After more than 20 years in development, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has made it to the UK big screen.
In the film Arthur Dent, played by Martin Freeman, travels through space attempting to decipher the meaning of life, alongside an array of eccentric companions including a manically depressed robot called Marvin.
The creator, Douglas Adams, originally wrote the science fiction script for radio but has also gathered fans through a series of books and television episodes.
Have you seen the film? Does it stay true to the books and original series? Do you think there is an appetite for science fiction?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:
What a disappointment. 20 years in the making and it left me feeling like Marvin! The whole script was stilted and disjointed, turning the best elements of radio and TV to drivel. Before seeing the film I could see Alan Rickman and Bill Nighy as perfect in their roles, but the film even manages to make a mess of this.
Iain Monks, Rochdale
I haven't seen it, don't want to. Much better remembered as a super excellent radio production way back when...
It was never going to work as a film - the depth and complexity of Douglas Adams' ideas cannot be captured in 2 hours. A valiant effort, but I felt there was too much emphasis on plot while, bizarrely, incorporating a new subplot (Humma Kavula) which brought nothing valid. Mos Def's Ford was unintelligible much of the time, Zaphod was constantly at full volume and Arthur rarely seemed baffled!
Loved it! No, it wasn't perfect, but it was simply charming and I hope hope hope a trilogy is planned. It can only get better. Casting was perfect.
I went to see it last night. It was good in places, but as usual the American gimmicks spoiled many parts of it. I look forward to the next in the series, but I can wait.
Where were the jokes? Wasn't the point of Hitchhikers that it was very, very funny? Any of the funny dialogue that appeared in this movie was shortened, dumbed down and pointless (i.e. Dent's conversation with Prosser about the plans to demolish his house). This movie left me feeling cold.
Charlotte , Edinburgh
Just remember one thing: this is a film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It is not a film version of the books, the radio show, the TV show or the towel. Just don't get too hung up when they miss out bits of the sections you can quote and you will enjoy it.
I've grown up on Hitchhikers and even camped out at the theatre to get in the first showing of the day. It was fair at best. The story was watered down for mass consumption. Is it really so hard to believe that something doesn't need to be dumbed down to be released here in America? Disappointed, but I do hope it gets some new people to pick up the books.
Eric, Kansas City, USA
Fantastic! I'm sure it'll offend purists and book elitists, but I thought it was brilliant. It was funny, it was well acted and the script was smooth. I can't find anything wrong with it - it's not the book or radio series, and I think people should remember that. Thumbs up from me!
Linzi Harvey, Sheffield
I watched the LOTR trilogy and then tried to read the books but I couldn't stick with them because I knew what happened. So last night I started reading the Hitchhikers Guide before I see the film - funnily enough Arthur reminds me of that bloke from The Office.
Just seen the film. Having been a HGTTG fan since day one I suggest you just watch it and enjoy it. The whole thing has a touch of Hollywood about it, is not the same as previous versions, but is still enjoyable,and has a few laughs in it.
Pete McKechnie, Southampton, Hants
The movie was a complete "dumbing down" of Douglas Adams' wonderful satirical work. All intelligent, sophisticated wit has been removed to protect the American viewer. A total disappointment.
Leeda Walters, Nederland, USA
I thought it was very good. Not brilliant, but very good. As someone said, purists may not be happy, but then those purists need to understand who Douglas Adams was. He loved fiddling with his story, adjusting it for every medium. Many of the changes will have been decided by Douglas himself. I did think it wasn't as funny as the book. But how could it be? The book is simply amazing. You shouldn't compare mediums, they are by definition different.
David Wood, Rotherham, England
A jolly romp through space, much as I feel Douglas would have wanted. It did get the true feel of the book. It wasn't left wanting, and Magrathea was as I had visualised when I first read the book.
Ian Gregh, Jarrow, England
I watched it last night. I booked the very first tickets for the best cinema in town, I re-read the books beforehand. I was prepared and ready. I had my towel. I was so disappointed by this travesty of a movie it hurts. This is Hitchhikers rewritten and made by someone who completely missed the jokes, the story and the point. Dire.
