Talk:The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (radio series)

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Untitled[edit]

I had a note here about whether or not one actor returned. According to the "Above the Title" site, he did. --JohnDBuell 03:23, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

Requests[edit]

Would anyone like to add plot outlines for each of the individual episodes? Or details about the cassette/CD releases? --JohnDBuell 02:39, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

I've made some changes relating to the naming of the "Fits" which also has relevance to the cassette/CD releases. I am not convinced the Cassette and CD releases were at the same time (1988 as quoted here and in Simos book)

Simpson states 1988 multiple times, and as he's described fallacies in other documentaries and sources, I consider it likely he got it right the first time. The 1996 individual sets of the Primary and Secondary Phases on CD only state that they had been released previously as a box set (likely the 1993 first re-release, which first gave the names of "Primary and Secondary Phases"). --JohnDBuell 17:53, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
I have the original BBC release on CD (which I believe was the first ever CD release of a BBC Radio production). It is six discs, in individual jewel cases labelled as "Fit the First and Second", etc., in a black sleeve with "DON'T PANIC" - in large, friendly letters, of course - on the front and back. The catalogue number is BBC CD 6001, and the (c) and (p) dates on all the packaging confirm the release date as 1988. Jpfowler27 (talk) 02:00, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Length[edit]

I was afraid it wouldn't take very long for a single article about the radio series to get too long. I've split off cast lists and plot outlines of the primary and secondary phases into one article, and the tertiary through quintessential phases into another.

Music[edit]

An anonymous user added a blurb about having to use studio musicians to re-record "Journey of the Sorcerer" for the Quandary and Quintessential phase titles. I have not been able to verify this after having looked on several websites. And it sounds like the original recording to me from the first three episodes of the Quandary Phase. Can anyone else verify this claim? I'm going to leave it for a day or two, until or unless someone can prove or disprove it. If proof is found, please add a source. --JohnDBuell 04:33, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

Ah, "the ears have it." They aren't using the original "Journey of the Sorcerer" on the CDs anymore. Just got my Quandary Phase copy. --JohnDBuell 23:31, 24 May 2005 (UTC)


Tidied up the 'copyright music' bit. I know radio broadcasts kept broadcasting the scene well after the first broadcast - I heard it. DJ Clayworth 03:38, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Slightly confused about the "would have been expensive in the 80s" comment in the rights issues section for the Tertiary/Quandary/Quintessential series; unless a time machine were involved they couldn't have been released in the 80s, expense or not. 92.40.59.79 (talk) 11:12, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

For the original BBC radio recording the use of the original music recordings would not have been a problem, as the BBC would have had the necessary rights due to possessing the Phonographic Performance Limited licences as a broadcaster, the tracks already being played on BBC stations such as Radio One and Radio Two, however, for commercial sales, especially elsewhere outside the UK, this would have been inadequate, hence the need to re-record some tracks with session musicians. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.7.147.13 (talk) 09:23, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

Failed GA[edit]

The prose looks good, just fix the above. Cheers, Highway Return to Oz... 12:22, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Done, done, done and done. Resubmitting. --JohnDBuell 20:50, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
I'll add here that I added ISBN numbers for everything that had them. BBC Video releases have catalogue numbers and UPC codes, but no ISBNs, unlike some counterpart US releases. --JohnDBuell 21:05, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Help With the Different Versions[edit]

This isn't strictly related to the article, but I need some help figuring out the different versions of the radio show. I am, of course, familiar with the common versions (the ones that seem the most widespread), but I've also heard a different version of the radio show (perhaps a newer version) with different music and more comedic segments and asides (such as the "black vehicle" stolen in one of the episodes being the ship of a rock band known for playing incredibly loud). Can somebody help me out here?203.131.167.26 23:23, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

