42 [The Hitchhiker's Thread]

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Re: 42 [The Hitchhiker's Thread]

Postby Deep_Thought » Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:13 am UTC

But as no-genius pointed out they removed about 90% of the jokes outside the guide illustrations. I knew something was up after they left out the "I eventually found the plans in a locked filing cabinet inside a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying beware of the leopard" speech, and substituted, "I found them". Huh? Where did the funny go? Substituting a few visual gags just didn't make up for it

Although I did like the sequence when they landed on Vogsphere. That was quite good. And Alan Rickman's voice for Marvin. That was good too.

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Re: 42 [The Hitchhiker's Thread]

Postby El Spark » Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:41 pm UTC

Fortunately, as my teens proved when we went to see the theater premiere of Eragon, as a group we can enjoy the bad stuff almost as much as the good stuff.

He brought his towel. We had tea and crumpets. Good times all 'round.
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Re: 42 [The Hitchhiker's Thread]

Postby MotorToad » Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:26 pm UTC

Y'know, none of the media through which HHGG sprouted were the same. That's why it was fun to hear the radio show after reading the books. If you wanted the movie to rehash the books exactly, you'd be better off rereading the books.

It's like the thing about Monty Python fans that has baffled me since childhood: They adore the complete nonsensical spuriousness of the show, and celebrate it through rote memorization.

Like the movie or not, I think you should be glad it was different instead of being mortally offended.
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Re: 42 [The Hitchhiker's Thread]

Postby Amarantha » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:22 am UTC

The plot was not the problem. The surgical removal of all DNA-esque humour was the problem.

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Re: 42 [The Hitchhiker's Thread]

Postby Deep_Thought » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:26 am UTC

I am glad with the parts that were different. The new bits on Vogsphere, and the Point-Of-View gun subplot were excellent. I remember much liking Mos Def's interpretation of Ford Prefect (even if they should have updated his name to Ford Focus).

I am upset that the dialogue totally sucked. As I pointed out above, they just cut jokes out left, right and centre. If they had come up with new jokes then great, but they didn't. They just left huge holes in conversations, which when you know what the filler should be is just hugely jarring. The satirical bite that is present throughout Douglas Adam's work disappeared into the sub-ether, and that is a great shame.

I was also upset by the shift in tone, particularly of Arthur Dent's character. Up until Book 4 of Hitchhiker's Dent was a very repressed Englishman. We all knew he fancied Trillian, we didn't need repeatedly telling. The movie instead recast the entire plot as a love-triangle between Dent, Trillian and Zaphod. Yes, that element is present in the radio and books, but it is not the most important part. Hollywood decided to give us a schmaltzy love story, and that is also a great shame.

edit: Ninja'd!

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Re: 42 [The Hitchhiker's Thread]

Postby Jorpho » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:23 pm UTC

Deep_Thought wrote:Ford Prefect (even if they should have updated his name to Ford Focus).
Holy crap, I never knew that's what the joke was.[/quote]

Hollywood decided to give us a schmaltzy love story, and that is also a great shame.
There seem to be those who insist that DNA had a bigger hand in the script that was filmed than it may initially appear.

There are also those who insist that DNA didn't really know what he was doing when it came to romance. Apparently Fenchurch is dealt with in a much more moving way in the new radio versions.

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Re: 42 [The Hitchhiker's Thread]

Postby Deep_Thought » Tue Aug 02, 2011 4:08 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:
Deep_Thought wrote:Ford Prefect (even if they should have updated his name to Ford Focus).
Holy crap, I never knew that's what the joke was.

Yeah, it's one of those "blink and you'll miss it" moments. There's something about Ford mistaking the car for the dominant life form on the planet and hence choosing what he thought was an inconspicuous name. In the TV (and I think film) there's a list of different Ford car names flashed up in the background :)

There seem to be those who insist that DNA had a bigger hand in the script that was filmed than it may initially appear.

There are also those who insist that DNA didn't really know what he was doing when it came to romance. Apparently Fenchurch is dealt with in a much more moving way in the new radio versions.

I've always taken it that the romance segments of the books are a little bit auto-biographical. From what little I understand of Adam's life he didn't really have a long term relationship until after the first couple of Hitchhiker's novels appeared. Hence it fits that for three novels we have the horrendously repressed English-gent Arthur getting jealous of the smooth American-inspired Zaphod sweeping the girl of his dreams of his feet. Then, after Adam's actually had a relationship or two, in North London to boot, comes the love-story masquerading as Hitchhiker's that is Book 4.

