Will Bueché

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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Tertiary Phase

Posted in Personal by Will on Wednesday, September 14th, 2005 ~ 5pm

My Amazon review of the 3-CD audio performance, which I listened to at last. FYI ” The Tertiary Phase” reunites the same cast and crew who made the original Hitchhiker’s radio show back in the 1980s. Older, wiser, a bit more hoarse, but damn, so good to hear in this new adaptation of the later Hitchhikers’ books:

The “Real” Hitchhikers Guide, as good as ever!

This BBC radio performance is fantastic. A disasterously incomprehensible last act does little to diminish the return of Hitchhikers in pure form. The return of the “real” Arthur Dent and friends (Simon Jones et al) is a welcome and amazing experience, and the soundscape is a perfect match to the original Hitchhikers’ series from so many moons ago — which is really amazing when you consider that the old series was put together on old fashioned magnetic tape. The sonic environment of the Hitchhikers universe is as curious as you may remember it – and even a bit improved upon, as more advanced stereo means you can even hear characters circling one another, or running about through the swishy tall grass of a field trying to catch a fast-moving couch, or engaging in repartee with their other head (for those who have more than one).

Not as funny as the original series? Perhaps, but Douglas Adams’ books evolved through the years, becoming more philosophically searching (his fascination with the possible comedic implications of quantum mechanics on mere mortals) and less slapstick. And frankly I am pleased that this evolution in tone is carried through to this radio rendition. Though make no mistake, this series is still a comedic romp.

I’ve just listened to this Tertiary Phase and am immediately ordering up the next two Phases courtesy of Amazon.co.uk. It saddens me that author Douglas Adams is no longer with us, but his cast and crew have made the best possible gift of his talents to the rest of the world through this performance. Bravo.

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