Sunday, January 25, 2004


Yes. I know this is now more sporadic than a particularly sporadic thing which doesn't happen very often any more (and frequently makes no real sense either). Look, we now have cats, which ought to be sufficient explanation.

So - I'm going to worry about The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy (let's keep that hyphen in there, shall we?). Bill Nighy as Slartibartfast is a sound choice, and anyone other than Stephen Moore as Marvin just wouldn't have been right, but I'm worried about Arthur. Martin Freeman was responsible for one of the best TV moments of last year as The Office reached a near-perfect ending, and I know he can hit the right note of bafflement, but - well, Arthur's middle aged; he has to be. To my mind, one of the reasons that all the versions work so well is the first half-hour, where Arthur is a real person in an ordinary life who keeps having extraordinary things happen to him. There's a grounding there, and part of it is because Arthur's known Ford for so long. OK, I'm not going to obsess about this - I remember the shock of seeing Simon Jones in the TV version - it was the right voice, but he didn't look like Arthur - that worked out all right in the end, and I do fervently hope that this will as well. I just need to keep reminding myself that every version is different; the book is not the radio series (there's some good stuff in the radio series that never got reused); the radio series was not the record; the record was not the TV - you get the idea. This will be diiferent, and I think it will probably be OK. Just wish that Douglas Adams was still around to oversee things. Mind you, it'd never get finished.

Mars. Some of those pictures from Mars are just stunning. This one in particular is truly inspiring. I hear people asking "Why should we go to Mars?" Well, why shouldn't we? Yes, there are other priorities. Imagine if 10% of the world's defence budgets went into space exploration instead. Imagine if ...

Tell you what, instead of me imagining it, try reading Kim Stanley Robinson. Then you'll want to go to Mars.

I went for a walk today, tramping through the Bedfordshire countryside. I saw elephants. Yes, I did.

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