The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: The Primary Phase

Date Thu, January 12 2017

I’m a pretty big fan of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Like, I’ve got a tattoo of a fictitious whale falling to its death on the back of my shoulder big.

I own the movie, the TV series and two copies of all Ithe books. And now, thanks to an awesome friend, I own the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio play. Yes, the same radio play from 1978 that started it all.

To be fair, I only own the first phase, which just means the first season. It’s split up into fits or episodes that equate to the first two books, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

Now, if you’re less familiar with the stories than I am, you might wonder “Why do you need the Guide in another medium, Cole?” Well, the answer is this. Not only is the radio play the very.first.thing that started it all, but the author, Douglas Adams, changed something with every version. So I can see not only how the story changed throughout the years but also through different media.

So I love The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy as a book. It works very well, and I prefer reading to watching either the TV series or movie. That makes for some pretty high expectations. And The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio play surpassed them all with flying colors!

The story works so well as a radio play, and I really like some of the voice actors, which include

  • Peter Jones as The Book
  • Simon Jones as Arthur Dent
  • Geoffrey McGivern as Ford Prefect

In fact, I prefer Trillian and Marvin in this version; although, I will never not love Martin Freeman (who played Arthur in the movie) and Stephen Fry’s voice was perfect for narrating the movie and audiobook.

Fitting two whole books into just a few hours is no easy task. However, you could argue that it’s technically the other way around. The first phase of the radio play and the first two books in the series share all the same major plot points. But the books enabled Adams to go into deeper detail, especially concerning Arthur. The radio play doesn’t feel lacking in any way because of this, though.

In fact, listening rather than reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has led me to laugh out loud quite heartily more than once, even at jokes that I’ve read more than half a dozen times.

I’ve enjoyed The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy so much that I’m looking into more radio plays to enjoy once I finished it; although, that’ll be a few weeks because I’m less than halway through the series.

There are a number of ways you can listen to the radio play. The BBC still replays episodes on a daily basis. You can buy the CDs on Amazon and then rip them to your digital collection forever (I did) or even the cassettes on eBay. But let’s get real, it’s 2017 guys! ;)

After finishing the primary phase, I got the idea to look for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Secondary Phase through my local library. Unfortunately, my library has some of the phases on disc, but not all of them. However, I did a quick check to see if they were available as e-books through my library’s digital catalog, which uses Overdrive, and they were. If you’re really interested in nerding out with me, you can check out this option.

The last way to enjoy The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy as a radio play is through Audible. If you’re already a fan or want to sign up, you can get all of the five phases through Amazon.

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