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Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - 5.1 mixes sitting in the vaults.

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#1
Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy Fans probably know that a new series (#6) starts this Thursday (Radio 4 UK).

Series 3 was released on DVD-V in 5.1 over 10 years ago. The producer, Dirk Maggs, previously produced Batman and Superman audio dramas in Dolby Surround back in the 90s. Knowing that, I tweeted him to ask about the possibility of the new series being released in 5.1, and here’s his reply,

Not at the moment but as time goes by, never say never ...

(I mean Tertiary to Quint were mixed in surround and Hexagonal is tracklaid for such a mix if the commercial possibilities seem to be there, So it's up to the publishers to take the plunge ... but it wouldn't be till there was a lot more confidence in potential 5.1 sales.)
So, there are already unreleased mixes of series 4 and 5 ready to go, and 6 could be! Cue the usual bittersweet feelings of hearing about a surround mix left in the vaults.

Anybody else want to hear these mixes? If there are a reasonable number of replies, I’ll point Dirk at this thread in the hope that it adds weight to the argument for release.

[For those who don’t know, HHGTTG is a comedy science fiction radio show. It has been adapted into books and a film, but the point is, being comedy and SF makes it particularly suitable for a surround presentation. The first series from the 1970s, was the first BBC comedy recorded in stereo, so it’s always been ground-breaking.]
 

humprof

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#2
Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy Fans probably know that a new series (#6) starts this Thursday (Radio 4 UK).

Series 3 was released on DVD-V in 5.1 over 10 years ago. The producer, Dirk Maggs, previously produced Batman and Superman audio dramas in Dolby Surround back in the 90s. Knowing that, I tweeted him to ask about the possibility of the new series being released in 5.1, and here’s his reply,



So, there are already unreleased mixes of series 4 and 5 ready to go, and 6 could be! Cue the usual bittersweet feelings of hearing about a surround mix left in the vaults.

Anybody else want to hear these mixes? If there are a reasonable number of replies, I’ll point Dirk at this thread in the hope that it adds weight to the argument for release.

[For those who don’t know, HHGTTG is a comedy science fiction radio show. It has been adapted into books and a film, but the point is, being comedy and SF makes it particularly suitable for a surround presentation. The first series from the 1970s, was the first BBC comedy recorded in stereo, so it’s always been ground-breaking.]
I adore the HH radio series and would love to hear any & all of them mixed for 5.1. (I didn't realize that Series 3 had been done in surround, artwwweb--do you have a link?)
 
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#4
I adore the HH radio series and would love to hear any & all of them mixed for 5.1. (I didn't realize that Series 3 had been done in surround, artwwweb--do you have a link?)
Sadly only expensive second hand. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hitchhikers-Guide-Galaxy-Surround-Tertiary/dp/0563504579/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520258823&sr=8-1&keywords=guide+galaxy+dvd+tertiary

(Well, there is a new one there are present but it's more expensive than a Roxy Music box set - £179.99! I did point out to Dirk that there must be some demand if sellers think they can charge this much for new and used. He said the publishers are aware.)

I believe it was intended to make a DVDA, but they went with DVD in the end. It's only DD but this is not so much of a problem with spoken word, so don't let that put you off if you find it at a reasonable cost.
 

humprof

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#5
Sadly only expensive second hand. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hitchhikers-Guide-Galaxy-Surround-Tertiary/dp/0563504579/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520258823&sr=8-1&keywords=guide+galaxy+dvd+tertiary

(Well, there is a new one there are present but it's more expensive than a Roxy Music box set - £179.99! I did point out to Dirk that there must be some demand if sellers think they can charge this much for new and used. He said the publishers are aware.)

I believe it was intended to make a DVDA, but they went with DVD in the end. It's only DD but this is not so much of a problem with spoken word, so don't let that put you off if you find it at a reasonable cost.
Thanks, artwwweb. It took some digging (with search engines other than Amazon's), but I managed to find one Stateside for under $9. (There are still a few more copies, from other sellers, at reasonable prices.)

