Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster

Only 42 minutes give or take (depending upon showtimes) until the total destruction of...
most of the memories/opinions we've had thus far about
"The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy." The newest, latest incarnation arrives in theaters on April 29th, unless the Earth explodes before then.

So far my opinions have been based on--
*A radio drama (excellent)
*A BBC TV mini-series (very determined attempt to capture the zany essence of the material)
*Several books by Douglas Adams (quite good)

There was also a stage play produced, which I've never experienced.

So much seems to have been influenced by "Hitch Hiker's" (introduced in 1978) perhaps unconsciously:

*The phrase "Resistance is useless!" is first uttered by a Vogon--
meanwhile Patrick Stewart is answering casting calls for "Lifeforce" and "Dune" (circa 1983-84)

*The idea is put forth that Earth is really a "living" computer, with everyone linked for a single purpose--that sounds like "The Matrix"!

*Aliens can be silly ("Explorers", "Galaxy Quest", "MIB", "Futurama"; Jar Jar Binks, not so much)

*Planets can be made to order, such as Earth, and are hand-crafted by artisans ("Time Bandits"--released in 1981, I guess that's considered a tie)

*Low budget+heretical thoughts+bits of naughtiness--sounds like the humble beginning of "South Park"!

*Dolphins are pretty darn smart ("Johnny Mnemonic," anyone?)

The radio drama was so good because the listener provided all the missing visuals. Now everything will be spoon-fed to audiences with the latest computer graphics auto-piloting their imagination.

Perhaps the old memories should go away. Other creative persons have tended to tinker with their creations endlessly (George Lucas) but now Douglas Adams is no longer with us (perhaps he is dining at Milliway's?) Hopefully this version is closest to how he wanted it.

I requested the CD set of the radio series from the library, just to listen to it one more time.

I'm sure there will be many new fans who walk out of theaters on April 29th. That experience will become their reference point. Hopefully they'll walk to the nearest bookstore and seek out the novels, memorize the dialogue and supplant the "Napoleon Dynamite"-isms of today with bits of Adams' wit, for tomorrow.


Blogger Martin Bizarro said...

Well having seen the film, I think there'll be a schism between fans ofthe film and fans of everything-before-the-film. Perhaps we should enjoin them to Share and Enjoy!

11:25 AM  

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