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Publisher's Summary

The brand new BBC Radio 4 full-cast series based on And Another Thing… the sixth book in the famous Hitchhiker’s Guide "trilogy".

Forty years on from the first ever radio series of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Arthur Dent and friends return in six brand new episodes, in which they are thrown back into the Whole General Mish Mash in a rattling adventure involving Viking Gods and Irish Confidence Tricksters, with our first glimpse of Eccentrica Gallumbits and a brief but memorable moment with The Ravenous Bugblatter Beast Of Traal.

Starring John Lloyd as The Book, with Simon Jones as Arthur, Geoff McGivern as Ford Prefect, Mark Wing-Davey as Zaphod Beeblebrox, Sandra Dickinson and Susan Sheridan as Trillian, Jim Broadbent as Marvin the Paranoid Android and Jane Horrocks as Fenchurch, the cast also includes Samantha Béart, Toby Longworth, Andy Secombe, Ed Byrne, Lenny Henry, Philip Pope, Mitch Benn, Jon Culshaw and Professor Stephen Hawking.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2018, the series is written and directed by Dirk Maggs and based on And Another Thing… by Eoin Colfer with additional unpublished material by Douglas Adams. This edition also includes over 50 minutes of unbroadcast bonus material.

Listeners are reminded that the relaxed attitude to danger provided by Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses is no substitute for running around, screaming.

Cast
The Voice Of The Book…John Lloyd
Arthur Dent…Simon Jones
Ford Prefect…Geoff McGivern
Zaphod Beeblebrox…Mark Wing-Davey
Trillian/Tricia McMillan…Sandra Dickinson
Trillian…Susan Sheridan
Random…Samantha Béart
Jeltz/Wowbagger…Toby Longworth
Constant Mown…Andy Secombe
Left Brain/Thor…Mitch Benn
Fenchurch…Jane Horrocks
Hillman Hunter…Ed Byrne
Cthulu…Jon Culshaw
Marvin…Jim Broadbent
The Guide MkII…Professor Stephen Hawking
The Consultant…Lenny Henry
Heimdall/Barzoo/Buckeye Brown/Eccentrica /Gunner Vogon…Tom Alexander
Aseed Preflux/Sub-Etha Voice/HOG Door …Philip Pope
Modgud/The Viking…Theo Maggs Baldur… Phillipe Bosher
Announcer…John Marsh

Music by Philip Pope
Production research by Kevin Jon Davies
Written and directed by Dirk Maggs
Based on the novel And Another Thing… by Eoin Colfer, with additional material by Douglas Adams
Recorded at The Soundhouse Ltd. by Gerry O'Riordan
Sound Design by Dirk Maggs
Produced by Dirk Maggs, Helen Chattwell and David Morley

A Perfectly Normal Production for BBC Radio 4   

©2018 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2018 BBC Worldwide Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Almost, but not quite, entirely unlike the HHGG.

As always, a PHENOMENAL bit of work by the BBC. Sound design is inspired and hearing the original radio show cast (minus a few who have, sadly , left us) is the auditory and emotional equivalent of slipping into a cherished pair of comfortable slippers. Truly wonderful stuff, that.

The rest is a bit troublesome.

Eoin Coffer is a brave author to wade into a pool as deep and sacred as Douglas Adams' eccentrically-named Hitchhiker's Trilogy and take on what was surely a lose-lose scenario: create a wholly new work and find it greeted as "not Hitchhiker's enough" or delve deep into the lore and find himself accused of coasting along atop Douglas' hard-won success.

To me, a die-hard Hitchhiker's fan since its first broadcast, the work comes off as clunky pastiche at best and fanfic at worst. It sounds like Douglas(ish.) And I suppose it sounds like Eoin(ish) but it feels overstuffed so chock-full of refences from the original Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy that the work just feels forced. The parts that are original in tone or content, meanwhile, feel poorly integrated, and the whole thing reads like 2 authors writing, lightly at odds with each other while simultaneously attempting to mimic each other's style.

That said, the audio production itself is the work's saving grace. The original cast dances though the almost-but-not-quite-entirely-unlike-Douglas Adams prose as if Douglas had written it himself in the office down the hall from the recording studio. In their hands, and the capable hands of the sound designers, who pepper the saga with light callbacks to the original radio's sound, the work is elevated to far more than the sum of its parts.

