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Douglas Adams

HEB  said about 5 years ago  or at  2:36AM on Thursday, September 3 2009 in chat

Last Chance To See, his wonderful book and BBC Radio series about endangered species has now been turned into a TV series by the BBC

It starts on TV in the UK this week

Sadly two of the original eight animals are now extinct

Here Stephen Fry discusses how it all came about and talks of his friendship with DA

Here is an extract from the new book of the new series from SF and original co-author Mark Carwardine

Kez  said about 5 years ago:

I listened to Stephen Fry's talking book (3 or 4 CDs??? Not short!) about the Spectacled Bear end to end. Not in one sitting.

HEB  said about 5 years ago:

BBC's Last Chance To See website
Includes stream of Douglas Adams' & Mark Carwardine's original BBC Radio 4 series from 1989

Twenty years on Stephen Fry follows in Douglas Adams' footsteps and joins Mark Carwardine in search of endangered animals...

HEB  said about 5 years ago:



annehelena  said about 5 years ago:

This sounds fascinating!

LoadMyRig  said about 5 years ago:

fantastic book. i will watch this.

JudyDickslap  said about 5 years ago:

Holy fuck, I love that book. Especially the bit where he's talking about the kakapo parrot. I also live Stephen Fry, so I cannot fucking wait to see this!

LoadMyRig  said about 5 years ago:

i have never forgotton about that parrot!

JudyDickslap  said about 5 years ago:

Fucken typos again! But yes, Loady. I've wanted one ever since I first read the book.

BADALEX  said about 5 years ago:

That is a good book. I remember when I found out that the Yangtze River Dolphin was extinct and thinking ''Well. Shit.''

HEB  said about 5 years ago:

For an update of of the kakapo, read the second link in the first post, where you'll meet Sirocco, the man-eating kakapo...

...When he was first moved to Codfish, he was introduced to a lovely new home range, with wonderful views, on the other side of the island. It was perfect. Any normal kakapo would have been delighted. But Sirocco didn't like it. He wanted to be with his human friends and kept walking all the way back to the rangers' hut. Time after time, they would catch him and carry him the one-and-a-half-hour trek back to his home on the other side of the island. But by the time they got back, and had a cup of tea, he'd already be outside the hut waiting to greet them.

Last year a TV crew wanted to film Sirocco. They built a special wooden hide to observe him, in the hope that he might behave more naturally if he couldn't see them. They waited in their hide all afternoon and then for most of the night, yet there was no sign of him. They were just about to give up when they heard a slight rustling sound. There was Sirocco, in the corner of the hide, waiting patiently with them....

Here are the BBC2 broadcast details (useful for BT'ers as well)

Sunday 6 September 2009 - Last Chance To See: Amazonian Manatee
Sunday 13 September 2009 - Last Chance To See: Northern White Rhino
Sunday 20 September 2009 - Last Chance To See: Aye Aye
Sunday 27 September 2009 - Last Chance To See: Komodo Dragon
Sunday 11 October 2009 - Last Chance To See: Kakapo
Sunday 18 October 2009 - Last Chance To See: Blue Whale

Kez  said about 5 years ago:

the Hitmen sez ''I don't mind, Blue Whale...''

HEB  said about 5 years ago:

Was rather disappointed by the first two installments but the Aye Aye one had something of the magic of the original series

HEB  said about 5 years ago:

They changed the schedule as listed above.
There's no screening next week because of the snooker, but the episode about Komodo was on last week, and the Kakapo last night
So the whole episode should be on torrents

HEB  said about 5 years ago:

Ralph, the fragrant parrot of Codfish Island

This episode tracks Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine's search for the kakapo. First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 4 October 1989, this is how the programme was billed at the time:

He is large, green and has forgotten how to fly, which is worrying as there are less than 50 kakapos left in New Zealand. Ralph's major pastimes are running up and down trees and practising his mating call, which seems to repel the females. But no-one has told Ralph.

Listen here

hillsonghoods  said about 5 years ago:

Ponderous Guardian article about the Hitchhikers books.. I am sort of disturbed that Eoin Colfer is writing an authorised sequel.

The Last Chance To See series with Stephen Fry has been wonderful to watch. I have just befriended Sirocco Kakapo on facebook.

hillsonghoods  said about 5 years ago:

Unfortunately, the audio of the original BBC series you linked to, HEB, is ''unavailable in your area''. Stupid.

HEB  said about 5 years ago:

Maybe they'll be extras on the inevitable DVD of the TV series?

HEB  said about 5 years ago:

Wanna meet one?

Sirocco has over 3000 'friends' now

anonymous  said about 5 years ago:

'Hitchhiker's Guide' back on track

Before he died in 2001, British sci-fi writer Douglas Adams mused about writing a sixth instalment of the mega-popular Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series.

