"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri."
Tonight BBC Radio 4 begins broadcasting new The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Naturally, I have an audio tape ready. I still have an elderly C120 with Fit the Eighth through to Fit the Twelth from its very first broadcast back in the 1970s. I also have a rather less elderly couple of C90s with all the other episodes (the original tapes of the original broadcast having finally snapped some time in the late 1980s). The tapes were made by a sibling, with a tape machine shoved up next to the speaker of a radio and the sounds of our house, circa 1978-80, can occassionally be heard in the background. I'm not going to quite those levels, but I am going to tape off the radio, not on video via the digital tv broadcast.
"Did you know your robot can hum like Pink Floyd?"
HHGTG was the first SF I read, the first thing I was a fan of. Those tapes are partially because the broadcast of the second series was on after my bedtime but the sibling knew I'd want to hear it. Like other Doctor Who authors, I have inherited DNA's concept of deadlines ("I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound as they whizz past."). I suspect the new series and the forthcoming film are only being made because DNA is dead and no longer able to interfere. Doubtless the original cast who are in the new series were confused by the fact the scripts were actually finished before the recording started.
"The Shoe Event Horizon! It becomes economically impossible to build anything other than shoeshops. Result - collapse, ruin and famine."Someone I know has expressed doubts about these new adaptations, precisely because they are adaptations and the three later novels in HHGTG are more bookish than the first two. Since Life, the Universe and Everything is itself a reworking of Doctor Who and the Krikketmen, a never produced Doctor Who film script, and the first two novels are reworkings of the first two series of the radio series, the idea that the last three novels in the five part Hitchhikers trilogy being adapted into two radio series seems to conform to the non-conformity between the different media.
"Ford had his own code of ethics. It wasn't much of one, but it was his and he stuck by it, more or less. One rule he made was never to buy his own drinks. He wasn't sure if that counted as an ethic, but you have to go with what you've got."