This week, I listened to the original 1978 BBC radio show of Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, written by Douglas Adams. British humor at its finest. What more is there to say than the fact that the audio adaptation is just an ridiculously comedic as the book? The voices are extremely well performed and convincing; it’s quite shocking to me, that the book was written in the 70s, because the humor does not seem dated or aged, like a Shakespeare comedy.
The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy introduces us to the characters of Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect, two beings who live on the planet Earth, as Douglas so affectionately describes, “Mostly Harmless.” Arthur is protesting the bulldozing of his house, and lays down in front of a tractor to prevent the workers from proceeding; much to the dismay of the people, who are just trying to move things along. Although Arthur is in great peril, Ford, knowing that the Earth is about to end in a mere matter of minutes, begs Arthur to go to the pub with him for a drink and “something important he has to tell him.” After a banter with the workers, Arthur, convinced that they will honor his request and not bulldoze his house, goes to the pub with Ford - much to his dismay, when he gets back to his house, he finds out that his house has been destroyed, but Ford provides no sympathy for he knows that the Earth will be destroyed.
At that very moment, Vogon spaceships come to Earth and announce that they are destroying it. Which sets off the incredible events that Arthur and Ford go through in order to survive the destruction of Earth, and with the eventual introduction of characters such as Trillian, Marvin, and Zaphod, they must escape the clutches of the galaxies officers and live their lives as space cowboys. Adventure for all. It was an incredibly fun listen! To reiterate what I said earlier, I found it rather interesting that the audio recordings was able to maintain a sense of modernity - perhaps the lack of descriptions helps the listener realizing that this novel was actually written in the 70s.