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Read the transcript of our live webchat with Dirk Maggs
Dirk Maggs
Director Dirk Maggs joined us for a live webchat at the end of The Tertiary Phase.
Read the extended transcript below (with extra questions we didn't have time for on the day).

See Dirk's Behind the Scenes account,
Producer Bruce Hyman's report on the birth
of the new series and their Production Diary.

You can also read the transcript of our webchat with Simon Jones and Geoffrey McGivern.

From Andy:

Hi Dirk! You've mentioned that, when the Tertiary Phase was first mooted, Douglas himself had a brief bash at scripting it. Did any of that make it into the final version - or else, did his attempt influence your own adaptation?

Dirk Maggs:

Hi Andy - Yes absolutely, both! Douglas's rough draft ran to about twenty-five minutes' worth of material which basically dealt with Arthur in his cave, meeting Ford, the sofa chase and then the arrival at Lords Cricket Ground. I used all of it but divided it between Episodes 1 & 2 (Fits 13 & 14) so I could also re-introduce Zaphod, Trillian and Marvin in Episode 1. In retrospect this did hold the plot up a bit but there was a lot of backstory to cover! So a good 50% of those two episodes is directly from Douglas, and, in the case of the Hrarf Hrarf Who Live Backwards, unique to this series. As to him influencing the adaptation, absolutely. And I have discovered that it is very, very hard to write Douglas Adams-style material. So I have tried to avoid it where I can find something he has written which helps bridge scenes or explain the more outlandish bits of theory.

From Gareth:

Bearing in mind the fact that Douglas Adams was never a stickler for continuity, did you find it hard to adapt the book to the radio, giving the faithful reader and the new listener something new? Did you think it was a challenge turning the books into a radio series, considering Douglas did the opposite?

Dirk Maggs:

Good point. It was a real challenge, especially as the books are written in a very different style to the radio series. For example, the role of The Book, if it survives at all, is mostly that of a narrator, and more in Douglas's voice than Peter Jones's.

After twenty-five years there is a mixture of people who either know Hitchhikers backwards or don't know it at all. Having taken much longer to happen than we ever anticipated, this series has had to go a tad more slowly than Douglas or I would have liked, to allow people either to adjust their memories or get into Hitchhikers for the first time. You may have noticed that the pace has picked up in the latest episodes, which is a bit more how we planned it and more how the next series will (hopefully!) feel.

Actually continuity was one of the few issues Douglas and I had conflicts about. I expressed concern that he insisted Series Three started as the book (LTUAE) started, not where Series 2 left off. I said that meant the story continuity went up the swanee and he said it didn't matter! Still troubled by this, I introduced the Zaphod 'too drunk to remember clearly' bit as a fig leaf that also usefully helped explain why cracks were appearing in the Trillian relationship. That said, on researching for SO LONG AND THANKS and MOSTLY HARMLESS I have found that Douglas did later say that (a) he felt there was good material in Series 2 that got glossed over in the later books, and (b) that he wished he'd give MH a more upbeat ending, so if you are able to listen next year those points are addressed in the new series.

From Simon:

Did you feel intimidated by trying to adapt Douglas's books into a drama serial that stood up on its own merit, as well as trying to make it sound the same (ie in the same vein/as good) as the original series?

Dirk Maggs:

Very intimidated, much more than I was in 1993, when Douglas was there to provide moral support. How much to balance the needs of a half hour radio comedy slot (ie there need to be some jokes that get quick laughs), with Douglas's novel writing style, which has much more lengthy-exposition-with-lots-of-subordinate-clauses-leading-eventually-to-a-funny-but-pithy-observation. However I think by and large people understand that although these episodes can never have the novelty of style and freshness of outlook of Series 1 and 2, they bring to life a lot of unheard Douglas material, much of which works better in performance than on the printed page. And if it introduces new readers to his work, new listeners to the Primary and Secondary Phases, and reminds people what an insanely great storytelling medium radio should always be, that must be a good thing.

From Evonne:

What it was liked working with some of the original cast after so many years?

Dirk Maggs:

Well the good thing was that we have all been in touch with each other for ten years about the project, so it wasn't quite like being thrown in the deep end. On the other hand when you go into a new job (any job) where there is a bunch of people who have been there before and done it before, it's very easy to feel a bit of a spare part.

