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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Hexagonal Phase (Dramatized)  By  cover art

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Hexagonal Phase (Dramatized)

By: Eoin Colfer,Douglas Adams
Narrated by: Jane Horrocks,Sandra Dickinson,Mark Wing-Davey,Geoffrey McGivern,Simon Jones,Ed Byrne,Lenny Henry,full cast
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Publisher's Summary

The brand new BBC Radio 4 full-cast series based on And Another Thing… the sixth book in the famous Hitchhiker’s Guide 'trilogy'.

Winner of the 2019 Audie Award for Science Fiction.

Forty years on from the first ever radio series of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Arthur Dent and friends return in six brand new episodes, in which they are thrown back into the Whole General Mish Mash in a rattling adventure involving Viking Gods and Irish Confidence Tricksters, with our first glimpse of Eccentrica Gallumbits and a brief but memorable moment with The Ravenous Bugblatter Beast Of Traal.

Starring John Lloyd as The Book, with Simon Jones as Arthur, Geoff McGivern as Ford Prefect, Mark Wing-Davey as Zaphod Beeblebrox, Sandra Dickinson and Susan Sheridan as Trillian, Jim Broadbent as Marvin the Paranoid Android and Jane Horrocks as Fenchurch, the cast also includes Samantha Béart, Toby Longworth, Andy Secombe, Ed Byrne, Lenny Henry, Philip Pope, Mitch Benn, Jon Culshaw and Professor Stephen Hawking.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2018, the series is written and directed by Dirk Maggs and based on And Another Thing… by Eoin Colfer with additional unpublished material by Douglas Adams. This edition also includes over 50 minutes of unbroadcast bonus material.

Listeners are reminded that the relaxed attitude to danger provided by Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses is no substitute for running around, screaming.

Cast:

The Voice Of The Book…John Lloyd

Arthur Dent…Simon Jones

Ford Prefect…Geoff McGivern

Zaphod Beeblebrox…Mark Wing-Davey

Trillian/Tricia McMillan…Sandra Dickinson

Trillian…Susan Sheridan

Random…Samantha Béart

Jeltz/Wowbagger…Toby Longworth

Constant Mown…Andy Secombe

Left Brain/Thor…Mitch Benn

Fenchurch…Jane Horrocks

Hillman Hunter…Ed Byrne

Cthulu…Jon Culshaw

Marvin…Jim Broadbent

The Guide MkII…Professor Stephen Hawking

The Consultant…Lenny Henry

Heimdall/Barzoo/Buckeye Brown/Eccentrica /Gunner Vogon…Tom Alexander

Aseed Preflux/Sub-Etha Voice/HOG Door …Philip Pope

Modgud/The Viking…Theo Maggs Baldur… Phillipe Bosher

Announcer…John Marsh

Music by Philip Pope

Production research by Kevin Jon Davies.

Written and directed by Dirk Maggs.

Based on the novel And Another Thing… by Eoin Colfer, with additional material by Douglas Adams.

Recorded at The Soundhouse Ltd. by Gerry O'Riordan.

Sound Design by Dirk Maggs.

Produced by Dirk Maggs, Helen Chattwell and David Morley.

A Perfectly Normal Production for BBC Radio 4.

©2018 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2018 BBC Worldwide Ltd

What listeners say about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Hexagonal Phase (Dramatized)

Average Customer Ratings
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Almost, but not quite, entirely unlike the HHGG.

As always, a PHENOMENAL bit of work by the BBC. Sound design is inspired and hearing the original radio show cast (minus a few who have, sadly , left us) is the auditory and emotional equivalent of slipping into a cherished pair of comfortable slippers. Truly wonderful stuff, that.

The rest is a bit troublesome.

Eoin Coffer is a brave author to wade into a pool as deep and sacred as Douglas Adams' eccentrically-named Hitchhiker's Trilogy and take on what was surely a lose-lose scenario: create a wholly new work and find it greeted as "not Hitchhiker's enough" or delve deep into the lore and find himself accused of coasting along atop Douglas' hard-won success.