If you're a fan, or a completist, or a fan who is a completist, yes, you'll probably have to own this work. It's fun to hear familiar voices, and the performances are sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, but I felt so often that just as I had gotten into the groove of hearing Zaphod, Trillian, Ford, Arthur or the Guide itself, along came some clunky new stuff that just didn't fit the groove, or worse, a callback to the original works that felt so ham-handed and obvious that it knocked me right out of the merry suspension of disbelief needed to enjoy the Hitchhiker's universe.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed it—but also disappointed by it

It was brilliant to hear the original cast bring the radio show back to life again. There were a few almost-Adams-quality jokes—I laughed aloud once, which I hadn’t expected to do without the man himself at the helm—but the overall effect was marred by a number of inconsistencies and inaccuracies (“Zark” was not used quite so generously by Adams, nor in such a way [‘Zark this, zark that’... it just didn’t feel authentic]; there was no need for further hyperspace bypasses due to a technological breakthrough just prior to the destruction of Earth II, so why were the Vogons still using hyperspace bypasses to travel [I can get behind their excuse that they had to kill Earthlings too, but every detail matters, and the details were often inaccurate]; language like “bastard” and “crap” [I mean honestly, a little more creativity, please?] came up way too often; there was more sexual humor than in the originals; Trillian acted massively out of character [really? She would just fling herself on Wowbagger like that? I don’t think so]; on and on.) True, Adams himself included inconsistencies (with a flourish!) between versions, but I found the lack of continuity between radio show seasons unfortunate. Adams did maintain consistency within each respective version, after all. On the brighter side, Ford felt delightfully true-to-life, and I appreciated the moments when I could almost convince myself that Adams had penned a joke or two.

Overall, though, it felt rather contrived—both trying too hard and not trying hard enough at the same time. I’m wishing someone other than Colfer had been chosen to add to the series. It was pleasantly nostalgic, but I feel that someone who knew the series better or at least cared to do more thorough research would have produced a wittier, more accurate extension. Not much one can do without Adams himself, I suppose. A decent effort, though, and worth a listen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Like talking to a robotic version of an old friend

As always I enjoyed the performances from the actors and the quality of the recording. but there's something a little off with this one and it's abundantly clear from the get-go. Eoin Colfer does a serviceable job to return us to the universe that Douglas Adams created, but it always feel like a watered down version.

That being said, I still enjoyed it. There were many times I laughed at the absurdity of it all, and that reminds me of the originals.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Not Douglas Adams, But Still Fantastic!

This books as the sixth book in the H2G2 trilogy is a fantastic addition to the Douglas Adams five. Some of the points and changes to story of the last (5th) book I can overlook for story and the joy of getting to see the characters once more. The pace feels different than the Douglas Adams written stories, but it still holds up on it's own.

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good

very good
s t u f f I l I k e d I t

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

continue of stories

was pretty good story it try to wrap up the story but made more holes in the end

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Simon
  • 04-16-18

Out With The Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal?

There are apparently people who don't like the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. No, don't scoff, it's true, I even know one of these rare anomalies! I have of course heard that the Lord works in mysterious ways and indeed that the human mind is a labyrinthine and complex world where the possibilities are endless but there can't be many greater unsolved mysteries than someone who didn't enjoy reading this trilogy. For me the BBC radio and TV series and of course the books were pure comedy nectar.

So that’s my colours nailed to the mast though it’s not quite that simple. Even I found there was a law of diminishing returns and after the initial trilogy I found that while I enjoyed the later books they just didn’t have the same impact. I was happy to read them but they didn’t rock my world in anything like the same way.

So fast forward a while and along comes master Eoin Colfer adding a sixth book to the trilogy. Based on the above I didn’t touch it until I saw the audiobook with the wonderful Simon Jones doing the narration a few years ago. And do you know what? It wasn’t half bad!

It was so comfortable getting back in touch with these wonderful characters and just drifting through multiple universes with them again. Personally I think Colfer really got it right and produced a great zany adventure in keeping with the wonderful original work. I particularly liked how the Vogons developed and call me soppy but I appreciated the ending too.

This production, as you would expect from our Auntie Beeb is excellent. Wonderful to hear that theme tune again, an excellent cast and great sound effects. Especially the screams! Of course the voices are different which can take some getting used to but that’s hardly something to complain about. So if it’s a bit of light-hearted froody goodness you are after then this really is better than an evening out with the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal!

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-09-18

Funny and like listening to old friends

I have loved Hitchhicker’s from the first radio show and this sounds as good as ever. Although based on the book by Eoin Colfer you can still hear Douglas Adams influences. The actors are all great and can still find their characters voices.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-24-18

42 stars out of 42

It is as good as a good cup of tea and will leave you hurting in all the diods down your left side.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Steve Dennis
  • 05-08-18

Good try.