Tim Powell, Basingstoke
What a let down. Managed to put me to sleep twice!
Ken Smith, Glasgow, Scotland
Went to one of the previews on Tuesday and loved it. I've heard all the hype about the books but never got round to reading them, although I will now. To anyone who likes Monty Python style humour it is a must see. I hope that the geeky image from its cult following doesn't put people off.
I saw the film last night, and unfortunately being a big fan of the radio series and books I was disappointed by many changes. While an okay-ish film in its own right, it does not compare at all to the hilarity of the originals. I had high hopes and feel that they have been dashed.
It will always be funniest when you can use your own imagination to paint the pictures Douglas Adams is describing. It may be impossible to capture the whole story in under two hours so it is inevitable that it will not compare favourably, but I hope to admire the attempt. I am also glad that HHGTTG is being revived for our younger generation so it will continue to live on for years to come.
Michael Fowler, Derby, England
Saw it this evening - where did 110 minutes go? Captivating, funny, different and very well made. I don't want to compare it to the original radio/TV series or the book, as it stands on its own.
Frank, Utkinton, Cheshire
Oh dear! I had such high hopes for this baby. I was gut-wrenchingly disappointed. All special effects and no story or jokes.
Natalie K, Wokingham
Went to see it last night - superb. Zaphod's second head worked unlike the TV series, Marvin was so dejected I couldn't help but laugh and I'm glad the Vogons were puppets and not CGI. Loved the British feel, retro graphics and cameos - I'm going again to make sure I saw them all.
Liz, Bristol, England
I've just returned from the cinema. What can I say? It's great! I'm a fan of the books and it certainly didn't disappoint. Bill Bailey is quite possibly the best whale I've ever had the pleasure of seeing on the big screen! It was a joy to watch and I'd rather like to see it again!
Amy Saltonstall, Lincoln
Saw the movie yesterday. It wasn't a great movie but it was good. It reminded me just how much Douglas Adams has contributed to the genre, as it felt a little bit dated.
Jack Wilson, Belfast
Definitely. I'm not expecting it to mirror the book - that would be a disappointment. Adams possessed a unique talent.
Carl J , Oxford
I really enjoyed it. It will certainly upset the purists, which is a recommendation because people take these things far too seriously!
I just got back from seeing the film. Fantastic. I loved the books, the radio shows and the TV series. To all those purists out there, 'Douglas would be proud'.
I won tickets to the special preview on Tuesday. Not being at all acquainted with the H2G2, I wasn't sure what to expect, but once I got used to the nuttiness and that particular sense of humour, I enjoyed it. I thought it was kitsch, camp, retro and very cool!
Maya Wim, London, UK
I'm looking forward to seeing the original series on TV this weekend.
Richard Lafferty, Farnborough, UK
Don't know... I loved the books, but was about 15 at the time. All seems a bit puerile and smart-alecky now, but maybe I'll give it a go for old times' sake.
Alex C, Brisbane, Australia
I saw the pre-screen on Tuesday. I thought it was funny in parts, an ok transition to the big screen, lost some of the real flavour of the series though.
I've read several reviews of this film and they all report that most of the humour that was so much of a trademark for the novels has been removed. I'll still go see the movie but I'm not expecting to be pleased with it.
Frank Van Hoose, Columbia, SC, USA
Douglas Adams rewrote H2G2 so many times that even he was asked which was his favourite, why not embrace another version? I think it's great, I've been waiting for it for years, and, hell, I'm going to see it! Maybe even twice.
I want to see the film, hoping it follows the book very closely. In the book a huge space ship destroys Harrods, Harvey Nichols and (my workplace) the Sheraton Park Tower.
Fantastic film, very similar to the TV series. So funny. Arthur was brilliant and Marvin is so cute!
Richard Chandler, Berkshire
Oh dear. What went wrong. I watched it on its release night here in Sydney. Having enjoyed the TV series, this big budget picture failed to amuse or entertain.
Peter Harris, Sydney, Australia
I remember listening to the tapes of the radio series while coming home from a family holiday and I instantly became hooked. My dad, brothers and even my mum have all decided to go see it together as a family (the last time we went to the cinema as a family was to see Toy Story!) Can't wait to see it.