To me, a die-hard Hitchhiker's fan since its first broadcast, the work comes off as clunky pastiche at best and fanfic at worst. It sounds like Douglas(ish.) And I suppose it sounds like Eoin(ish) but it feels overstuffed so chock-full of refences from the original Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy that the work just feels forced. The parts that are original in tone or content, meanwhile, feel poorly integrated, and the whole thing reads like 2 authors writing, lightly at odds with each other while simultaneously attempting to mimic each other's style.

That said, the audio production itself is the work's saving grace. The original cast dances though the almost-but-not-quite-entirely-unlike-Douglas Adams prose as if Douglas had written it himself in the office down the hall from the recording studio. In their hands, and the capable hands of the sound designers, who pepper the saga with light callbacks to the original radio's sound, the work is elevated to far more than the sum of its parts.

If you're a fan, or a completist, or a fan who is a completist, yes, you'll probably have to own this work. It's fun to hear familiar voices, and the performances are sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, but I felt so often that just as I had gotten into the groove of hearing Zaphod, Trillian, Ford, Arthur or the Guide itself, along came some clunky new stuff that just didn't fit the groove, or worse, a callback to the original works that felt so ham-handed and obvious that it knocked me right out of the merry suspension of disbelief needed to enjoy the Hitchhiker's universe.

14 people found this helpful

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Enjoyed it—but also disappointed by it

It was brilliant to hear the original cast bring the radio show back to life again. There were a few almost-Adams-quality jokes—I laughed aloud once, which I hadn’t expected to do without the man himself at the helm—but the overall effect was marred by a number of inconsistencies and inaccuracies (“Zark” was not used quite so generously by Adams, nor in such a way [‘Zark this, zark that’... it just didn’t feel authentic]; there was no need for further hyperspace bypasses due to a technological breakthrough just prior to the destruction of Earth II, so why were the Vogons still using hyperspace bypasses to travel [I can get behind their excuse that they had to kill Earthlings too, but every detail matters, and the details were often inaccurate]; language like “bastard” and “crap” [I mean honestly, a little more creativity, please?] came up way too often; there was more sexual humor than in the originals; Trillian acted massively out of character [really? She would just fling herself on Wowbagger like that? I don’t think so]; on and on.) True, Adams himself included inconsistencies (with a flourish!) between versions, but I found the lack of continuity between radio show seasons unfortunate. Adams did maintain consistency within each respective version, after all. On the brighter side, Ford felt delightfully true-to-life, and I appreciated the moments when I could almost convince myself that Adams had penned a joke or two.

Overall, though, it felt rather contrived—both trying too hard and not trying hard enough at the same time. I’m wishing someone other than Colfer had been chosen to add to the series. It was pleasantly nostalgic, but I feel that someone who knew the series better or at least cared to do more thorough research would have produced a wittier, more accurate extension. Not much one can do without Adams himself, I suppose. A decent effort, though, and worth a listen.

5 people found this helpful

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Like talking to a robotic version of an old friend

As always I enjoyed the performances from the actors and the quality of the recording. but there's something a little off with this one and it's abundantly clear from the get-go. Eoin Colfer does a serviceable job to return us to the universe that Douglas Adams created, but it always feel like a watered down version.

That being said, I still enjoyed it. There were many times I laughed at the absurdity of it all, and that reminds me of the originals.

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A Happier End

When I first heard of the concept of this book: “blasphemy” was the first word that came to mind.
But as Douglas Adams was a passionate atheist, I knew that I had to re-think things…:

I have read somewhere that Douglas Adams was a little unhappy with the Hitchhiker’s Ending.
The last book was written during a particularly “crappy” time of his life, and the book reflected that.
He thought long and hard about writing one more book, just to “set things right”.

This is Not Douglas Adams's book. 
It is missing “this and that”, and it’s missing it “here and there”.

