The Incomparable

42: 42

 

  the incomparable part number 42 lately [TS]

  welcome back to the incomparable podcast [TS]

  I'm going fleischmann hosting this week [TS]

  in for Jason Snell who is also here [TS]

  hello we're talking this week this is [TS]

  episode 42 and for the one person in a [TS]

  million who could possibly be listening [TS]

  to this podcast we hope to have a [TS]

  million listeners someday who does not [TS]

  know what 42 is it's all about douglas [TS]

  adams this is the douglas adams podcast [TS]

  may be the first in a series of [TS]

  divisible by 42 podcast that we do over [TS]

  our lifetimes about douglas adams it was [TS]

  recently Towel Day a day establish to [TS]

  celebrate his life and career and in [TS]

  that honor and because it's episode 42 [TS]

  we have a cast of characters drawn from [TS]

  across the spectrum of well not that [TS]

  much of the spectrum i guess but it is [TS]

  across something I welcome Jason smell [TS]

  than usual host of the incomparable i [TS]

  will BRB red end of the spectrum tonight [TS]

  the ready or the red and Steve lots from [TS]

  an undisclosed location talking on an [TS]

  iPad hello Steve [TS]

  I was just thinking how much douglas [TS]

  adams probably would have enjoyed [TS]

  knowing that I sitting in a hotel on a [TS]

  wireless device that sitting in my lap [TS]

  playing his his interactive fiction and [TS]

  and podcasting while on the loo [TS]

  he's multitasking and Greg now stay [TS]

  right [TS]

  anglin that's nice with the k yes it is [TS]

  and our special guest tonight your house [TS]

  Graham guys hello hello [TS]

  jaws is a he's our special guest because [TS]

  he's special person guys involved with [TS]

  interactive best design and community [TS]

  building but he also worked on the [TS]

  website for starship titanic which is [TS]

  how i met him because you guys create [TS]

  interesting things that compel people to [TS]

  go down rabbit holes and never return if [TS]

  that's an accurate description of your [TS]

  work that that side generally basic just [TS]

  pick off small quantities of the [TS]

  population and steal them away and [TS]

  eventually I will have them all as my [TS]

  believe that's a doctor who episode [TS]

  maybe we'll come back to that it [TS]

  probably is probably several doctors and [TS]

  I should also point out you guys work [TS]

  with the h2g2 dot com site the triggers [TS]

  going to go yeah I did [TS]

  aight i was on hgtv.com i worked on [TS]

  douglas adams calm and later on our [TS]

  leaving I still got involved with I was [TS]

  partially involved with the movie and [TS]

  things to do kind of with with one of [TS]

  the games and various and I'm still part [TS]

  of that one drowns they get the [TS]

  education it gets together and recall [TS]

  once they get their hooks into you and [TS]

  never let go you can never leave in this [TS]

  community exactly except location we get [TS]

  pulled into random other things a whole [TS]

  bunch of X TV people got pulled in to [TS]

  help out with the first season of the IT [TS]

  crowd which we therefore perfect sense [TS]

  yeah so and in fact Sean saleh who was [TS]

  who was one of the main TV techies and [TS]

  TV being the digital village the company [TS]

  which Douglas was creative director is [TS]

  the main geek on set at for the IT crowd [TS]

  full series of the 90s and marvelous [TS]

  pictures and flicker of the set design [TS]

  that he did for that with the the amount [TS]

  of stuff he kept in his basement and [TS]

  people laughed at him until the show [TS]

  premiered and it was all unleashed the [TS]

  television exactly and this in season [TS]

  one there's god we got this there's like [TS]

  my father-in-law's commodore pet has [TS]

  priced quite a place on the season one [TS]

  set it to 0 I i love that i had a [TS]

  commodore pet when I was a kid but [TS]

  that's the really old model it's the [TS]

  like metal keep tiny metal keyboard [TS]

  model know that now yeah [TS]

  IT crowd episode made maybe you can so [TS]

  that Commodore 64 week well I've got a [TS]

  transition to pet the Pet Sounds one of [TS]

  his first computers used was a Commodore [TS]

  bet apparently according to his [TS]

  biography I it is now his biography use [TS]

  the Macintosh later but so Douglas Adams [TS]

  douglas adams is an unwieldy person to [TS]

  talk about not just because he was over [TS]

  six feet tall and spindly not just [TS]

  because he was interested in everything [TS]

  but the man my god every time I look at [TS]

  douglas adams I think I know what he [TS]

  actually did with his life he died at a [TS]

  young age cited 49 and i always think [TS]

  about that Tom layer quote about Mozart [TS]

  toddler was no cup singing music in the [TS]

  nineteen fifties and he had this line [TS]

  when he was about 35 he said it is [TS]

  sobering thought that when Mozart was my [TS]

  age he had been dead for two years and I [TS]

  think that about douglas adams now he's [TS]

  got six years only when he died but i [TS]

  think if i could do a fraction with and [TS]

  he wrote for doctor who he was worked [TS]

  with graham Khaleesi [TS]

  was appeared Monty Python he [TS]

  collaborated with musicians he was [TS]

  stephen Fry's very good friends early [TS]

  macintosh user he did a documentary [TS]

  about hypertext in 1990 you know and [TS]

  that's in addition to what he's of [TS]

  course best known for The Hitchhiker's [TS]

  Guide to the galaxy squad rolla gee [TS]

  Quinn ecology which is actually a [TS]

  trilogy so I thought it might be fun to [TS]

  start with you know what the thing is [TS]

  out of all that what do you mean we're [TS]

  all here because douglas adams [TS]

  influenced our lives we remember him [TS]

  fondly as work and you know what do you [TS]

  remember [TS]

  that's what influenced you most Steve [TS]

  why don't you start to know you said [TS]

  that an email that Douglas is a great [TS]

  influence on on what you've done with [TS]

  your life [TS]

  well I haven't really done so much work [TS]

  because an influence [TS]

  yeah actually uh originally heard about [TS]

  hitchhiker's guide because i was into [TS]

  interactive fiction and I was big [TS]

  infocomm fan back in the eighties and i [TS]

  had never heard of it [TS]

  strikers guy who can run across the [TS]

  state maretskiy douglas adams check your [TS]

  guide to the galaxy all text adventure [TS]

  back in nineteen eighty-four when it [TS]

  came out in one of the catalogs so I [TS]

  gave it a go and immediately fell in [TS]

  love with his prose just there's [TS]

  something so marvelous about the way it [TS]

  construct sentences these gloriously [TS]

  complex compound almost ridiculously so [TS]

  you're just always teetering on the [TS]

  brink of run-on sentences and it was at [TS]

  that point that as somebody who was [TS]

  always interested in humor and comedy [TS]

  that I realized just how important [TS]

  sentence structure is 22 actual humor [TS]

  and and the fact that so much of of the [TS]

  payoff for the punch line is the [TS]

  build-up and he really was a master of [TS]

  that and so after playing through the [TS]

  games I i picked up the books and and [TS]

  you know was hooked from page one of the [TS]

  first book and he up i have done some [TS]

  humor writing [TS]

  yeah some of that you know could be [TS]

  described as humor i suppose and and [TS]

  I've never forgot those lessons but you [TS]

  know i guess in some ways i would say [TS]

  that those lessons have in fact been [TS]

  what caused me to to write less than I [TS]

  probably should because I [TS]

  become such a stickler for things like [TS]

  word choice and sentence structure that [TS]

  that I find myself so wrapped around the [TS]

  axle trying to put together the perfect [TS]

  sentence with just the right temperature [TS]

  and just the right rhythm that I never [TS]

  finished damn Eric well the good thing [TS]

  is to know that that Douglas Adams also [TS]

  apparently agonized over everything so [TS]

  it's it's some relief you know this the [TS]

  people who write prose a sit-down irate [TS]

  3,000 words in a couple hours it's and [TS]

  that's what goes in the book and then [TS]

  there's people who agonized to make it [TS]

  just right and just perfect and I [TS]

  sympathize with that much more it's like [TS]

  you know that the quote that doctors had [TS]

  about right that saying that writing [TS]

  comedy is easy you just take a blank [TS]

  piece of paper and then stare at it [TS]

  until your forehead that is excellent [TS]

  Greg what about you what's your Douglas [TS]

  at once your douglas adams special man [TS]

  well I was a young boy and I was home [TS]

  sick from school and my mom was tired of [TS]

  me just moaning quietly to myself and so [TS]

  she went to the library and she just [TS]

  pick something and she picked us she [TS]

  picked something off the shelf at random [TS]

  and it turned out it was the third [TS]

  hitchhiker book and she brought home to [TS]

  me and she dropped in my lap and she [TS]

  said shut your pie hole and read and I [TS]

  read and it made no sense at all because [TS]

  it starts off with Arthur on prehistoric [TS]

  earth and I I picked the story of [TS]

  literally two-thirds of the way through [TS]

  and I was absolutely blown away it I i [TS]

  read it all that day and then I read the [TS]

  whole book and then i read it again the [TS]

  next day and there are a couple of [TS]

  points where my life feels like it [TS]

  pivots when I was young and that [TS]

  afternoon reading that book totally [TS]

  changed the way I approached writing and [TS]

  comedy and really what was possible when [TS]

  you start putting words together [TS]

