Saturday, September 25, 2004

First episode available online in surrond sound !

We had to wait a little, but now you can listen again to the first episode broadcasted last thursday on Radio 4' Hitchhiker website.

And you can even listen to the first episode in 5.1 surround sound ! And you can choose the player you want to use : real player or windows media player. That's great news if you have some 5.1 audio speakers plugged to your computer. But anyway, i think the sound should be better than with the stereo version. It's well worth a try if you've got a fast internet connection.

If you haven't heard the new radio series, let's say that this first episode is great, even if the action suffers from the fact that our favourite characters are all scattered around the universe. It's quite an emotion to hear this good old voices and even Peter Jones, the original narrator voice who sadly passed away. The new actors are wonderfull too : William Franklyn (the new narrator) Roger Gregg (Eddie), Andy Taylor (the Mattress)

The tertiary phase will be avalaible on cds and tapes the 25th october. On BBC shop you can pre-order them and see the CD artwork.

On the Radio 4 websites you'll find two competions : the Guide Entry Competition and the Picture Adventure game Competition. In this last competition, you can win a part in a recording for the next series and a script signed by the cast!! Sadly, as usual with the BBC, both competitions are "open to UK residents only. Overseas entries will not be considered".

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

A book about Science and Hitchhiker's for summer 2005 at Macmillian

Macmillian will publish a book out next summer aka The Science of The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, by Michael Hanlon. This book "will look at some of the key tropes in H2G2 (Time Travel, The End of The Universe, Babelfish) and see where the science really is now, and just how prescient Douglas Adams was".

Michael Hanlon is Senior Science Commentator on the Daily Mail. He has written two books already for Constable & Robinson, "The worlds of Galileo" and one coming out in soon about Mars.
The book will be published in "Macmillan Science" collection which gather popular science books from the publishers of "Nature".

It is of course a fantastic idea. Douglas has always been very respected by scientits like the neo-darwinist Richard Dawkins, or Stephen W Hawking ("A brief history of time") for his bright views about Life, the Universe and Everything.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

First episode of the third H2G2 series broadcasted today

Today is the great day. The first episode of the third series will be broadcasted today on the air and on Internet at 18h30 GMT. Like the other ones this episode will be repeated on air at 23h00 and be avalaible on the great radio series mini website during seven days. So you can't miss it !!

The new version of the Infocom adventure text game should be avalaible today on Radio 4 website too. As you maybe know already, this version playable online, will be illustrated by Rod Lord who made the famous guide entries graphics of the BBC TV series in 1981.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Media coverage for the third series

The new radio series is going to be broadcast in just a few days now and it's hard to stay calm. Of course some good media coverage has already been done. MJ Simpson has spotted several articles :
- The Times has written a good article that you can find on their website. Simon Jones (Arthur in the radio series) regards the director Maggs as "the Phil Spector of Radio 4"! The Times comments that "The sound is indeed extraordinary", but warns the upcoming listeners : "the need to shoehorn in years of back-story, coupled with Adams’s famous love of digression, make this first episode dense to the point of incomprehensibility. It takes until episode two to get warmed up". The newspaper bets that the new series will may be help to regulate the generation gap between the first listeners 26 years ago and their children !

- Of course Radio Times has also done something, in the issue dated 18th-24th September, but it seems a little disappointing. Sad, because we could have expected something great from the famous british radio TV program weekly.

- Director Dirk Maggs is interviewed in this month issue of "Cult times". Five page long so well worth a reading.

- Simon Jones (Arthur Dent) was interviewed in October issue of Dreamwatch, and in the BBC Programme information newsletter for week 38.

- It seems that the five page feature in Mail on Sunday published the 12th september was a little disappointing according to MJ Simpson. The journalist made a few mistakes and told nothing new.

- Roger Gregg (Eddie in the new series) wrote something in the Irish Times but sadly not available for free online. However I was lucky enough to read it (thanks roger!) and it is a quite good one page long insight report of the third series, with also a little history of the legend : "Everyone involved knows that The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy : Tertiary phase is destined for radio history. As the documentary cameras run, Simon Jones passes a stack of scripts over a buttered croissant. He politely asks everyone to autograph them. He explains that, having been based in the US for many years and done his share of guest appearances on the sc-fi convention circuit, he is keenly aware of the radio series and their million of adoring fans. The stack of signed scripts he announces are for charity raffles : each will sell for several hundred dollars in the US, he says. This starts a whirlwind of script signing".

Of course, I think you can still find the TV Zone issue 180 which includes two lengthy articles about Hitchhiker’s Guide. 13 pages written by Andrew Pixley and Kevin Davies. You can't miss that one!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Roger Birnbaum speaks on official blog + Trillian half alien + movie release date remains uncertain

First, sorry guys (and girls) for my lack of updates in the news section. Apart from the fact that the production remains rather silent since the end of the shooting, the fact is that I was working on an other project (also related to Douglas Adams, but not to the h2g2 movie) also kept my mind occupied to something else. Anyway it's going to be a big surpise, and it's going to happen soon!