Jonathan Wright, Portsmouth, UK
I'm an avid fan of everything Douglas Adams did and I went to see the film last night with high expectations. Although I felt it wandered a little too far from the books for me, the film was a wonderful piece of cinema in its own right. The effects were fantastic, especially the "factory floor" on Magrathea, and it was nice to see both the original Marvin and Arthur Dent from the TV series turn up again in cameo roles. Even Douglas himself was there, albeit as a bowl of petunias! If nothing else, this is an amusing romp, and I for one don't feel that it detracts anything at all from the books or radio series. Go see it. You might even enjoy it.
Mona Starr, Leicester, UK
I saw it last night and thought it was fantastic. I've not read the book but had a vague idea of what it was about but I think it stands as a film on its own. You don't need to know much about the book to enjoy the film. Marvin was undoubtedly the star though, I think we'll see loads of Marvin toys in the shop soon!
I'm going on Sunday and looking forward to it, but what happened to Marvin? He looks like Twiki from Buck Rogers! I know they need to appeal to a new audience, but the whole point was that Marvin was basically a bit rubbish. This new one is so neat and shiny. I hope they managed to keep the rest of the effects a bit naff, in the true spirit of the Guide!
Isobel, Salisbury, UK
Saw it last night. I thought the film was immensely disappointing. Yes, the special effects were pretty good, but the characterisations were dreadful, the plot was completely ruined, and the original spirit of DNA's script was altogether lost.
Chris Betcher, Sydney, Australia
Did watch it, and hated it. Film has none of book's charm, the humour falls flat, and apart from Bill Nighy and Alan Rickman, everybody is overacting dreadfully.
Mercy SW, Atlanta, USA
As Marvin said, "I've seen it. It's rubbish." Zaphod couldn't act his way out of a wet paper back, Trillian looks bored beyond belief, Ford gives no evidence of any acting ability, and Arthur appears to have given up entirely. The best performances in the whole mess come from Stephen Fry, Alan Rickman and Simon Jones, all of whom are either doing voice-only work, or appearing as special effects.
Pete Hazell, London, UK
Should be going tonight. I am an old fan - I have the radio series on CD and watched the TV series religiously. It can't be worse than Star Wars Episode 1.
Jonathan Munro, Reigate, UK
I went last night. The makers have kept Adam's plot but lost most of his jokes, and the whole thing falls a bit flat. Disappointing.
Nick Smale, Manchester
Loved the radio series and the books. The film was bitty and disorganised. But my 12-year-old daughter loved it!
John N Sutherland, St Andrews, Scotland
As a fan since the original Radio 4 series I have seen all the incarnations, so will not be surprised if some changes have been made. It is a story that has evolved over the years to suit the particular medium. So I will go and see it and take along my sense of humour and an open mind.
Baker Dude, Stevenage, Herts, UK
I saw it yesterday and thought that it was absolutely fantastic. I have loved the radio/TV series and the books for years and they are all different so was pleased that the film has its own identity too.
Sue Collis, Stoke on Trent
This new adaptation to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is brilliant. I had high hopes for this film and it paid of perfectly. This film keeps inline with the original series when it comes to comedy value and there are a lot of random moments that are still kept alive in the movie and the graphics to match.
Dave Twiss, Bognor Regis, West Sussex
Have just seen this film and thought it was terrible. Unfunny, badly acted, and very disorganised. Spent way to much time on fancy effects, and far too little on the superb dialogue within the book. The BBC version was a million times better. Read the books to see what could have been.
I'll probably see it when it's out on DVD. I was a fan of the books, radio and TV series and have all the videos, books and the CD collection so it'll be nice to see this how well this great story translates to the big screen. I'm sure it'll do well although it's sad that Douglas isn't around to finally see the film version.
Richard, Essex, UK
I saw the film on Thursday and found it funny and entertaining. As a Hitchhikers' fan I noticed where they had changed the story but this didn't spoil the film. Looking forward to the next one.
