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)
This really is the ultimate answer to Life, the Universe and Everything - all five radio series of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy collected together for the first time, in a handsome box with magnetic lid. From the original Primary and Secondary Phases, through to the more recent Tertiary, Quandary and Quintessential Phases, these are the adventures of Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Zaphod Beeblebrox and their assorted human, robotic and alien companions. These full-cast BBC Radio 4 dramas star Simon Jones, Peter Jones, Geoffrey McGivern, Mark Wing-Davey, Stephen Moore and Susan Sheridan, with a stellar guest cast including John le Mesurier, Joanna Lumley, Christian Slater, Jackie Mason, Sandra Dickinson, Rula Lenska, Griff Rhys Jones and Jonathan Pryce. Also included is an exclusive bonus disc containing two programmes from the BBC Archive: Kaleidoscope from 1980 (going behind the scenes of the second series) and Six Characters in Search of an Answer: Arthur Dent from 2002.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) .
Obviously the first two seasons have that extra spark of originality that set them apart, and the third series (from my favourite book of them all) was great. Moments such as the Krikkiters singing their melancholy song, which could have been rubbish after the big build-up it was given in the book, were brilliant, and Douglas Adams' appearance as Agrajag did bring a tear to the eye and a lump to the throat.
The last two series were nicely and loyally adapted from weaker material. You can tell the cast were working their towels off, and enjoying revisiting their alter-egos.
I have put the discs onto my iPod, and have really enjoyed listening on shuffle, so between Motörhead and Deep Purple (yes, showing my age), there comes a chapter on the Shoe Event Horizon! Surreal but always welcome.
If you know HHGTTG, then buy these and love the material as it should be experienced. If you are a Pan Galactic Virgin, then be froody, hand over your Arcturan Megabucks, reach for your towel and stick out your electronic thumb. You won't regret it.
This is really a collectors item for any Douglas Adams fan or anyone that likes THHGTTG.
It also includes a bonus disc of some other Douglas Adams stuff that had been on the radio, I didn't even know that it existed.
Don't waste time using the BBC shop as far as I know there are only a few discs available, but nothing like this collection, and one will never know if they can ever record it off the radio in the future.
The sponsored links are for books and the audiobook is literally the books being read to you, nowhere near as good as this collection.
Cut to shreds
"It has to be prepard, treated, diced"
I thought they were supposed to do this to Arthur's brain not the original radio series.
Not good that they lie.
The original si fi comedy
Totally undated and stands on it’s own as a masterpiece
Even if you have never heard of Douglas Addems, but like si fi comedy, Red Dwarf, Big Bang theory Etc,. Give this a go, it is way ahead of them all. Pure escape and enjoyment.
Douglas Addams was way ahead of his time. So poignant, so full of astro physics quantum theory, space time continuum and general geeky stuff, so funny, so entertaining.
I had some of the radio plays on casket tape, and played them until they fell apart.
This was my Christmas present this year. And what a joy it was. There are episodes here I have not heard, something like 80+ episodes .also an interview with Douglas Addams on how the series came about. I would love to see inside that man’s mind. What a genius.
To say that my brother was delighted is a real understatement. He obviously reverted to his teenage days because he stayed up all night so that he could listen to the whole lot without stopping.
Then his son borrowed them because part of his summer holiday homework was reading the first book. He was so enthusiastic that he has now listened to all of the CDs twice and is now on the third book and insists on telling everyone what the differences are between the books and the radio shows.
Perhaps one day they will let me borrow them too!