''I suspect at some point in the future I will write a sixth Hitchhiker book. Five seems to be a wrong kind of number - six is a better kind of number,'' the 49-year-old author joked.

Now, 16 million book sales later, fans of the absurdist romp through space and time have been offered that sixth book - penned by best-selling author of the Artemis Fowl series, Eoin Colfer.

And Another Thing, published on the 30th anniversary of the first Hitchhiker book, reunites the Douglas pantheon - Arthur Dent, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Marvin the paranoid android and Ford Prefect - in another bizarre adventure.

The Hitchhiker books combine the zaniness of Monty Python with the camp Shakespearean space opera of Dr Who (Adams was a former script editor) and the philosophical musings of AA Milne and Lewis Carroll.

The book hasn't been without its detractors. Fans have been snubbing Colfer at sci-fi conventions and set up an anti-Colfer Facebook group which, amusingly, he has joined to poke fun at himself.

But Colfer hilariously captures the tone of Adams' writing in a fractured tale which takes Dent and Ford Prefect briefly back to Earth before it (again) gets zapped by alien engineers.

Early in the piece, Dent and Prefect are reunited with Beeblebrox, providing some laugh-out-loud moments, such as this:

The alien stopped in his tracks. 'What? No. It couldn't be?'

Zaphod flicked back a sheaf of hair. 'Yes it is baby.'

'Zaphod Beeblebrox?'

'Alive and procreating, sir.'

Newcomers to the Hitchhiker's world may miss some of the rapid-fire references to characters and events in the previous books, but should still enjoy it.

For those unfamiliar with the original Hitchhiker books, BBC radio and TV series, film or computer games, there's a new book, The Rough Guide to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, written by Martin O'Dair.

The book examines the genesis of Hitchhiker's (conceived while Adams hitchhiked through Europe in the 1970s), his subsequent work on Monty Python's Flying Circus and the development of the radio series (initially titled The Ends of the Earth), first novel (published in 1979) and TV series.

There are some amusing black and white photographs - notably one of Adams with a stuffed cat - and plenty of lists and bite-sized factboxes that the Rough Guides are known for, on the characters and science that make up the Adams looniverse.


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Hellzapoppin  said about 4 years ago:

Just read up on said night parrot, what an elusive beast :]

miserable  said about 4 years ago:

unfortunately heb it says I cannot view this video in my area

HEB  said about 4 years ago:

Of course you can't
Go out and find a torrent
It got terrible reviews BTW (or at least Fry's part did)
More permanent link

astrousersasmind  said about 4 years ago:

You could torrent it from HERE miserable. Or wait for it to be on the ABC as a repeatedly advertised highlight of summer viewing.

miserable  said about 4 years ago:

thanks, it is kind of annoying that the BBC blocks the videos like that.

meg  said about 4 years ago:

Can't wait for Dirk Gently.

HEB  said about 4 years ago:

Dirk Gently

Thursday 16 December
9.00-10.00pm BBC FOUR (Schedule change 24 November)

Stephen Mangan stars as Dirk Gently, who operates his eponymous detective agency based on the fundamental interconnectedness of all things, in this hour-long drama based on Douglas Adams's cult novels.

Perpetually broke, hopelessly chaotic and utterly infuriating, Dirk is suspected by most to be nothing more than a cheap conman – and they might be right. Nevertheless, his methods, though unusual, do often produce surprising results.

In this story, adapted by Bafta-winning writer Howard Overman (Misfits), Dirk is called upon by pensioner Ruth to help solve the apparently simple and harmless disappearance of her cat.

When leaving Ruth's house, Dirk stumbles upon an old university friend, Richard MacDuff, seemingly breaking in next door. Dirk refuses to put the meeting down to mere coincidence and MacDuff unwittingly finds himself caught up in his investigations, much to the annoyance of his girlfriend, Susan.

Dirk suspects that MacDuff and Susan have more to do with his case than they realise, and while he delves into seemingly inconsequential details he begins to uncover a host of extraordinary events that put them all in grave danger.

Dirk Gently is played by Stephen Mangan, Ruth by Doreen Mantle, Richard MacDuff by Darren Boyd and Susan by Helen Baxendale.

raven  said about 4 years ago:

So ''based on'' is pretty loose, then?

Hellzapoppin  said about 4 years ago:

Looking forward to it.

HEB  said about 4 years ago:

happycow  said about 4 years ago:


HEB  said about 4 years ago:

__v  said about 4 years ago:

that dirk gently pilot was tosh, it pains me that they saw fit to commission a series (even a small one) - but i suppose the douglas adams name is too valuable to let contracts quietly expire

gareth roberts doing shada is a great idea though, his season 17 pastiche doctor who novels are brilliant

HEB  said about 3 years ago:

You won't be looking forward to this then __v

Dirk Gently returns for three brand new mysteries on BBC Four

BBC Media Centre
Tuesday 21 February 2012

Starring Stephen Mangan as Douglas Adams’ self-styled Holistic Detective. Perennially broke and morally dubious, Dirk’s methods are based on ‘The Fundamental Interconnectedness of All Things’.

