Douglas Adams has occasionally been called the seventh Python – a role he battled with Neil Innes over. But he both appeared and wrote on the TV show Monty Python's Flying Circus, and worked many times with the individual Pythons, a co-writing partnership with Graham Chapman, and co-wrote Monty Python And The Holy Grail.
Douglas Adams also wrote a computer game, Starship Titanic, which he got Terry Jones to write a novel adaptation of as well as voice the parrot in the game, which also featured John Cleese. And on Sunday, the BBC will be broadcasting a radio adaptation of Starship Titanic that will star yet another Python, by Michael Palin.
It has been adapted by Ian Billings, produced and directed by Dirk Maggs. Maggs created radio adaptations of Superman and Batman back in the nineties, the more recent Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy adaptations of Douglas' final three books and the sequel, the Dirk Gently radio adaptations, as well as Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere and for Audible, Sandman Seasons One and Two. So he has all the possible chops one might need.
And as well as Michael Palin, it will also feature Simon Jones, who played Arthur Dent in the radio and TV adaptations of Hitchhiker's. It will air on BBC Radio 4 at 3pm GMT on Sunday – that's 10am ET and 7am PT. But it will stream globally, for free, from BBC Sounds for a year afterwards.
Michael Palin stars in an exclusive adaptation of Terry Jones's comic novel. A tale of interstellar skulduggery, romance and unhinged robots based in Douglas Adams's universe.
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. Stylistically emulating the work of the great Douglas Adams in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the late Terry Jones weaves a fabulously mad and comic tale, adapted by Ian Billings and directed by Dirk Maggs, who also directed the last four editions of the Hitchhiker's sagas.
Cast: Tom Alexander, Ian Billings, Nicholas Boulton, Rupert Degas, Philip Pope, Alana Ramsey, Rebecca Yeo. With a special guest appearance by Simon Jones, who played Arthur Dent in Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. Music by Philip Pope.