The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy part 2

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  PhaseShift 8 years, 9 months ago.

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    Craig @craig

    In which we are told that the meaning of life, the universe and everything was solved in a cafe in Rickmansworth, only to be lost forever.

    Arthur and Ford suffer the torture of Vogon poetry (third worst in the Universe) before being ejected into space. It’s improbable that they’ll survive.

    David Dixon as Ford, with his attitude, bad dress sense and dark curly hair is very much the Fourth Doctor.

    And Douglas Adams cameos (uncredited) at the start, collecting his small green pieces of paper before getting naked and showing us his arse.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Late night evening tuck with more Hitch Hikers, and this second episode introduces us to the other main cast elements.

    Some of the jokes and references are time and place. The stuff about digital watches for instance. 01 telephone numbers for London! What surprises me though is how much more of it is still relevant.

    The opening segment regarding the small green pieces of paper for instance is still very funny, with Douglas, as @craig suggests, going full monty for our entertainment (he always claimed they couldn’t pay anyone to do it, but any excuse 😀 ).

    Just to add for Adams spotters, his face is the template for the animated Marketing Exec for the Sirius Cybernetic Co-orperation and, allegedly, Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings was supposed to be Adams in drag.

    Who was Paula Nancy Millsone Jennings? No-one. The name was different in the Radio and was real. Paul Neil Milne Johnstone was a schoolfriend of Adams, and was indeed a poet. Paul asked him to change the name for other versions because he was already getting stick.

    Arthurs attempt to review the poetry positively always gets a giggle. With creative review skills like that, Arthur should really have a job at the Guardian Culture Section. Death can to too good for some of them as well.

    I really like The Southend “unreality” sequence. Because it’s supposed to be an extreme the dated fx still suit the surreal, as legs drift off into the sunset and Ford goes penguin. And those infintite monkeys with their script for Hamlet.

    It’s the former Mrs Peter Davison (and mother-in-law of David Tennant) Sandra Dickinson as Trillian – like Ford, a controversial choice for some fans of the radio show. Douglas Adams was, at first, reluctant himself, but suggested he grew to love her approach.

    Physicists don’t get invited to those sort of parties it seems. Happily for me, Chemists get invited to those sort of parties all the time. We’re infamous for it.

    And it’s Marvin! Groaning, grumbling Marvin. Probably my favourite character in the Hitch Hikers Universe. We have another Doctor Who link here, with Stephen Moore doing a great piece of voice work, dripping with disdain and resignation.

    “Here I am, brain the size of planet, and dressed up as a lizard.”

    Again, it’s the extra aspects you can do with the visualeffects, and a bit more budget on audio which expands the book entries – I love the “Your plastic pal whose fun to be with!” jingle.

    And Mark Wing Davey as Zaphod. Brilliantly bewildered and childlike.

    “If there’s anything more important than my ego around here, I want it caught and shot now”

    The Second head – not great is it? I’m sure many of my generation remember it being bigged-up as a technological marvel on the science show Tomorrow’s World. Yeh. The clip is on the DVD collection (and can still provoke a chuckle from me.

    And – with the introductions over, can’t wait till next week.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @phaseshift – my memory of Stephen Moore is him playing Peer Gynt. He has an amazing voice; does a lot of stage work.

    I thought I recognised Adams in the animation. But does anyone else think that Wikipedia really ought to have ‘Don’t Panic!’ on their home page? The more I’m reminded of the content of the Guide, the more I think ‘this is Wikipedia!’ But even at the time, I remember thinking that the head was crap – though it was a very early experiment in animatronics.

    A chemist is an asset to any party. 😉

    Anonymous @

    Just catching up on my Hitch-hikers now so proper burblings later. But @bluesqueakpip

    The more I’m reminded of the content of the Guide, the more I think ‘this is Wikipedia!

    Back in the early(ish) days of t’interwebs and when the BBC website was a much more wild and rangy beast there was a collaborative ‘encyclopedia’ type thing on it — a Wiki before the word had really been thought of — and The Book had been the primary inspiration — so much so that it was actually called h2g2 and it was, I believe, founded by Adams.

    It still lives on here btw although in a far diminished form. Some of the archived entries by Adams himself are still well worth a read though.

    Whisht @whisht

    If Wikipedia is to be believed I was about to turn 10 when I first saw this.

    Its got a lot to answer for!

    Seeing this and City of Death is an excellent idea – very similar badinage between the characters and a feeling of ‘filmed stage play’.

    Seeing Trillian at that age certainly made me feel… something I couldn’t quite articulate; and like Arthur I think I’m still waiting for a genius, attractive lady who doesn’t walk off at parties 😉

    Its funny seeing her again as I’m now strongly reminded of that other attractive-ditzy-genius from Superman III

    Pamela Stephenson - coulda been Trillian?

    (can’t find a better pic, sorry)

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Steven Moore is “just this guy” as Zaphod’s physiatrist says. When Sue Townsend died a few months ago I went back to the Adrian Mole TV series and completely forgot Steven Moore was his dad! Every time I come across him it’s “Hello Steven Moore”. He’s really good, but it seems oddly appropriate that his most famous role is a voice only part. 😀 Truly astonishing (and very undervalued) actor though.


    Oh don’t get me started on Pamela in Superman III. What a thing to do to a teenager. She ought to be on a register.

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