The "black ship" being Disaster Area's rather than the Haggunenon Captain's is used in the version on the LP records and cassettes. This version makes several changes compared to the original radio series making it similar to the books and the TV series. In my own opinion, it is probably the most coherent version of the story.Gusty42 10:01, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Do they still sell the LP version, preferably new? I tried researching around for it but I only see a couple of different products on Amazon. It just seems like that version was funnier. The "Share and Enjoy" song, the caveman only knowing "ugh" instead of "grunt", the cops being funnier and more sterotypical, the mice actually trying to go for Arthur's brain and the 30-odd seconds of space battle sound effects before the two fleets are swallowed by a small dog - that'll all be in there?203.131.167.26 12:57, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately not. The LP and Cassettes have been out of production for many years. All the versions on Amazon will be the original radio series in one form or another. Best bet is E-Bay or, though I hate to say it, the torrents.Gusty42 20:34, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Although I've got absolutely no idea why they aren't selling that version instead, I'll just go with the torrents for now. As long as it's out of print. . . Thanks!203.131.167.26 23:23, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Actually, I still have one more question. How many LPs were released? If I get the two complete vinyls each (with two sides each) is that the "complete" version of the LP and then everything that I download subsequent is just canon? I noticed that the seventh episode onward of the mp3s I had downloaded before sounded like the LP version. Although Beeblebrox's doctor did mention the Hagamemnon (as opposed to Disaster Area) so maybe there are more LPs?202.175.214.50 11:00, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

It depends where you are. In the United States, Simon & Schuster released two cassettes in the mid-1980s, one being 90 minutes long (which was, I think, most of the original double LP) and the second was 60 minutes long. There were three records released in total, a double LP in 1979 and a single LP in 1980. --JohnDBuell 01:45, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Thank you - I got them all and I'm in heaven now. I've been looking for those for five years and had no idea where they were. Pretty awesome. The sixth episode onwards pretty clearly has the production values of the LP so it all sounds great. Thanks!203.131.167.26 14:18, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Oops. It's not the end yet. This is closer to the version that I remember hearing from a long time ago, but it's not quite the same one yet. The one that I remember in particular has about thirty seconds of random sci-fi sounds while the two alien races are fighting as a result of Arthur's offhand remark, as well as a conversation between the characters at Milliways with an animal that has been bred to want to be eaten. Does anybody know where that version is or is it all just a false memory?203.131.167.26 12:51, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
Are you sure you didn't listen to an audio recording of the TV series? Those BOTH sound like effects from the series - Arthur, Zaphod, Trillian and Ford have a chat with the "Dish of the Day" in TV episode 5 (played by Peter Davison). --JohnDBuell 13:34, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
Wow - I've never considered that and it seems that it may be the case. That explains a lot so never mind.203.131.167.26 10:12, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

DVD-Audio?[edit]

Are the tertiary phase et al really being released on DVD-Audio? Lots of sources say this, but other sources suggest this is an error, and it's merely a DVD-Video with Dolby Digital. If anyone has a copy, they can confirm by checking the cover: does it have a DVD-Audio or a DVD-Video logo? And you can double-check on a PC, if you don't have a DVD-Audio player: is there anything in the AUDIO_TS directory? --KJBracey 12:30, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

The way I was made to understand it, and I was pointed at the Douglas Adams Continuum forums, was that a DVD-A was intended, but a standard DVD release was made to increase potential sales. I don't own one yet myself. --JohnDBuell 12:57, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I can see someone who didn't know much about DVD-Audio making that argument, sadly. DVD-Audio discs are almost always dual-format DVD-Audio/Video. DVD-Video players play a Dolby Digital or DTS version, and DVD-Audio players get advanced resolution quality. Leaving off the DVD-Audio section doesn't help anyone, and pisses off the people who don't want to be forced to less-than-CD quality to get surround sound...
At least some people are getting this right, like the high-profile release of the Beatles' Love DVD-Audio in the last few weeks. --KJBracey 14:13, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
The thread I was pointed to is: [1]. --JohnDBuell 16:06, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for that. The compatibility argument is, frankly, bogus and sounds like an idiot marketing person stuck his oar in. But it may well be the case that they decided they wanted to put video content on instead, and they wouldn't have had room on a DVD-Audio disc. There may also be specification, rather than technical, limits on how much video you're allowed to put on a DVD-Audio disc, regardless of space - I'm not sure, but I have a feeling you might not be allowed to put more than 15 minutes on.
The comment about "die-hard audiophiles" there is rather patronising. You might be able to argue all day about how much better DVD-Audio is than CD, but Dolby Digital is definitely worse than CD. They shouldn't be forcing you to trade-off surround sound with sound quality. And it's not as if DVD-Audio is exactly a new format - it's been around for 6 years now... --KJBracey 19:26, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
On top of that, what if you want to listen to it in your car? In-car 5.1 DVD-Audio players do exist, and they won't play DVD-Videos. --KJBracey 19:28, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Hey, I'm just reporting the information.... :) I have had luck in the past getting responses from BBC Spoken Word via http://www.bbcworldwide.com/spokenword/ --JohnDBuell 20:20, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Another versions question[edit]

