- Listen to a sample of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Tertiary Phase in MP3 format .
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy: The Complete Radio Series (Hitchhiker's Guide (radio plays)) Audio CD – Audiobook, Box set, CD
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"The BBC radio series are top quality productions, exhibiting great imagination, terrific sound design and almost flawless casting. This box set is exactly what you need" (Peter Saunders http://www.zetaminor.com)
All five BBC Radio series' of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, plus two bonus programmes - Kaleidoscope and Six Characters in Search of an Answer: Arthur Dent.See all Product description
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Inside there's three triple CD cases, which are the first three radio broadcast seasons; The Primary Phase: 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy [first broadcast 1978]', The Secondary Phase: 'The Restaurant at the end of the universe ' and The Tertiary Phase: 'Life, the universe and everything ' - with each Phase having three audio CDs and a neat 6 page booklet. This is followed by the three single CD cases: The Quandary Phase (2 CDs: 'So long, and thanks for all the fish '), The Quintessential Phase (2 CDs: 'Mostly Harmless ', the final series dramatisation with 40 extra minutes over the broadcast version). Then there's the Bonus Disk (1 CD: interviews with Douglas Adams, the cast & production crew). All of the Hitchhiker episodes, including those completed after Adams's death, are referred to as 'Fits' in homage to Lewis Carroll's short poem 'The Hunting of the Snark: an Agony in Eight Fits'. The total run time of all fourteen audio CDs is 12.3 hours. I ripped the audio CD sets to iTunes, and listen on the iPod Classic or on the PC via an Arcam rPAC and Grado SR125s HiFi headphones.
Be warned though the very funny musical gags [spoilers] in episode 3 of series one (Primary Phase CD-2) have been cut, along with eight other short sequences, from that orginally broadcast for copyright reasons. However Jack Whitman, a software engineer from York, was dismayed as much as me about this and he has the details on how to put the original extra minutes of radio broadcast back into the ripped iTunes CD folder or you can just listen to them as MP3s on your PC/player. See Jack Whitman's Hitchhiker's Guide Restoration Project on-line on how to do that, and to listen to all nine deleted sequences (which I think contain some of the best gags in the entire radio series, particularly the first cut sequence where the crew of the Heart of Gold walk out onto the surface of the planet Magrathea). Not technically too difficult to get the tracks back into iTunes, but non-PC techies might need assistance - you can download these nine 'missing' audio tracks as MP3s from his site (right click over the playing bit and 'save audio as', MP3). It is only a few minutes edited from the entire radio series, but there are some memorable moments in them. Thanks Jack, and Audio Go for producing this well presented complete BBC radio series CD boxed set.
I paid £28.99 for the set, sealed & new, from Amazon reseller The Works, which I thought was really good value. I own all the Hitch Hiker's Guide books (and Terry Jone's loosely related Starship Titanic novel of the 1998 PC game), this radio show audio series, the BBC TV season  and the Hitchhikers Guide film , so I guess I must be a fan - probably as I was at an impressionable age (22) when the first radio series was originally broadcast way back in 1978. I didn't have a TV at that time, just a HiFi, my vinyl LP record collection, and a radio tuner/tape recorder (for the likes of The Hitchhiker's Guide and The Burkiss Way) .
Subsequently I enjoyed the books and TV series (IMHO the film was utter rubbish), although I still think the original radio format is still the best.
Even now many years later, I find myself using some of the phrases and catch lines - had a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster or visited the Total Perspective Vortex recently?
Following a big hint, I was given this boxed set for Christmas and I have put it all on my ipod so I can listen to it in the car. I actually look forward to traffic jams now!
It is great to hear this material again and this time in better quality. I have previously shown my kids the clip of the TV series including the Sperm Whale and Bowl of Petunias (created from missiles by the infinite improbability drive) and am looking forward to educating them properly in the forthcoming weeks! As the Vogons would say "Resistance is futile"!
Suffice to say that this is a truly hilarious, memorable, delightful, groundbreaking, poignant (and so on until we finally run out of superlatives) work.
I am perhaps unique amongst reviewers here, as I did not hear the original on radio, due to the minor inconvenience of not yet being born... However, the series is as fantastic as others have suggested, and as wonderful as my father remembers when it was broadcast in his day. Indeed, it is only when listening to it that one realises how much of popular culture is based on Adams' work, and how timeless the humour is.
I cannot recommend it enough.
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Obviously the first two seasons have that extra spark of originality that set them apart,...Read more