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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'.

Winner of the 2019 Audie Award for Science Fiction.

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2018, the series is written and directed by Dirk Maggs and based on And Another Thing… by Eoin Colfer with additional unpublished material by Douglas Adams.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 listeners say about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Hexagonal Phase (Dramatized)

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    3 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.

13 people found this helpful

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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 people found this helpful

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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.

5 people found this helpful

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awesome

awesome ending to the series. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is something of a Bible to me I love it.

1 person found this helpful

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Nowhere near as good as the previous 5 episodes.

a lot of this book was just silly, and not at all funny.
unlike the previous books.

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a must listen

a must listen start with primary and work through hexagonal. great team of preformers. awesome

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A Happier End

When I first heard of the concept of this book: “blasphemy” was the first word that came to mind.
But as Douglas Adams was a passionate atheist, I knew that I had to re-think things…:

I have read somewhere that Douglas Adams was a little unhappy with the Hitchhiker’s Ending.
The last book was written during a particularly “crappy” time of his life, and the book reflected that.
He thought long and hard about writing one more book, just to “set things right”.

This is Not Douglas Adams's book. 
It is missing “this and that”, and it’s missing it “here and there”.

All that being said, let’s look at what this book is to me:

A “last bow-out” of the characters, introduced to us by Douglas Adams.
An attempt to stitch things up, to bring to a happier end…
It reads to me like a friendly celebration of Douglas Adams's story, by someone that obviously read - and loved the H2G2 series, not an evil “money-making, coattail riding” blasphemous hack.

The book made me smile, even laugh, it gave me a warm feeling around the cockles, and was genuinely able to transport me back to the time when I first heard of “Dentrassi”, “Vogons” and “Golgafrinchans”.

If one is willing to forgive the writers that they are not Douglas Adams, one is hard-pressed not to get at least some enjoyment out of this ending.

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The performance is fantastic, but...

The performance is fantastic, but the story isn't. Eoin Colder brilliantly captures the weirdness of the HHG2G universe, but wasn't successful in capturing the interconnectedness of events that made the books written by Douglas Adams so special. I got the impression from this story that weird things happened just because they're weird, not because they will move the plot forward, foreshadow a future event, call back to something from before, or misdirect and surprise you with a twist.

If I were to compare the original books to Monty Python, then I would have to compare "And Another Thing..." and its radio counterpart to a "lol, so random" high schooler. Ultimately, it's not worth the buy. Maybe check it out at the library.

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10 more please

I can only hope, but these are the best of the best to me.i will listen over and over and be grateful for this new edition with past voices of the Hitch hikers guide family.

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"Don't Panic"

Douglass Adams in his element, Life, Universe and Everything...
This recorded adaptation of his story is absolutely brilliant, you can literally see it payout in your head...

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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!

19 people found this helpful

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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.

5 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mud
  • 11-17-20

Brilliant cast, shame about the author.

I know that H2g2 will be whatever will to all lifeforms and the Earthling Dirk Maggs does another brilliant job but Eoin Colfers pitiful attempt at aping Douglas Adams really shows. I love being with Arther, Trillian, Zaphod, Ford in an adventure again, I just wish it were a better one. Don't get me wrong, I respect it, just not very much.

1 person found this helpful

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  • solidair
  • 02-04-19

Pleased !

I’ve grown up with this . Every few years a new one . And got the ending it so richly deserved .thank you ( a tear appeared at the end).

1 person found this helpful

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

Good try.

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

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • 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 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew Hall
  • 10-11-21

Play it at 1.10-1.15x speed and it's good

For some reason, the new narrator sounds very unnaturally slowed down, he has a slurred quality. This is fixed by playing at about 1.15x speed and doesn't significantly affect the rest of the book, very odd, but otherwise nearly as good as the earlier books.

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  • Woods for trees
  • 08-29-21

so long and thanks for all the fish?

thought the last book was not very Douglas Adams. this one very much a mash up

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  • buliga
  • 07-27-21

meh

feels that its not a Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy book, but at least changes the ending to a happy one

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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........

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-30-19

An Unsatisfying End

Sadly just a money spinning tack-on to the series... I'd recommend avoiding and preserve wonder at the side-splitting first five books.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-27-21

No matter what shape

Some of the voices changed but the result was still equally entertaining and fun. Do yourself a favour and just listen to the lot.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-12-20

What a journey since 1977

So long and thanks for the fish. Dingos Kidneys this was a great chapter and recommend the journey as if you enjoyed the rest of the audio books since their radio broadcast in 1977 then it's a great time to go on one more adventure. You might enjoy this with one of your brains in a jar and plenty of frozen sandwiches. Praise Thor.