Mark Lepak, Sevenoaks
It's like a cover version of a song you love: The melody's still there but arrangements make you go 'hmmm'.
Chris Rieley, Newport, Wales
No. I remember a funny radio series and a funny book that followed from it. The film has rewritten the entire thing and missed the point completely.
Dave Hands, Birmingham
Having seen the movie I can honestly say that the visual effects are amazing. I especially loved the vogon planet, the designs are outstanding.
Geoff Pedder, London
No, I will not be watching the Hitchhiker film on account of the anti-religious bent of the story.
Graeme Phillips, Guildford, UK
I saw this film today and I have to say I loved it. It's not the same as the books, and it wasn't really going to be, but it does incorporate much of the same sort of humour that the books included. There are more visual elements in the film as opposed to the more verbal elements of the radio/TV series and books. The Guide entries, while still present and correct, are cut down a lot for the film to maintain the pace. But there are jokes not from any other version which are great additions and there are jokes from the more obscure editions which are included too., although context in which they are used is changed in some instances.
John Coxon, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire,
I'm definitely going to see it - I only hope that this time round Trillian actually appears to be the mega-intelligent woman she is portrayed in the books, rather than the insipid bottle-blonde airhead she turned into in the TV series!
Mo C, UK
Having grown up with the TV series it will be difficult so replace. For a new audience wonderful. For us oldies I'm afraid the TV series is better and even poor special effects seem to add to the appeal the original series offered.
Richard Appleyard, Halifax, UK
I will certainly go to see the film. No doubt it will be different to the book and the radio production, but it will introduce a whole new group of people to this work - which is always a good thing (except for purists who like to keep cult things elite). Roll on democracy.
Bernadette Kerbey, Norwich, Norfolk
Wasn't going to see being a fan of the radio series, but gave in anyway. For me it was more of a HHGTTG rather than THE HHGTTG.
Paul Smith, Kirkcaldy, Fife
True to the memory and style of Adams and his vision. Dent and Marvin were spot on. Can't wait for the DVD.
Stuart Kinniburgh, Cydebank, Scotland
I'd never read the book, seen the TV series or listened to the radio series before I went to see Hitchhiker's at an advanced screening on Tuesday. The film blew me away! It's definitely the best film I've seen this year. Alan Rickman and Stephen Fry - inspirational casting. Get along to see it - before you can say thanks for all the fish!
Louise H, Strood, UK
Righty. Saw it last night and I'm still not sure about it. Didn't like it at the start, by the middle I thought it was the best thing ever, but by the end I thought it was going a bit all over the shop. Can't see anyone, not already familiar with the books/radio/TV version being able to follow it all that well. Couldn't understand a word Mos Def was saying for the majority of the film. A lot of the Vogon stuff looked very Terry Gilliam though (that's a good thing).
They've set it up for the next book, but I don't know if the film will do well enough for a go ahead for sequels and it looks like the said sequel is going to have an Arthur/Trillian love story... oh dear. Anyhow, great visuals. The whole Magrathen Factory floor was impressive. Look out for the original Marvin (though he's not hard to spot. They give him a lot of screen time for a throwaway gag.)
Robbie Bonham, Dublin, Ireland
I saw the film last night and as a fan I was very happy. Douglas would have been proud. I found that people who have not read Hitchhiker's found it weird and did not like it. My daughter of eight loved it so much see wants to see it again.
I'm a lifelong fan of Douglas Adams, a Californian anglophile who moved to the UK last year. Simply put, the film is fantastic! It ventures off and becomes its own animal. The books were not a direct copy of the radio series and the 80s mini-series wasn't a direct copy from the books. Hitchhiker's Guide always does its best when it's doing the same thing differently. And Douglas Adams himself obviously wanted the movie to have its own identity as he created new characters specifically for the film.
Charles Daniels, Oxford, UK
Back in 1978 I listened to the very first Radio 4 broadcast of HHGG. It was love at first listen. After my ranting in the playground my close friends joined in the fun with episode two. Will I see it? You bet!
Andy Chisholm, Bournemouth, UK
Book - excellent. Radio show - brilliant. Film - can't wait! Although living in Rickmansworth, I still can't find the cafe he referred to, when the world ends.
