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The Original Hitchhiker Radio Scripts (Hitchhiker's Guide: Radio Play #1-2)

4.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,180 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
The legendary BBC series did indeed push back the barriers of radio comedy, and in so doing so spawned records, books, a stage production, a TV series, a computer adventure game, even a towel, and attracted a deluge of letters from curious audiences throughout the world.

To satisfy this curiosity, here are the twelve original radio scripts – Hitch-Hiker as it was originally
Paperback, 248 pages
Published December 1985 by Harmony Books (first published October 1985)
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsThe Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas AdamsSo Long, and Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas AdamsLife, the Universe and Everything by Douglas AdamsDirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams
Douglas Adams
6th out of 27 books — 28 voters
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret AtwoodEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardPerfume by Patrick SüskindLove in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcí­a MárquezThe Cider House Rules by John Irving
Best Books of 1985
82nd out of 138 books — 100 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,839)
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Anthony Strawther
Dec 23, 2015 Anthony Strawther rated it it was amazing
After reading a few plays by Stoppard and Sophocles, these Radio Scripts were quite a breeze-through!

It's great to find the beginning of a franchise that's spawned numerous incarnations (by the same, original author)--such as a television series, a movie, a five-book trilogy and a stage play--telling the same story in slightly different ways. Douglas Adams would write according to how the product would be presented; For TV he would re-write parts that would better translate (ie, could actually b
Dec 18, 2007 Tracey rated it it was amazing
I picked up a copy of The Original Hitchhiker Radio Scripts several months ago, about the same time I was re-listening to the show tapes. I finished reading thru this just in time for the movie.

Arthur Dent, an unremarkable human on an unremarkable planet in an unremarkable part of the galaxy, is swept up in a wholly remarkable adventure when his planet is destroyed to make way for an interstellar bypass. He is rescued by a writer for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; they in turn are rescue
Ian Nazarehth
Feb 06, 2016 Ian Nazarehth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I expected these scripts to be exactly like the books, but was pleasantly surprised. I only read them to be a thorough Hitchhiker's Guide enthusiast, I did not expect to find new plots, characters, and yes, even Guide entries.
These are absolutely marvellous and hilarious beyond what the Geneva Convention would approve.
Michelle Ruedin
You really are missing out on part of the Hitchhiker experience if you haven't read this. There are (as per usual) bits that aren't in any other form of the story. Some of my favorite bits are from these scripts that weren't actually even in the radio show since they were cut. :D
Dec 03, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

25th Anniversary Edition of the scripts that launched a billion quips.

March 1978 saw the first ever transmission of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" on BBC Radio 4; the beginning of a cult phenomenon. This 25th Anniversary edition of the scriptbook includes a previously unpublished Hitchhiker script, 'Sheila's Ear'; a new introduction by producer Geoffrey Perkins; and a Who's Who of all those involved in the radio series.

As well as all the new material, of course there are the twelve

I shall never forget sitting on the school coach home one day, with my friend Becky telling me about this absolutely brilliant new radio programme on BBC Radio 4. So, although I’d missed the first episode, I caught the second, and immediately became completely and utterly hooked. I hadn’t been much of a radio listener before that, but here was a series that had everything: the well-paced plot was imaginative yet believable, well-acted, very funny, and the sound effects were absolutely fantastic. ...more
Ian Wood
Jul 22, 2008 Ian Wood rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: douglas-adams
I have tried to get into radio comedy at various times. I spent many an hour trying to discover what was funny about the Goon Show as to me it just sounded like allot of man talking in silly voices. I had discovered Hitch Hikers through the TV show and had subsequently read all the Hitch Hiker novels and thought Douglas Adams the greatest writer I’d ever read.

And then, one Christmas, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to
Ben Babcock
I first fell in love with h2g2 through the books, then the movie, and finally these radio scripts--I'm too young to have ever heard the original radio series. I tried listening to the BBC "Quaternary" phase, but it just wasn't the same.

