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So long, and thanks for all the fish

Today I'm going to show you something special that's very close to my heart. On the offchance you haven't seen it already, here is the complete 1981 BBC version of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

I have fuzzy memories of watching this on TV as a little kid, but I knew the story by heart as the three audio books I recieved as presents by shrewd parents included Hitchhikers and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. The other one was John Wyndham's Day of the Triffids, but we'll save that for another day.

I know the effects look dated and a little hokey in places, but just look at the scope of this show! The BBC didn't think twice about a screenplay featuring massive space ships, the destruction of the planet Earth, interactions with myriad alien species, the history of the Universe and it's culture, travel from one end of the universe to the other and even through time. This production has so much scope and ambition, I think it's it's safe to say that it would never get made today.

You've got to take your hat off to Douglas Adams. He may be gone, but I'm sure many of you will concur that he will never be forgotten. I'm off to put the kettle on. Do you know where your towel is?

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It's great to see someone with something good to say about the BBC TV version of HHGTTG! Too many people knock it. I think it was a splendid achievement, and perfectly cast. For example, I always preferred Martin Benson's Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz to Bill Wallis's original, and David Dixon's Ford has a more unearthly vibe than the admirable Geoffrey McGivern. Some of the writing in the radio series was tightened up and improved (I think the Dent-Prosser confrontation in the TV version is far superior to the original radio script). The vfx were good for their time and are still perfectly acceptable. But of course the greatest triumph was the realisation of The Book's graphics using old-fashioned cel-animation. I have to say that I can watch the TV series over and over, but the feature film...

September 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

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