Ahrrgghh - don't want to read any more! I've got tickets booked for Saturday to take my son (age 10) who has no idea what The Hitchhiker's guide is even though we have the radio script and book at home. I'm at least hoping for something that I can recognise as Hitchhiker's and if it makes my son pick up the book when we get home (like Sahara did) all the better.
Pauline Yates, Suffolk
I saw the film at an advanced screening on Tuesday. As a fan, it left me cold. As a cinema goer it was okay. As a way to introduce a new generation to the world of Douglas Adams I thought it was great. The laughter from the four young lads sat behind us in the cinema was a testament to the longevity of the 'genre' that is 'hitchhikers'. I may not have liked it, but it is now difficult to disapprove of it. I hope it brings a lot of joy to a whole new cross section of society.
Well, having just got back from seeing it, here's some advice - just watch it as a film. Don't go comparing it to the books. It stands as a good piece of work in it's own right. There has never been an accurate book to screen conversion. This doesn't try to be, but it succeeds at what it sets out to do - to entertain.
Paul Milliken, Guildford
I have just seen the film and although some of the scenes are slightly out of context with the book, it must be said that the director and producers have hit the nail on the head. Zaphod is "yep" Zaphod. Moss Deff does a reasonable job as Ford and Martin Freeman wanders aimlessly. Marvin however is the star, A brain the size of a planet and a head to match. Loved the film Lets see the next.
Gary Jackson-Burton, Aylesbury UK
I'm going to watch it for two reasons: Firstly, Douglas Adams had been working towards a film - this has at least half a chance of meeting his vision in some way. Secondly, Stephen Fry, Adams' friend is The Book. That's quite an endorsement.
Phil Dillon, Chatham, U.K.
Just seen it. It's faithful to Douglas' memory, and Martin Freeman makes Arthur Dent his own.
Chris Page, Letchworrth, UK
Just got back from seeing the film. I thought it was very average, the love story between Arthur and Trillian doesn't work and the story is very choppy. Some of the best bits from the book have been left out. Not a patch on the TV series or radio show.
James Thorne, Fulham, London
Watched, heard and read it in that order. If Adams wrote the script for the first one, then I can make time for it. If they make films of the following books, I might not bother.
Not a chance, special effects are no substitute for good jokes and Hitchhiker's is meant to be funny. What I am looking forward to is the next radio instalment!
Ruth, NYC, US (ex-pat)
I do not plan on seeing this. Reading the books sets a lot of expectations and a movie can only be a three dimensional product restricted by interpretation and budgets .
Hema Pratapa, Washington, DC
Can't wait! I've read the books twice and was even a fan of the hokey TV series (shown here on PBS). I'm ready to meet Arthur Dent and Zaphod at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
Jim Hawkins, Atlanta, GA USA
6th May (the US opening) can't come soon enough for me. I just hope the local cinemas can find room for it among all the usual Hollywood fluff.
John Mycroft, Asheville, NC USA
I've been an HHGTTG fan for 25 years. Books, radio, TV and computer adventure game. Each one of them has been creative and fun in its own way. This is the last significant piece of work we'll ever see that has Douglas' hand in it, I intend to enjoy every last bit.
Mark Ryder, St. Petersburg, FL USA
I saw the film last night at a preview showing. Overall, it was a decent film. Although it was a Disney film, it managed to retain an air of British-ness that was most appreciated. Not a complete side splitter but enjoyable none the less. Look out for several unexpected cameos!
Jon Melson, Northumberland, UK
I expect to see it Friday. I'm reassured by the reviews that the film makers did a good job with it. But it might be a mixed blessing. My eight-year-old daughter is already making "Marvin" jokes, and she's only seen the previews.
Robert, Sacramento, USA
I will definitely see this, I'm looking forward to it. Must admit to avoiding the series - regrettably. Although, it is good to see this without any expectations or comparisons.
Andy Fletcher, Maidstone, Kent
I can't wait to see to see the film. It's a shame the BBC aren't showing the TV series so I can compare them.