In this case however it was an absolute treat, any worries I had vanished when everybody arrived on Day One carrying cameras and asking everyone else to autograph their scripts! They weren't going to miss out on souvenirs this time around, which is great really. You'd think they were all cynical actors and there they were like ten year olds let loose on a climbing frame. And then the next bit was even better - they started the read through and not only was it 'the' Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect etcetera, but they were finding nuances in the lines that I had missed. These are very talented people.

From Korax (USA):

Which episode was the most enjoyable to record and why? Also, who is your favourite Hitchhiker's character?

Dirk Maggs:

Oooh tricky ... there were bits of episodes throughout that I really enjoyed. I suppose favourite bits include Simon acting with Douglas in the Agrajag scene in Episode Four, Zaphod's chat with the gagged Eddie and the doors in Episode Three, because it was pure slapstick in the studio, with Mark carrying a wine glass full of water (authorized Ol' Janx Spirit substitute) which Ken Humphrey (the effects technician) had put two snail shells in to sound like ice cubes (I guess ... go figure) ... as a result dirty water was flying everywhere as Mark danced about being each of his heads - we were laughing very very much and I had to cut out lots of stifled snorting afterwards ... and Mark and Stephen as Zaphod and Marvin in Episode 6 were getting the giggles which again was great fun.

My favourite Hitchhikers character ... Arthur, because he embodies the utter confusion with which most of us attempt to deal with the world every day, Ford, because he's utterly fearless and laid back and a scoundrel but has a heart, Zaphod, because he's vainglorious and cowardly and hedonistic and proud of it, Trillian because she's a scientist who is trying not to let intelligence undermine her essential humanity and Marvin because he never lets a jaundiced view of everything stop him from being utterly miserable!

From Gavin:

Hi, hope you are well, congrats on the show. how does it feel now that the show is over. Are you pleased with it and would you change anything?

Dirk Maggs:

Thank you. How do I feel about the show? Well every Tuesday evening for the last 5 weeks I have spent half hour pacing up and down past our kitchen ghetto blaster, brow furrowed, listening in glorious mono, my wife and children hiding from me, glass of red wine in hand, swearing like a trooper at several parts of each episode, which, even after more than a year, given another crack at, I swear I could do better from script upwards. Apart from that I'm happy ...

The best bit of listening back was last week when Neil Sleat was on duty in Radio 4 continuity and did the most sublime pick up, suggesting he could use Wix's wonderfully cheesy Bistromathic music to fill if the news dropped off the air. This actually made me laugh out loud.

I'm by no means smug about what we have done. But occasionally I've caught a bit of the 11pm repeat on the Thursday night while setting the radio alarm and it's arrested me for a moment because I have forgotten the time, and it's not the sort of noise that usually come out of the radio. And then I think, hey, not bad. I suppose Douglas might just scrape us a 7 out of 10, but then as someone pointed out, if he were here, with the flexibility offered by digital technology (and quite apart from his problems with deadlines), we'd still be mixing the show!

From Barry:

When will the next two phases (4 & 5) be broadcast on Radio 4?

Dirk Maggs:

My understanding is we are on the air starting approximately late April 2005, Zarquon willing. There will be eight half hours comprising the Quandary and Quintessential Phases = 4 eps/fits each of SO LONG, AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FISH and MOSTLY HARMLESS.

From John:

Will the adaptations of the next two books be straight adaptations or has there been any new material introduced into the mix?

Dirk Maggs:

Definitely the next two adaptations are less 'straight' than LIFE, THE UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING, which is very plot driven and needed to follow the threads of the story. Yes, there is new material, but the ground rule for me has been to find material by Douglas upon which to base anything 'new' very securely. I don't want to second-guess him for the sake of a gag. In short, SO LONG AND THANKS is still Arthur's love story, but the Vogons are back. And MOSTLY HARMLESS is still about the impact of new technology on multiple universes, but is quite action packed. I'm really excited about both series.

From Gyurkovics (USA):

Could you reveal to us who is going to be Fenchurch in the next radio series?

