H2G2 Hexagonal Phase

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  • #229195

    clem

    This started on Thursday. Anyone else here listened to the first episode? I wasn’t gonna bother because I didn’t care for And Another Thing… but curiosity got the better of me.

    It was alright. Not terribly funny but it was very much recapping and re-establishing the status quo (insofar as Hitchhiker’s has a status quo) so there was a lot crammed in, and yet it didn’t suffer from the kind of unnatural-sounding exposition dialogue that put me off the Tertiary Phase. That and the cheesy non-diegetic music, which this new one also didn’t have, or not too much, anyway.

    John Lloyd was pretty good as The Book, and Jim Broadbent did a decent job playing Marvin. I thought Stephen Moore must have died, couldn’t remember hearing that. Turns out he hasn’t – just retired.

    #229205

    MANI506

    I thought it was great – I’ve listened twice already. Never bothered with the book but I trust Dirk Maggs to create a great Hitch Hikers experience.

    #229211

    cwickham

    Is Marvin even *in* the original And Another Thing? Only read it once but I seem to recall he wasn’t…

    #229212

    Flap Jack

    I did! I love And Another Thing… and all of the previous radio series of Hitchhiker’s Guide, so me liking this was extremely predictable.

    This actually feels like a long time coming, because the beginning of And Another Thing… is specifically written so that it could follow either the bleak ending of Mostly Harmless or the schmaltzy ending of the Quintessential Phase. I remember being impressed with Eoin Colfer’s preparedness when I first read AAT in 2009.

    Anyway, the performances, jokes and dramatic moments were spot on, though I do wonder if the strong direct continuity with the previous series might be alienating for newer listeners. It was also weird to have Sandra Dickinson as Trillian Prime rather than Susan Sheridan, but obviously there was llittle else they could do, and I’m pleased they fully acknowledged the change, and dedicated the episode to Sheridan.

    I guess the only major criticism I have applies to the Tertiary Phase onwards: that the show is SO faithful to the books that there aren’t really very many surprises for people who’ve read them – other than minor details and a smattering of new jokes. So it would be good to see some divergences from the source material as the series goes on. The return of Marvin might count as that, if it continues past the episode 1 cameo – though unfortunately that does fall under the category of “fan service which undermines the original story”.

    #229214

    Plastic Percy

    I think the Quandary Phase suffers the most by having large paragraphs of the books internal narration regurgitated as dialogue which just seems unnatural. But I guess the problem there is that SLATFATFish doesn’t have a conventional, episodic plot and is really just a romantic comedy between Arthur and Fenchurch.

    What I do like about the Tertiary Phase onwards is that their updating of the ‘neat idea’ joke – changing it from the outdated digital watches gag to novelty ringtones – is now itself outdated.

    #229216

    Flap Jack

    The great thing about the “humans are so primitive they still think that digital watches are a pretty neat idea” line is that the more correct an observation it is, the sooner it will itself become dated. So “novelty ringtones” really is the perfect mid-noughties update to it.

    Did the 2005 movie update the line to mention “mobile phones”, or did I just dream that?

    #229217

    Plastic Percy

    Don’t get me wrong I think it’s a good joke, just find it quite funny that it’s now as dated a joke as the novelty of digital watches was.

    I can’t remember the joke being in the film, but they did update the ‘change from a fiver’ joke to Ford paying with a fifty pound note.

    #229219

    Flap Jack

    I can’t remember the joke being in the film, but they did update the ‘change from a fiver’ joke to Ford paying with a fifty pound note.

    Wait, how much did 6 pints of bitter cost in 1978? I just realised I may have been interpreting this joke all wrong ever since I first read it.

    #229220

    Lily

    >Wait, how much did 6 pints of bitter cost in 1978? I just realised I may have been interpreting this joke all wrong ever since I first read it.

    43p each, or £2.58 for the 6

    http://publin.ie/2015/the-price-of-a-pint-from-1928-2015-in-todays-money/

    I’m a big fan of the BBC TV version, and it was always clear in that it was a generous tip.

    #229221

    clem

    How did you interpret it, Flap Jack? You thought the barman was being sarcastic?

    #229226

    Flap Jack

    43p each, or £2.58 for the 6

    Haha, oh boy, I got this SO wrong. Bless my millennial heart.

    How did you interpret it, Flap Jack? You thought the barman was being sarcastic?

    I definitely didn’t think the barman was being sarcastic. I thought that Ford’s payment – and in particular the barman’s earnestly grateful reaction – was absurdist humour, possibly with an element of commentary by Adams on the rising price of beer.

    Now, I’m not a total moron. I knew about inflation and assumed £5 would be closer to the correct amount in the late 70s than it would be now or ten years ago, but I just didn’t consider that the price of beer might have literally quintupled since then.

    I’m actually a bit disappointed now. The idea that a barman would be nigh awestruck at the generosity of Ford massively underpaying for beer is a lot funnier than him having that reaction to an overpayment. By the original intention, it’s not even a joke. It’s just both characters acting normally.

    #229227

    bloodteller

    i always assumed telling someone to keep the change from a £5 note was generous at the time of writing, but i agree with Flap Jack that it’s actually quite funny if you interpret the scene as the barman being chuffed to bits about getting underpaid

    #229258

    Katydid

    I don’t even know how much a pound is, so I had no choice but to see it as a generous tip.

    #229269

    MANI506

    This is great if you haven’t heard it. Douglas Adams at the BBC on audible also highly recommended.

    http://poddelusion.co.uk/blog/2011/03/08/a-tribute-to-douglas-adams/

    #229307

    Plastic Percy

    I only recently got the “what’s so unpleasant about being drunk?” joke. I assumed that Arthur was saying that being drunk is a pleasant experience, as in the sense that inebriation is quite enjoyable. And I figured Ford’s quip of “ask a glass of water” was meant as a commentary on the merits of sobriety. But I only recently realised Ford meant being drunk in the sense of the individual being drunk like a glass of water, losing all consistency and sliding down a long tube.

    #229310

    bloodteller

    i always understood the “ask a glass of water” joke, but one joke i never understood was “i feel like a military academy. bits of me keep passing out.” are students of military academies known for being unconscious or something?

    #229313

    Lily

    >are students of military academies known for being unconscious or something?

    Fainting on parade. Lots of hot summers at that time so was a pretty common thing.

    #229323

    Plastic Percy

    It’s a reference to the military term passing out, meaning they’ve completed their course of training. It ends with a passing out parade in which the newly minted recruits go on a passing out parade and leave.

    #229335

    Lily

    Oh lol ok, guess I never understood that joke properly either then!

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