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BBC Radio 4 this month is airing a new, sixth series of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, 40 years after the broadcast of the first series in 1978. Fans in the United States might have an easier time downloading the podcast from a client based here rather than trying to listen directly from BBC Radio 4. The Stitcher podcast client, for instance, offers several BBC Radio 4 programs, among them Comedy of the Week. Enthusiastic fans of the series will find a way to listen.


The complete first series from BBC Radio 4 is available for listening, and it truly does the best job with the material of all the different formats, radio or television or print or motion picture. Douglas Adams wrote The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for the 1978 radio presentation, and the other formats followed. The BBC made it into a very good television program in 1981. The 2005 motion picture was not popular. In this country, public radio rebroadcast the BBC Radio 4 series, and public television did the same for the BBC television adaptation.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, english
A representation of the personal electronic device used by Arthur Dent in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Computer graphic by Nicosmos.

From the 1981 BBC television adaptation of The Hitchihker’s Guide to the Galaxy, protagonist Arthur Dent meets the planet designer, Slartibartfast.

Rebroadcast in this country of original BBC radio programming is nothing new now, but in the 1970s and 80s it was fairly novel because at that time there was still some original programming being produced for radio by American public broadcasters and private outfits. There was Earplay on NPR, which were dramas based on original material and adaptations, and there was the CBS Radio Mystery Theater, a program of thrillers. Those American radio programs shut down in the 1980s, and since then very little original programming has come out of America. Britain, on the other hand, has a comparatively lively radio program production lineup, and as proof there is the sixth series of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (with a cameo by renowned cosmologist Stephen Hawking no less), airing in March 2018, forty years on from the first series. Fans of the show on this side of the Atlantic are glad the BBC radio crews are still at it, and if the latest series is anywhere near as enjoyable a listen as the first series, then their efforts will have been well worthwhile.
— Techly