  Steve talked about the sentence [TS]

  structure what struck me was his gift [TS]

  for metaphor and simile and how [TS]

  something that's so pedestrian is [TS]

  comparing one thing to another thing can [TS]

  be made brand-new if you do it the right [TS]

  way i mean the the classic example from [TS]

  the beginning of the first book is the [TS]

  Vogon ship hovers in the air much the [TS]

  way a brick does not [TS]

  which it its it's perfect in so many [TS]

  ways and it's hilarious and I ape [TS]

  douglas adams for roughly the next 15 [TS]

  years trying to produce something a 10th [TS]

  is good and I don't think I've ever [TS]

  really succeeded but my favorite parts [TS]

  of writing are coming up with just the [TS]

  right metaphor to describe something in [TS]

  a way that people wouldn't have [TS]

  anticipated so it's funny at the same [TS]

  time I had that moment recently when i [TS]

  was reading something for the Economist [TS]

  letterpress and my editor changed that [TS]

  my description of letterpress paper you [TS]

  know hitting including paper like not [TS]

  like a a French kiss but like a nobody [TS]

  supposed to be a light touch like a a [TS]

  brush on the side of the cheeky change [TS]

  french-kiss to snog and I was so very [TS]

  very happy for that word choice that I [TS]

  think the analogy work much better yards [TS]

  now you knew douglas adams you work with [TS]

  him a bit and and so your memories your [TS]

  memories of those atoms are actual [TS]

  memories of douglas adams yes yes in [TS]

  fact douglas adams my father sorry i was [TS]

  just very special incomparables yeah it [TS]

  was it was always wanted [TS]

  well it was my mother who introduced me [TS]

  to hitch hikers she was something about [TS]

  sci-fi fan and she was listening to the [TS]

  radio a story that starts that way is [TS]

  very differently so it's where radio [TS]

  three such you [TS]

  yes home [TS]

  yeah and and to be on well it she what [TS]

  she did she bought the she takes on the [TS]

  radio series but my first instruction [TS]

  was one of the lesser-known versions of [TS]

  the cannon which is the LPS oh yes that [TS]

  there were recorded vinyl LPs which are [TS]

  not the radio series they are a whole [TS]

  new recording but with the same i think [TS]

  an almost identical cast and they were [TS]

  recorded shortly after the radio they [TS]

  were recorded the head unfit herbs I [TS]

  mean they went because douglas adams [TS]

  they went to exactly the full-length [TS]

  that was possible [TS]

  I'll be recording technology if i recall [TS]

  practically down to the second yes yes [TS]

  exactly exactly and they went so long [TS]

  that some of them the the needle keeps [TS]

  coming off games references for that [TS]

  thing finished but the whole the [TS]

  continual joke about actually was [TS]

  officers upper arm are ya was what are [TS]

  the Bruce was one of the bruises on yes [TS]

  yes [TS]

  right exactly um so uh and then I listen [TS]

  listen to that there was a hitchhiker's [TS]

  double LP and there was a restaurant the [TS]

  interviews first single LP and I think [TS]

  the single player is the first place [TS]

  where the handles get replaced by hop [TS]

  like crazy otto and disaster area [TS]

  I think but um sorry now Madison now I [TS]

  must be really arguing i'm gonna argue [TS]

  is yes but I also listen to some of the [TS]

  radio series which scared the shit out [TS]

  of me because the audio production is so [TS]

  good they serve some bit especially [TS]

  later on in the second series like when [TS]

  Marvin is stuck down this massive shaft [TS]

  that has been formed by him plummeting [TS]

  into the surface of the planet which [TS]

  have a planet the bird planet and also [TS]

  afford and say for coming along this [TS]

  starliner that's been waiting for moist [TS]

  lemon soap paper napkins are several [TS]

  millennia and the audio is so terrifying [TS]

  you know and so used to stand i was only [TS]

  like seven or eight years old my stand [TS]

  at the edge of the room just so i could [TS]

  not run out of the bottle scary and so [TS]

  you read the books and I yeah I loved [TS]

  most TV series i loved that I think my [TS]

  favorite novelist up gently overall but [TS]

  also have a great fondness for a last [TS]

  chance to see and then in a 97 I was 96 [TS]

  96 when i graduated from computer [TS]

  science university college london and i [TS]

  saw on Sunday morning program dollars [TS]

  are being interviewed by somebody and he [TS]

  was mentioned his new his new company [TS]

  the digital village that was going to [TS]

  internet stuff and went and wandering [TS]

  around college one day shortly after I [TS]

  graduated I bumped into somebody called [TS]

  andreas who was who are nice like we're [TS]

  thinking going on at all it's [TS]

  interesting i have [TS]

  that the company traditional village and [TS]

  he said oh yeah i'm setting up network [TS]

  and so he introduced me to the CTO rich [TS]

  terrace and then with the traditionally [TS]

  glacial speed we had hiring people for [TS]

  me a six months later I was I was [TS]

  disabilities first dedicated web tacky I [TS]

  was the backend makes your code number [TS]

  on and i worked on the cipher starship [TS]

  titanic after the very first thing i did [TS]

  was a mini site which is still up and i [TS]

  can tell during World time this [TS]

  conversation is going to be continued [TS]

  referencing things that we need to then [TS]

  publishes URL and something shown a [TS]

  little risk there's those are ovulation [TS]

  all get closer as many URLs as possible [TS]

  to be the show notes later around our [TS]

  website excellent arm so let's go off in [TS]

  front of Jason I'm trying to live up to [TS]

  it [TS]

  that's right um so yeah we did a little [TS]

  cuz the radio forward was expecting bits [TS]

  of last chance to say and we did a [TS]

  little mini site for with it [TS]

  that was the first thing I just like [TS]

  HTML friends in 97 yeah and we we [TS]

  realized our hang on a minute the last [TS]

  chance to see a multimedia cd-rom [TS]

  because that was one of the first one [TS]

  that was one of the early you know big [TS]

  early nineties cd-rom productions where [TS]

  they just let's just throw everything on [TS]

  the cd-rom loaded graphics loads of [TS]

  everything and his company called [TS]

  Voyager did it and then we said okay [TS]

  who's got one does didn't nobody else [TS]

  had we found one mail order company in [TS]

  virginia that had it and we got it [TS]

  shipped over so that the graphics off [TS]

  except it turns out that the company [TS]

  that made it [TS]

  I now found many years later one per [TS]

  cycle Kevin marks who was like things [TS]

  are unremarkably empower i'm looking at [TS]

  him and when are right now [TS]

  tweet them just by exactly Kevin and I [TS]

  have weirdly intersected in loads of [TS]

  ways that we've only just realized in [TS]

  each other's careers and one of the ways [TS]

  that we've inspected is that he worked [TS]

  on that CD rom and had and was living in [TS]

  London the time so if we didn't know [TS]

  about it we could have just popped [TS]

  across London to get a copy but so and [TS]

  he also worked played with my morning [TS]

  presence server that [TS]

  I'm yes but so did various things that [TS]

  such a platonic website and the bizarre [TS]

  way we put the novel online which was [TS]

  entirely in alphabetical order [TS]

  we did the doctors com site we did h2g2 [TS]

  that this was much more involved in [TS]

  starship titanic then he wasn't a stupid [TS]

  shit actually parked there for a second [TS]

  we're talking before the absolute before [TS]

  the show started it should do this is [TS]

  the easy 2.com which is now the BBC [TS]

  still own it or these sell it now so [TS]

  it's interesting that this is actually [TS]

  still under negotiation because i was [TS]

  there too and shutting it down because [TS]

  they could save some massive sum of a [TS]

  hundred pounds or something by not [TS]

  operating any further [TS]

  ya hu this was this was a wikipedia [TS]

  before there's wikipedia essentially was [TS]

  a mass off kind of uh alright but it was [TS]

  it was a massive depository of [TS]

  information kind of a hitchhiker's guide [TS]

  style or conceit but it was real [TS]

  information had a but you could have [TS]

  people could edit people could [TS]

  contribute it was less than anything [TS]

  much that was a pocket full or at least [TS]

  wildly inaccurate it contained much [TS]

  certainly a launch time it contained [TS]

  much that was people doing really bad [TS]

  dog impressions you know this is the [TS]

  thing that happened what one thing I [TS]

  found is that any time you put up a [TS]

  community related to douglas in some way [TS]

  to get swamped because there's this [TS]

  massive myth that that it's a very that [TS]

  Douglas humor is a very cold thing it's [TS]

  a very specific thing and this thing and [TS]

  if you if you like it then you want a [TS]

  very select type and you'll meet people [TS]

  of your kind and of course it's bollocks [TS]

  Douglas humor in the whole reason so [TS]

  successful is very Universal and trust [TS]

  me up been exposed to enough fans of [TS]

