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I had the privilege of working at the BBC when this was aired. It was truly ground breaking. It was the 1st radio comedy to be transmitted in stereo (up to then only BBC drama had been in stereo) and made significant use of the famous BBC Radiophonic Workshop. I can remember the reverence with which the reel to reel tapes of the show were treated. Exciting times in radio and people forget that the Primary and Secondary phases started off in radio and later became books. It has rightly become a cult show.
There's no way to review this really. It's such a unique piece of radio that there is no where to begin, and nothing to liken it to! These 6 half hour full cast radio episodes were the beginning of a mighty saga crossing space/time/radio/book/TV/film/dimensions and other weird things currently unknown to science. With a sense of anarchic weirdness and fun it tries to tell the story of the most wholly remarkable book in the universe, the Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy, by telling the stories of some of those associated with it. The original aim is soon lost as we get lost in the mayhem of the adventures of Arthur Dent the last remaining earthman, Ford Prefect his friend from somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse and not Guilford after all, Zaphod Beeblebrox galactic president and most wanted criminal and Marvin the paranoid android. Through an unlikely series of events they are plunged across space and time in a search for the ultimate question to the ultimate answer. It's weird, it's funny, it's fun.
This CD release from the BBC is excellent, with a great sound quality far superior to my old somewhat muddy copy. Two episodes per disc on 3 discs, held in a double jewel case. It's a classic, and has been given the decent release it deserves. 5 stars.
This is the original BBC recording - and it's interesting to be reminded of this first version of the story before it was refined and changed for the book. It's a hodge-podge of funny ideas and it wouldn't surprise me if the author was still writing it as the series bucketed along.
It's full of humour and sharp observation and it's still a joy. It is, however, ultimately nihilistic so the laughs come at a cost - but if you are happy to accept sad and empty along with exuberant and zany, you won't be disappointed...
What can I say? What can anyone say except "bravo"...I do have one small quibble which is pretty childish - the cassette tapes that I owned twenty five years ago had one or two different actors, and I wanted the EXACT same experience...but my children didn't know those actors, and they love it...my 9-year old gets the whole thing and laughs her head off - loves the whole improbability thing - but the two younger ones couldn't understand how nuclear missiles turned into a bowl of petunias ("what's petunias?") and a sperm whale...anyway it's a howling success, and will transport you to Magrathea and beyond, educate you on the niceties of Vogon poetry and is the perfect bed-time treat (whether or not you have the excuse of children to listen to it)!
I was absolutely captivated by the original radio version of HHGTTG as a young teenager in the late 70's and I was delighted to rediscover the pan-galactic magic with these CDs. Douglas Adams was quite simply a genius. I took my sons (9 & 12) to see the movie a few months ago and after that they were keen to hear the radio originals. We keep the CDs in our car and they are absolutely brilliant for long journeys - you really can listen to them again and again, which is ideal if your vehicle does not have an Infinite Improbability Drive. And don't forget to listen out for the little joke at the end of the credits after each episode.
Brilliant! If you had the privilege to hear the original broadcasts then enjoy the trip down memory lane and some of the little 'in' jokes younger listeners may not understand. If you are a younger listener then enjoy the education. If you've never listened to Hitchhikers then you're in for a treat and you won't have to wait a week for "the next exciting episode of 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy'".
Wonderful! The original radio series of Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide. Do be warned however that the CD contains uncensored Vogon poetry. In my view there should have been some sort of warning or a sedative provided. I found myself screaming for mercy and needed urgent medical attention. You will never look at mice in the same way again.....