It was more than fitting that Towel Day 2018 (May 25) was the setting for the announcement this past week that the greatness of the original six episodes of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy will, for the first time, be released on vinyl. The release will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original radio broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in March of 1978.
The first volume, “Primary Phase”, is set to be released on 24th August 2018 and will feature a sleeve note by author Neil Gaiman, who will also sign the 500 exclusive artwork prints. The collectable volumes also feature specially commissioned artwork and sleeve notes, with the shows pressed on 180g heavyweight colored vinyl. “It makes me strangely happy that the original radio show is going to be available on vinyl,” said Gaiman.
The BBC has confirmed the subsequent volumes will be released over the course of the next year and each will have 500 limited edition signed artwork print editions by its own guest sleeve note author. Each volume will also include a ‘making of’ essay by Jem Roberts, author of The Frood – The Authorised And Very Official History Of Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy follows the adventures of Arthur Dent, quintessential Earthman, after the destruction of his planet by the alien Vogons to make way for an intergalactic bypass. The radio series later went on to inspire book, stage, TV and film adaptations and sequels.
The original radio incarnation which was the first comedy series produced in stereo, on which this vinyl release is based, starred Peter Jones as The Book, with Simon Jones as Arthur Dent, Geoffrey McGivern as Ford Prefect, Mark Wing-Davey as Zaphod Beeblebrox, Susan Sheridan as Trillian, and Stephen Moore as Marvin the Paranoid Android, plus sound effects by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.