The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, episode four

I’d completely forgotten the old Beteleguese death anthem that Ford and Zaphod warble together at the end of this episode. Man alive, that’s funny.

But speaking of sound, this DVD was released, as DVDs were in the early 2000s, with all sorts of hoopla about it having a digitally remastered stereo soundtrack. And all I can say about that is that thank heaven they included the original broadcast mono, because their remastered stereo made every single thing that Valentine Dyall said as Deep Thought utterly incomprehensible, drowned in layers of reverb. You get so used to all the advances in restoration making old programs look and sound better that you forget that once in a while these guys can get it so amazingly wrong.

We don’t get nearly as much in this installment from our heroes, sadly. Most of this episode is given over to the story of Deep Thought and the philosophers and scientists who built it to find the answer to the ultimate question of Life, the Universe, and Everything, and it doesn’t make for good television, honestly. Probably worked great on radio, though. So fewer giggles overall this time for our son, who certainly enjoyed the two space cops gunning for our heroes at the climax. The fellow with the mustache – “Shooty” – is Matt Zimmerman, who had been the voice of Alan Tracy in Thunderbirds.

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