Dirk Maggs:

I wish I could ...

From Nathan (USA):

Any chance of some of the fans playing unpaid extras in one of the new series?

Dirk Maggs:

Yes indeedy and I believe the winner of this website's Picture Competition is going to get to have something really nasty happen to them in the next series! Sadly I don't think it's open to folks living outside the UK, though. On the other hand, it does involve getting thrown out of an upstairs window, so you're safer where you are ...

From Philip:

Do you have any thoughts about the new film in production? Is it likely to further the tradition of Hitchhikers by contradicting previous instalments? And did Adams finish the script himself?

Dirk Maggs:

My understanding is that Douglas wrote the penultimate draft of the new movie script, and Carey Kirkpatrick came in to do the sort of last-minute cleaning up that Douglas would have done himself if only he'd still been around to do it. So it's as close to the horse's mouth as you can get.

The film WILL be a new departure in Hitchhiker lore, but the way that Douglas wanted it - and of course the broad story will be familiar. Don't forget that the executive producer is Douglas's ex-business partner Robbie Stamp, who apart from being one of the nicest people on the planet, has made sure that as many people as possible who knew or worked with Douglas work on the film. Nick Goldsmith and Garth Jennings are outrageously good blokes and the perfect creative team to realise the Hitchhikers universe. I was lucky enough to visit Elstree during the pre-production stages. The production design is totally new and yet totally familiar. Douglas is omnipresent in every aspect, the casting is imaginative and I'm looking forward to it very much.

That said let me add that we are really pleased to be bringing closure to the story in its original form, with the actors for whom it was written, in its original medium. That way the baton gets handed on in the most satisfying way. And if you prefer the pictures created by your own imagination, they're all there in the radio series for you to create yourself as often as you want. I believe there are only two electronic media which can do this kind of storytelling justice - film is one, radio the other.

From Ben:

Hello Dirk - you have done a really good Job with Hitchhikers. Would you consider doing anything audio related with Doctor Who?

Dirk Maggs:

Thank you very much, your verdict is much appreciated.

I nearly did the 1990s radio series of Doctor Who with Jon Pertwee after we had a lot of fun together on our second series of THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN. Sadly I was working on more comic book hero stuff at the time and the excellent Phil Clarke produced a fine series or three with Jon and Barry Letts. Nowadays I'd probably pass on the project. Nothing wrong with the good Doctor but after Hitchhikers I think it's time to work on original material. Also, with its return to television, a radio series might be seen as somehow a support act and as far as I am concerned, radio comes second to no other medium - it's the best. The tricky bit is making a living at it!

From Matthew:

Did Douglas ever suggest how the tertiary phase might relate to the secondary? Is the whole of phase 2 (apart from some shady references) really a huge Beeblebroxian hallucination (was that Douglas), or are phases 2 and 3 alternative slices of the WSOGMM? Does this amount to the same thing, and should I just kick back, chill out and continue to enjoy the ride?

Immaculate job on T3, by the way :o)

Dirk Maggs:

I've pretty much answered your main point in an answer above but you are wise indeed, Series 2 is/was/will be DEFINITELY part of the WSOGMM (= Whole Sort Of General Mish Mash, friends) is really the key to all this and the 'ride' analogy is a good one. Imagine the Tertiary Phase as the bit where the rollercoaster gets pulled a bit clankily to the top of a great big peak - the Quandary Phase is the big steep zoom down and up again, then the Quintessential Phase is the double loop, water splash and sudden swerve underground, finishing with everyone breathless and exhausted and needing a cup of tea before they have another go. I hope! So yes, chill out while you can ...

From Huw:

What is the music that starts hhgtg?

Dirk Maggs:

It's called JOURNEY OF THE SORCEROR, originally recorded by The Eagles on their 'One Of These Nights' album (1975) ...

From Al:

I have been writing and directing my own films for a few years and I really want to get into writing and directing for radio. Whats the best way to go about it?

Dirk Maggs:

Try the bbc.co.uk Writers Room site - it's a really good place to start, with excellent advice and really useful background material. In terms of directing/producing it's probably as well to try and get a job inside the corporation - BBC Radio currently operates a very tough quota system which means independent producer/directors have access to only 10% of the available programme slots.