All that being said, let’s look at what this book is to me:

A “last bow-out” of the characters, introduced to us by Douglas Adams.
An attempt to stitch things up, to bring to a happier end…
It reads to me like a friendly celebration of Douglas Adams's story, by someone that obviously read - and loved the H2G2 series, not an evil “money-making, coattail riding” blasphemous hack.

The book made me smile, even laugh, it gave me a warm feeling around the cockles, and was genuinely able to transport me back to the time when I first heard of “Dentrassi”, “Vogons” and “Golgafrinchans”.

If one is willing to forgive the writers that they are not Douglas Adams, one is hard-pressed not to get at least some enjoyment out of this ending.

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awesome

awesome ending to the series. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is something of a Bible to me I love it.

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A Fitting Conclusion

I could not have asked for more from the conclusion to this radio series 🥰✨ To anyone who may be hesitant due to the posthumous nature of it, I say Don't Panic. Just click play! The involvement of so much of the original cast and crew has ensured continuity, as well as proper respect to the late Douglas Adams. This final installment wraps things up nicely, gives homage to all the events that had transpired during the series until this point, and it may even bring a bittersweet tear to your eye by the end!

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fun performance

The voice talent especially make it entertaining. My own thoughts on the story are presently a little undecided, but leaning towards the favorable end where I am decided, if definitively inaccurate. mostly harmless, and at least considerably fulfilling.

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Nowhere near as good as the previous 5 episodes.

a lot of this book was just silly, and not at all funny.
unlike the previous books.

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a must listen

a must listen start with primary and work through hexagonal. great team of preformers. awesome

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The performance is fantastic, but...

The performance is fantastic, but the story isn't. Eoin Colder brilliantly captures the weirdness of the HHG2G universe, but wasn't successful in capturing the interconnectedness of events that made the books written by Douglas Adams so special. I got the impression from this story that weird things happened just because they're weird, not because they will move the plot forward, foreshadow a future event, call back to something from before, or misdirect and surprise you with a twist.

If I were to compare the original books to Monty Python, then I would have to compare "And Another Thing..." and its radio counterpart to a "lol, so random" high schooler. Ultimately, it's not worth the buy. Maybe check it out at the library.

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  • Rob in Nelson NZ
  • 07-01-18

I'm glad they did this. Better than nothing......

Hitch-Hikers material by Douglas Adams draws intense fan loyalty. I'm pretty die hard, and have been listening to the first two series for 30+ years and would have lost count how many times I've heard them. I loved the first 3 books, really liked the 4th book, and was disappointed by the 5th book. Eion Colfer's efforts to continue to the story with a 6th was OK, but I think telling that he didn't try again. Dirk Maggs does a wonderful job of continuing the radio series legacy, and has turned the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th books into radio adaptions. Much like the books, the story-lines have steadily declined. That's not a reflection on Dirk Maggs or the others involved - the performances and adaption quality are excellent I thoroughly enjoyed. It's just that everything seems to be running out of steam.

I was really glad they made the movie, but it didn't take off. Similarly, I'm really glad they have made this radio series.

Sadly, Douglas Adams died in the early 2000s. I'm still incredibly sad about that. My attitude to these examples of 'new' material fall into the category of "better than nothing". If you are young, and have recently heard of the "Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy" don't start with this. Start with the the earliest versions. It just makes sense regardless, and I can't recommend them highly enough. But if you're a fan, and are wondering "Should I bother?" I recommend you do.... just not strongly........

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-30-19

An Unsatisfying End

Sadly just a money spinning tack-on to the series... I'd recommend avoiding and preserve wonder at the side-splitting first five books.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-27-21

No matter what shape

Some of the voices changed but the result was still equally entertaining and fun. Do yourself a favour and just listen to the lot.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-12-20

What a journey since 1977

So long and thanks for the fish. Dingos Kidneys this was a great chapter and recommend the journey as if you enjoyed the rest of the audio books since their radio broadcast in 1977 then it's a great time to go on one more adventure. You might enjoy this with one of your brains in a jar and plenty of frozen sandwiches. Praise Thor.