THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY: The Tertiary Phase
Audio reviews reflect PW 's assessment of the audio adaptation of a book and should be quoted only in reference to the audio version.
American readers may not be aware that Adams's sci-fi parody classic started out as a BBC radio production. This audio, which contains a portion of that radio serial, will have listeners glued to their CD players. Never a dull moment passes in this uproarious dramatization, as Arthur Dent—a refugee from Earth, which was destroyed to make way for a galactic freeway—escapes from prehistory, and self-imposed insanity, on a time-traveling sofa along with his alien friend, Ford Prefect, who is a reporter for the eponymous guide. The pair find themselves reunited with old friends (such as Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed president of the galaxy) and swept up in an attempt to stop the explosively xenophobic denizens of the planet Cricket from wreaking havoc on all of existence by behaving remarkably like players of the British sport of the same name. Each CD contains two episodes full of hilariously appropriate sound effects, dramatic music and witty fake advertising, and every performer brings his or her character to life with aplomb, including Adams, who makes his appearance in one scene as Agrajag, an entity that is killed and reincarnated innumerable times. Fully embodying the zany otherworldliness of the series, this audio production is a treat for anyone familiar with the Hitchhiker's books (the first of which will debut as a major motion picture from Touchstone in May). (Apr.)