Seminal Radio 4 comedy series The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy is reported to be returning with a sixth series featuring surviving members of the original cast, based on Eoin Colfer’s 2009 novel, And Another Thing… alongside unpublished material by Douglas Adams.
Originally airing for two series between 1978 and 1980 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was later adapted into a series of award-winning novels, a short-lived TV series in 1981, and a big budget 2005 movie which failed to find a mainstream audience. In 2004, three further radio series were recorded of Adam’s later novels, again featuring members of the original cast, and this team even went on the road with a successful live version in 2011. Amongst the original team was none other than Geoffrey McGivern, with the role of alien hitchhiker Ford Prefect having originally been written with him in mind.
Since the early Hitchhikers’ episodes, McGivern has gone on to be one of the most prolific faces in UK comedy: in recent years you’ll have seen him in various episodes of Toast of London or as Trince in This is Jinsey – and he’s also part of the impressive cast assembled for forthcoming TVO flavoured film The Ghoul. Prior to that, how’s about turns in TVO shows Dead Boss, A Touch of Cloth, Holy Flying Circus, Lab Rats, Hyperdrive or Look Around You… And that’s not to scratch the surface of other classics like Smith and Jones, Jonathan Creek, Murder Most Horrid, Fry and Laurie and Blackadder!
Plans are seemingly afoot for Geoffrey to return for alongside Simon Jones as Arthur Dent and Mark Wing-Davey as Zaphod Beeblebrox. Sandra Dickinson, who took over the role of Trillian in the TV series, reprises the role in the new run of episodes, following the passing of Susan Sheridan last year, while comedy producing legend John Lloyd will be the new voice ‘The Book’.
Chortle reports that Dirk Maggs, who previously adapted the later novels for the 2004 revival, will be directing, and the new series will air on BBC Radio 4 in May 2017.
UPDATE: However, TVO has been reliably informed that plans for the new series are still in the early stages so – whilst we’re hopeful everything will work out, it’s best to not count your Vogons just yet.
With luck, however, we can expect a faithful – and above all else, hilarious – continuation. Get your towels on standby…