sound. Being a fan of Pink Floyd and The Beatles (and especially the experimental concept albums both bands produced in the late 1960s and early 1970s), Adams wanted the programme to have the feel of a "rock album...to convey the idea that you actually were on a spaceship or an alien planet — that sense of a huge aural landscape". (From Wikipedia)
Of course today, there is a quaint quality to those sound effects, but that only adds to the overall charm of the experience. I first discovered this show in the late 80s when a local radio station aired the series, and must say that more than 20 years later, a reading of the book (which not surprisingly seemed awfully flat) it felt just as fresh, off the wall and yes, innovative as it did the first time around.
In the Primary Phase, one reviewer (Vance) gave the series a very low rating. It seemed odd to me, as I had listened to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th phases ..Show More »with no problems. Yes, I know I'm listening to them backwards, but it doesn't matter, as they are all fun. As I write this, I have not listened to the Primary Phase where Vance gave his review, but I have listened to the Secondary Phase, which also is a remastered version, as opposed to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th phases, which are not.
Here is what I found from the Secondary Phase. I always download the audio book to the iPod side of my iPhone, and I listen a lot while driving. Though I had no problems with the 3rd, 4th, and 5th phases while driving, I had quite a bit of a problem with the Secondary Phase. It seems that some of the voices for some of the time have been mixed at too low of a volume. I'm not sure if the recording engineer mixed the stereo pan too far left or right, but here's what happened. While driving in the car, a voice would drop so low in volume that I had to turn up the radio dial volume (I have my iPhone connected to the car's stereo system)...then the volume on the next voice would come booming through, and I had to quickly turn the volume back down. After about 15 minutes of playing with the volume, I gave up on listening to it in the car. Eventually I finished it, but I did so with my iPhone ear phones stuck in my ears while on my walks. There was still a problem with the volume swing of the voices, but not to the extent that I had while listening in the car. Again...no such problem with the 3rd, 4th, and 5th phases.
One fun thing about the Secondary Phase is that is provides us with an audio interview of author Douglas Adams. I found it very enjoyable. It is a shame that he died so very young. I think the interview is worth the purchase of the audio alone. If you feel you can deal with the volume swings, then make the purchase, as the story and the acting are both great.
At the end of the Secondary Phase of the Hitchhikers' Guide series, we heard Arthur Dent take off in Zaphod's ship, al..Show More »ong with Marvin, a Lintilla clone, Eddie, the shipboard computer, etc. Now, he wakes up on earth, 2 million years in our past?
So, that just proves the universe is stranger than we think--especially Douglas Adam's Hitchhikers' universe.
Now, you can hear, in all of BBC's brilliant radio style, the dramatization of the third book, "Life, The Universe, and everything". Will Arthur find out the ultimate question this time? Will he finally get a cup of tea? Will he return to earth and settle down--even though the vogons destroyed the earth?
Listen and find out!
The BBC, again, does a wonderful job in bringing the third book to life, and, thanks to BBC and Audible, you can go along for the ride.
The BBC has given voices to some new characters, and, been able to bring many original cast members back for the dramatization of the final 3 books in the series. Some of the original cast are no longer with us, but, the BBC has done a good job replacing them.
True, the actors are a little older, but, I still don't have any trouble believing who they are.
This was performed after Douglas Adams died, but, he does make an appearance. See if you can guess who he plays!
This is the fourth in the BBC Radio adaptations of Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series of books. Except that the first two B..Show More »BC radio productions were the originals, and Adams wrote the first two HHG books based on the series. However, the third through fifth BBC radio adaptations are based on the three HHG books that Adams wrote after his first two books, but before the last three radio series. If that's not clear, consult any popular reference work on temporal causality.
To put this review in context, I ask that you read my Audible review of the previous BBC dramatization, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Tertiary Phase." Go ahead, I'll wait.
I see you're back. The "Quandary Phase" contains a four-episode radio series that's an adaptation of Adams' book "So Long and Thanks For All the Fish," the fourth book in the story of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."
Let me ease any concerns you may have after reading another reviewers' comments on the "Tertiary Phase." I had no difficulties purchasing the "Quandary Phase" from Audible, and I live in the US.
The first two episodes in the BBC radio dramatization suffer from the same problems I mentioned in my review of the "Tertiary Phase": I feel that they're over-produced, with too many audio effects layered at once; and that they're too faithful to the written books for a radio production.
However, the second two episodes reverse both of those issues. Finally, the emphasis is on the characters talking to one another; Adams' wit and humor (or should it be "humour"?) can finally shine through. Also, the presentation is tailored for the radio; some plot elements are re-arranged and presented in a way that's better to suited for listening.
If I'd purchased this from the UK, as I did the "Tertiary Phase", I probably would have felt it wasn't work the extra expense. But at Audible's lower prices, I recommend it. Listen and enjoy.
If you listened to the previous BBC radio productions of Douglas Adams "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series (including the "Tertiary Phase" and t..Show More »he "Quandary Phase"), you've probably already decided to complete the story by getting the "Quintessential Phase." You're in for a treat.
In my reviews of the previous two "phases", I said that portions were over-produced and too faithful an adaptation of the novels. All four radio episodes that make up the "Quintessential Phase" are free of those problems. Well, mostly free; there are one or two spots when there's too much going on. But they are brief, and you can figure things out afterwards.
If you've read the fifth book in the HHG series, "Mostly Harmless," you know that Adams ended the series on a depressing note. It was a clear message to his readers: that's the end of the story, there will be no more.
The radio series includes that ending. I listened to it... then saw on my iPod that there was still ten minutes of audio left to go. Huh?
I don't know if this was Adams' intent before he died, or a decision on the part of the writer who adapted the series for radio, but the radio story goes on. It ends on a glad note, not a sour one as in "Mostly Harmless." I laughed out loud at the inventiveness of it, for the first time since I started listening to the "phases." I don't mean to imply that the rest of the radio series is humorless, but I'd read all the books and was already familiar with the jokes. This was new... and funny.
It is a fitting celebration to the end of the story, and a touching tribute to Douglas Adams' creation. If you're fan of HHG, it's worth getting this audiobook for the ending alone. It even explains the transition between the end of the second BBC HHG radio series, and the start of the "Tertiary Phase." A neat trick!
I hope that someday Audible will make the first two BBC radio productions of HHG available, so new listeners can hear all five in sequence.