Douglas Adams was a cultural touchstone for those of us of the Thirteenth Generation (aka Generation X). Some magazine in the 80’s did a survey trying to find the book or books most popular among teenagers. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series was on the top of the list
My own first encounter with Hitchhiker’s was the original radio show that was broadcast on NPR’s Playhouse, at the same time as the radio adaptation of Star Wars. I was on the floor laughing at each segment. It was probably my first encounter with British humor. Soon after the last three seasons of Tom Baker’s tenure as Doctor Who came to my local PBS station. It was there I saw Adams write one of the best cliffhangers in the show’s history in The Pirate Planet part three. Adams would also script edit season seventeen and help write the popular City of Death. He wrote the story Shada which could have been one the best stories in the show's history had production not been halted by a strike. At the same time, the BBC Hitchhiker’s miniseries was also shown on PBS. I spent hours trying to crack the Infocom textbased Hitchhiker’s game. I would eagerly await the next installment of the increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker’s trilogy.
I got to see Adams speak twice. He did readings from his current works and fielded all questions from the fans. Adams would make these sessions fun and interesting. Douglas Adams' death at 49 was quite unexpected. Although his writing had a tapered off in recent years one always hoped he would come out with something new. All of his works are still in print, so hopefully new generations will discover a new type of humour.
Return to Fan Writings