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TV & sitcom DVDs - Douglas Adams - The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

BUY Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (dvd cover)

The HItchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy
Douglas Adams
BBC Television Serial
Peter Jones, Simon Jones,
BBC Video
180 minutes

Douglas Adam's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has had so many incarnations (including as the only 5 and one half book trilogy ever written) that it is hard to differentiate various incarnations of the funny story and adventures of Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect.

First there was The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the radio play on BBC, then the book, then the record or cassette, then the VHS tape of the tv series, then the audio book read by Douglas Adams, and now there is the BBC4 series starting September 21st with Fit the Fourth and featuring the sepulcral voice of the late Douglas Adams himself (taken from his reading of his audio books) as Slatibartfast.

Some Douglas Adams stuff is not that good, as in Starship Titanic, and some is overextended, as in HHGG (also known as H2G2) The DVD put out by the BBC of the tv series is one of many Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Those familiar with the dreadful vhs release might be tempted to leave the DVD on the shelf, it is a bit pricey, considering the abysmally low quality of the video on said vhs release but the DVD is a crisp version of the series.

As re-releases go, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is an example to be followed. Somebody took the time to clean up the master film so the image is as new, somebody took the time to set up an interesting menu option that looks really cool, and there's even a hidden improbability drive feature on the dvd that will catch you unawares and perhaps make you think the dvd is defective. It is not. The attempt to transfer the original soundtrack from mono to stereo is, however, not much of a success unless you think stereo is hearing the music on the left channel and the narration on the right channel. However, the many fans of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy will savour this release nonetheless if they choose the original mono track. Many people who are somewhat familiar with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy dislike it because it basically goes nowhere, which it kind of does, but, after all, it is about the journey and not the conclusion, if there ever was one.

Any fan of science fiction, well, sf really because there's not much science in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, should own this DVD. Yes, the special effects are not really special effects. Yes, Zaphod's second head is a nightmare. Yes, Trillian is too much of a bimbo for many. Yes, Marvin is brilliant. Yes he is much more interesting here than in the movie version of Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. Still The HItchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a very entertaining and very funny story and the dvd release finally gives justice to the original tv production.

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