From Debbie:

Having done a lot of screen acting I was wondering if you had any advice regarding acting in radio?

Dirk Maggs:

The best actors on radio have developed an 'ear' for what works in sound only to convey character. This is not building up a repertoire of tricks but imagining forward to think what the listener is able to pick up from inflection and delivery. Listen to lots of radio drama and scripted comedy and you'll realise that certain actors stand out because they go that extra mile. And there are people in the business who do coaching sessions for voice over work and radio acting - one Susan Sheridan I believe, for starters! Getting a meeting with a producer or a decent voice demo CD is the next step - send it in to Radio Drama, Radio Light Entertainment and the Independents who are still able to get spoken word programmes on the air - I'd suggest a total running time no longer than 10 minutes, though.

From Alan:

I need an answer to this question: The end of 'The Amazing Spider-man' clearly says..."To Be Continued!" When (if at all) will this happen?

Dirk Maggs:

Ahhh yes... You need to write to Stan Lee! I'm up for it!

From Paul:

With the cinematic revivals of Batman and Superman on the cards and the recent release of Alfie, is there any chance that BBC audiobooks will release Dirk's radio adaptions of these characters on CD?

Dirk Maggs:

Golly I wish. The problem with the comic book heroes adventures is that the copyright agreements ran out. It's not the BBC's fault. However I am currently talking to my friends at DC Comics to find out what can be done to organise rights so that hopefully we can get the series back in the shops or available online. From my monthly email inbox there certainly seems to be an ongoing demand. They were terrific fun to do.

From Gyurkovics (Hungary):

Have You ever thought of using one of the Monty Python members' voices for one of the roles?

Dirk Maggs:

Yes, I have. Watch this space.

From Sion:

How did you first come into contact with Hitchhikers? The Radio, Book or TV?

Dirk Maggs:

Good question. It was via the radio series. I was training to be a BBC Studio Manager in 1978 when the first series happened. I was working in the newsroom at BBC World Service at Bush House and people would very kindly record each programme as it went out and leave it for those of us on the night shift to listen to when things went quiet in the newsroom. So my first exposure to Hitchhikers was at 3.00am, which was extremely surreal and really did make you feel as if the whole world had gone away and you were alone with Arthur Dent!

From Al:

Is the CD release of The Tertiary Phase in 5.1 surround? And is this the way you intend the series to be heard?

Dirk Maggs:

No, the CD release is in glorious stereo. The 5.1 versions of the series will be hopefully available next summer when we've finished making the Quandary and Quintissential Phases. This is certainly the way in which Douglas would have wanted it to be heard. However, anything you can listen to which is in a language you can understand, and works for you, is probably good enough - unless you have a fish in your ear ...

From Simon:

In The Tertiary Phase Ford says that he didn't get to ask any questions in school because he sat behind Zaphod and there were always the same three hands in the air - his. Yet in the original series Zaphod tells Trillian that he grew the third arm especially for her. Isn't it a dreadful continuity error to say Zaphod had three hands at school? ...

Actually no, I'm taking the p***, I think the new series is wonderful. I was a bit nervous about it being a disappointment but I love it.

More seriously how do Americans react to the Cricket/Krikket references?

Dirk Maggs:

I'm going to answer this question in three parts:

1. Keep listening to the next two series. The third arm debate will be answered I promise.

2. I'm very grateful that you enjoyed the new series. I too was very nervous that it might be a disappointment!

3. My American friends are still talking to me so I'm hoping that they get the idea that we were portraying the people of Krikkit as basically decent and good, but occasionally prone to dust-cloud interference.

From Zarniwoop (USA):

Who made the decision to give the Kriket robots South African accents and why? It's just right.

Dirk Maggs:

It was my idea to give them the accent and the logic was that as Krikkit robots they must have some kind of cricketing background with vaguely sinister undertones. However, this is hardly fair to people from South Africa so I apologise. But it did seem to work very well. I should add I was born in Jersey in the Channel Islands and the Jersey accent is very much like a South African accent. So apologies to Jersey people as well.

From James:

Amazing work on the new series! Would you ever consider attempting to try the same with the Dirk Gently novels? Keep up the good work, I'm looking forward to the next series already!

