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At the end of Mostly Harmless,

Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz manages to destroy earth once and for all with all inhabitants of the earth, including Ford, Trillian and Arthur, dead. Also, Fenchurch doesn’t reappear.

The epilogue of the Quintessential Phase of the H2G2 ends differently:

The Babelfish saves the protagonists by transporting them to Milliways, where they are re-united with Marvin, the Dolphins, and Fenchurch is working as a waitress waiting for Arthur.

And Another Thing picks up where Mostly Harmless ended and obviously diverts from the radio series (I haven’t read the book, but that’s according to Wikipedia).

Does the Hexagonal Phase discharge the epilogue of the Quintessential Phase? In essence, does

Fenchurch appear again, as she is the only character that was missing in And Another Thing but included in the Quintessential Phase.

After listening to the first episode (which was utterly confusing, to be honest), I figured that

the alternate ending of the Quintessential Phase was part of The Guide MkII’s alternate time universe, and as Fenchurch doesn’t appear at the end of that timeline when the battery’s empty, she probably doesn’t appear in the other episodes either, although Jane Horrocks is credited as voice actress.

But - as stated above - I’m still utterly confused: Is the Hexagonal Phase of the H2G2 radio series consistent with previous books or previous radio series?

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tl;dr: Yes, more or less.

The Hexagonal Phase:

  • is primarily based on ... And Another Thing

  • but also uses published and unpublished material by Douglas Adams

  • and has a few new things of its own

Thus, the Hexagonal phase is as consistent with its source material as any other book, radio, or TV episode.

It's tricky to answer, given the inconsistency between all versions of the story, and because Eoin Colfer pretty much did as he pleased.

One thing to note is that Fenchurch does not appear in the Hexagonal phase. Although Arthur hears and sees a Fenchurch-like form, this is actually a computer hologram, based on his memories.

That said, I've only listened through to episode 5 so far, so she might be brought back in episode 6.

The episodes are reasonably consistent with Colfer's book, but are an adaptation which also uses some of the content from the previous radio series, as well as a few things from the Adams books.

In that respect, the Hexagonal Phase can be said to be as consistent as any other version. Insofar as consistency can be measured with Hitchhikers, which is not very much.

The writers of the radio scripts have tried, as they did with previous series, to keep a more-or-less logical interpretation of the books, radio series, etc., that brings together most of the narratives.

The end of he Quintessential phase was written that way to tie together everything, and to give listeners a sense of completion. It was expected to be the absolute last series ever.

Then Colfer came along, and wrote a book which was a sequel to the book series.

This meant that a new radio series could be written (since Colfer's book is technically, if not popularly, canon), but of course the Hexagonal adaptation now had to account for both the book and the end of the previous series.

Don't forget that the Tertiary phase completely ignores the Secondary, passing those events off as one of Zaphod's delusions. Although the Quintessential had a wee nod back to that series, with Arthur getting into the shower with three of the Lintilla clones.

The upshot of this is that the Hexagonal Phase is as consistent with everything, as far as consistency can be maintained in the whole sort of general mish-mash.

  • Thanks, guess I’ll stick to my Quintessential Phase ending then. – Narusan Apr 8 '18 at 22:29
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    @Narusan Personally, while I will add the Hexagonal phase to my collection, I consider both it and the Colfer book as non-canon. For me, Hitchhikers ended with Mostly Harmless and the Quintessential Phase. – Tim Apr 8 '18 at 23:04
  • Wasn't And Another Thing published before the Quintessential Phase was written? – OrangeDog Apr 9 '18 at 13:14
  • @OrangeDog No. And Another Thing was published in 2009, while the Quintessential Phase has been produced in 2003/04 – Narusan Apr 9 '18 at 17:50
  • I always thought it a shame that the revelations of the Secondary phase were ignored. The idea of Arthur setting off on a campaign to destroy Zaphod could be great fun, even if they come to a resolution later. I was happy to see the Lintillae come back, tho. BTW, what does everybody think of this James Goss fellow? He's done a pretty good job with the adaptations of Adams' Doctor Who stuff. He pretty much based everything on what Adams did, but he's got a nice style. – VBartilucci Jul 10 '18 at 13:03

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