The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy: Primary Phase (BBC Audiobooks) Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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"The original full-cast performances and playful script sound positively gleeful and as irreverent as ever... For the longtime fan this recording will be like listening to an old friend. And for the neophyte looking to sample Douglas Adams's gentle comic genius, this is the perfect place to start." (AudioFile)
A reissue of the first series of BBC Radio 4's humorous cult science-fiction drama.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
What can I say, it's brilliant! This is for me the definitive version and a superb listening experience.
The voice acting is excellent with the actors doing a great job of getting the humour and emotions across.
The story telling is well done and the narrative flows very well.
Each of the six episodes seemed to pass very quickly and I was constantly looking forward to the next episode, it seemed to come to an end far to quickly.
I would say if you like the Hitch- Hikers books then give this a go, or if you like the works of Douglas Adams then give this a go.
Hopefully you'll laugh as much as I did!
The series was broadcast as six half-hour episodes on Radio 4 in the spring of 1978. I missed them entirely, not being a Radio 4 listener at the time. I discovered them during one of my visits to friends at Cambridge that summer, where I was played a tape of a tape of a recording of the episodes from end to end. (There was no audio or video merchandising to speak of then; if you missed the original broadcast, you simply had to wait until the BBC deigned to repeat the transmission.)
The humour was outstanding -- here were hundreds of lines which we could recite back to one another, to replace the Pythonisms that were beginning to pall. Here were some wonderful characters -- the cool but callous Zaphod Beeblebrox, the embarrassed Slarti Blartfast, the unionised philosophers, and the psychologically unbalanced space cops, for example. Besides the affectionate view of science fiction, perhaps what endeared Adams most to the student population was the limitless possibilities presented by Hitchhiker. Ther density of ideas was often amazing. Christianity, for example, gets summed up simply as a man getting nailed to a tree about 2000 years ago for suggesting the wouldn't it be great if everyone were nice to each other for a change. A fearsome battlefleet attacks Earth only to be swallowed by a small dog, due to a terrible mistake over scale.
Geoffrey Perkins, producer of most of the episodes, has said elsewhere that it was only with episodes three and four when he realised quite how magical a thing the Hitchhiker was to be. Suddenly a space romp turns into a philosophical search for the ultimate question with a planet used as an organic computer.
The whole thing is unreservedly brilliant, and deserves at least seven stars. For me, the Hitchhiker is best enjoyed as the radio series -- not as the book, and certainly not as the TV series.
This is Adams' masterpiece. That is the saddest aspect of his life -- that he never regained the pinnacle that he achieved with his first significant creation. The second series, by comparison, is mostly drivel, reflecting an obsession with shoe shops that few had noticed or subsequently cared about.
After many false starts, it seems that Adams had completed the film script for Disney days before he died. We can only hope that it does justice to the Hitchhiker concept. But for me, these radio programmes, and nothing else, are true Hitchhiker.
Far and away the best Science Fiction Comedy Radio Serial of contemorary times, beating out hot competition from, um, well there must have been something somewhere.
Quite simply it makes me laugh a lot so I consider it a must have. If you've read and enjoyed the books, you may not be aware that this is how it all started. If you're in that category, don't hesitate, buy The Primary Phase.
An absolute classic, and I can't recommend it highly enough. Make sure you buy "The Secondary Phase" as well. It covers episodes 7 - 12, and is just as good.
So! when they came out, I bought!. There is an edit....confirmable by checking against the remains of an off-air cassette recording, and the scripts (not the novels!) as published by Pan Books.
When they arrive on Magrathea in Fit the Third, the background music is recognisable to all Pink Floyd fans...in the show, but not on these CDs, Arthur says "Do you know this robot can hum like Pink Floyd?" and asks if Marvin can do anything else, whereupon Marvin bursts into "Rock and Roll music" by the Beatles....
A small point but one for which I deduct a star....
Douglas Adams remarked in the script book that he was convinced there wouldn't be a second radio series, with the resulting end of this first series....but there was. He then deliberately left the second series open for a third to continue the story....and there wasn't. We can only regret that, since the TV series and the books took such a different course to the radio show, and never took up the challenge of the second radio series....
Buy these CDs, and the second series CDs, and listen to the continuation that should be on BBC R4 soon....
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