The 12th October 2017, BBC Radio4 has officially announced that the sixth installment of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy, named “The Hexagonal Phase” will come back to the radio sometime in 2018. The announcement comes while the episodes are being recorded in London at the Bigfoot Studio by Dirk Maggs, the famous radio director who already adapted the third, fourth and fifth H2G2 books for Radio 4 in 2004 and 2005. Mr Maggs has also adapted the two Dirk Gently novels for radio4 in 2007 and 2008.
Dirk Maggs has penned the adaptation of the controversial sixth book of the Hitchhiker series published in 2009 and written by Eoin Colfer “And Another Thing…”. Knowing the genius of Maggs to adapt Douglas Adams’s book to the radio, we shouldn’t be too afraid of the result, whatever feeling you have for the book.
According to the BBC press release: “It will also include unpublished Hitchhiker’s material by Douglas Adams, sourced from notebooks and writings preserved in the library at St. John’s College in Cambridge.”
Dirk Maggs aslo managed to bring back most of the original cast: Simon Jones will reprise his role as Arthur Dent, Geoff McGivern as Ford Prefect and Mark Wing-Davey as Zaphod Beeblebrox. Sadly Susan Sheridan, the original Trillian, died in August 2015 aged 68. She will be replaced here by Sandra Dickinson who took the part in the BBC TV series adaptation.
As usual, Simon Jomes seems quite happy to reprise the role of the quintessentially English man: “This may be the wittiest and most epic adventure yet, and I’m especially pleased we’re in the talented hands of Dirk Maggs who is better qualified than anyone to script and produce us. It’s always a joy to be reunited with Geoff McGivern, as my partner in space and time, Ford Prefect. Over the years, we’ve lost some great friends, and we still miss them, but we’ve also gained other valued colleagues, and for this trip across the Galaxy we have a tip-top team all ready to do justice to Douglas’ unique and quixotic vision.”
The two previous narrators (Peter Jones for the original series and William Franklyn for the new ones from 2004-2005) have also left this sad little planet, but the new narrator is well known for all Douglas Adams and H2G2 fans. The new voice is Douglas Adams’ friend, co-author and former flatmate, John Lloyd.
Note that Radio4 will participate to MCM London Comic Con this autumn, with a Hitchhiker’s panel, comprised of no less than Simon Jones, John Lloyd and Dirk Maggs. The panel is scheduled for Saturday 28th October,
The original press release from the BBC can be found here : http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2017/hitchhikers-and-quanderhorn
Here are some pictures from the recording (c)The Bigfoot Studio/Perfectly Normal Productions