I recorded HHGTTG from a radio broadcast on BFBS in about 1986 or 87ish. It was played audibly from LP (crackles), and it contained the Marvin/Pink Floyd joke including the "Rock&Roll music" bit. Can anyone deduce which LP version they played?

Last year I bought the CD box from the BBC. Would this be the original radio series or the LP re-recordings?

Thanks Anorak2 (talk) 13:08, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:DNA Guide to H2G2 front.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:DNA Guide to H2G2 front.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 06:11, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:H2G2 Radio Collectors Edition booklet front.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:H2G2 Radio Collectors Edition booklet front.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 17:23, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Question regarding the first item on this page[edit]

Is there a valid justification for the link to Global Radio at the top of this page?

I'm removing it, I can't think what it is. EAi (talk) 03:02, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Music used in the series[edit]

The disco scene in Fit the Eighth uses an audio reversed version of Stayin' Alive by the Bee Gees. Don't know of any reliable source to cite this. 59.167.54.253 (talk) 13:24, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

I seem to remember it's mentioned in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Original Radio Scripts, as well as notes on all other works of music used. Anorak2 (talk) 17:23, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

TFA/Images[edit]

I was just reading this and realised that it's never been on the main page as a Today's Featured Article, which is somewhat surprising - is it perhaps waiting for the 10 year anniversary of Douglas Adams' passing? Anyway, I wonder whether it might be wise to remove the two lower images, as I don't really see what they bring to the article - perhaps replacing them with a picture of Douglas Adams might make sense. I seem to recall that too many non-free images was one of the noted problems with the main Hitch-hiker's page. Bob talk 21:59, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

How important is the thing about shoes? Of all of the extra-production information available, this seems the most trivial coincidence I can imagine. Should it be removed? Bob talk 09:56, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Removed below: Bob talk 20:01, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

One sequence that occurs only in The Secondary Phase is a plot revolving around shoes and the "Shoe Event Horizon." This is mainly cut down in the second novel, but was based on Adams's own problems in trying to find a pair of shoes.(ref)Adams. Perkins (ed.) Additional material by M.J. Simpson. Page 227.(/ref)

Another real-life event when Adams was trying to fly from London to Leeds and the plane was delayed because in-flight snacks (first a bar, and then coffee and biscuits) had not been delivered, similarly inspired the story of the space liner delayed for 900 years because it lacked a supply of "lemon soaked paper napkins". Adams stated that he could have taken the train, but had hoped to save some time by flying. As the flight in question arrived half an hour late, he lost that advantage.(ref)Adams. Perkins (ed.) Additional material by M.J. Simpson. Page 247.(/ref)

TFA again[edit]

Alas, another article turned up a higher points score for the 11th May, which is rather unfortunate, but I'll park this blurb here (hidden) and hopefully it can appear at some point around 11 May instead. Bob talk 23:43, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

It is the FA for 25 May, 2011. Derekbd (talk) 13:54, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it's for "Towel Day", which has been going 10 years, if anybody was wondering what the date significance is. Bob talk 21:06, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

First and second radio series - Plot[edit]

