The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

BBC Two (ended 1981)
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  • Episode Guide
  • S 1 : Ep 6

    Episode 6

    Aired 2/9/81

  • S 1 : Ep 5

    Episode 5

    Aired 2/2/81

  • S 1 : Ep 4

    Episode 4

    Aired 1/26/81

  • S 1 : Ep 3

    Episode 3

    Aired 1/19/81

  • S 1 : Ep 2

    Episode 2

    Aired 1/12/81

  • Cast & Crew
  • Stephen Moore (I)

    Voices of Marvin/The Whale; Frankie Mouse (eps 2,3,5,6)

  • Peter Jones

    Voice of the Book

  • Simon Jones

    Arthur Dent

  • Dave Prowse

    Bodyguard to Hotblack Desiato

  • David Dixon

    Ford Prefect

  • Photos (1)
  • show Description
  • Don't Panic! The Hitch Hikers' Guide to the Galaxy is a classic British television series from the early 1980s, starting out as a BBC Radio series of six episodes which grew to twelve episodes, then five best-selling books and a hugely successful TV series (this one). Finally, a feature film appeared in 2005. The creator, the late Douglas Adams, had been a script editor on Doctor Who and he once said the idea for the show came to him while he was lying drunk in a field near Innsbruck. Quirky British humour runs through all formats of the Guide, but what sets this version apart from the others of is the animated graphics created by Rod Lord – unlike anything seen on British TV until then. They inspired the animation in a TVO educational series called Landscape of Geometry (1983). The show won several awards, including BAFTA Awards in 1982 for Best Graphics (Rod Lord), and Best Sound Supervisor (Michael McCarthy), as well as an RTS Television Award 1982 for Most Original Programme.moreless

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (60)

    • Prosser: Mr Dent? Arthur: Hello, yes? Prosser: Have you any idea how much damage this bulldozer would suffer if I were to let it roll straight over you? Arthur: How much? Prosser: None at all.

    • Arthur Dent: Good grief, is this really the interior of a flying saucer? Ford Prefect: Yes. What do you think? Arthur Dent: Well, it's a bit squalid, isn't it?

    • Ford Prefect: How are you feeling? Arthur Dent: Like a military academy. Bits of me keep passing out. Ford, if I were to ask you where the hell we were, would I regret it? Ford Prefect: We're safe. Arthur Dent: Ah. Good. Ford Prefect: We're in a cabin of one of the spaceships of the Vogon Constructor Fleet. Arthur Dent: Ah. This is obviously some strange usage of the word 'safe' that I hadn't previously been aware of.

    • Vogon Captain: What do you mean you've never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heaven's sake, mankind, it's only four light years away, you know. I'm sorry, but if you can't be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that's your own look-out. Energize the demolition beam. I don't know. Apathetic bloody planet. I have no sympathy at all.

    • Ford Prefect: Drink up. The world's about to end. Arthur Dent: This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays. Barman: Oh, well, last orders, please.

    • Ford Prefect: How would you react if I told you that I'm not from Guildford after all, but from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse? Arthur Dent: I don't know. Why? Do you think it's the sort of thing you're likely to say?

    • Ford Prefect: Time is an illusion, lunch-time doubly so. Arthur: Deep, very deep. You should send that in to the Reader's Digest, they've got a page for people like you.

    • Ford Prefect: Six pints of bitter, and quickly, please. The world's about to end. Barman: Oh, yes, sir? Nice weather for it.

    Show More Quotes

    Notes (8)

    • Douglas Adams, the creator of The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, makes a cameo appearance in this episode as a man in the pub near Arthur Dent's house.

    • The role of Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz was originally offered to Sir John Gielgud.

    • The Dentrassi which appears as Ford switches on the lights in the Vogon ship is a puppet and not an actor.

    • Rumor had it that Douglas Adams had asked a complex question to his writing partner of the mid-70s, Monty Python's Graham Chapman, and Chapman simply said "42." Adams went to his grave denying this.

    • Douglas Adams himself scrawled the various number 42s on the wall of the Atomic Fallout Shelter on Jikthroom Beta.

    • Peter Davison, the voice of the Dish of the Day, was married at the time to Sandra Dickinson, who plays Trillian.

    • In the Golgafrincham ship sequence, about one minute and fifty-three seconds after Ford is given his jynnan tonnyx by Number Three, its colour changes from yellow to red. The drinking glass the drink is in changes from translucent to transparent about thirty-seven seconds after the colour change.

    • The 'B' Ark Captain's three-year bath reflects Douglas Adams's own work habits. Associate producer of The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy John Lloyd has said "I think his works should be measured in baths. This took 150,000 baths to write."

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (10)

    • On the number 42, Douglas Adams may have had this in mind. If you take two six-sided dice and add up the numbers on all sides, you get a total of forty-two. So a pair o' dice can stand for 'paradise'.

    • Much to Douglas Adams's horror, the BBC considered airing this episode with a laugh track. Luckily, they thought better of it.

    • In the book, Ford says the Earth's minor entry in the Guide was listed just above Eccentrica Gallumbits' listing. On the TV show, however, Ford says the Earth is listed "at the bottom of the screen, under Eccentrica Gallumbits…"

    • In space, no one can hear sound. The only way we could hear bits of the Earth's remains whizzing is if the atmosphere of the planet Earth lingered somewhat intact in the first few seconds after demolition. (The same sound problem recurs in Episode 2, when a door in the Vogon Constructor fleet is heard clanging shut.)

    • The Vogon Constructor Fleet makes a six light-year jump from the rubble of the Earth to a point somewhere near Barnard's Star. In the book, Arthur Dent complains about being "thrown out of an alien space ship six light years from the smoking remains of the Earth", but in this episode, Arthur says "five light years", thus showing his inexperience as a galactic hitch-hiker.

    • In the radio version of this episode (but not in the TV version) Zaphod asks for an atmosphere check of the planet and is told "It's okay, but it smells a bit".

    • The Infinite Improbability Drive from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy now has its own entry in Wikipedia. In a nutshell, the drive enables much faster-than-light space travel and is based on quantum theory. A sub-atomic particle is likely to be in a particular place, but there is also a possibility of it being found light years away. Thus, matter can travel from place to place without passing through the intervening hyperspace, by means of controlling probability.

    • After Arthur activates the Infinite Improbability Drive, the travellers are seen lying in a heap on the floor. But this tangle of four heroes, if examined closely, proves to have five pairs of legs sticking out of it, rather than four. The extra legs are those of a stage hand who was attached to Zaphod Beeblebrox, providing his third arm.

    Show More Trivia

    Allusions (2)

    • Human intelligence - historical allusion. This concept is illustrated by a series of pictures of human behaviour including war. One of which is based on Eddie Adams' famous photograph of the execution of a Viet Cong guerilla in 1968.

    • Book: If you've done six impossible things this morning, why not round it off with breakfast at Milleways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe? In Lewis Carroll's book Through the Looking Glass, Alice says "One can't believe impossible things", and the White Queen replies - "I dare say you haven't had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

  • Fan Reviews (12)
  • One of my favorite stories of all time!

    By TwilightKid, Aug 30, 2013

  • The TV adaptation of Douglas Adams' classic radio series, just isn't that great.

    By fgyjmyrjmetdgjh, Feb 01, 2006

  • Absurdly funny series that I still thank my lucky stars for stumbling into all these years later.

    By sistersun, Mar 09, 2007

  • Based on the books by Douglas Adams

    By Amyok, Mar 12, 2007

  • Hilarious

    By dhaworth, Nov 02, 2006

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