Tim W, Wandsworth
I saw it in a preview last night and am pleased to say it makes an excellent film. I'm not worried that the plot and characters may have changed a bit - after all, the books, radio and TV series famously contradict each other anyway!
Ian Ferguson, Southampton, UK
In reference to Tori's comment, the "character they've made up" was actually created by Douglas Adams specifically for the film script. I'm undecided. I may just wait for the DVD release and borrow it off a friend.
I'll be watching it - although I'll wait until the crowds have gone down. I've got the books, radio series and the DVD of the TV series.
I was lucky enough to see the film at the premiere in Leicester Square a week or so ago, and as an incredibly dedicated fan of the series I was pleased to see that it hadn't been ruined. Reviews so far have either been ecstatic or derisory, yet I believe it's in the middle. A good film, worthy of the Hitchhiker's name, but not that amazing.
Disney has made a very visual film. Unfortunately, HHG is a very witty and verbal story. They've mangled the original dialogue, because they don't understand or value it. This is a pity because the film could have been great. Yes, see the movie. Be sure to read the book - it's so much better.
Saw it on Wednesday night. It panders a bit to Hollywood stereotypes, but there's enough spirit of the original book there to make it a fantastic film. The new elements that Douglas brought to the screen play version are lovely.
Chris Merriman, London
I went to see the movie today. As a fan of the original radio series, I was very disappointed. The story was nothing like the original, and never made any real sense. The less said about the ending the better! It seems that the producers wanted to appeal to a wider audience, but in doing so, forgot about the fans.
Nathan, Hemel Hempstead
I'm listening to it on CD now, watching the rest of the TV show on DVD tonight and going tomorrow. Can't wait!
Mitchell Stirling, Reading
I read the book many years ago, saw some of the TV series and missed the radio programme completely. As a virtual Hitchhikers virgin, I'm looking forward to seeing the movie.
Dave Godfrey, Swindon
Probably not - I love the radio series too much.
The great thing about the books, radio and TV series is that they are all different. The trailers look great and I guess us Brits will have to look past the semi-American cast in order to see our dream of Hitchhikers on the big screen.
Andrew, London, UK
I'm hoping to see the film tonight (28 April). Just as the TV version was different from the original radio series, and the books differed again, I expect the film to have further differences. I just hope that it adheres reasonably closely to Douglas Adams' original concept.
Alan, London UK
Update: I have now seen the film and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is different again from the radio, TV and books. The film is taken from the first book with a new sub-plot in the middle. Do not rush out when the credits roll, you will miss the gag about the invasion fleet being swallowed by a small dog. Look out for the TV version of Marvin in a bit part.
Yes, but the radio series is always going to be the definitive version.
Antony, Croydon, UK
I am ready for opening day. For the most part, we have lots of billboard signs for the movie and a few 1/2 minute previews. I'm ready.
Russ Black, Los Angeles, Ca USA
Of course I will see this film! It's about time sci-fi and fantasy began their reign as many of the books are fantastic stories and deserve to be converted to the silver screen.
Please, give us a break! All I've read and heard over the last coupe of weeks is Hitchhikers-this and Hitchhikers-that! I'm simply sick of all the hype!
John B, Gloucester, UK
Have just seen it. Obviously it does miss quite a few bits from the books and radio series but a two hour film could not possibly contain all those details. Excellent effects without going over the top and excellent casting make this an awesome film.
B Jones, Guildford
I am so excited about this film. I have been a fan of the books, TV and radio programme since I was a child. The thought of Alan Rickman as Marvin and Stephen Fry as the book is enough to make me see it. It is a fitting tribute to Douglas Adams that it had finally been made.
I'm booked into a preview with the whole extended family tonight! I am a little concerned that they appear to have made a character up - but that's what happens when books are made into films. My view is that everyone is likely to be disappointed because you create a 'film' in your imagination when you read a book and nothing is as you think it should be. I'll just enjoy it for the movie, and try not to compare!
Yes, absolutely. Hopefully this will be a success - it's certainly got a good grounding. However, there will be the usual group of fans who slate it. I'm really looking forward to it.