First news, the official blog has been updated the 16th with a letter from Roger Birnbaum, the Co-Chairman and CEO of Spyglass Films. Spyglass are the guys who fought for the movie since 1995, so if you meet Roger one day : shake his hands friendly and give him your favourite towel. Maybe you have noticed that the update is dated 10th september but this just gives a glimpse of some obvious spacio-temportal problems for the guys who make the updates on the site.

As Roger confirms it, the « team is in active post-production with editing, visual effects and music ». Roger gives an hommage to Douglas’ widow (who encouraged us to move forward with the film), Karey Kirkpatrick (who was was hired to complete the work Douglas had started) and Spike Jonz (it was « at the suggestion of the avant-garde director that we met Hammer and Tongs »).
Roger also remembers how he was hooked on the movie in late 1995 when one of the executives of his company Derek Evans brought the book to his attention : « After several meetings with Douglas Adams and Robbie Stamp, we had Disney purchase the rights on behalf of ourselves and for the director, Jay Roach, who was enjoying enormous success with his hit "Austin Powers" and who had an equally strong passion for the Hitchhikers movie ».

Roger concludes his letter with an tribute to the « generation of fans all over the world for whom hitchhiking has a special meaning », saying that Spyglass his proud to be associated with this film.
This is of course a great letter from Spyglass top executive. Clearly, Spyglass is very happy with Hammer & Tongs’ work on the movie.


This rumour appeared in the September issue of Premiere Magazine in an interview with actress Zooey Deschanel. The article speaks of « the half-human, half-alien scientist Trillian in the long-awaited screen version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy ». MJ Simpson recently announced it had been confirmed by « informed source ». This is of course a surprising annoucement because we all know that in the Hitchhiker’s previous versions Trillian has always been a human being just like Arthur. But we also know for sure that Trillian’s character has been deepened a lot because it was a weak part in the radio-tv series and in most of the Hitchhiker’s books (but the last one). So some things about here might have changed a little. Anyway, the fact that she has some some extraterrestrial DNA does simply clear up a minor plot hole. Maybe the fact that Arthur would be then the only one to have the answer to the final question in his brain ? Who knows ?

Interinstingly, she adds about Hitchhikers in the same interview that “We did a scene where these enemy Vogons fire at us,” she says of Hitchhiker’s. “I got hit by one of the fake bullets – it broke the skin, and I have a big welt. But” – her voice perks up, gears changing again – “I feel sort of proud of it. It’s like my little battle scar.”’


One of the hottest subject is to know when the movie will be out on the movie screens. Till know rumour was about the 3rd of june. But according to the release date has been brought forward a month to 6th may ! On Imdb, they bet on UK opening for the 6th may, in US the 3rd june, in France the 8th june, and in Netherlands the 30th june. Don’t know where they did get that dates, but they really seem wrong. A UK opening one month before the US and at the same time than the Star Wars release ?! UK and US releases will certainly be simultaneous, and will also depend on the real opening dates of other long awaited movies (including of course the last Star Wars).
You can also read my old news : « Summer of '05 is shappin' up in movie theatres »

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Duke's own movie set visit report is now online

enz Kjellberg aka The Duke of Dunstable, webmaster of the fabulous website, has just put online his own set visit report after the visit we did together with fellows Nick Webb and an other fan called Simon Hall. Duke shares his enthusiasm with us, and I'm sure that after reading so many eager movie set visits (including mine), you won't ever have any doubts about the fact that the movie is in good hands. As Duke says : "It’s tight, it makes sense, it’s a new angle with new scenes and characters, and it’s funny. I am 100 per cent confident, and all these people involved are so dedicated it brings tears to ones eyes."

Besides the fact that i look like a "a young but balding Robert De Niro" (i take that as a compliment), Duke reveals that we indeed saw the movie trailer a few days before everybody. It looked fabulous on their big flat TV set of course! He also reveals a lot of interesting bits like the "Vogon arse print in a special “throne”,... That one is also quite good : "I felt warm to discover that a new item invented by Douglas and which I have been talking about earlier is indeed still in the script, and not only that; it plays quite an essential part". Indeed, even if he can't talk much more about it, Mr Duke has been really a prophesier on this one. And it is a great concept.

Of course, you would still complain about the obvious fact that we can't give you a lot of details about the movie, but well, it would spoil the suprise, wouldn't it?

The BBC will revive the Hitchhiker's old computer game to celebrate the third radio series broadcast

The BBC makes a great job to celebrate the broadcast of the third radio series. The Hitchhikers Radio 4's website is really great. And it will be even better from the 21st september, day of the first broadcast of the new episodes. This peculiar day, Radio 4's website will feature the 20th anniversary edition of one of the most popular text adventures from the begining of the eighties. Published by Infocom in 1984, this computer based on the first book, written by Douglas Adams himself, has been a huge success.

The old game refusted to die. It's been online on douglas adams official website, and The Digital Village even made a wap version in 1999. And now it will be revived in a enhanced version with Rod Lord, the man who made the illustrations for the book entries in the BBC TV series. According to MJ Simpson, "in addition, fans will be encouraged to submit their own illustrations to accompany the events of the game".