I like Book 4 a lot, but there is a huge shift in tone from the first 3 books. I haven't re-read the 4th book recently, whereas I have listened to the Radio shows (yesterday in fact), but I can't remember much difference between the two. When it comes to the movie, it just struck me as awfully soppy, and that is not a description I would apply to anything else in the Hitchhiker's series.

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Re: 42 [The Hitchhiker's Thread]

Postby no-genius » Tue Aug 02, 2011 4:57 pm UTC

Deep_Thought wrote:I knew something was up after they left out the "I eventually found the plans in a locked filing cabinet inside a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying beware of the leopard" speech, and substituted, "I found them". Huh? Where did the funny go? Substituting a few visual gags just didn't make up for it

Yeah, and Prosser: "The lights had probably gone." Arthur: "So had the stairs." and the killer line "have you ever thought of going into advertising?" As well as the whole scene where Ford convinces Prosser to lie down in (as you say) the mud ("If you're resigned to doing nothing all day..."), which was replaced by Ford with a trolley-full of beer. A very different joke, which isn't as funny but takes a fraction of the screen-time. (and the 'beware of the leopard' bit could work quite well visually, if you pull back to show the disused lavatory, with the sign, etc.)
MotorToad wrote:Like the movie or not, I think you should be glad it was different instead of being mortally offended.

But some of what was different was worse - so why should I be glad about that? We got a sci-fi comedy movie with most of the jokes taken out. We do not forget. :D

I might re-watch it soon-ish. I was watching Look Around You yesterday, and that's funny.
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Re: 42 [The Hitchhiker's Thread]

Postby Deep_Thought » Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:17 pm UTC

I always liked the added meta-gag that Prosser and Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz were played by the same voice actor in the radio series.

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Re: 42 [The Hitchhiker's Thread]

Postby Jorpho » Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:15 pm UTC

Well, just finished reading Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency for the first time. (We can talk about that here, right?)

It reminds me a lot of Gaiman's Anansi Boys, except half-finished and without the pointless meandering tangents. Really, it feels like the kind of book I could write if I tried. I am also not surprised to learn of its connection to Doctor Who.

The whacking great spoiler on the back of the book ranks up there with the introduction of Speaker for the Dead and that preview chapter of Infinity's Shore at the back of Brightness Reef. I suppose The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul might be a little ruined for me now that I've read The Salmon of Doubt.

Has anyone here seen the TV series? I do not reacal reading any comment about it here.

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Re: 42 [The Hitchhiker's Thread]

Postby Deep_Thought » Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:40 am UTC

I watched the TV series. It changed the plot quite a bit (I think, it's a while since I've read the book) and overall was quite low-key. I think it will appeal to a fan of the books but I guess outsiders would be left wondering what the hell was going on.

What's the spoiler on the back of the book again?

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Re: 42 [The Hitchhiker's Thread]

Postby Jorpho » Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:07 pm UTC

This particular edition mentions
Spoiler:
that the Chronologist is over two hundred years old.


I seem to recall once seeing a hardcover edition that had a facsimile of Sauskind's bill on the back, which I think is rather less spoilerific and also kind of clever. I don't suppose anyone's seen that one somewhere?

EDIT: Oops, fixed tag.
Last edited by Jorpho on Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:42 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 42 [The Hitchhiker's Thread]

Postby Deep_Thought » Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:23 pm UTC

I think you might want to fix the spoiler tag, otherwise you're guilty of the same thing ;)

And yes, that is a big spoiler. Sometimes publishers really don't think...

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Re: 42 [The Hitchhiker's Thread]

Postby ConMan » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:38 am UTC

I just borrowed the Primary Phase CD off a friend and listened to them all, and while I did love the radio play both for the parts I remember from the books and the parts I'm assuming were new or changed or else I just have a bad memory, I think the best part was the documentary on the last CD. In particular, the way they appropriated Guide entries and other parts of the scripts, and very in particular the description of actors. When I realised where they were going, I laughed probably the most out of all my listening.

Spoiler:
The Encyclopedia of Hollywood Casting defines an actor as "a mechanical apparatus designed to do the work of a man". The Beverley Hills Cosmetic Surgery Institute defines an actor as "your plastic pal who's fun to be with".
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Re: 42 [The Hitchhiker's Thread]

Postby ygp » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:08 pm UTC

I only recently heard a recording of the original broadcast of Fit the Third (spurred by my recent acquisition of the sadly out of print Original Radio Scripts), and scene that was edited out for copyright reasons made me realise the extent to which knowing the series so well has taken the edge off humour; I laughed so much harder than I have at Hitchhiker's for years.

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Re: 42 [The Hitchhiker's Thread]

Postby Deep_Thought » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:10 pm UTC

ygp wrote:I only recently heard a recording of the original broadcast of Fit the Third (spurred by my recent acquisition of the sadly out of print Original Radio Scripts), and scene that was edited out for copyright reasons made me realise the extent to which knowing the series so well has taken the edge off humour; I laughed so much harder than I have at Hitchhiker's for years.