  Douglas work but that there really isn't [TS]

  that much in common with the whole world [TS]

  it's funny we can talk about that when I [TS]

  was interviewing for an article someone [TS]

  to go is there that that's what is great [TS]

  great things you think you're in a tiny [TS]

  club that's like five other nurturing [TS]

  you and you have found this remarkable [TS]

  special thing and it turns out there are [TS]

  a hundred million people in that Club [TS]

  you just don't see them all the same [TS]

  time completely and it's also because [TS]

  when we'll be talking about the most [TS]

  even and great for mentioning about [TS]

  aspects of Douglass's writing techniques [TS]

  that they really loved one of the things [TS]

  that it was really brought home to me [TS]

  when seeing people do bad bugs [TS]

  impression [TS]

  is that a lot a lot of ducks writing [TS]

  especially for saying can be lots of [TS]

  run-on sentences and really quite [TS]

  convoluted things but a lot of it is [TS]

  also incredibly concise the impact of a [TS]

  lot of one of his best jokes comes from [TS]

  incredible conciseness and this is [TS]

  something that people get massively [TS]

  wrong they think of it maybe they hear [TS]

  Peter Jones voice in their head and they [TS]

  go [TS]

  these wild run on convoluted sentences [TS]

  and they just die on the vine so badly [TS]

  having and you know dr. skill was either [TS]

  in you know anything down so tightly to [TS]

  have maximum impact or in possibly even [TS]

  harder being able to maintain a run-on [TS]

  sentence while maintaining your interest [TS]

  and still making it fine you know [TS]

  anything it's that he has that he has a [TS]

  style that it makes people think that [TS]

  he's doing something different is [TS]

  because he's so quotable and you can the [TS]

  the credibility of it makes it seem a [TS]

  lot more trivial but that he's doing he [TS]

  sort of being silly with language and he [TS]

  actually is something that you said [TS]

  about what we're talking about is his [TS]

  sentence structure really resonates with [TS]

  me because I think that you missed the [TS]

  point if you think i can write a run-on [TS]

  sentence and have it be this crazy kind [TS]

  of discursive sentence and throw a bunch [TS]

  of wacky things and will be funny when [TS]

  in fact a guy and I think this is why he [TS]

  struggled so much to write at a at a [TS]

  decent pace is because those sentences [TS]

  that he wrote were constructed very [TS]

  particularly so that every clause that [TS]

  got added had a particular comedic [TS]

  effect and this is what Steve was saying [TS]

  that it was about a piling on it what [TS]

  you thought it was about a and now you [TS]

  think it's about be and even with [TS]

  something like the spaceships hanging in [TS]

  the way in the air the way a brick [TS]

  doesn't you know every word of that is [TS]

  crafted so that the meaning can change [TS]

  on the last word in the sentence right [TS]

  and that that's that was the power of [TS]

  his style and I think it's so easy for [TS]

  people who are trying to ape it too just [TS]

  to miss it to miss the fact that there's [TS]

  so much that goes into that structure [TS]

  it's not just a rambling run on its very [TS]

  specific [TS]

  you know you can tell that he agonized [TS]

  over those sentences if you if you look [TS]

  at employees there's one of one of my [TS]

  favorite [TS]

  yeah but one of the lines of thinking [TS]

  one of my favorite lines from older [TS]

  books is actually from from mostly [TS]

  harmless when he's describing New York [TS]

  in the fall when they saying that the s [TS]

  males like someone's been frying coats [TS]

  in it and the only way to breathe is to [TS]

  open the window and stick your head in [TS]

  the building which is just if you want [TS]

  that the perfect you know example of [TS]

  like the punchline but completely flips [TS]

  it is ground you cheat Jason that you [TS]

  haven't had a chance to talk about your [TS]

  what what led you to the cult of mr. [TS]

  Adams I actually think the way work for [TS]

  me was was similarly backward to some of [TS]

  the other ways although I not as [TS]

  backward as reading the third book or [TS]

  reading or doing the hypertext infocomm [TS]

  game i saw i thought i came to her [TS]

  backwards in terms of like maybe just [TS]

  came to it sideways my local PBS station [TS]

  when I was growing up ran doctor who on [TS]

  saturday nights and and that's where i [TS]

  watch the you know the tom baker and [TS]

  peter davison years Doctor Who weren't [TS]

  you out on saturday night IE in in high [TS]

  school and parties with other people i [TS]

  know i was watching Doctor Who what are [TS]

  you talking about and the list two [TS]

  things are our I which came first the [TS]

  chicken or the egg before doctor who won [TS]

  one night there was this other british [TS]

  sci-fi show and it turned out it was the [TS]

  hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy TV [TS]

  adaptation from the early eighties so i [TS]

  watch that and I recorded that on a VHS [TS]

  tape and I must watch that thing I don't [TS]

  know how many times over and over again [TS]

  because it was so unlike anything I've [TS]

  ever seen before and um and I actually i [TS]

  was i think i was like in 8th grade or a [TS]

  freshman in high school and I i took a [TS]

  speech class in high school and we had [TS]

  to memorize a dialogue and i ended up [TS]

  memorizing the dialogue between Arthur [TS]

  debt and mr. Prosser as Arthur is laying [TS]

  in the in the mud between the bulldozer [TS]

  and his house having an entire [TS]

  conversation about how he's not going to [TS]

  go up that leads eventually to him 22 [TS]

  Ford convincing him to mr. Prosser lay [TS]

  down in the mud [TS]

  and I can still I think at times recite [TS]

  that from memory so that's how I that's [TS]

  how I discovered it and so it was that [TS]

  it was the dialogue which was really you [TS]

  know very representative as it turns out [TS]

  that struck me about it in the crazy [TS]

  ideas and so from there I went to the [TS]

  books and also discovered at that point [TS]

  that he was about that same time that [TS]

  his episodes his season of doctor who [TS]

  was on and he wrote a couple episodes of [TS]

  that so I remember seeing the episode [TS]

  the pirate planet which is really [TS]

  ridiculous and it turns out the episode [TS]

  that i really like from that season was [TS]

  called the city of death which has got [TS]

  Leonardo DaVinci any pot paints multiple [TS]

  Mona Lisa's so they could be taken and [TS]

  chickens and a yes that's true plan it [TS]

  is true it's not a camera not a key [TS]

  point but it is there but the idea that [TS]

  that can pop your time-travel one of the [TS]

  things you might do is go back in time [TS]

  and convince Leonardo DaVinci to pet [TS]

  paint 647 model places so that you can [TS]

  sell them all but that doesn't work if [TS]

  the Mona Lisa's still hanging in the [TS]

  Louvre so what you need to do is also [TS]

  then steal the real Mona Lisa or one of [TS]

  the many Mona Lisa's then you can sell [TS]

  all of them and this is the plot of that [TS]

  episode it was by a guy named David [TS]

  Agnew but it turns out that was a [TS]

  pseudonym because he wrote it basically [TS]

  he he rewrote parts of it from an [TS]

  earlier screenplay and that's one of the [TS]

  best original you know classic Doctor [TS]

  Who episodes and then watch that we sing [TS]

  and then I am for years just read Julian [TS]

  Glover is in that it is a wacky wacky [TS]

  episode and then only later did I [TS]

  discovered that there was also an [TS]

  unfinished douglas adams an episode of [TS]

  doctor who called sada which it's funny [TS]

  because by the time I saw they actually [TS]

  have done a kind of a reconstruction [TS]

  parts of the location footage was never [TS]

  shot because of a BBC strike my [TS]

  understanding is actually coming out in [TS]

  the DVD next year or later this year [TS]

  oh wow but with some bridging material [TS]

  and some redone special-effects trying [TS]

  to make it as complete as they can [TS]

  without that missing footage but the [TS]

  funny they today right so they're doing [TS]

  the DVD and presumably expanding it [TS]

  further and there's actually an audio [TS]

  adaptation that they did Big Finish did [TS]

  starring paul mcgann that's very funny I [TS]

  mean that's sort of the pure a complete [TS]

  douglas adams script but the funniest [TS]

  thing about it to me is that [TS]

  and when i read Dirk Gently holistic [TS]

  detective agency i discovered that [TS]

  Douglas Adams not wanting to leave that [TS]

  unfinished episode just sort of sitting [TS]

  there at once since it was perfectly [TS]

  good recycle large portions of it in the [TS]

  novel yeah [TS]

  Dirk Gently and city city o def and that [TS]

  as well there's elements of both frame [TS]

  right so so basically i got into douglas [TS]

  adams from seeing these TV adaptations [TS]

  and then went back from there to the [TS]

  books and only in the last couple of [TS]

  years that I really realized i had never [TS]

  heard the radio plays and those are [TS]

  fantastic but hey i'm out i'm a late [TS]

  comer to those which is ironic since [TS]

  those rubber the originals [TS]

  maybe the the TV adaptations are [TS]

  available for streaming on that they are [TS]

  oh and in fact I've just been watching [TS]

  the first three or four of them I as [TS]

  prep for this podcast and so you think [TS]

  for the whole story you know that wow [TS]

  there's already another fascinating you [TS]

  know that they did actually show some of [TS]

  the shark material in another doctor in [TS]

  the in the anniversary special and Tom [TS]

  Baker didn't want to go in they pulled [TS]

  the scene out of it and write slapped in [TS]

  there right in that the lysol yes yes [TS]

