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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Special Edition (1981) - Blu-ray Review

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The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - Season One

Get your Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster glasses ready!  The drinking is about to commence with the release of this heralded (and still quite funny) six-episode television series on blu-ray!  As a manual, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which has come in handy many times before as we leave the solar system, has been opened yet again . . .

. . . and this time, we get to relive a little bit of greatness from a bygone era of British television on 1080p.  Cult television about the end of time itself has never been this shiny and bright!

With a crisp image and much better sound, Douglas Adams’ work, produced by Alan Bell, who was offered the job after directing two episodes of Ripping Yarns, joins the upgraded ranks of Tom Baker and Peter Davison’s first year as Doctor Who.  Hopefully, more will continue to follow. 

"offers fans of good humor with yet another trip aboard the Starship Heart of Gold toward the beginning of it all."


The evenings at Milliways, the restaurant at the end of the universe, finds new life here and now, with no help from the Vogons, we get to peek upon its EXTREME CLEVERNESS in trivia-worthy HD glory.  Nuts to your white mice!!

Once again, we greet the end of the world through a mix of video and film AND animation/colored gels, thanks to Pearce Studios Ltd, as Arthur Dent (Simon Jones) awakens to the sound of yellow bulldozers threatening to remove his home from the path of progress . . . because we could always use another highway. 

Upgraded and remastered (for your exquisite viewing pleasure), the six episodes originally shown on BBC Two have been cleaned-up and provided with brand-new 5.1 surround sound tracks so that, yes, you too can experience the sensation of hearing Vogon poetry for yourself. {googleads}

No longer do we have to imagine the side effects of hearing the multisyllabic odes to the green putty discovered in Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz’s armpits!  The BBC, with yet another 1080p update to their collection of GREAT video-shot television shows, offers fans of good humor with yet another trip aboard the Starship Heart of Gold toward the beginning of it all.

There have been a handful of iterations of Douglas Adams’ famous novel.  The most successful – outside of the original book, that is – has to be the version the BBC produced for television audiences in 1981.  Another reason for fans to cheer the eventual evening plans at Milliways, one of the BBC’s most extensive and costly multi-leveled sets.

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - Season One

Starring Jones as Arthur Dent and David Dixon as Ford Prefect, Jones’ guide through the cosmos, the two friends match wits with Marvin the Paranoid Android, a two-headed and three-armed alien named Zaphod Beeblebrox (Mark Wing-Davey), another named Trillian (Sandra Dickinson), whom Arthur met at a party once, and Benjy Mouse (David Tate), as they travel through time . . . and not space.  Ho hum. 

No need to worry, ladies and gentlemen.  It is only the end of the world we are talking about.  Life goes on la de da and all that good stuff in your ear holes.  Don’t panic.

5 beers

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - Season One

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
180 mins
Director
: Alan J.W. Bell
Writer:
Douglas Adams
Cast:
Simon Jones, David Dixon, Peter Jones
Genre
: Television
Tagline:
Don't Panic!
Memorable Movie Quote: "So this is it... we're going to die!"
Theatrical Distributor:

Official Site:
Release Date:
October 30, 1982
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
November 13, 2018
Synopsis: Arthur Dent and his friend Ford Prefect escape the destruction of Earth only to face incredible trials, tribulations and adventures in space and time.

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The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - Season One

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: BBC
Available on Blu-ray
- November 13, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.33:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: 5.1 stereo surround
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; three-disc set
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

With an upgrade in sound and in vision, this television show looks almost new again.  It sure beats the previous DVD releases as clarity has been pushed forward, shadows deepened, and lines/edges much more defined.  Colors, too, are more pronounced – especially the green skin of the Vorgons – and the special effects get a bit more polish to the some of the details.  With sound offered in mono, stereo, and 5.1 stereo surround, you can’t go wrong with this remastered and restored special edition release of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

With over 5 hours of special features, this release is something to be championed by fans.  We get the documentary over the series from 1993 and, spread out over three discs, new and archival information about the show and its production.  Fans also get a collector’s art card and a 24-page behind-the-scenes booklet written by producer Kevin Jon Davies.  While this release will include the original/archival information released with the DVD set, there are brand new featurettes, too!

Disc One:

  • Episodes 1 – 6

Disc Two:

  • The Making of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy
  • Don’t Panic!
  • Communicate!
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Peter Jones Introduction
  • Pebble Mill at One (Alan Bell & Rod Lord)
  • Tomorrow’s World Sequence
  • Deleted Scene (ep2)
  • Out-takes
  • Trailer
  • Easter Eggs

 

Disc Three:

  • Mostly Hand-Drawn (HD animation feature)
  • Life, the Universe and Clapperboards (HD Live action)
  • Recorded at the End of the Universe
  • Writing Hitchhiker’s
  • Trailer for Radio Times
  • Open Door: The Sound of Love (1980)
  • Douglas Adams on Nationwide (1980)
  • Marvin on Blue Peter (1981)
  • Douglas Adams on Paperbacks (1981)
  • The Sound of Sypher (1980)
  • Saturday Review
  • Douglas Adams on Micro Live
  • Simon Jones on BBC Breakfast (2012)
  • Ten Short Films
  • Tertiary Phase Trailer
  • The Hexagonal Phase
  • Marvin and Zem
  • Q-Phases

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The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - Season One

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