This is sadly true. What was the scene that was removed for copyright reasons? I've only ever listened to the CD versions of series 3-5.

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Re: 42 [The Hitchhiker's Thread]

Postby ygp » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:57 pm UTC

Deep_Thought wrote:
ygp wrote:I only recently heard a recording of the original broadcast of Fit the Third (spurred by my recent acquisition of the sadly out of print Original Radio Scripts), and scene that was edited out for copyright reasons made me realise the extent to which knowing the series so well has taken the edge off humour; I laughed so much harder than I have at Hitchhiker's for years.

This is sadly true. What was the scene that was removed for copyright reasons? I've only ever listened to the CD versions of series 3-5.

It is a scene when the group have just left the ship on Magrathea (just after Eddie: "It'll all end in tears...", if you know it), involving what seems to be background music, but revealed to actually be Marvin humming. First Pink Floyd's Shine on you Crazy Diamond, followed by the Beatles' cover of Rock and Roll Music, and finally, under a dramatic speech from Zaphod,
Spoiler:
Also Sprach Zarathustra from 2001.

(I didn't recognise the first two, had to look them up in the script)

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Re: 42 [The Hitchhiker's Thread]

Postby Deep_Thought » Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:19 am UTC

Thanks YGP.
ygp wrote:
Spoiler:
Also Sprach Zarathustra from 2001.

In a strange coincidence, I've been meaning to find a copy of that to re-watch.

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Re: 42 [The Hitchhiker's Thread]

Postby Jorpho » Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:40 am UTC

And now I've finally finished The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. I tried to read it once a very long time ago and didn't get too far – it really doesn't have too much going for it to start with, even though it's nice and Adamsy. ("These were unusual texts to see marching across the display of a pocket calculator, particularly as they had been translated from the Chinese via the Japanese and seemed to have enjoyed many adventures on the way.")

I once again have the impression of something that I could probably manage to write and that would have no chance of getting published since my name isn't Adams. And Gaiman's bag of tricks seems just a little bit more shallow, as there's a healthy fraction of American Gods buried in there without a trace of subtlety. (I was a little concerned that And Another Thing might subsequently appear to be even more derivative, but aside from talking about a character named Thor it seems entirely unrelated.)

Time to have a look-see at that TV series.

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Re: 42 [The Hitchhiker's Thread]

Postby darknut » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:37 am UTC

The Universe—some information to help you live in it.
[...]
4 POPULATION: None.

It is known that here are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Therefore, there must be a finite number of inhabited worlds. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely products of a deranged imagination
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Re: 42 [The Hitchhiker's Thread]

Postby Queen Arasene » Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:56 pm UTC

My very favourite character in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
- Marvin the always-depressed robot.

Especially the scene where he defeats that big war machine by talking to it.
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Re: 42 [The Hitchhiker's Thread]

Postby mercutio_stencil » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:43 pm UTC

I just finished the Dirk Gently TV show, and while I quite enjoyed it, it had very little to do with the books. The characters share strong similarities with those in the books, but seem quite distinct, some of the running gags in the book are present, but altered (He has a Princess now, instead of an aging Jaguar), and plot points are shifted around to suit the new plot. I still enjoyed watching it, but it's more like Sherlock, with a different set of personality disorders than anything else.

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Re: 42 [The Hitchhiker's Thread]

Postby MotorToad » Wed May 16, 2012 8:06 pm UTC

mercutio_stencil wrote:I just finished the Dirk Gently TV show, and while I quite enjoyed it, it had very little to do with the books. The characters share strong similarities with those in the books, but seem quite distinct, some of the running gags in the book are present, but altered (He has a Princess now, instead of an aging Jaguar), and plot points are shifted around to suit the new plot. I still enjoyed watching it, but it's more like Sherlock, with a different set of personality disorders than anything else.

I knew it was supposed to be a Jaguar, but I wasn't 100% certain. I can understand the changes they made, I couldn't imagine trying to explain the Electric Monk as a TV character. There were a couple of idiosyncrasies I was missing when I watched it that I can't remember now (too doped up on the *$ coffees), but overall I think they did a fair job. I think my biggest disappointment is that I still haven't heard "Hot Potato."
darknut wrote:The Universe—some information to help you live in it.
[...]
4 POPULATION: None.

It is known that here are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Therefore, there must be a finite number of inhabited worlds. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely products of a deranged imagination
The first time I read that I almost blinked out of existence. It's still one of my favorite paragraphs of all time.
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