Dirk Maggs:

Thank you very much. Let's say nothing is ruled in or ruled out. At the moment I'm just concentrating on making the next two series of Hitchhikers as good as they can be. If I'm still employed at the end of this, who knows? Small gardening jobs maybe.

From Christopher:

How much did the fact that you have a name straight from the Guide influence your selection for the job (job!, fun, more like) of directing the series?

Dirk Maggs:

There are two answers to this question:

1. My mother is Dutch. I am named after my uncle Dirk. I don't think this influenced Douglas when he suggested me for the job. I suspect he was wincing when he made the call. But I'm very pleased he made it.

2. It was fun. But, hand on heart, it's pretty hard work too!

From Chrissy (USA):

Every Brit working at Microsoft in the US has been listening in and discussing the series, do you have plans to create more?

Dirk Maggs:

Yes, keep listening - there are eight more half hours to go next year. As an Apple user, I am thrilled you guys have downed tools to listen to the show. Seriously, though, I'm thrilled you're enjoying it!

From Tom:

Was what you first set out to do with The Hitchhiker's Guide what you came out with in the end?

Dirk Maggs:

I'd like to think so, but I'm never satisfied with my work - that's why God invented deadlines. There comes a point where you can't keep fiddling with it any more.

From Andrew:

What is your favourite part of your job?

Dirk Maggs:

My favourite part is working with the actors in the studio because they come up with line readings I didn't know were possible and ideas I didn't have myself. Then I shamelessly pretend I did think of them - but don't tell anybody.

From John:

How did you do the sound effects for Hitchhikers - the Radiophonic workshop was the original source and I guess that is no longer at Maida Vale?

Dirk Maggs:

I don't know, but I think Radiophonic Workshop has gone to the great mixing studio in the sky. They were a terrific and innovative part of the BBC - and, if it's not inappropriate, I'd just briefly like to mark my sadness at the passing of John Peel today. But back to sound effects, yes, they were designed and built between myself, Paul Deeley and Ken Humphrey and built from sound effects which were more realistic perhaps than the electronically generated radiophonic ones of the late 1970s. However, we did use some of the original effects as the basis for the new ones, including the doors on the Heart of Gold and Marvin's walking sound effect.

From Nigel:

Has the next Phase been recorded yet?

Dirk Maggs:

No. The next two Phases have not been recorded yet. I am still knee deep in dictionaries and thesauruses adapting them!

From Jeremy:

I've noticed that HHGTTG - TF has risen up the listen again list on the BBC website. Do you know if TF has actually been the most popular download recently?

Dirk Maggs:

From what I hear, we have had a record number of hits which is terrific and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the Hitchhiker's Guide webteam for being the most miserable - whoops - standup bunch of people I've had the pleasure to work with.

From David:

Just wanted to say what a great pleasure it was listening to all the old voices again. Brilliant. Me and my sister used to listen for hours to the old series recordings time after time when we were growing up 20 years ago! I especially liked Douglas as Agrajag :)) Thanks.

Dirk Maggs:

Awww. Thanks for listening.

From John (USA):

Will the Krikkit Song be available as an isolated track at all?

Dirk Maggs:

The full version is at the end of episode 2 on the CD, but certainly it's a good idea when we compile the DVD-Audio version. I'm sure Philip Pope will have no objection to a renewed career as a monster pop star. He has the legs for it.

From Juan (USA):

What inspired you on some of the casting choices for the people of Krikkit, Hactar, etc.?

Dirk Maggs:

Money! Seriously, what we wanted was actors who could lift the scripts and turn the words on the page into great performances. There's nobody like Leslie Phillips for delivering, in purely sound terms, a terrific performance which catches every nuance and as he gets older he just gets better. And the people of Krikkit were largely played by Michael Fenton Stevens and Philip Pope; again these are two actors who are not only very funny in their own right but can lift a script and add to the chemistry of the cast.

From David:

What do YOU think is the Ultimate Answer? Or the Ultimate Question?

Dirk Maggs:

Douglas was telling us this all along: a long hot bath and a nice cup of tea.

From Mike:

Why are the fourth and fifth books being dramatised as one series?

