Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

hunck

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I found underwhelming & agree John Lloyd not a good book voice. Too flat. I suspect he got the job because he was a good mate of Douglas Adams. I wasn't expecting that much & it pretty much lived up to my expectations - revisits to a show from 40 years ago are seldom a good idea. For those who remember the original it will inevitably compare poorly & it's unlikely to attract new fans with references to previous storylines they don't know. 1st episode though - it may improve..

Suggestions for a better book voice? Richard Briers I think could've worked if he wasn't dead. David Attenborough would've given it a twist.
 

GNC

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The trouble is, Peter Jones was the perfect choice, authoritative, a little testy and able to read out the most ridiculous stuff with the radio equivalent of a straight face. Not sure who is like that now. Not John Lloyd, alas - maybe his mate Sandi Toksvig?
 

Min Bannister

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William Franklyn was good as well I thought (I suppose Rula Lenska doesn't really count in this context).

Perhaps I am just easily pleased but I rather enjoyed it. :)

I really feel for poor Arthur and his continuing difficulties in getting a cup of tea. :btime:
 

Andy X

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I heard the start and I did think the book sounded wrong somehow. And we have had three already so it is not just that it is a different voice.
Suggestions for a better book voice? Richard Briers I think could've worked if he wasn't dead. David Attenborough would've given it a twist.
Hmm. Was pondering this earlier as I'd only recently heard the '...and another thing' audiobook featuring Stephen Mangan and Peter Seraphinowizc Serafinowicz as The Book, which didn't quite work for me.

Certainly Briers could have done a great job as he could conjure that same 'twinkle' in his voice as Peter Jones. Of the people who spring to mind who are alive:

Roger Allum
Geoffrey Whitehead
Clive Swift
Anthony Head (too 'smarmy'-sounding? - no offence to him - great voice)
Clive James (too monotonous?)
Griff Rhys-Jones (honestly - think about it!)
David Mitchell ??
Richard Wilson

I think Roger Lloyd-Pack would've been pretty good.
 

Anome

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Hmm. Was pondering this earlier as I'd only recently heard the '...and another thing' audiobook featuring Stephen Mangan and Peter Seraphinowizc Serafinowicz as The Book, which didn't quite work for me.

Certainly Briers could have done a great job as he could conjure that same 'twinkle' in his voice as Peter Jones. Of the people who spring to mind who are alive:

Roger Allum
Geoffrey Whitehead
Clive Swift
Anthony Head (too 'smarmy'-sounding? - no offence to him - great voice)
Clive James (too monotonous?)
Griff Rhys-Jones (honestly - think about it!)
David Mitchell ??
Richard Wilson

I think Roger Lloyd-Pack would've been pretty good.
Michael Palin was an early pick for the original, when they were looking for someone with a "Peter Jones-y sort of voice", before they realised they should just get Peter Jones.

Much as I like Tony Head, I don't think he's right for the Book. I think if you were recasting Zaphod, he'd be brilliant, though. Or Zarniwoop, he does a great villain. Richard Wilson might be a good Slartibartfast. I think he has the right sort of qualities to follow Richard Vernon, and Richard Griffiths. And he's called Richard. Works perfectly.

I do think Griff would be a good choice. The trick is not to have anyone who sounds like they're talking down to the listener, just reciting facts about the universe. That's why Peter Jones was so good, he did it straight, there was no condescension to the listener, and he was able to say some of the absurd things that Adams came up totally deadpan. You don't want someone who sounds like they're being funny. Which would be a risk for Griff, but I think he could do it.

If we were looking outside the UK, Andre Braugher could do it. Not just a great actor with a great voice, but he can do deadpan comedy. I don't know how it would go with an American reading the Guide, but he could do it. And if you just want someone with a great speaking voice, well you end up casting James Earl Jones in everything.
 

Andy X

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Mmm. I think you're right about a Wilson Slarty and Head could probably pull off a suaver Beeblebrox - that whole transadlandic schtick has always got on my nerves - though Zaphod is obviously meant to be annoying.
 

GNC

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Is there a weird amount of swearing in these new episodes or is it just my delicate sensibilities noticing not particularly strong language?
 

Min Bannister

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I noticed "Beeblebastard" in the last episode and was there a "Belgium" as well?
 

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I’m finding it not very good at all.
And The Book is now more a narrator. And not a very good one at that.
The Plasmivarons of Nurbitex have also voiced their displeasure and given that this means displaying all their internal organs, it is not a pretty sight.
 

Andy X

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I'm afraid I switched this off about two and a half bars after Mitch Benn began his honking. Oh well.

images-article-2016-09-16-299281.gif
 
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GNC

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I noticed "Beeblebastard" in the last episode and was there a "Belgium" as well?
There was an "arsehole" too. I seem to remember from the originals Belgium is fine to use if you don't know what it means.
 

Andy X

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There's definitely an Arsehole in one of the later books (Wowbagger to Arthur, insulting him for the second time). And I clearly recall one Fuck -summat like "Does he [Arthur Dent], in a word, fuck?", and one very effective Fucking: "Ford, I have had a fucking bad day..." (Arthur).
 

GNC

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There's definitely an Arsehole in one of the later books. And I clearly recall one Fuck and a Fucking; "Ford, I have had a fucking bad day..."
Not on the radio, though! I wonder if we'll get a shit next and it's building up to a fuck in the climactic episode.
 

Andy X

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It might be justified as long it's an effective fuck. Hard to say what's going to come up.
 

Min Bannister

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Not on the radio, though! I wonder if we'll get a shit next and it's building up to a fuck in the climactic episode.
We have already had it in (I think) the tertiary phase where we meet the guy who won an award for "the most gratuitous use of the word fuck in a serious screenplay." They played some sort of noise over it each time but you could still hear it.
 

Andy X

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Not bad! I got 21 (would've got 22 but made a stupid mistake on one). However one answer was a complete guess, so by rights I can only claim twenty points.
 

Min Bannister

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Not bad! I got 21 (would've got 22 but made a stupid mistake on one). However one answer was a complete guess, so by rights I can only claim twenty points.
Well done! I bet it was the same stupid mistake I made. :doh:
 

Andy X

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Thought so :) It's an ambiguously-worded question. I realised the only sensible answer was there just as I clicked the wrong one. Bah.
 

Andy X

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I almost took a towel out with me but thought better of it and didn't see anyone else with one.

However, I did pick up this decent enamel mug in a charity shop:

Dad's Army towel day mug.png

As Hitchhikers' was vaguely on my mind the 'Don't Panic' leapt out at me from my peripheral vision ... yet this is, of course, official DAD'S ARMY merchandise.

For some reason it has never occurred to me that these two very different shows which I know very well share a catchphrase.
 
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