Tag: douglas adams

Life, the Universe, and Everything: Happy Birthday Douglas Adams

Today is March 11th, which marks the birthday of famed British author Douglas Adams. Adams needs no introduction, being a prolific author, scriptwriter, humorist, and essayist with a profound influence on British culture. He wrote the famed The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxya comedy science fiction series first created as a radio drama before being adapted into books, a TV series, video games, and a feature film. Although certain details were changed between the various adaptations, the overall story remains the same: it follows the adventures of the last surviving man from Earth, Arthur Dent, after he is rescued before the Earth is destroyed to make way for an interstellar bypass and journeys across the galaxy, using the in-version guidebook The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for help. Along the way, he meets characters such as experienced hitchhiker Ford Prefect, the two-headed Zaphod Beeblebrox, and the depressed robot Marvin. The books have gone on to sell over 15 million copies worldwide.

 

The cover to the volume that collects all five books of Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker Saga
Image Via The Guardian

 

The books sharply blended laugh out loud dry comedic wit with genuinely intriguing science fiction ideas. The series provides numerous iconic quotes and characters, from the alien Vogons reading awful poetry, to food items begging the protagonists to eat them in The Restaurant at the End of the Universeto the ultimate answer to life, the universe, and everything: ’42.’ The Hitchhiker series blended all these ideas masterfully and is just as likely to make you laugh as it is to make you think critically about the universe.

Of course, Douglas Adams’ career hardly ends there. He wrote numerous other novels, such Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency a humorous detective novel and The Meaning of Liffa dictionary for words that don’t exist yet. He also worked on Doctor Who during Season 17, helping write what is considered one of the show’s strongest stories: “City of Death”. Furthermore he co-wrote the sketch “Patient Abuse” from Monty Python’s Flying Circus’s final season, a satirical sketch that showcases the ineffectiveness of bureaucracy, a common theme through Adam’s body of work. In addition, he had a hand in scripting a few video games, such as Bureaucracy and Starship Titanic.  

 

Douglas Adams was an outspoken environmentalist, a lover of fast cars, and a proclaimed ‘radical’ atheist. (The radical part he added to show he was serious about atheism). He died of a heart attack in 2001, ironically in the gym with a towel in hand. This is ironic, as, according to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Fandom Wiki,

“A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have….you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough. More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc…[and] is clearly a man to be reckoned with.”

 

Here author Douglas Adams poses holding a copy of the book which has "Don't Panic" written on the front cover. 29th November 1978. (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
Image Via Writer’s Digest

 

Nevertheless, Adams lives on, with his books remaining hugely popular and the phrases ‘Don’t Panic!’ and ‘42′ destined to live on forever.

Happy birthday, Douglas Adams! Do yourself a favor and read one of his novels today, while curling up with a towel. Just in case.

 

 

Featured Image Via BBC 

Hitchhikers

11 Douglas Adams Quotes to, I Promise, Make You Smile

Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a rightful classic, and the series it inspired continues to attract new audiences. He was a funny, clever man and his perspective on life, the universe, and everything is hilariously bleak.

 

Adams provided the world with many witticisms, which you can find on various Tumblr pages and referenced in reddit comment threads. Think of this as a study guide. Memorize these funny lines and whip them out at the next party you attend. Who needs good conversation when you can robotically parrot pop culture?

 

1. Let’s think the unthinkable, let’s do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.

 

2. Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

 

3. The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.

 

4. “The Guide says there is an art to flying”, said Ford, “or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.”

 

5. Nothing travels faster than the speed of light, with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.

 

6. For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.

 

7. A learning experience is one of those things that says, “You know that thing you just did? Don’t do that.”

 

8. For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.

 

9. He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.

 

10. Don’t panic.

 

11. The story so far:
In the beginning the Universe was created.
This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

 

Hitchhiker's Guide

Image Via Amazon

 

Feature Image Via Hitchhiker’s Wikia

tom Baker

Lost Douglas Adams ‘Doctor Who’ Episode Finally Released!

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy author Douglas Adams wrote the finale to the 17th season of Doctor Who titled ‘Shada.’ It’s been lost to history…until now!

 

The episode, set in Cambridge, was almost finished shooting when there was a massive staffer strike. Unfortunately, filming was scrapped. BBC News has announced that the episode will now see the light of day, even featuring then-current Doctor Tom Baker!

 

It’ll be animated. Check out a teaser trailer here!

 

 

Since footage of the episode does exist, it seems like parts will be live action, but the rest will be filled in with animated clips. Adams’s story has the Fourth Doctor (Baker) going to Cambridge where he works with a retired Time Lord to battle a malevolent alien.

 

Baker’s companion at the time was Romana, played by Lalla Ward, who will be returning as well. Fans can download the episode November 24th or purchase it on DVD and Blu-ray December 4th.

 

Featured Image Via BBC America 

Hitchhiker's Guide

Don’t Panic, There’s a New ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ Series on the Way!

In celebration of its forty year anniversary, BBC Radio 4 will be releasing a new The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. The new series will be called The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Hexagonal Phase.

 

Hexagonal Phase will be based off the 2009 Hitchhiker’s novel And Another Thing, written by Artemis Fowl author Eoin Colfer. Colfer was handpicked by Douglas Adams’ widow to continue the series.

 

Artemis Fowl cover

Image Via Amazon

 

Original cast members Simon Jones (Arthur), Geoffrey McGivern (Ford Prefect), Mark Wing-Davey (Zaphod Beeblebrox), and Sandra Dickinson (Trillian) will all be returning. They’ll be joined by Absolutely Fabulous’ Jane Horrocks, and John Lloyd will be voicing the titular guide.

 

Regarding the reunion, Arthur actor Simon Jones said:

 

I never expected to still be searching for a decent cup of tea and some kind of answer to Life, the Universe and Everything almost a lifetime later. Still, the dressing-gown and towel may be a little threadbare, like my hair, but my voice, much to my surprise, hasn’t changed a decibel, and despite years in America, I can still talk Arthur’s ‘indignant-posh’.

 

The series was originally released on BBC Radio 4 in 1978, which then spawned the pop culture wildfire we all love today. Thank to BBC Radio we still have some time before we have to tell Hitchhiker’s Guide “So long…and thanks for all the dolphins.”

 

via GIPHY

 

Feature Image Via Rotten Tomatoes