So long and thanks for all the sheep

I've just been on the Jodrell Bank trip to the showing of the new Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy film. All the press were there (well, a reporter and photographer from the Knutsford Guardian) to interview the Jodrell 'background actors' whose performances were greatly appreciated by the cutting room floor. Only the local sheep and renegade goat (which the sheep all follow it around like, well, sheep) made the final cut. Curse that pesky goat.

Despite the obvious disappointment of the missing scene in the control room, the film was OK. It wasn't brilliant, but it wasn't as bad as Vogon poetry or as awful as M J Simpson seemed to think in his short review. There were a few points where the whole of the cinema (OK, it was a small cinema) laughed out loud. Of course, fitting the radio series/books/tv series/bath towel into a 110 minute film is about as difficult as calculating the ultimate question to life, the Universe and everything, so there was always going to be a lot cut out. As all the versions are slightly different anyway (especially the bath towel version which unfortunately had most of the plot removed to increase its drying ability) lots of jokes were missing. This was a shame, but I found myself automatically adding them in anyway. I did like the fact that Simon Jones (the original Arthur Dent from the radio and tv series) appeared as the Magrathean greeting hologram and got some good lines. I suggest that you take some red/green 3D glasses to the cinema with you for that bit. I also thought that the Magrathean factory floor was a visually stunning scene.

There was quite a lot of dry humour and I'm not sure how it will play with American audiences. They have left an opening for a second film based on the Restaurant at the end of the Universe, but I don't know if the film will be successful enough to generate a sequel. Still, I think it is worth seeing. I'll be buying the DVD version in September.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Thursday 28th Apr 2005 (22:19 UTC) | Permalink
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