Evidently Oxford Dickie also once took a run at this--from off-the-air recordings of the original broadcasts?--then deleted it once it was commercially released.
 

humprof

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#7
Great! Price perhaps reflecting the relative popularity of the show in the UK vs the US?!
I hope not! Adams certainly has a cult following here--a fairly large cult, at that--although the radio series is perhaps not as well known as the books.
 

DuncanS

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#9
Did you get the TV series over there? Not quite as good as the Radio Series, but I loved it, got the TV episodes on DVD. I made the mistake of getting the film, ugh! More effective as a bird scarer than a comedy film :(

I hope not! Adams certainly has a cult following here--a fairly large cult, at that--although the radio series is perhaps not as well known as the books.
 

svengaleekie

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#10
I'd hope they'd throw in a suitable bag of peanuts as well!
And 3 pints of beer of course! :beer2

Read the Books, got the albums, watched the TV series, seen the film! big fan here. I've set my recorder to record the series on BBC radio 4 Thursday at 18:30.
 
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humprof

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#11
Did you get the TV series over there? Not quite as good as the Radio Series, but I loved it, got the TV episodes on DVD. I made the mistake of getting the film, ugh! More effective as a bird scarer than a comedy film :(
We did indeed get the TV show on this side of the pond. Both the radio & TV series appeared back in the day before cable or satellite services, when even small-town/backwater "public" radio & TV stations regularly imported BBC fare. (That's how we came to know Monty Python and Fawlty Towers, too. As well as far too many lesser comedy series....)

I treasure my DVD of the TV series, too, although I didn't object to the big-budget Hollywood version as much as many fans did. Great cast, even if the whole affair was ultimately sort of pointless & misguided.
 
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#12
From what I remember, the film was OK but not as good as the Radio (or TV), but then, it had less time to develop the story and characters. And the usual quote about the pictures being better on radio applies. I think it was good enough to mean that some newer fans would have gone back and read the books or listened to the audio for the first time.
 

Neb-Maat-Re

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#13
the film was OK but not as good as the Radio (or TV)
Don't forget the LPs, which were new recordings of truncated versions of the radio scripts.

I have always been disappointed in both the TV series and the movie because in my view many of the best gags from the radio version are rushed (particularly the TV series) or just tossed off (almost mumbled in the case of the movie). Where the original radio plays were superior for me was the delivery of the lines - particularly impressive as Douglas was sometimes finishing the scripts in the taxi on the way to the studio.

I was originally given off-air recordings of the radio series on cassette by a cousin, and I was also a bit disappointed by changes in the CD release of those shows. The Pink Floyd gag was excised from the Magrathea episode because the BBC couldn't/wouldn't/didn't licence the background music - even though Douglas himself was good friends with Nick and David - and Fit the Twelfth was substantially re-edited as that epsiode was rushed to air at the last minute. There were some other minor changes you can find on the internet.

I'm feeling a bit low now - I think I'll buy some new shoes to cheer myself up.
 
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#16
Like most people who heard them at the time, I felt that the original radio broadcasts were the greatest incarnation of the Hitch Hikers fable and fell in love with them. I religiously committed every episode to cassette. The other forms were but pale imitations – the low budget TV series was embarrassingly poor and the film was a painting by numbers job that entirely lacked the wit,style and sense of wonder of Adams’ creation. The CD versions of the radio series are the best way today to re-live the joy of the hiking experience ifyou can track them down. The first two series (on six discs) are all but identical to the programmes as broadcast (with a few trivial editing differences in many hours of material) and the CDs of the latter series actually have extended versions of those broadcasts with additional material.

This is my collection complete with the original boxed version of series 1 & 2. The Hexagonal phase is due to be released on CD on the 19th of April.

HHGTTG.jpg

Remarkably, or rather shockingly, the first episode of this new series was broadcast on Radio 4 on DAB at the lowest possible bit rate (80kbps) and in MONO (!). Four decades ago we enjoyed the original of this aural spectacle in glorious hifi on FM and of course, in stereo. The BBC has long promoted DAB but its so called advantages have only taken us backwards. I would think the revered Douglas Adams will be spinning in his grave at what has been done to his unique sound world.
 
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