Starship Titanic – adapted for radio, starring Sir Michael Palin

Posted Filed under

Terry Jones’ comic novel is getting the Hitchhiker’s Guide treatment on Radio 4 this Christmas. 

Written and designed by Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Starship Titanic began life as a single player graphic adventure game in the late 1990s. With all his trademark wit and charm, it involved puzzle-solving and interacting with onscreen characters via text.

Despite not setting the gaming world alight, the game’s voice cast included Monty Python stars John Cleese and Terry Jones; the latter of the pair then adapted the game’s storyline into a comic novel, very much in the Douglas Adams style.

The story is “a tale of interstellar skulduggery, romance and unhinged robots based in Douglas Adams’s universe” and will star fellow Python Sir Michael Palin.

Here’s the synopsis:

Far off in the centre of one of the less well-chartered quadrants of the universe, a vast civilisation is preparing to launch the most technologically advanced starship ever – Starship Titanic While the galaxy’s media looks on, it unfortunately undergoes SMEF (Spontaneous Massive Existence Failure) and disappears. Leovinus, the designer of the ship, uncovers shoddy workmanship, poor cybernetics and a series of increasingly eccentric robots. The owners, Scraliontis and Brobostigan, were intent on destroying the ship and claiming the insurance.

Meanwhile in Oxfordshire, four humans are inspecting a property they intend buying, only to see it crushed under the re-materialising Starship. This disaster is swiftly followed by an invitation from an over-attentive robot to come aboard, and Lucy, Dan and Nettie are catapulted into a series of increasingly bizarre encounters.

Directed by Dirk Maggs, who lovingly brought much of Douglas Adams’ later Hitchhiker’s Guide books to the radio, Starship Titanic has been adapted by Ian Billings.

Billings is also in the cast, along with Tom Alexander, Nicholas Boulton, Rupert Degas, Philip Pope, Alana Ramsey and Rebecca Yeo. Plus there’s a special guest appearance by a certain Simon Jones (of Arthur Dent fame) too.

Starship Titanic will air on Radio 4 on Sunday 19th December, at 3 pm… and on BBC Sounds thereafter.

Don’t panic!