  Tom Baker is the only one of the five [TS]

  boxes and do you know why he doesn't [TS]

  appear he refused to do and he refused [TS]

  to do it because he was still really [TS]

  pissed off a doctor who at the concept [TS]

  of doctor who party because i think is [TS]

  getting typecast but mostly because it [TS]

  had an unhappy love affair specifically [TS]

  with lot of wars who was that he'd [TS]

  married romana la reward and they've [TS]

  been married for like 16 months and then [TS]

  they split up and he was really [TS]

  heartbroken about it and he didn't want [TS]

  to do any more doctor who until much [TS]

  later when he finally got back into it [TS]

  loll award who ended up married to [TS]

  Richard introduced by Douglas Adams [TS]

  introduced bipartisan group yes all go [TS]

  back to Douglas out solutions [TS]

  here's the funny thing i i'm i'm sooo [TS]

  myself for last I actually picked up the [TS]

  first the hitchhiker's guide book the [TS]

  original one in junior high and that's [TS]

  the first exposure to douglas adams and [TS]

  I fell in love in the first page so i [TS]

  have this extremely boring story i saved [TS]

  it for last [TS]

  i started at the beginning it's really [TS]

  weird i know what is wrong with you [TS]

  that's what it's looking like an [TS]

  technically listen to the radio show on [TS]

  the BBC would be right it's true start [TS]

  but and i'm sure i remember coming [TS]

  back to remember reading the books and [TS]

  then hearing 30 shows had come out and I [TS]

  think I listened to some of the original [TS]

  shows but not much either LLP's as well [TS]

  but the American releases which I [TS]

  believe are somewhat different think i [TS]

  have the British releases of the of the [TS]

  LPS and thinking was sort of fun but you [TS]

  know I didn't quite capture what the joy [TS]

  the radio once were and then I later [TS]

  read the radio plays I've heard some of [TS]

  the radio adaptations are the original [TS]

  sin like all those were much more fun [TS]

  and they were crazy when i was reading [TS]

  the real game and wrote the first [TS]

  version of the don't panic [TS]

  biography which i recommend i think it's [TS]

  had guys you never talk about this like [TS]

  four major overhauls over 20 hours and [TS]

  each of them in it was great as if you [TS]

  read the book i read i just read the [TS]

  latest version of it which is just a few [TS]

  years old and there are four levels of [TS]

  footnotes where do game in the human [TS]

  state will say something in some more [TS]

  comments become Talmudic with all the [TS]

  while he was the apocryphal other detail [TS]

  around off its nobody's allowed to raise [TS]

  the previous well thank you overhaul [TS]

  original native ads and stuff but it's [TS]

  it's really fun but you get from reading [TS]

  those we all know we've talked about [TS]

  already this episode and douglas adams [TS]

  was had legendary inability to meet [TS]

  deadlines what's everyone knows the [TS]

  quoted some i love the sound of [TS]

  deadlines especially as they go whizzing [TS]

  past me is a that right [TS]

  whooshing noises like yeah so so in when [TS]

  he's doing radio plays I mean he would [TS]

  be literally I believe in a control room [TS]

  somewhere right in the dialogue that was [TS]

  about to be recorded as the actors are [TS]

  speaking the previous lines that were [TS]

  just written just about and monumentally [TS]

  monumentally late so explain some of the [TS]

  craziness and the original research [TS]

  shows these always fixing and every time [TS]

  you have the opportunity to do a new [TS]

  edition of hitchhikers guide or do some [TS]

  revision he always made changes you [TS]

  always try to improve on it and refine [TS]

  that the core ideas and take out the [TS]

  things he thought were sloppy or loser [TS]

  or hazardous and so it triggers guide if [TS]

  you read different editions of any of [TS]

  her different things it changed over the [TS]

  years to until it reaches sort of i [TS]

  think a definitive edition i just got [TS]

  this crazy thing is illustrated [TS]

  Hitchhiker's Guide yeah yeah like a [TS]

  moment's notice [TS]

  yeah it's crazy it's the photography is [TS]

  really bizarre and [TS]

  it's kind of fun but it's really it's [TS]

  one of the weirdest things I've seen [TS]

  because it sort of I don't they went off [TS]

  and shot you know photography of the [TS]

  ocean for some weeks or months to make [TS]

  this pod coffee table book one of the [TS]

  things about the illustrated guide is [TS]

  that they have been several designs to [TS]

  Marvin over the years and i think that [TS]

  the mob in the illustrated guide is the [TS]

  closest to what Douglas actually saw was [TS]

  Marvin he always hated the original TV [TS]

  series Marvin bit because actually just [TS]

  going to speak in favor of the time i [TS]

  love this very serious my i really love [TS]

  that you know it's funny because in the [TS]

  book he was he was amusing but he got [TS]

  tedious after a bit and then there's [TS]

  just something so depressing about the [TS]

  TV series Marvin that I just never get [TS]

  tired of me watch dead and the first [TS]

  four episodes now it's just I finally [TS]

  Larry is the way walks and even signed [TS]

  depressingly I mean it's boxy [TS]

  ridiculously ok if you contrast so we [TS]

  know we we should talk about the [TS]

  triggers guide movie also which I really [TS]

  liked to have gotten so we gave it to me [TS]

  as a gift to get on DVD and the Marvin [TS]

  there i think is also wonderful and [TS]

  totally different conception as well and [TS]

  what I sort of love is that the TV [TS]

  series Zaphod his second head it'd never [TS]

  work right and they spent some [TS]

  ridiculous amount of money for [TS]

  mechanical head for the TV show it's [TS]

  terrible and it occasionally spits out [TS]

  something in the actor ethic was losing [TS]

  the use of his arm because it kept going [TS]

  numb and the blood was cut off was tied [TS]

  behind him and then the movie they kind [TS]

  of make the two heads work and it sort [TS]

  of I i think that the movie was much so [TS]

  much more polished that I think the two [TS]

  heads working seems so disappointed that [TS]

  it was actually such a good head for [TS]

  much of the film [TS]

  yeah right i didn't write the movie at [TS]

  all [TS]

  share with us our whois record yeah I [TS]

  didn't like the movie at all [TS]

  I mean in fact even the TV series and [TS]

  it's certainly better than the movie but [TS]

  I don't like visual representations the [TS]

  coffee table book doesn't work for me i [TS]

  would much rather have this stuff in my [TS]

  head because it's so inventive that I [TS]

  see somebody else you know render it [TS]

  into reality and it's wrong i think that [TS]

  like in the original TV series forward [TS]

  and Arthur are perfectly cast but [TS]

  trillion was really [TS]

  yeah yeah it's just drama as a mother [TS]

  sharon and I've been for but for North [TS]

  are dead on the TV so yeah god [TS]

  especially especially Arthur who's just [TS]

  I mean I it was the same act right Simon [TS]

  Jones from the video [TS]

  oh man he's phenomenal I mean anything [TS]

  the movie he wrote and moving always the [TS]

  user would see the movie I've forgotten [TS]

  he's the micros via recorded message [TS]

  yeah but I would much rather have [TS]

  douglas adams on the page or in my ears [TS]

  that in front of my face just because it [TS]

  is so inventive and so out there that it [TS]

  it's just that it from my perspective it [TS]

  will be wrong [TS]

  I'm sure somebody working very very hard [TS]

  on it and they spend a lot of money to [TS]

  make it exactly what they wanted but [TS]

  it's just not right [TS]

  well that the thing I liked about the [TS]

  movie i have to say is that it was [TS]

  different than the book so I didn't get [TS]

  the same feeling of disappointment [TS]

  because I thought they'd be conceived of [TS]

  of things a bit then try to be a slavish [TS]

  and then of course i read not that long [TS]

  ago I don't think I understood this that [TS]

  the movie that movie was in the [TS]

  biography that the movie that that [TS]

  doesn't actually worked on the movie i [TS]

  mean i know it worked on it but that [TS]

  what made the screen was not too far for [TS]

  his conception it wasn't oh I filmmakers [TS]

  took i have no doubt literally the [TS]

  douglas adams i have read is now mine [TS]

  and it's been in my head for 30 years [TS]

  and I respect douglas adams vision but [TS]

  he gave that to me 30 years ago and he's [TS]

  wrong but what i have in my head is is [TS]

  it [TS]

  marito shot exactly it's what i have in [TS]

  my head is arvind was boxes never felt [TS]

  as far as I'm concerned that's Marvin [TS]

  didn't have a shape he wasn't box he [TS]

  wasn't around he was Marvin and I've [TS]

  never nailed that down and so to see [TS]

  somebody take stabs at it just feels [TS]

  uncomfortable this is your characters [TS]

  that I love in situations that i love [TS]

  and you give me a perfect transition [TS]

  which is I want to talk about since [TS]

  we're talking about the books five books [TS]

  right five books the increasingly in [TS]

  accurately named trilogy and we're [TS]

  talking largely about the first one [TS]

  that's what the movie is really sort of [TS]

  mostly about the first with elements of [TS]

  all kinds of other stuff and the TV [TS]

  series was was really the was the first [TS]

  and restaurant the universe is part of [TS]

  it [TS]

  two members in the series include the [TS]

  restaurant answer that yes not like the [TS]

  cocl bit but I do appreciate it looks [TS]

  around the TV star first two books so [TS]

  but I'm you know [TS]

  toilet flushing sound at the end of the [TS]

  universe hehe but i would say start fast [TS]

  my favorite character across all the [TS]

  books identify with them it is the [TS]

  greatest name [TS]

  yes in your name is not important [TS]

  he says yeah what it's like you know you [TS]

  have that he came up with the name was [TS]

