The original cast of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy will reunite to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the cult classic’s radio debut.
Following a 12-year hiatus, the sixth instalment – entitled Hexagonal Phase – is set to air on Radio 4 next spring.
The station first broadcast Douglas Adams’ sci-fi radio comedy in 1978, followed by four further series between 1980 and 2005. A hit series of books ensued, as well as a 1981 TV series, a computer game and a 2005 movie.
Hexagonal Phase will be adapted from Eoin Colfer’s spin-off novel And Another Thing… which was commissioned by the Douglas Adams estate in 2009 to mark the 30th anniversary of the first novel. It will also include previously unpublished material by the late Adams, sourced from notebooks and writings preserved in the library at St. John’s College in Cambridge.
Across six episodes, Simon Jones will reprise his lead role as the quintessentially English Arthur Dent, as he continues to travel through space and time following the destruction of Earth.
Jones said he was amazed and delighted to still be playing the role four decades on, and reassured fans that he’s still got it: “It seems extraordinary that it’s been forty years since we recorded the first pilot episode for BBC Radio; how modest were our expectations then, and how amazing a world-wide phenomenon it became, and continues to be.
“I never expected to still be searching for a decent cup of tea and some kind of answer to Life, the Universe and Everything almost a lifetime later.
“Still, the dressing-gown and towel may be a little threadbare, like my hair, but my voice, much to my surprise, hasn’t changed a decibel, and despite years in America, I can still talk Arthur’s ‘indignant-posh’.”
Starring alongside Simon will be Geoff McGivern as Ford Prefect, Mark Wing-Davey as Zaphod Beeblebrox and Sandra Dickinson as Trillian, as well as special guest stars including Jane Horrocks as Fenchurch.
Following in the footsteps of the late Peter Jones and William Franklyn, Adams’ friend, co-author and former flatmate John Lloyd will step into the voice of The Book.
In celebration of the revival, Radio 4 will make its first outing at MCM London Comic Con this autumn, with a Hitchhiker’s panel, comprised of stalwarts Simon Jones, John Lloyd and Dirk Maggs, on Saturday 28th October.