Last sentence in first paragraph reads: -

"Dent and later find themselves at The Restaurant at the End of the Universe..."
Dent and who later find themselves...?
Tiddy (talk) 05:21, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Seems to have been fixed, but, having earlier corrected "Dent and Ford" to read "Arthur and Ford", I now find there's more instances of Arthur Dent referred to just as "Dent", scattered throughout. Either it needs to be consistently "Arthur" and consistently "Ford" throughout when only one name is used, or else consistently "Dent" and consistently "Prefect" throughout. Likewise with Zaphod, and I guess even Trillian (her full name is given in the books, I think.) Personally I don't see much need to name fictional characters in the same way as we insist upon for biographical subjects. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 06:01, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Cult following[edit]

First of all, let me say, "Brilliant!" and "Congratulations on this article, and achieving Article-of-the-Day status". My only suggestion for further development would be to emphasise the cult-status of the series. In my opinion, it's hugely more significant than most people realise... time and time again, in the New Scientist magazine, for example, scientists come up with a theory or observation that is completely off-the-wall, only to discover that you could retrospectively re-interpret some passage in HHGTTG as having predicted the theory or discovery. As a result, Douglas Adams is one of the darlings of New Scientist. I find it staggering that a comedy-writer could achieve such status in science circles. Just my thoughts. Great article. TheAMmollusc (talk) 07:57, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Thanks! Do you have any specific examples from New Scientist that could be mentioned? Bob talk 18:01, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Here's the top 10 search results when I did a search on "Douglas Adams" on the New Scientist web site, on their archives page:

1. Letters : Adams had it. Auckland, New Zealand I was fascinated to read about the quantum computer and the possibilities it presents (Wake up to quantum coffee, 15 March, p 28). Jon Minhinnick 05 April 1997. From magazine issue 2076 Labeled: Features

2. Forum: Vogon economics and the hyperspace bypass - John Adams on a debate in which scientific uncertainty is being transformed into economic farce. Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy begins with a tale of two bypasses. Both threaten the house of one Arthur Dent, the bemused character. JOHN ADAMS 18 September 1993. From magazine issue 1891 Labeled: Opinion

3. Stephen Fry: Why turtles make me cry. The king of Twitter ponders endangered species, the Platonic ideal of a smartphone and how to make conservationism work. David Cohen 12 August 2009. From magazine issue 2721 Labeled: Features Opinion

4. Let's learn Lincos. IT SITS in your ear, grazing on energy from your brainwaves and, astonishingly, lets you understand anything said to you in any language – Charles Seife 18 September 1999. From magazine issue 2204 Labeled: Opinion Space

5. Procrastination: The thief of time. We can all improve our motivation by understanding what makes us prone to postpone, says Heather Pringle. Heather Pringle 15 December 2007. From magazine issue 2634 Labeled: Features

6. Feedback. What is the National Radiological Protection Board up to? Does it consider that living near busy roads could constitute a health risk, or doesn't it? Two. 20 February 1993. From magazine issue 1861 Labeled: Feedback

7. The baiji: So long and thanks for all the fish. If the Yangtze river dolphin isn't extinct already, it soon will be. Mark Carwardine, who first went in search of the dolphin in 1988, tells the tale of. Mark Carwardine 12 September 2007. From magazine issue 2621 Labeled: Features Environment

8. Feedback. LAST year this column produced a number of examples of nominative determinism, the tendency of authors to gravitate towards areas of research that fit. 04 November 1995. From magazine issue 2002 Labeled: Features

9. Pain-free animals would not be guilt-free. Our gut reaction to farm animals that cannot feel pain is right, but for the wrong reason. 02 September 2009. From magazine issue 2724 Labeled: Opinion Opinion

10. The final unravelling of the universe. It might collapse in a big crunch, or it could end more violently in a big rip. A drift into darkness is an option, but even that could get pretty exciting. Stephen Battersby 05 February 2005. From magazine issue 2485 Labeled: Features Physics & Math

