The alt.fan.douglas-adams FAQ

Section C- Current goings-on


C.1. Starship Titanic

Starship Titanic was the most recent big project of The Digital Village and Douglas Adams. Its full name is in fact Douglas Adams' Starship Titanic, a computer game released Easter 1998 and consequently still available in the shops. Douglas has played an integral part in the writing of the game, being one of the "ideas men". It's for Macs & PCs.

The Starship Titanic novel was also published, written by Terry Jones (of Monty Python fame), who also voices the demented parrot in the game itself. This novel was published just in time for Christmas 1997. It's published by Pan Macmillan, and it costs 5.99.

It seems pointless to supply too much more information here when a great deal of official information can be found at the official Starship Titanic web site at:

Some discussion about playing the game has taken place on the comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.adventure newsgroup, as well as on alt.fan.douglas-adams. Reviews are, frankly, mixed. It's also possible to find solutions for the game on the Web, in such places as http://www.gamefaqs.com.

C.1.1. Dark Ship Titanic

"Dark Ship Titanic" was a very early (around 1990, possibly even earlier) working title for the project that eventually became Starship Titanic (above). Either that, or it was a badly overheard and corrupted rumour. Either way, it doesn't exist in its own right.


C.2. The Digital Village

The Digital Village (TDV) are the multiple media company with whom Douglas Adams works, although Douglas is only one of the eight directors, and TDV are involved in quite a large number of projects, several of which do not directly involve Douglas at all.

Their first major release is Starship Titanic (see C.1.). After that, a project with Douglas' backing and part-involvement is an online Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy (see C.3.1.).

C.2.1. What's the Digital Village's URL?

http://www.tdv.com.

C.2.2. Where's Douglas Adams' web site?

Well, the recently-launched http://www.douglasadams.com/ might be what you're looking for!

The site is brand spanking new and updated on a very regular basis (much more regular than this FAQ), now has forums and stuff.

It borrows a few elements from what had been Douglas Adams' previous personal page at http://www.tdv.com/html/douglas_a.html, which is still there for the time being.


C.3. The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy

C.3.1. Online

The online Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is at http://www.h2g2.com/. It is big, and quite neat. Most of the participants of a.f.d-a are also contributors to h2g2.

C.3.2. The books

The sixth book in the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy may well be The Salmon of Doubt, or it just as likely may not be- see C.4.

C.3.3. The movie

It's worth nothing that this particular section, C.3.3., is almost without any doubt inaccurate or downright wrong, for all sorts of reasons. The very nature of movies means that details change on a daily basis, and there's still a lot we don't know. Here's what we may or may not have known last time we updated the FAQ. You will almost certainly find more information on this subject at http://www.douglasadams.com/.

Disney are, sort of, doing a Hitch Hiker's Guide movie. With the emphasis on 'sort of', because Disney may well have made Bambi but it also made Pulp Fiction, as Douglas Adams has pointed out.

An agreement was reached between Douglas Adams and Hollywood Pictures (a division of Disney) for production of a movie to be released summer 2000. Roger Birnbaum (of Caravan Pictures, an independent company whose productions tend to be released by Disney) will produce, Jay Roach will direct and Douglas will write the screenplay and co-executive produce.

Douglas is working on the screenplay now; he says it's based on the first book with some new material added.

Jay Roach, the director, last finished Austin Powers II.

The recent story suggesting Jim Carrey will be in the movie has been refuted by DNA himself, right here on the group. He has also even more recently downplayed the Disney connection as well as pointed out that Roger Birnbaum and Caravan have been responsible for such notable pictures as Rain Man and Gorillas in the Mist.

C.3.3.1 The old old movie story (about the movie prior to any developments that have happened in the last two years or so)

Douglas Adams sold the rights to a Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy movie in the early 1980s, to his regret, and then bought them back in the early 1990s at considerable personal expense. It was also at one time in the hands of Michael Nesmith's production company Pacific Arts.

A lot of people are quite optimistic about it this time. Douglas Adams himself even posted a message to alt.fan.douglas-adams in order to quel a rumour that Jim Carrey had been cast in the film. A comprehensive post he made in September '98 can be found here.

A script for the movie was adapted in 1986, not by Douglas Adams but by somebody who seems to have very little concept of where the jokes in Hitch Hiker's Guide... actually are (this person's name is unknown and they've probably been in hiding ever since). Copies of this script may still be available through "Script City" in the USA but no more details are supplied but this.

There was also a supposed 'extract' from the new script posted to the Douglas Adams newsgroup a few months ago, although this has been denied by Douglas Adams himself as being official; however, if you want a read, it can be found here.

Even though the movie looks closer to being made now than it has looked for some time, discussions about who should play who in the movie are wearing seriously thin and most people are now bored of it.


C.4. The Salmon of Doubt

The Salmon of Doubt may or may not be Douglas Adams' next book, depending on what he thinks of in the bath. However, it is quite definitely not published yet, no matter what any number of online bookstores might want to tell you. It has had publishing dates dating back to 1994, but it has still not been written. So there. And we are right and unless you agree with us you are wrong, unless you happen to be Douglas Adams, then you are always right.

The Salmon of Doubt was originally going to be called A Spoon Too Short, and it was going to be a Dirk Gently book. The blurb went something like this:

At one point an American trade journal even featured a front cover for the novel, with the subtitle "a Dirk Gently novel". Dirk was eventually written out of The Salmon of Doubt because he was the "wrong fit." It is possible that The Salmon of Doubt may now be the sixth book in the immensely inaccurately-named Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy, but even in this case, the book will not show up in the immediate future. In interviews even more recent than that, Douglas has begun to speculate that the novel may either (a) not be the sixth Hitch Hiker's novel, or (b) not be called The Salmon of Doubt any more.

ISBN numbers have been bandied around for this book but none of them are currently relevant or useful. If you have ordered the Salmon of Doubt through a bookshop, cancel the order.

Tim Browse, of The Digital Village, said this about The Salmon of Doubt:


C.5. Dirk

The first ever public stage production of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, entitled simply Dirk, was performed at the Old Fire Station Theatre, Oxford in May 1995, and was a complete success praised by a large number of people.

The show was recently redone, at the bigger and better venue of the Oxford Playhouse, between 5th and 8th November 1997. The same producer, Matt Wreford, was at the helm (and a very nice bloke he is too), but a newly-improved script accompanied a new cast and even more ideas. It did indeed turn out to be a fantastic performance.

And as of 6th January 2000, the official play has a brand new web site. Check it out:


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