Grab your towel and your babel fish: Douglas Adams’s beloved sci-fi series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is coming back as a new show onto the smallest screen near you!
Adams’s widely celebrated series, which can best be described as a comical space odyssey – since 2001: A Space Odyssey – details the story of when average Earthman Arthur Dent unwillingly travels across the galaxy with his alien friend Ford Prefect, who was visiting Earth mainly to collect extra planet data for the titular intergalactic guide he is writing, after the Earth has been inevitably destroyed. Along the way, the two of them bump into Prefect’s cousin Zaphod Beeblebrox, who is also the Galaxy’s president, as well as a depressed robot named Marvin, and Beeblebrox’s girlfriend Trillian, who, like Dent, is also human and managed to flee Earth before its destruction.
Published in the U.K. 30 years ago this October, the first Hitchhiker’s Guide book was originally adapted from the hit radio series of the same name – the first four parts of it, anyway – and its title a clever and playful nod to the nonfictional The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to Europe. Due to the success of the first book, it was adapted into a TV show on BBC in 1981, which was met with a just-as-high volume of praise. The book was eventually brought to theaters in 2005 as a full-length movie, which did a decent enough job adapting Adams’s story.
While the movie was memorable enough to implant the memory of hearing Alan Rickman voice Marvin, it could not match the level of the BBC series. However, the highly praised show’s reputation as the best possible adaptation of Adams’s story may change as there has been a recent announcement of a new show coming straight to Hulu!
The thing about Adams’s series is that while he expanded its universe within a variety of formats (it even continued to expand well after his death in 2001), some elements of the original story were altered in the process, as some of the continuation novels rewrote them completely! There is yet to be a confirmation from the creative team behind the upcoming Hulu series on how to go about this, but it would be interesting to focus on, or at least acknowledge, hopefully giving the longtime fans a breath of fresh air from what they were used to.
So, until then, as the Hitchhiker’s Guide would advise on the very front cover… DON’T PANIC!
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