OK, you probably want me to be more selective than this, and to home in on particularly strong examples. However, I thought I'd just show you this quickly, first, as a simple way of giving you a flavour for how his name crops up time and time again in give-away sentences tucked in various parts of the magazine's articles. I will see if I can come up with something more specific... but, in the meantime, do let me know if you want me to look deeper into any of the example given above. (Of course, it might be said that none of this is specific to the radio series, but should be attached to the generic HHGTTG article, or even the Douglas Adams page). TheAMmollusc (talk) 07:19, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
I've just scanned through all the search results. There are 80 of them, not all of them obvious from the first couple of lines (as you have seen in some of the 10 examples above). The archive doesn't go back beyond the 1990s, I think, so that gives some idea of the scale: 80 hits in about 1000 magazine issues. TheAMmollusc (talk) 08:45, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Mmm, I see what you mean. I wonder whether you may be right that these would be better placed on the main Hitchhiker page, although I guess because this is the "original" version, a paragraph about its scientific influence may be suitable. Bob talk 21:20, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

No mention of the novel in the lead or anywhere else except for the reception section[edit]

I mean, it may be obvious to most people that the radio series and the novel are related, but I get the impression that the wildly successful novel should be touched on in the lead, and not be hidden away as an obscure link in the Reception section and not discussed to a great extent (or linked) in the adaptations section. I mean, this is incredibly odd and seems like something that wouldn't have been missed in the FA review. Am I missing something? Sadads (talk) 16:58, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

I think you may be right that it could be a little clearer, although the lead states "and in turn was followed by five novels" and also links several times to the article about the whole franchise. I think it's probably because this is explicitly about the radio series that it was felt it was best to avoid listing every single adaptation, although the novel is a pretty important one. I may look into adding a mention of the first novel somewhere else in the article. Bob talk 17:17, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I've just had another look over this - I think it's probably fine how it is. After all, all of the earlier sections discuss the radio series itself, and it's not difficult to find the novel article. Bob talk 17:20, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm afraid that I have a problem here - the current wording in the lead is "After the 1980 transmissions of the second radio series, the first series was adapted for television and in turn was followed by five novels ..." which implies that all the novels appeared after both the first two radio series and also after the TV series. Since the first novel was published in 1979 (mine is 8th printing 1980) and the second in 1980 (I have an original), with the TV series being broadcast in 1981, this just doesn't stack up.
Coming back to the first point: I read somewhere that Adams wrote the first radio series and the first novel concurrently, although there was a gap between broadcast and publication. Unfortunately I can't source that: it was thirty years ago. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:47, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

I think it's worded that way to suggest that it was followed by five Hitchhiker novels which were published over nearly 20 years, but I agree that the mention of the TV show before does imply the first Hitchhiker novel was later. Can you think of a better way to word it? I very much doubt that Adams was writing the novels at the same time, though - he hadn't even got time to write all of the first series episodes, which by all accounts were finished the morning of the recording sessions. His record with the later novels (apparently locked in a hotel room by his publisher as the deadline wooshed by) implies this is unlikely. Bob talk 20:59, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

I've had a go at revising this now. It's a little untidy, I think, but I guess it is clearer about the chronology. Bob talk 21:33, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
OK, so now we have "... Adams adapted the first series into a best-selling novel in 1979. After the 1980 transmissions of the second radio series, the first series was adapted for television and was followed in turn by four further novels ..." which still reverses the TV series and second novel. How about "...Adams adapted the first series into a best-selling novel in 1979. After the 1980 transmissions of the second radio series and its subsequent novelisation, the first series was adapted for television and was followed in turn by fourthree further novels ...". --Redrose64 (talk) 21:40, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Haha, as Adams wrote in the introduction to his "trilogy in 4 parts" introduction (p.10) "even its most acute followers have become baffled at times", so I don't know whether there's a very good way to explain it in a few sentences. The second novel is a bit of a mix of the two radio series - Adams stated that the first book is episodes 1-4 and the second book is a mix of episodes 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 5 and 6 in that order. I wonder about just going back to how it was and saying that five novels were written based on the concept of the radio series, and leaving the explaination to the main Hitchhiker page? Bob talk 21:59, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
I think I might have found a satisfactory way around this now, which also adds a final wikilink to the second novel, which was the only one not mentioned before. Bob talk 22:03, 25 May 2011 (UTC)