  Douglas wrote down he do basic breakdown [TS]

  a whole lot of roots words you could [TS]

  think of I think he came up with my [TS]

  fucking balls and then he basically [TS]

  chopped up all the phonemes and [TS]

  syllables and just rearranged everything [TS]

  until he had something that he was [TS]

  allowed to say on the radio but still [TS]

  sounded complete that's like most [TS]

  gratuitous use of the word belgium it [TS]

  did you tell me the one about that he [TS]

  also hated the Secretary was making fun [TS]

  of the Secretary had a type of the [TS]

  scripts because she had to keep typing [TS]

  start fast he said he wouldn't tell the [TS]

  name so the Secretary's type of way [TS]

  Slartibartfast are fast in the scripts [TS]

  and the character is not using his own [TS]

  name for this whole exchange shot a [TS]

  stipend over maybe that's into a panic [TS]

  but i like i love bill nighy so I loved [TS]

  his portrayal the movie but i always i [TS]

  thought you know they'd be brought back [TS]

  started our fast in book 3 becomes you [TS]

  know more of a crusader but i just love [TS]

  this man who's loaded devoted his life [TS]

  to making you know nice crinkly fjords [TS]

  and the fiddly bits and it's going out [TS]

  of style and you're not a word he wanted [TS]

  to but it turns out to be nice for the [TS]

  friendly guy [TS]

  sorry bar fast you know it gives them [TS]

  the flyer to get away when they're [TS]

  escaping from the goon squad on [TS]

  Magrathea trying to slice and dice [TS]

  Arthur's brain and who else it was [TS]

  people must have favorite characters i [TS]

  hear a lot of Marvins in this discussion [TS]

  Arthur to identify with only a big head [TS]

  yes perhaps depressingly cell and it put [TS]

  upon every man who is totally [TS]

  overwhelmed by events yeah that's me [TS]

  that's that's why i never liked the [TS]

  fourth book because so much of a partier [TS]

  is darker is happy he is and how long [TS]

  yeah he's not meant to be happy he's [TS]

  been to be frustrated and put them on by [TS]

  everybody around him he is he's not [TS]

  meant for happy and they [TS]

  and hence why i think i said earlier [TS]

  podcast I maybe didn't make the final [TS]

  cut that that I love the ending of the [TS]

  mostly harmless [TS]

  oh that's what i have to say i I've [TS]

  never read the book a second time I was [TS]

  so depressed by it but i understand that [TS]

  yeah for the authors happy because [TS]

  douglas adams was happy with that in [TS]

  book five Douglas was very depressed but [TS]

  mostly harmless so the book is like I [TS]

  remember reading an interview with him [TS]

  later saying I you know I wasn't that [TS]

  great mood when i wrote that I got that [TS]

  impression and it to me so much of [TS]

  douglas adams work and maybe this is a [TS]

  reflection on just a state of mind [TS]

  throughout much of his life but was was [TS]

  based on just utter frustration it i [TS]

  mean Arthur I don't know to what extent [TS]

  douglas adams kind of saw parallels in [TS]

  in Arthur but I i think that's also why [TS]

  the the games are so freaking hard [TS]

  The Hitchhiker's Guide game to say is [TS]

  fairly commonly consider our record is [TS]

  sooo bureaucracy which was all about me [TS]

  the whole game is about frustration I'm [TS]

  ironically it was considerably easier [TS]

  than the Hitchhiker's Guide game but I [TS]

  mean that was sort of with that because [TS]

  people want to know your common sense [TS]

  that you know i never got that far [TS]

  through the hitchhiker's game if I think [TS]

  this guy you know if i recall whether it [TS]

  was it wasn't exactly was it feudal was [TS]

  our goal there was a way to win the game [TS]

  right [TS]

  it actually wasn't that difficult game [TS]

  but it wasn't very first interactive [TS]

  fiction game that intentionally lied to [TS]

  you [TS]

  okay i dont they detect that prince will [TS]

  come [TS]

  I was an infant on beta tester in high [TS]

  school Wow and I did Hollywood hijinks [TS]

  and ballyhoo and all Wow lurking horror [TS]

  and Hitchhiker's Guide handsome they [TS]

  eventually offered hints to beta testers [TS]

  who couldn't get off the heart of gold [TS]

  I think that was kind of our first [TS]

  things I remember where they actually in [TS]

  the manual came out and said this is how [TS]

  you get through this puzzle before you [TS]

  even start the game haha [TS]

  the idea was automatically babbling but [TS]

  the table's puzzle but uh yeah that I [TS]

  think they're probably too sticking [TS]

  points that people reference when they [TS]

  talk about how how ridiculously hard [TS]

  that was one of the tables puzzle which [TS]

  is difficult but not impossible [TS]

  because at that point you haven't [TS]

  collected so much stuff that he can't [TS]

  really figure out what you need to drop [TS]

  in front of what [TS]

  yeah and then the other idea because the [TS]

  microscopic basically the witch which is [TS]

  I think you're on board and it swallowed [TS]

  by a dog and you have to make the [TS]

  connection that way way back in the [TS]

  first few scenes of the game you have to [TS]

  distract ya we only kill the dog can't [TS]

  cough or other girl can't swallow the [TS]

  free trade right without actually cheese [TS]

  sandwiches full if I may do a reading [TS]

  yeah actually there's an app called wats [TS]

  available in reference to a spell [TS]

  enchanter that allows you to play old [TS]

  info con games and I have it sitting on [TS]

  my ipad now and and open to a select [TS]

  page of The Hitchhiker's game pray read [TS]

  to a while telling the silicon shell [TS]

  it's like a sphere so initially there's [TS]

  a description of the cheese sandwich and [TS]

  and this is I think what a great example [TS]

  of of what i think is the genius of [TS]

  atoms and is his way of just sort of [TS]

  stretching out a sentence and and [TS]

  pitching things so perfectly for maximum [TS]

  impact [TS]

  so what the input is by cheese sandwich [TS]

  and the output you get is the barman [TS]

  gives you a cheese sandwich the bread is [TS]

  like the stuff that stereos compact in [TS]

  the cheese would be great for rubbing [TS]

  out spelling mistakes and margarine and [TS]

  pickle have performed an unedifying [TS]

  chemical reaction to produce something [TS]

  that shouldn't be but is turquoise since [TS]

  it is clearly unfit for human [TS]

  consumption you are grateful to be [TS]

  charged only a pound for it a little bit [TS]

  further down if you're wise enough to [TS]

  give the cheese sandwich the dog you're [TS]

  told [TS]

  the dog is deeply moved with powerful [TS]

  sweeps of its tail it indicates that [TS]

  regards this cheese sandwich is one of [TS]

  the great cheese sandwiches [TS]

  nine out of ten pet owners could happen [TS]

  by at this point expressing any [TS]

  preference they pleased but this dog [TS]

  would spurn both them and all their [TS]

  teens this is a dog which has met its [TS]

  main sandwich [TS]

  it eats with passion and ignores a [TS]

  passing microscopic space fleet but i [TS]

  think i still had the fluff that came [TS]

  with the game like a little flat and [TS]

  there was in fact a microscopic Spacely [TS]

  which was in fact just a cell phone [TS]

  package it [TS]

  oh that's when plastic bag yeah Scott [TS]

  has faced blade on a bit of cardboard [TS]

  that stayed out there and thinking I [TS]

  loved infocomm feelings now that was [TS]

  good but no yes since you actually grew [TS]

  up in Blade II was the food that bad [TS]

  then was the food that bad when I don't [TS]

  know i don't think it's high season to [TS]

  spend a lot of my time you spend a lot [TS]

  of my time currently defending British [TS]

  food to people who i am now it's all [TS]

  ending matter and it's a different [TS]

  matter [TS]

  well he's been living here for well [TS]

  there's a whole gastropub i love [TS]

  gastropubs and there's certain things [TS]

  that I really missed from britain now I [TS]

  live in San Francisco living in Texas [TS]

  gets past five years and i really miss a [TS]

  nice banoffee pie which is the non it [TS]

  sounds like the sort of thing you can [TS]

  get very cheaply and Francisco certain [TS]

  parts and yes except that it's a very [TS]

  different experience and you kind of [TS]

  wake up with all these kind of with [TS]

  bruises but I'm but did you see and he's [TS]

  given roadside I mean I think it's like [TS]

  I have to say of all the things that are [TS]

  most foreign to me about the books which [TS]

  is you know I i feel like i have a some [TS]

  understanding of the culture and I've [TS]

  been to England a few times and so forth [TS]

  but but it's the Buddhist adam talks [TS]

  about the terrible the sheer awfulness [TS]

  of the food so often i think is it just [TS]

  the food he ate or I get them to [TS]

  resonate with you being stuffed with [TS]

  black pudding at age seven [TS]

