Towel Day Review: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Primary Phase


It’s Towel Day on Saturday, when hoopy froods the galaxy over will be packing their towels and celebrating the most wholly remarkable of books, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Never one to miss a bandwagon when it passes, that seems like a good excuse to post a review of Hitchhiker’s in one of its many and various forms. Specifically, the original version, digitally remastered: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Primary Phase (Special Edition) to give it its full title.

Now, I know there are going to be people who heard the phrase ‘digitally remastered’ and fear some kind of pointless Lucas-esque tinkering. And indeed, the newly recorded introduction including the ‘Primary Phase’ bit does sound a bit New Hope-y. But in actual fact that, and the new version of the original theme tune as featured in the Tertiary Phase onwards, are the only changes to the original material. Some of the effects have been cleaned up and make the overall production sound better, but it remains basically the same as it was 30 years earlier. Which, as any Star Wars fan will tell you, is A Good Thing.

It’s still Hitchhiker’s just as it was originally conceived, and the extra jiggery-pokery didn’t distract from it at all – neither, to be honest, did it add much; had my copy of Primary Phase been on CD I would have given this a miss, and I wouldn’t be missing much.

Except, of course, the bonus material, Douglas Adams’s Guide to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which was recorded for the 20th anniversary of the original broadcast and rather brilliantly riffs off the original scripts to tell the story of the book. Apparently it’s narrated by Peter Jones too, although it didn’t always sound like him. I guess 20 years could do that though. It’s well worth a listen if you’re interested in that sort of thing anyway, but has been previously available in the Collector’s Edition box set, so if you’ve got that, you’re really not missing much. If you don’t have the original Guide on CD though, don’t let the digitally remastered tag put you off getting this version.

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2 Responses to Towel Day Review: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Primary Phase

  1. L.G. Keltner says:

    I do worry when I see digitally remastered on things because of Star Wars. Who can help it?

  2. Steve Trower says:

    I’ve been blogging my way through the remastered early Red Dwarfs too – it’s not all bad, but I definitely question some of the ‘improvements’!

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