Darren Boyd stars alongside as Dirk’s business partner Richard Macduff, who attempts to rein in Dirk’s more tangential decisions, keep them both out of prison and generally restore order to the chaos that Dirk creates.

Dirk Gently’s one-hour instalment in December 2010 proved hugely popular, attracting 1.1m viewers (3.9% share) on BBC Four, over three times the channel’s slot average. In Episode 1 of this new three-part series, Dirk discovers the connection between two unrelated cases; a client who believes the Pentagon are trying to kill him and another who’s horoscopes appear to be coming true. In Episode 2 Dirk is called back to his old university to protect a valuable robot but within 24 hours it has been stolen and a dead body discovered, with Dirk & Macduff the prime suspect. In Episode 3 they are alarmed to discover that Dirk’s old clients are- being randomly murdered with Dirk as the only link. Rather than talk to the police, Dirk elects to leave the country but is waylaid by a series of seemingly unconnected events.

Created by one of Britain’s most exciting screenwriting talents, Howard Overman (Misfits), from the books by Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently is a dramatic, witty and intelligent series with plots that delight, surprise but ultimately satisfy - and with two characters at the heart of each story that you just want to spend time with, brilliantly portrayed by Stephen Mangan and Darren Boyd. The series also boasts a sensational cast of regulars returning from the pilot - Helen Baxendale as Macduff’s girlfriend Susan in Episode 2, Jason Watkins as Det. Insp Gilks in Eps 1 and 3 with Lisa Jackson returning as the unpaid, unloved and quite deeply disturbed receptionist Janice Pearce across the series.

The series is created and Episode 1 written by Howard Overman, Episode 2 is written by Matt Jones, Episode 3 by Jamie Mathieson. The series is directed by Tom Shankland and produced by Chris Carey with music composed by Daniel Pemberton. The show's executive producers are Saurabh Kakkar for ITV Studios and Brian Minchin for the BBC. The series is produced by ITV Studios in Association with The Welded Tandem Picture Company for BBC Cymru Wales for BBC Four.

Stephen Mangan says: ''Slipping back into Dirk's pointy shoes to renew my double act with Darren Boyd for three brand new episodes is, for me, about as good as it gets. I wish I WAS Dirk.''
Howard Overman says: “It’s a real honour to back in the world of Dirk’s holistic detection methods. He’s the loosest of loose cannons and it’s always fun putting such outrageous lines in his mouth to see them so skillfully delivered by Stephen Mangan and the rest of the brilliant cast.”
The show’s producer Chris Carey says: “Dirk Gently feels like a rare and precious storytelling gift. Douglas Adam’s books are treasure troves filled with brilliant details and profound, hilarious observations that Howard and the other writers endlessly mine to lead them off into new tales for Stephen and Darren to bring memorably to life on screen.”

hillsonghoods  said about 3 years ago:

I didn't mind the pilot, but let's hope that they saw room for improvement and improved it.

zeroman  said about 3 years ago:

This is a good straight forward doco on Douglas Adams...

And this a rad doco on the Making of Hitchiker's the tv show...

HEB  said about 3 years ago:

Now, (most of) the original cast of H2G2 live on stage

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Radio Show... Live!

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy became an instant classic on its launch as a radio series. Now Douglas Adams's immortal creation explodes back into life in this ground-breaking new stage production - a radio show like you never saw before - in surround sound, packed with laughter, really wild sound effects and drinks with extremely silly names.

Led by Simon Jones as Arthur Dent, Hitchhiker's favourites from the legendary Radio and TV casts are re-united for these live performances, bringing to life the characters written for them in highlights from the entire Hitchhiker's Saga. They are joined on stage by a VIP Guest Voice Of The Book and supporting actors from Hitchhiker's in all its phases.

Directed by Dirk Maggs, Douglas Adams's choice to conclude the narrative in its original medium, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Radio Show... Live! is a comedy adventure which will introduce newcomers of all ages to Vogons, Babel Fish, Marvin the Paranoid Android and allow them to explore the unique and hilarious Whole General Mish Mash According To Douglas Adams.

Whatever else you do this year, make sure you know where your towel is...

Based on the Novels by DOUGLAS ADAMS
Adapted, Written & Directed by DIRK MAGGS

Simon Jones as Arthur Dent
Geoff McGivern as Ford Prefect
Susan Sheridan as Trillian
Mark Wing-Davey as Zaphod Beeblebrox
and the voice of Stephen Moore as Marvin The Paranoid Android

HEB  said about 3 years ago:

Howard (Misfits) Overman's instantly forgettable TV version of Dirk Gently has been canned by the Beeb

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