  I get the impression of the food me when [TS]

  you was at some point little generally [TS]

  terrible but I'll i said i've been four [TS]

  times in the last 10 years and it's been [TS]

  great so something happened but there [TS]

  was a time certainly I mean for partners [TS]

  pub food was that bad and legendarily [TS]

  British Rail food they had legendarily [TS]

  bad sandwiches I mean they were really [TS]

  want to start with loads of people [TS]

  didn't count it was a constant source of [TS]

  sorts of humor but now that we've now [TS]

  that we know we've had privatization [TS]

  everything everything is is bad whole [TS]

  other neway at about the good thing is [TS]

  it is now been outsourced to multiple [TS]

  different companies so they can compete [TS]

  on innovating whole new ways of being [TS]

  bad which i think that's that's a lot of [TS]

  things that we quote in the in the trade [TS]

  all the time I think Jason and i were [TS]

  talking about this not too long ago is [TS]

  the phrase about the Sirius cybernetics [TS]

  corpse new traumatic machine which [TS]

  produces a substance almost but not [TS]

  quite entire [TS]

  unlike t it in the related related a bit [TS]

  with the machines that they make the [TS]

  that the they have so many major design [TS]

  flaws that once you overcome them you're [TS]

  so overjoyed getting the thing to do [TS]

  anything that you overlooked the minor [TS]

  design flaws which is I think the [TS]

  majority of products reviews seem to [TS]

  fall into that category is for those who [TS]

  just finished reading up on the games [TS]

  one thing that can point to as well is [TS]

  the year in the various links is an [TS]

  hour-and-a-half session we have Steve [TS]

  maretskiy who did who coded the [TS]

  hitchhiker's game with Douglas and [TS]

  Michael by water [TS]

  who is he wrote parts of he wrote most [TS]

  of bureaucracy [TS]

  actually he was pulled into the [TS]

  rightmost proxy instead of Douglas and [TS]

  he also wrote big chunks off starship [TS]

  titanic and the bump around it and [TS]

  various other interactive fiction games [TS]

  that have nothing to do with Douglas [TS]

  there's a company called magnetic [TS]

  Scrolls which did a back in kind of the [TS]

  late eighties early nineties did a [TS]

  number of very popular 16-bit adventure [TS]

  games that have amazing graphics and use [TS]

  some of that stuff and he's also most [TS]

  famous connection is that he is the [TS]

  person on whom the character of dirt [TS]

  Gentiles base and he's so you've got [TS]

  this and a half recording of the whole [TS]

  thing and it's what because daughter [TS]

  because michael is fantastic rack onto [TS]

  her and they do a whole load of [TS]

  reminiscing about infocomm especially [TS]

  and so something like I have that link [TS]

  for you and I think the show notes that [TS]

  should be a lot of fun too and this is [TS]

  why I think this is part of that [TS]

  remarkable thing about the list is that [TS]

  he I mean we've talked to us if we talk [TS]

  a lot of the books and movies and [TS]

  whatever it's like we're not even [TS]

  talking about you that the in the video [TS]

  games but also in text games he was such [TS]

  an early computer user and he was so [TS]

  pressing about he seemed to have the [TS]

  user experience in my life he actually [TS]

  understood what people might want to do [TS]

  besides organized recipes in their [TS]

  kitchen and I recall buying the very [TS]

  first edition of Dirk Gently the [TS]

  detective asian we came out I was [TS]

  graphic design major in college I had [TS]

  been a typesetter I've trained a [TS]

  typesetter high school of you know I'm [TS]

  not 90 years old but strangely have that [TS]

  career and I got to gently detective [TS]

  agency open it up and I'm like the [TS]

  bastard typeset himself [TS]

  if I could tell on the first page and [TS]

  you read it and you know you read that [TS]

  he was so phenomenally late with Dirk [TS]

  Gently that he had to not just write the [TS]

  book but set it and output on his [TS]

  laserwriter and I think dashing across [TS]

  town you know to get it to the printers [TS]

  to get out and in later editions were [TS]

  types of a little more superiorly but [TS]

  but this that once backfired really [TS]

  spectacularly in the book of the [TS]

  novelization of start a panic which was [TS]

  written by terry jones because [TS]

  originally doctor said he didn't want to [TS]

  write it and we tossed around like [TS]

  people to write it and then doctor said [TS]

  he didn't want to write it and then he [TS]

  spent a whole year not writing it and [TS]

  then it got to 3 weeks before the [TS]

  deadline and i said yeah i can write it [TS]

  and so we pulled in terry jones who [TS]

  reportedly brought the entire book in [TS]

  the nude because that's what he does and [TS]

  you know he turned out a book in three [TS]

  weeks and it's pretty good for a book [TS]

  that was turned out in three weeks and [TS]

  Douglas introduction and then sent the [TS]

  file obviously remarkably laid off to [TS]

  the printers and it comes out and look [TS]

  at the introduction and it's got these [TS]

  giants waves of white space and you [TS]

  think is this some kind of you know [TS]

  house of leaves style a poetry thing [TS]

  going because they look fairly poetic [TS]

  with these huge optics ways of white [TS]

  space and no it's not it's just that the [TS]

  typesetters didn't didn't load the file [TS]

  correctly or some somehow it got [TS]

  corrupted and the types was just going [TS]

  out we thought you wanted it to look [TS]

  like that so beautiful but I recall [TS]

  stephen fry wrote something i think when [TS]

  that was when they transcribe when he [TS]

  came out he was something on this blog [TS]

  about whenever new software came out he [TS]

  would you know dash down the street [TS]

  knock on the door and say hello to you [TS]

  notice his wife and say can I can go [TS]

  upstairs studies there run upstairs with [TS]

  a floppy disk made plug it in and do the [TS]

  latest thing you know that wouldn't [TS]

  actually work and be frustrated with a [TS]

  bang on the machine all day going to do [TS]

  something but I i think it was kind of [TS]

  extraordinary for an author in those [TS]

  days and somebody who wasn't necessarily [TS]

  technologist the what he understood [TS]

  about was going on with technology how [TS]

  people would use it in the future the [TS]

  hyper landing a notable example hyper [TS]

  you know a special about hypertext [TS]

  essentially before anyone had really [TS]

  most people put hands on a you know [TS]

  sophisticated computer and personal [TS]

  computers are out but they're mostly [TS]

  doing sort of [TS]

  boring things nothing quite like that [TS]

  and nothing that interactive with other [TS]

  people or information but you know [TS]

  desktop publishing is early with [TS]

  interactive fiction all these sorts of [TS]

  things [TS]

  no he was he was definitely not only in [TS]

  technology enthusiast but but could [TS]

  write just so well about in your your [TS]

  your line earlier about his [TS]

  understanding of the compromises that go [TS]

  into technology products especially in [TS]

  that he he took this he was incredibly [TS]

  enthusiastic about them but also really [TS]

  perceptive about the failings of them [TS]

  and how they failed in spectacular and [TS]

  absurd ways he wrote a bunch of columns [TS]

  for various magazines in that period in [TS]

  the eighties and nineties and and they [TS]

  were always hilarious that which is not [TS]

  surprising because this Douglas Adams [TS]

  but they were hilarious also because he [TS]

  was so knowledgeable he was clearly a [TS]

  fan and he had this great enthusiasm and [TS]

  and so could be critical in a way that [TS]

  only a true fan can be and you know [TS]

  that's one of the things that that I i [TS]

  miss the most about about him being gone [TS]

  is that I keep thinking about new [TS]

  technologies and what he would say about [TS]

  them and anion honestly will admit when [TS]

  I held that held the ipad for the first [TS]

  time and was looking things up on [TS]

  Wikipedia or other things in the a.m on [TS]

  a wireless connection on an ipad i [TS]

  thought i was struck almost immediately [TS]

  by the fact that i was in some ways [TS]

  using the thing closest to the [TS]

  hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy and it [TS]

  had arrived and that Douglas Adams would [TS]

  never get a chance to see it although he [TS]

  did basically envision it himself [TS]

  I think that having his science fiction [TS]

  is good science fiction and it [TS]

  independent of all the parity and [TS]

  humorous aspects of it only one of the [TS]

  reasons is because he's such a good [TS]

  technologist hitchhiker's guide the book [TS]

  is not not the novel the the device in [TS]

  the story is a terrific science fiction [TS]

  trope it serves a lot of fictional [TS]

  purposes but you could see that existing [TS]

  because hey here it is in front of me [TS]

  Steve's talking on it and things like [TS]

  that the infinite improbability drive is [TS]

  a great science-fiction idea how it came [TS]

  about I was just reading a book physics [TS]

  book I talk about this on them on a [TS]

  previous podcast [TS]

  and it's all about parallel universes [TS]

  and probabilities and high you know did [TS]

  do when when two things can happen do [TS]

  both things happen and create parallel [TS]

  universes and as I'm reading through he [TS]

  starts to talk about probability and [TS]

  this crazy like cutting edge physics [TS]

  above probability of multiple universes [TS]

  and all of a sudden I realized it oh my [TS]

