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Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

I have a long history with loving the Douglas Adams "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" stories. My Dad brought a set of galleys home from his job at the Daily News one day, because the reviewer didn't want it, and I was hooked. I remember playing the Infocom game, and actually getting the Babel fish. I also remember that my college roommate from sophomore to senior year was also a big fan, who got me a copy of the radio scripts -- the Hitchhiker's series was one of the things that helped us to bond.

Last week, when gnomi and I went to see the movie National Treasure, we also got to see the first trailer teaser. terri_osborne just reminded me that there's a website, and I've been investigating it.

I spent a lot of time reading the interview that the screenwriter, Karey Kirkpatrick, did with himself on May 28, 2004, and just from reading it I felt a lot less worried about whether or not they treated the source material correctly. This is a man who fell in love with the way Adams wrote, and desperately wants the movie to be as good as it can be. If you're at all interested in Hitchhiker's, I urge you to read the interview. You'll laugh.

Oh, and go see National Treasure as well. It's a fun romp, despite what the critics say.

(The interview is at http://hitchhikers.movies.go.com/movienews/interview.html)

Comments

I totally forgot that I had seen that trailer when watching National Treasure. And i agree with your assement of National Treasure, though the word i came up with was "cute." I'm glad i saw it in Pennsilvania and paid $7.50 instead of $9.50 or $10, but hell, i'm glad to do that with ANY movie :-) But yes, National Treasure was worth seeing in the theatres, and i'm in much anticipation for the Hitchhiker movie. :-)
Yes, I still remember my "Holy *&$#! He was HERE? Why does nobody tell me these things?" moment when I found two autographed copies of the mass market paperback reissues of Hitchhiker's Guide and Restaurant At The End Of The Universe in the Barnes & Noble at Downtown Crossing shortly after moving to Boston. Douglas Adams was, without a doubt, one of the great not-sung-often-enough heroes of the genre to me. HHG was a tremendous influence when I was a kid, too. :)

As for National Treasure, mabfan, have you read Da Vinci Code? I haven't had a chance to see National Treasure yet, but it strikes me as being very much an American version of that, and I'm curious to see if anyone who's both seen the movie and read the book makes the same assessment besides Roger Ebert. (Although, I do agree with Ebert's assessment of the book. It's difficult to read if you have an internal editor that doesn't like to be quiet.) :)
I got to meet Douglas Adams once when he gave a talk and signed books at the Brattle Theatre, sponsored by Wordsworth Books (which, sadly, just went out of business). He was extremely funny and gracious in person.

And, oh yes, very tall. :-)

I have indeed read and enjoyed The Da Vinci Code, and having just read Ebert's essay, I can say that he really needs to loosen up more on this one. :-)

But seriously, the book was fun to read, no matter how ludicrous in ways. And people have to remember that, unlike the rest of the world, I've been a Dan Brown fan since his first novel, Digital Fortress, which is now out in a plethora of hardcover and paperback editions. (Makes me wish I had bought the original hardcover; I have the original trade softcover, which is probably not worth much more than what I paid for it.)

As for the movie being the same as the book, to the point of the plagiarism Ebert implies, I don't see it. I mean, any treasure hunt story is going to share certain key elements with any other; that's all that I see happening here.
I enjoyed National Treasure (and only paid 6.50 for a matinee). We weren't looking for anything deep, didn't want sappy, didn't want silly, this movie fit. It was entertaining. It's best not to analyze it, just enjoy the ride.
It's also fun to analyze it, however, and play up its silliness. But just because the premise is so silly doesn't mean it's a bad movie, and that's what a lot of the critics seem to be saying.
Yes, yes, I remember that too... :-)

I really ought to get myself the radio shows. I wonder if they're available digitally or on CD.

tapes

Hmmm... and the college roommate seems to recall making a dupe of those tapes... They may well be in a box somewhere, and I'm fully set up for digitizing tapes...

Of course, for material like this, if it's available commercially, it's generally better to buy it and support the folks who put it together!

-JRN

Re: tapes

Hello, college roommate!

Those tapes are probably in storage as well; however, I have been pointed towards series one and two. Apparently the third is not yet available in the States. And I do want to support the creators as soon as I can...
I was introduced to Hitchhiker's in 1979 when a friend in Britain sent me tapes of the radio series, so I was on the bandwagon early. I recently picked up the third series and, while not as good as the first and second, I'm looking forward to the last series next year.

I met Adams a few times, first at signings and for an interview in the US (back in the early 1980s) and then in London walking down the street. We got into a brief conversation and I was a little, okay, a lot surprised to see a much funnier version of that conversation appear in one of his books.

His greatest work, though, remains Last Chance to See.
I seem to recall there only being two radio series, the second one the one with Lintilla that ended with a cliffhanger and never was resolved. Are you telling me there was another? (Unfortunately, my copy of the scripts is in storage, so I can't check for myself.)
They only just recorded a third radio series within the past year or so, with as much of the original cast as they could get (in other words, those who aren't dead). http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/hitchhikers/

BTW, I haven't yet gone to see The Provok'd Wife at A.R.T., but the director is Marc Wing Davey, who played Zaphod.
Oh, my! Who wrote the third series? Who's writing the fourth? And how do I get ahold of all this on CD here in the States?
The BBC just aired another six-fit series. It mostly dismisses the second series as a dream by Zaphod and is based on the third book. Most of the original cast returns (the exceptions being Slartibartfast and the Book) and Douglas Adams's plays the role of Agrajag (they used the recording of his voice from the audio book). The final two books are scheduled to be broadcast in Marhc, I believe. You'll be able to hear them on streaming audio on the BBC's website.
So we never get to find out what happened to Lintilla? Oh, bother. She wasa great character.
Yup. And played by Rula Linska, otherwise only known for panty-hose commercials.

Did you get my e-mail?
Email received and replied to.
Plus, the cast for this movie is SOLID GOLD.
The only question mark I have is Mos Def and wether or not he can pull off the dry aloofness of Ford.
Martin Freeman and Sam Rockwell were really, really, the only two men for their respective jobs.
I am very excited about this movie.
A while back I got email from a denizen of the Usenet Adams' newsgroup, and it appeared to them that I was probably the primary source of getting a particular favorite quote from him into the general consciousness from using it in my quote file from the late '80s on. Said quote being "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by", which I heard him say at a talk/signing at UMichigan back then.
A friend of mine who met him confirmed what the Ultimate Question to Life, the Universe and Everything is. I posted his reply on Usenet and it's still out there, at http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&safe=off&selm=99971%40bu.edu
sdavido's been musing about National Treasure, but I was ambivalent... you think it's worth seeing?
All I can say is that I enjoyed it, so to me it was worth seeing. It's a fun, silly romp, presented amusingly enough that I was willing to suspend my disbelief for the run of the film.
Sounds like it accomplished what it set out to do...
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