Dirk Maggs:

Actually, they are two series. BUT they are being broadcast back to back. This is to stop you from nodding off in between.

From Jeremy:

Two questions: A) How was Douglas able to star in the latest series, and B) How hard was it to get all the original cast together?

Dirk Maggs:

Good questions.

A) Douglas actually recorded himself reading all the Hitchhikers books and you can still buy these on BBC audio books. When he asked me who should play the part of Agrajag, he played me the section of the audio book where he read the relevant chapter. I was supposed to guess that he wanted to play the part when we made the Tertiary Phase. Being a bit of a putz, I thought he was trying to suggest John Cleese for the part. Douglas pointed out the error of my ways with a large blunt object, which is when I realised that no matter where he was in the multi-dimensional Whole-Sort-of-General-Mish-Mash, Douglas would have to play Agrajag or I'd be Vogon fodder. So we used the recording he made for the audio book and cut the lines where Arthur speaks.

B) Considering that they'd been waiting for 10 years from when I first phoned them, pretty easy. Although it's cost me a fortune in Christmas cards!

From Matthew:

Did Douglas ever pen an alternative ending to MH?

Dirk Maggs:

I don't know of an alternative ending to Mostly Harmless and the existing ending is a bit of a slap in the face. However, Douglas did suggest he would have liked to have concluded the saga in a more positive way and so there may be some effort in that direction when the time comes. Again, watch this space!

From David:

Considering that the final three books differ wildly in writing style - one heavy on plot and light on speech, another much darker in tone to the others - have you had any problems adapting them for radio so that they come over as a cohesive whole?

Dirk Maggs:

Yes. It's very tricky to keep the programmes within the ball park that a half-hour radio comedy demands. However, I think the Tertiary Phase (Life, The Universe and Everything) has been harder, ironically, because it is so very plotted. It has been a labour of love, though.

From Phil (USA):

Greetings, Dirk. Fantastic job with the new series; I enjoyed it immensely, and eagerly await the next phases.

Twenty-five years ago, when the Primary Phase first aired over the radio, only people within a certain geographic area were able to listen to it. Today, I'm able to sit in my cubicle, an ocean and continent away, and listen to it live, experiencing it the same time as thousands of others do. How does it feel to be bringing Hitchhikers to a now global audience virtually simultaneously? What was once a cult phenomonenon is now known the world over, and with the upcoming movie, will only have its exposure increase. How does it feel to be able to further the legacy of Douglas Adams in a world where we may one day be crossing the galaxy?

Dirk Maggs:

Very good point. It's thrilling that you are able to to enjoy this half a planet away. Of course the Primary Phase is just about reaching the planet Vogsphere, which means that our days our numbered. But seriously, Douglas would have been so thrilled that the combination of communications, computers and comedy can spread pleasure across the world. This is so much what Douglas was talking about, particularly in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Future and that it should be his creation that is bringing us together is supremely fitting.

From Joe:

How do you get on the Vogon ship in the game?

Dirk Maggs:

You're asking me? I couldn't even get out of the bedroom!!!!!!!

That's all we've got time for tonight, sorry if your question didn’t get through (we've had hundreds). Dirk would like to say:

Thanks very much indeed for not only an entertaining chance to give some feedback from my end, but also to learn what questions remain to be answered in the next two series. I will be reading all your emails, even if I haven't had the chance to reply to you tonight. I must add that this was a group effort by not only the creative team in the studio and the folks at Above the Title Productions but the BBC webteam and the Radio 4 people. Big thanks to everyone, but biggest thanks to you the listener and I hope very much that you enjoy the next series.

Dirk Maggs

After the chat we realised that Dirk had answered 41 emails, so we asked if he would mind answering one more question - number 42. His reply was:

"Question Number 42 got caught in a multidimensional vortex and I had to write 19 different answers to it ... "


So many thanks again to Dirk for this extended chat:

From Rob:

Will there be anymore Zaphod in the next two series?

Dirk Maggs:

Yes.

From Tom:

Will it be possible to add further series after Mostly Harmless?

Dirk Maggs:

Not without Douglas. Not with me involved.

From Mike:

What is your favourite comedy that you have directed?