  God he's talking about the infinite [TS]

  improbability drive here it's amazing [TS]

  it's one of the improbable infant [TS]

  probability drive i think is my favorite [TS]

  MacGuffin out of all the books and i [TS]

  agree story because it's the way he cut [TS]

  the famous story about how we can't came [TS]

  up with it was that he had just because [TS]

  he was making everything up as he went [TS]

  along he had just thrown author and [TS]

  forward out of open airlock to die in [TS]

  the vacuum of space which was a great [TS]

  idea part of the factory had no idea how [TS]

  to rescue them and the trouble was he [TS]

  came up with all these different ideas [TS]

  and was defeated by the shearing [TS]

  probability of them because that you [TS]

  know space being besides it is can't [TS]

  just have another spaceship magically [TS]

  turn up you if you know that you is [TS]

  brightly Douglas was smart enough about [TS]

  space in the class i know this is just [TS]

  impossible and so we got very depressed [TS]

  about this and sat down to watch TV and [TS]

  there was a program about judo on and [TS]

  thing with judo the instructor explained [TS]

  is that you use your opponent's weight [TS]

  against them so if you have a sumo [TS]

  wrestler after the other council members [TS]

  are throwing themselves at you and you [TS]

  trip them up in something the fact that [TS]

  they weigh 300 pounds becomes their [TS]

  problem not yours [TS]

  and so you turn the problem against [TS]

  itself and so he said I was in [TS]

  probability is the problem therefore it [TS]

  should be solution and so but you know [TS]

  that that's the story around it but the [TS]

  thing about it is the way but not just [TS]

  as it served its purpose there but [TS]

  continually throughout the various [TS]

  stories in that suddenly it's one of the [TS]

  things I love most about this is the [TS]

  analogy of I've never any sort of [TS]

  Douglas a sci-fi writer I think he's a [TS]

  satirist who happens to be really good [TS]

  at using set sci-fi to drive comfortable [TS]

  with although all the mechanisms of [TS]

  sci-fi mhm exactly exactly but that you [TS]

  know you have this sci-fi universe I [TS]

  fittings but at the heart of it SAT up [TS]

  and the heart of gold is a spaceship [TS]

  that looks like a normal space ship but [TS]

  at the heart of it is something [TS]

  completely ridiculous and it's this kind [TS]

  of he has given himself ultimate license [TS]

  in a way that you now only have with you [TS]

  know that it's finally been explained [TS]

  the TARDIS to have the ship take its [TS]

  characters around into the most [TS]

  ridiculous situations for the helmet [TS]

  looks like it's patrick mcgoohan being [TS]

  able to write the prisoner TV series [TS]

  that is you know a skewering and a [TS]

  satire and a deconstruction and [TS]

  subversive version of his previous [TS]

  series about a special in a secret agent [TS]

  the same thing as Douglas Adams had to [TS]

  work on Doctor Who in order to write [TS]

  something so ridiculous that that we [TS]

  could be could have access to all of the [TS]

  tropes of science fiction but everyone [TS]

  is familiar with and then turn them all [TS]

  on their head and to say well you know [TS]

  instead of being too Wiggly what I mean [TS]

  no doctor who is actually become very [TS]

  much more like a trucker's guide over [TS]

  the years as a result i mean i think the [TS]

  more modern series are sillier about [TS]

  certain aspects of Technology [TS]

  wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey thing as much [TS]

  more diverse atoms that original Doctor [TS]

  Who I wanted to learn to speak in a min [TS]

  well speak positively about my favorite [TS]

  thing that in the hitch-hiker serious [TS]

  which is actually I know it's easy to do [TS]

  this because we're we're doing a podcast [TS]

  number 42 of the uncomfortable but the [TS]

  story of the building of deep thought [TS]

  you know it is it is brilliant in terms [TS]

  of Technology it's brilliant in terms of [TS]

  satire i would argue that if that was a [TS]

  short story it would be legendary as a [TS]

  short story because it is so funny and [TS]

  so true and in some ways then I also one [TS]

  of the things that i love about it and [TS]

  maybe my favorite revelation and the [TS]

  entire series is that much later there's [TS]

  an even bigger punch line when it [TS]

  discovers that this entire final [TS]

  computer that will come after deep [TS]

  thought has been messed up by the fact [TS]

  that that that the humans have come to [TS]

  the planet the the telephone sanitizers [TS]

  and hairdressers and the punch line is [TS]

  that the question that there they've [TS]

  come up with 442 is what what is eight [TS]

  times seven [TS]

  if it's like I always remember something [TS]

  fundamentally wrong aren't this says so [TS]

  that hold the whole thing I mean and [TS]

  there's a reason 42 has a residence that [TS]

  story is so fantastic and it's so [TS]

  crushing because it is a failure of [TS]

  imagination of the people who build it [TS]

  it's a failure of technology it's it's [TS]

  just such a fantastic story so I just [TS]

  wanted to to do some some drive-by [TS]

  praise of it because it is it's easy to [TS]

  it's easy to just take it for granted [TS]

  and it is it is brilliant and [TS]

  brilliantly I think realized given the [TS]

  budget especially in the in the TV [TS]

  series but it's just such a such a great [TS]

  thing that building the greatest [TS]

  computer ever and it gives you the [TS]

  answer you want and it's completely [TS]

  useless all it's also full of so many of [TS]

  those great lines on your advocacy [TS]

  probably not you know he might talk the [TS]

  legs off a nocturnal make a donkey but [TS]

  only I can make him get up and take a [TS]

  walk later and just this you endless [TS]

  series of little jokes and puns and the [TS]

  Philosopher's we just thought we we [TS]

  demand originally defined areas that's [TS]

  Alan tonight and it's great [TS]

  well I mean by location rates the [TS]

  religious satire and and the flock [TS]

  philosophical satire and the egg so [TS]

  romantic i really just after all [TS]

  together up just about the absurdity of [TS]

  the whole thing and searching for this [TS]

  kind of unanswerable the answer to the [TS]

  unanswerable questions and I I [TS]

  philosophically I really appreciate that [TS]

  it is you know of course we're always [TS]

  going to be questing for this but the [TS]

  reality is it can't be answered or if it [TS]

  is inserted we won't understand what the [TS]

  answer is anyway i will point out one of [TS]

  the the the superior things that movie [TS]

  that is not on the books but it feels [TS]

  very Douglas is the bit where there's [TS]

  the point of view God is not the weapon [TS]

  in the movie [TS]

  yeah a fun and he had that kicking [TS]

  around but many creations little records [TS]

  usually story it's a familiar and so the [TS]

  bit where they finally get it and and [TS]

  trillion fires a father he says all [TS]

  kinds of things that he grabs and fires [TS]

  that her he says it didn't work and she [TS]

  says of course that I'm a woman and I [TS]

  just thought that was a person walks off [TS]

  so perfect it's like I already know [TS]

  everybody else feels thank you very much [TS]

  i love my way i did want to mention [TS]

  something else about the BBC series [TS]

  which as I said I've just watched the [TS]

  first time a few days ago [TS]

  the TV's yes uh and and Jason you might [TS]

  have actually missed this having viewed [TS]

  on PBS but pretty early on in the second [TS]

  episode they're going through the whole [TS]

  long the whole long monologue about how [TS]

  everybody on earth is unhappy and it's [TS]

  sort of working up to the bit where the [TS]

  woman in the cafe I in rickmansworth [TS]

  suddenly realizes what it's all about [TS]

  and then suddenly the planet is [TS]

  demolished which I guess it's kind of a [TS]

  nice little mirror story the whole deep [TS]

  thought think but I was rather surprised [TS]

  to find a cameo from douglas adams in [TS]

  that in that episode and more more [TS]

  specifically his naked bomb peers looks [TS]

  like i was amused to see him looking [TS]

  depressed and and holding a lot of cash [TS]

  and then I was made I don't know [TS]

  dismayed is the word i guess more amused [TS]

  to see him turn away from the camera and [TS]

  walk naked Lee into the sea you know his [TS]

  his pale British cheeks flapping in the [TS]

  breeze and India tell that moment I had [TS]

  never really understood just exactly [TS]

  what a critical piece of equipment towel [TS]

  really is haha that joke about the woman [TS]

  who figures it all out [TS]

  it's like a fourth paragraph of the [TS]

  first page of the first book is is that [TS]

  right that's our first inkling that but [TS]

  things aren't going to go where I can [TS]

  never figure out where the monologue fit [TS]

  because they move around depending on [TS]

  which verse its yeah it is yeah it's [TS]

  it's it's true i said on two previous [TS]

  podcast now but just to restate i love [TS]

  the fact that this is so funny and yet [TS]

  so dark that he he has the bold stroke [TS]

  of destroying planet Earth immediately [TS]

  it's just you get another way and then [TS]

  you can just move on [TS]

  I like that he was trying to challenge [TS]

  himself I mean you guys mentioned that [TS]

  that he he rejects Arthur and forward [TS]

  into space and doesn't know how to [TS]

  resolve it [TS]

