If you’ve seen the 2005 film, you’ll know that ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ (HGTTG) is one of the strangest science-fiction stories around. It’s a fantastically fun Hollywood film, combining elements of sci-fi, drama, and comedy, and because the film isn’t afraid to venture into different cinematic genres, the overall result is rather baffling. In a good way.
However, what some of you may not know is that the 2005 film actually started as a radio series way back in 1978 Britain. Since then, the story has taken on a life of its own – becoming one of the most trans-media franchises of all time. The latest addition to the series is a new upcoming TV show to be aired on HULU soon. It was announced on July 2019.
Before we take a look at what to expect from the HULU series, let’s explore what the franchise has given us so far.
What is ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ about?
Although the plotline of each adaptation varies, the basic narrative of HGTTG follows the adventures of a human called Arthur Dent, who is seemingly the last surviving man in the universe. After the demolition of planet Earth, Dent must navigate through his thrilling travels across the galaxy, along the way meeting vogons (a villainous alien race), fellow human Trillian, ‘paranoid android’ Marvin, and alien writer Ford Perfect (the author of the so-called Travel Guide).
What have we seen so far?
HGTTG first came into the world as a BBC radio series in 1978. It was met with great success, becoming one of BBC’s most successful radio series to date. Numerous radio series then aired spontaneously throughout the next few decades – ‘78, ‘80 ‘04’, ‘05, and the most recent series in 2018.
However, during these years, HGTTG featured on TV too. In 1981, the BBC aired a campy and comical 6-part series that was met with high praise from audiences, finally putting faces to the names and characters we loved from the radio series.
The franchise has also been widely adapted to stage plays – the most notable being the 1980 show at London’s Rainbow Theater – which had a production cost of over $300,000 and played to over 3,000 theater-goers each night.
As well as radio, film, TV, and theater, there’s also been a range of fantastic literature novels and comic books. Now you see why HGTTG is such a chameleon franchise – it’s been part of pretty much every form of media you can think of!
What should we expect from the new HULU series?
If there’s any genre that continuously reinvents itself more than any other, it’s certainly science-fiction – so expect something remarkably different from what we’ve seen or heard so far. The whole fun of the HGTTG series is that each new format values the original plot and characters, but tries each time to put a new spin on the story.
What else do we know?
Seeing as the new series was only recently announced, details are pretty closed at the moment. It’ll be written by American screenwriters Carlton Cuse (‘Lost’, ‘Bates Motel’) and Jason Fuchs (‘Pan’, ‘Wonderwoman’). It will also be produced by the ABC network. The series will likely be available to stream late 2020/early 2021.