How Douglas Adams Paved The Way For Fiction Podcasts

1978 saw the debut of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a radio drama comedy series.

What is particularly trivial about the history of the series is that the story found life as a BBC Radio Play before a novel, while it is normally and conventionally the other way around.

After the success of the series on radio and in book form, it later adopted form as a TV programme and a film.

The story follows an Earthman, Arthur Dent, after the world is blown up to make way for an intergalactic highway, but is fortunately saved by his good friend, Ford Prefect, who happens to be a space-travelling researcher for the guide of the same name.

Today’s installment of Mornings with Tom Denham spent time in today’s program highlighting the historical significances of the series which you can listen to here:

Douglas Adams and the team exercised a lot of practical concepts in his presentation that are commonly used in fiction podcasts today, which are surprisingly remarked upon in a way that feels like it’s cutting edge and new, whereas the existence of full-cast has been something that has been practiced in radio plays since the 1920’s.

What The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy does so well though are the elements that are commonly used in the science fiction genre, which is a popular foray for many modern day fiction podcast creators.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was performed as a live radio drama back in 2013 with the original cast

In more recent years, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series has been revitalised for a new era of listeners by Demon Records where they’ve not only re-released the original series in lavishing vinyl form, but have continued the story following Eoin Colfer’s official continuation of the story in And Another Thing with the cast of the original BBC Radio Play series to maintain the same flavour of the series’ heyday.

You can find out more about the vinyl releases of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy here.

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