Dirk Maggs:

Apart from Hitchhikers? Flywheel, Shyster & Flywheel.

From The 4th Viewer :

How are you going to merge the final 2 books into one series?

Dirk Maggs:

They will be two series of four episodes each, broadcast back-to-back. I will be using a computer, breathing an oxygen/nitrogen mixture and writing in English at an altitude of approximately four feet and three inches.

From Malcolm :

How accurate (scientifically) are the references to time travel used in the series. If they are accurate, did you use a scientific advisor?

Dirk Maggs:

Er, Douglas was our scientific authority on Time Travel ...

From J. Clark:

How soon are we to enjoy the Tertiary phase on CD 'overseas'?
Dirk Maggs:

Overseas (USA/Canada) release of the Tertiary Phase is happening very soon, with all that extra 'footage' not heard on the radio broadcasts/webcasts.

From Coral:

What was your favorite sound effect or sound bit in these program?

Dirk Maggs:

I liked the Bistromathic ship flying past, which was mainly Wix making a noise like someone sitting on an accordion. Did not dare ask him if that's how he achieved it!

From Michael:

Will there be or is there a mailing list to sign up for in order to get notifications about when the next series will be broadcast? Especially for those of us not in the UK.

Dirk Maggs:

Keep checking this website for information, Michael.

From Liss:

Will the original cast be used for the next adaptations also? (Can't wait!)

Dirk Maggs:

Absolutely, Liss (Neither can I)

From Roy Batty:

Are the Maggs in the cast relatives? Do I detect nepotism :-) Did you not consider doing a small cameo role yourself though?

Dirk Maggs:

Nepotism, dreadful isn't it. But for a couple of last-minute brief, unsung voices, my teenage sons were cheap, available and needed no chaperone. I did cameo as a couple of voices myself, including the Elder in Ep6 who says ‘We Need A Hug’ ... also I was Agrajag's breathing.

From Wonko:

Will the end to MH be easy to do on radio?

Dirk Maggs:

I doubt it ...

From Alan:

Is there a course available about how to build and deliver a character like Geoffrey McGivern does? You shouldn't try to emulate uniqueness but I think the world has room for more.

Dirk Maggs:

Couldn’t agree more. Geoff is a brilliant actor ... as are the other cast members. If only they could teach us all how to be so gifted. I’m incredibly privileged to get a chance to work with them.

From Rob:

Did you look at each individual episode with an eye to matching the daunting quality of the originals or were you more focussed on the overall feel of the series?

Dirk Maggs:

Evolving the overall feel was what Douglas and I agreed would be the best course of action. It will continue to evolve in the next two series. Like the Guide in the books.

From Dave:

How do you feel about the recent moves away from the older scripts and primarily radio based formats of the HHG to a full proper length film and especially without the overwatching of DNA?

Dirk Maggs:

Everything in production now is happening because Douglas wanted it to happen, including the movie. That’s the only basis on which to proceed, as far as I can see.

From Heather :

Do you feel that the lack of continuity from the second radio series detracts from Douglas's work at all? A lot of people (myself included) spend a lot of time nitpicking the continuity errors, and less time laughing at the genius of Mr Adams's creation.

Dirk Maggs:

Douglas suggested ignoring continuity and didn’t have any problem with it ... wouldn’t you have more fun enjoying his genius if you did less nitpicking?

From Anthony:

Did you know Douglas Adams and did he have any/much input into the production of the series?

Dirk Maggs:

Lots of questions like this one are answered elsewhere on the website - for example, Anthony, in my Behind the Scenes - Making Of The Tertiary Phase essay on this site; this info is right there for you.

From Nathan King:

What microphones do you use in the new Hitchhikers series?

Dirk Maggs:

This info is covered in Roger Gregg’s interview with Paul Deeley at his Crazy Dog Audio Theatre site - and lots of other technical info on the recordings.

From Simon:

Is your "look" inspired by Noel Edmonds ?

From Bumblepuppy:

Why, oh why the hair man? Sort it out!

Dirk Maggs:

Zaphod Beeblebrox is my role model and I feel hoopy about that. Maybe you need to get offworld more and hang with the cool froods ...


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