  I I did feel like in some ways that was [TS]

  a motivator for him to keep writing what [TS]

  a ball plus you need cliffhangers for [TS]

  the radio show but it's the idea is I'm [TS]

  just going to do this and that will [TS]

  force me to figure something else out so [TS]

  i'm going to destroy the earth [TS]

  I'm not gonna be able to go back there [TS]

  I'm just gonna have to figure out what [TS]

  i'm going to do next what a what a [TS]

  marvelous comment on the man [TS]

  and his attitude is that he has his [TS]

  cameo you know as big a meal with i do [TS]

  remembers and he uses it to show i do [TS]

  remember the naked man do you remember [TS]

  the naked man its i just did not [TS]

  remember that it was Douglas Adams so [TS]

  it's it's called not all of them [TS]

  you also mentioned Terry Jones running [TS]

  nude before and monty python's appears [TS]

  nude playing the key the the organ not [TS]

  his own Oregon battery in uh yeah what's [TS]

  marked have one explicit at the opening [TS]

  of Monty Python you don't sound as [TS]

  walking nude into the ocean it's all [TS]

  it's all plants resources with my [TS]

  British people like and well you know [TS]

  since your carrots over here and we're [TS]

  all terribly repressed yea and amen amen [TS]

  and everybody joyously throws their [TS]

  clothes off and run into the ocean the [TS]

  the other thing with the Explorer end of [TS]

  the the the movie about the moment where [TS]

  the earth is destroyed leaving out the [TS]

  moment moment that the earth is [TS]

  destroyed and you see everybody [TS]

  panicking and screaming and then there's [TS]

  a moment we see one ultimate sitting at [TS]

  a café looking around and just paying [TS]

  no attention at all and going back and [TS]

  reading a paper that is the hallmark [TS]

  that's it [TS]

  yeah but they was the movie has loads of [TS]

  these kind of bizarre things in it and [TS]

  loads of references to talking to people [TS]

  about it leading up to the movie's [TS]

  release everybody was saying yo solo two [TS]

  variations on I don't care what it's got [TS]

  in the movie as long as it's got X if [TS]

  your ex is in the movie then you [TS]

  probably liked it and if it isn't then [TS]

  you don't always thought I was [TS]

  infuriated the beware of the leopard was [TS]

  my actually it might be my very favorite [TS]

  line okay is it all of the books but [TS]

  remember what isn't I mean I know that [TS]

  the light them mostly harmless line is [TS]

  not in the final I think it's in the [TS]

  deleted seems most of the rest of it is [TS]

  there's no not again is in the movie [TS]

  yes what yes and Bill Bailey Turner's as [TS]

  the while which is wonderful it's [TS]

  critical that i was one of the greatest [TS]

  it's one of its part of that crazy [TS]

  things like what happens to the missiles [TS]

  oh well they're turned into a giant [TS]

  whale and our part 2 engines course [TS]

  oh no not again the part of petunias [TS]

  thanks to itself [TS]

  well I think this brings us to the end [TS]

  of another mighty mighty via comparable [TS]

  but [TS]

  but [TS]

  no not again I believe Oh before his [TS]

  podcast will repeat in that bbc3 before [TS]

  we close our I i mean i discovered [TS]

  douglas adams a long time ago and I got [TS]

  to meet him once very briefly at a book [TS]

  signing where I was a grinning at I [TS]

  remember the day that the news broke [TS]

  that he had died and I was actually [TS]

  heartbroken I mean I had I'd read [TS]

  everything he's ever written [TS]

  you know I've listened to it in every [TS]

  and watching every media I can [TS]

  he's had this enormous influence on who [TS]

  I have become who i want to become how I [TS]

  want to write and and how I want to be [TS]

  funny and what defines my personality [TS]

  and and how I communicate with my [TS]

  friends even and then he was dead and I [TS]

  couldn't have the BBC was very annoyed [TS]

  I'm he was was he late on delivering [TS]

  something at that point is certainly [TS]

  worth it was but now it was actually [TS]

  because that when they made the deal to [TS]

  buy h2g2 off the digital village which [TS]

  was you know basically had run out of [TS]

  money they also got a deal that Douglas [TS]

  to do several series for them on [TS]

  something and then suppose it'll get out [TS]

  of writing one time later early he's [TS]

  still working on things I remember that [TS]

  day to very clearly my boss at the time [TS]

  was a huge Douglas Evans family and had [TS]

  I think edited a couple of his things [TS]

  for various técnicas means and it was [TS]

  very sad [TS]

  in the intervening 10 years and it has [TS]

  been 10 years now what comforts me is [TS]

  just the fact that after 10 years I feel [TS]

  like after he died people were able to [TS]

  reflect a little bit about what his work [TS]

  was and you know I feel now 10 years on [TS]

  like the hitchhiker's guide to the [TS]

  galaxy in some form is going to be it's [TS]

  part of what the plastic and be regarded [TS]

  as a classic for a long time to come and [TS]

  not just sort of the silly comedy thing [TS]

  that happened in the nineteen eighties [TS]

  and that really warms my heart to think [TS]

  that because he deserves it because it [TS]

  is it is of it is a one-of-a-kind and it [TS]

  is brimming with ideas and is fall down [TS]

  funny and so that's that's great i'm not [TS]

  sure i have an omnibus of all the books [TS]

  I sort of feel like perhaps the cooler [TS]

  heads will prevail and maybe constrain [TS]

  it to the first three but uh huh [TS]

  in terms of the cannon but some amazing [TS]

  stuff and I so that makes me feel better [TS]

  about it at ten years on is that I think [TS]

  he's going to be remembered and [TS]

  appreciated for a long time to come [TS]

  her that there was i do remember i mean [TS]

  the the night i found out that Douglas [TS]

  died it was it was on a Friday night and [TS]

  um a couple of TV colleagues drover arm [TS]

  in tears and we've basically suspend the [TS]

  evening sitting and reminiscing about [TS]

  him and only these two my continued [TS]

  regret that I didn't actually spend that [TS]

  much time with him when he was alive not [TS]

  after he's dead [TS]

  yeah we never hang out all the time over [TS]

  to her boss rush up [TS]

  it's a heat gun was surprised when [TS]

  atheists they have the it was but it is [TS]

  that i can't remember which if you were [TS]

  saying sorry we're saying it but that [TS]

  the whole thing every time there is an [TS]

  amazing new device especially from Apple [TS]

  you know the iphone and the ipad and [TS]

  look at it and just go just this this [TS]

  desperate wish that Douglas was around [TS]

  here and there was some there was Shawn [TS]

  who I mentioned earlier on so like a [TS]

  colleague a TV has was actually came [TS]

  over friday night arm tweeted the other [TS]

  day on the anniversary of his death [TS]

  wondering what does sort of thought of [TS]

  Twitter thinking that Douglas probably [TS]

  would have loved it and anybody actually [TS]

  trying to get into some work would have [TS]

  hated it [TS]

  it's funny because that the one place [TS]

  that I was thinking where the we're [TS]

  learning from douglas adams about how to [TS]

  just perfectly structure a comedy bit [TS]

  into the smallest get it [TS]

  the one place where that's actually [TS]

  helped is on Twitter we only have a [TS]

  hundred and forty days and you have to [TS]

  make every character count [TS]

  it's dogs perfect medium you know he was [TS]

  one of the things that he was so good at [TS]

  was compressing an idea right down to [TS]

  two a key senses something that was the [TS]

  Apple actually took one of his lines and [TS]

  used it a new advertising campaign [TS]

  coming up to the 2,000 talking and [TS]

  shouting about how a mac OS was was [TS]

  fully y2k compliant they used to quote [TS]

  from Douglas which was something lines [TS]

  of year there's not a lot we know about [TS]

  the future but we should have guessed [TS]

  the century was going to end the memory [TS]

  was scarce and programmers cursory well [TS]

  I think we have to reduce to close [TS]

  gentleman will lift a lift virtual toast [TS]

  to the memory of douglas adams a great [TS]

  man and all people i always say there's [TS]

  an atheist because I would like him to [TS]

  be in heaven right now that's a that's [TS]

  the the don't that's an Irish toast [TS]

  reverse I think it's a reverse Irish [TS]

  toast that will do the reverse polish [TS]

  notation the next episode [TS]

  thank you very much gentlemen Greg NOS [TS]

  thank you for being on this bike and [TS]

  thank you glenn Steve let's thank you [TS]

  for springtime from your undisclosed [TS]

  location in a hotel using an iPad over [TS]

  Wi-Fi and skype and I've been Angeles [TS]

  for the last 40 minute to respond to the [TS]

  library and in honor again of a douglas [TS]

  adams getting taste and smell thank you [TS]

  for joining us and thank you for having [TS]

  me well hosted sir thank you and yes [TS]

  thank you for being our special guest [TS]

  tonight [TS]

  thank you so much for inviting me and [TS]

  put out with my relentless rounding this [TS]

  is the nature of this podcast that you [TS]

  felt right at me so thank you all when [TS]

  placement signing off for our episode 42 [TS]

  of the couple podcast back [TS]

  thank you [TS]

  [Music] [TS]