Reading the scripts can never fully approximate the feeling of a radio show, of course. From what I've read of it, the entire affair was zany. At times, apparently, the end of the episode wasn't even written before they began recording the beginning. This sort of
Jun 04, 2014 Laurel rated it it was amazing
After watching the TV show and reading the first 3 books of the H2G2 trilogy (the last 2.5 weren't out yet), I had to read the radio scripts. This is where the whole thing started. Fascinating to see how it evolved. And this book finally answered that nagging question: "Who in the world is Rula Lenska?"
I love this. It's fantastic to have the original radio scripts and be able to read them at any time. I have done so on many an ocassion. And I directed the Infinite Improbability Missle into Whale chase scene for a directing class because of this book. Huzzah! Um... Yeah, it's basically a must have if you want to have the perfect Hitchhiker's Guide Collection but it's not needed unless you're a superfan. And if you choose not to get a copy tell me where I can find another one. Just in case. Also ...more
Katie Lynn
I voraciously read anything pertaining to Hitchhiker's Guide, so it was interesting to see the different versions of the same story. The books, the radio scripts, the miniseries, the video game, the movie...
Jan 23, 2009 Jess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
I feel like I got this book from my mom's friend who was throwing it out or something. That is nuts. I will probably never get tired of this book... I'm enough of a Hitchhiker's nerd that it's fascinating to me to see the same jokes and ideas in different permutations or layered with new ones, and to see how the material originally functioned. The novel series, especially considering the later books, is a lot darker than the radio show (really!), but even the loopier material is going somewhere ...more
Dec 22, 2015 Kat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, sci-fi
I stumbled across this strange gem of a book when I was in high school. Being involved with the school radio station, I was looking for something to do as a project for a radio cmpetition and found this book. Previous to this discovery, I hadn't known that Adams had originally created The Hitchhiker's Guide as a radio series before it was a novel. It blew my mind. There are some significant differences between the novels and the scripts, but that comes from this technically being the "first draf ...more
Toby Paradis
May 01, 2012 Toby Paradis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book isn't for everyone. For example, people who own the CDs of the radio plays, or someone who read the series, thought, 'that was cute,' and never thought about it again. However, for diehard fans, this is a must have. It is notable a being one of, if not the only versions of the story that is exactly like another version. (Well, mostly) It also provides behind-the-scenes reminiscences from Geoffrey Perkins and Douglas Adams and details of changes made to each script. Plus a bonus lost sc ...more
May 01, 2008 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who has compared versions would, I think, agree, that the best expression of the Hitchhiker's universe is the original BBC radio productions. One should have that to listen to, but sometimes you're in a reading mood. These scripts are a great alternative. They are different enough from the novels that you want both (if this is the kind of thing you like), yet pleasantly reminiscent of both the books and the radio show. We will not speak of the recent so-called film.

Mar 21, 2008 Tegan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since I was first introduced to Hitchhiker's through the BBC miniseries (which follows the radio script faithfully, and even has most of the voice talent on as actors), I have far more pleasant nostalgia attached to the lo-fi, confusing, not-quite-logical journey of the radio serials than I do the polished and (mostly) coherent plots of the novels. This collection of the original scripts contains lines cut from the script, as well as notes on each episode by Douglas himself.
Murray Writtle
May 02, 2008 Murray Writtle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone living or dead only for tax purposes
Where would you like me to start quoting? Tell me when you've had enough...

Sorry I am incapable of giving a reasoned review of this work of genius. If you don't get it then no words of mine are going to make a difference. There should be a copy in every hotel room. There should be a radio channel permanently broadcasting the series on a continual loop. Etc.
Sep 14, 2007 Cherie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the radio series of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and these scripts just add to it.

The descriptions of the sound effects are hilarious.
Keith Jones
Aug 17, 2014 Keith Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just finished re-reading the original Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio scripts on Kindle. The scripts are so much better than the book. After having listened to the original radio show and read the script book, the novelization is really kind of dry and boring. So read the scripts; they're a lot better.
Nov 14, 2012 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Note to self: Ford is better in the books.


"Contrary to what you might believe, completely different from the books of the same name. New characters, new plots, new excuses to read out-loud in a British accent. In short, lots of fun, definitely recommended to anyone with a sense of humour."
Amanda McBreen
Just not for me.
Michal Marom
Apr 09, 2009 Michal Marom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my ultimate favorite! I heard it several times and it still makes me laugh. I actually think it is better than the books. just put it in and enjoy. oh, and the creature was green.
Maureen S
Jun 18, 2009 Maureen S rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
MUST READ!!!! Better than the book! better than the show! better than the movie... this is what started it all and it's incredibly, crying your eyes out funny!
Sep 17, 2008 Julia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We've got an audio copy of the radio play, too. Fantastic! I love how they handled the infinite improbability count down to normality for Arthur and Ford....
May 03, 2008 Velveeta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: already-read
i was there from the beginning and all i can say is curses to god for taking one of the most imaginative peeps ever much too soon.
Paula O'Connor
Jul 31, 2015 Paula O'Connor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
It is a great ride as it is a snapshot into the full book series. It is also entertaining to read the notes after each show!
Scott Meriano
Sep 01, 2012 Scott Meriano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

MAkes me laugh every time I read it. A modern classic especially funny if you've seen the BBC shows.
Good fun, especially while simultaneously listening to the radio shows themselves.
Fear torment
Aug 13, 2012 Fear torment rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's different but if you like Doug than you'll like how it all got started.
I believe this is the one I own, assuming this is dramatised by Dirk Maggs.
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Douglas Noël Adams was an English author, comic radio dramatist, and musician. He is best known as the author of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. Hitchhiker's began on radio, and developed into a "trilogy" of five books (which sold more than fifteen million copies during his lifetime) as well as a television series, a comic book series, a computer game, and a feature film that was comp ...more
More about Douglas Adams...

Other Books in the Series

Hitchhiker's Guide: Radio Play (5 books)
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Primary Phase (Hitchhiker's Guide: Radio Play, #1)
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Secondary Phase (Hitchhiker's Guide: Radio Play, #2)
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Tertiary Phase (Hitchhiker's Guide: Radio Play, #3)
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Quandary Phase (Hitchhiker's Guide: Radio Play, #4)
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Quintessential Phase (Hitchhiker's Guide: Radio Play, #5)

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“Arthur Dent: What happens if I press this button?
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