I do not want to be forced in writing more than necessary. A good effort.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Colin Main
  • 04-24-18

Good to hear the old gang back together again....

... but let down by an awfully thin story line. A real disappointment to be honest. Eoin would have been better off not trying to be Douglas Adams because he's just nowhere near as good!

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Doug
  • 08-25-18

Listen to the whole thing waiting on the M25.

loved the story. esp Ford Focus. This was a welcome distraction when stuck on the M25 , finished it when got to the M40.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kevin Boone
  • 07-10-18

Too rooted in the 1980s to bring up to date

The original Hitchhiker's Guide was a science-fiction comedy but, more than that, it was a satire on 1980s values and preoccupations (bureaucracy, materialism, estate agents, Islington, cricket, digital watches...) I'm sure Adams developed the characters along lines that played up to his chosen themes.

I loved the original radio series and most of the books. But, for better or worse, the world has moved on. The original idea of a hand-held computer containing all the galaxy's knowledge was far-fetched in 1980 but, in fact, it's low-tech now, along with digital watches. Many of the hot-ticket issues of the 80s are no longer of much interest. So we are left with characters and situations that were ideal for exploring the oddities of Thatcher's England, but don't make all that much sense now.

Eoin Colfer's story and characterization are true to the original, but that's the problem -- Adams already did everything that could be done with those characters thirty-odd years ago, when their social context actually made sense. We can satirize our present-day concerns and foibles and probably we should; but we can't use 80s themes to do it -- it just doesn't work.

So what we're left with, in this presentation, is a church wedding for atheists -- all the familiar trappings are there, but the fundamental purpose has been lost. What we have is a sort of homage to the original story, with all the characters' most memorable traits (Arthur Dent's craving for tea, etc) brought out repeatedly like a music-hall comedian's catch-phrase.

I can't fault the production, or the acting, or even the dramatization; but I feel sure that, if Douglas Adams were still with us, he wouldn't be writing this stuff any more. And I'm not sure that anybody else should be.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • J. McCurrach
  • 07-05-18

The best of the post-Adams books

Thoroughly enjoyed this, felt very much a continuation of the original series. Made a very long drive pass in a flash, and I'm sure I'll listen to it again soon.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Matt St P
  • 06-21-18

Poor story badly told.

A poor story for the most part.
By series six, I think it's safe to assume this is only going to be listened to by fans, it people who have listened to the majority of the previous five.
Too much unnecessary re-exposition introducing characters we've already met, whilst winking at the camera (or microphone), which doesn't really work.
It is not easy to do action in the radio, and whilst previous series have had little or none, this relied rather heavily on action in a couple of the episodes which had to be described by either other characters or the narrator, it was like when the audio description is accidentally turned on on the TV and you can't get it off.
With the exception of Simon Jones, the acting has gotten worse as the series have gone on. It is a shame that most of the original cast are dead and are as such unable to resume their duties, but when they recast, they could have at least attempted to catch the inflections of the characters or even use the same effects. Marvin was unrecognisable.
In summary,
Mostly terrible.

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  • Mr. Doc Atherton
  • 04-21-18

Fantastic! It fits right in with the series!

What can I say? It fits right in! I hope & pray for more please

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Rob in Nelson NZ
  • 07-01-18

I'm glad they did this. Better than nothing......

Hitch-Hikers material by Douglas Adams draws intense fan loyalty. I'm pretty die hard, and have been listening to the first two series for 30+ years and would have lost count how many times I've heard them. I loved the first 3 books, really liked the 4th book, and was disappointed by the 5th book. Eion Colfer's efforts to continue to the story with a 6th was OK, but I think telling that he didn't try again. Dirk Maggs does a wonderful job of continuing the radio series legacy, and has turned the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th books into radio adaptions. Much like the books, the story-lines have steadily declined. That's not a reflection on Dirk Maggs or the others involved - the performances and adaption quality are excellent I thoroughly enjoyed. It's just that everything seems to be running out of steam.

I was really glad they made the movie, but it didn't take off. Similarly, I'm really glad they have made this radio series.

Sadly, Douglas Adams died in the early 2000s. I'm still incredibly sad about that. My attitude to these examples of 'new' material fall into the category of "better than nothing". If you are young, and have recently heard of the "Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy" don't start with this. Start with the the earliest versions. It just makes sense regardless, and I can't recommend them highly enough. But if you're a fan, and are wondering "Should I bother?" I recommend you do.... just not strongly........