The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Episode 3

Season 1, Ep 3, Aired 1/19/81
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  • Episode Description
  • The starship Heart of Gold is headed for the planet Magrathea, a planet which it is generally agreed does not exist. In trying to land on Magrathea's surface, the crew faces an ancient nuclear missile defence system, escaping only when Arthur turns on the Infinite Improbability Drive. This helpfully replaces the missiles with a bowl of petunias and a very surprised sperm whale, who learns about the ground before he hits it. Later on, deep in the core of the planet, an unknown enemy attacks Trillian, Zaphod and Ford while Arthur meets Slartibartfast, an old man who designs planets for a living. Slartibartfast takes Arthur on a tour of the factory floor, showing off his latest project — Planet Earth, Mark Two.moreless

  • 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

  • Mark Wing-Davey

    Zaphod Beeblebrox (eps 2-6)

  • David Dixon

    Ford Prefect

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (9)

    • Zaphod: What does the Z mean? Trillian: Which one? Zaphod: Any one.

    • Arthur Dent: The Earth! Slartibartfast: Well, the Earth Mark II, in fact. We're making a copy from our original blueprints. Arthur Dent: Are you telling me you originally *made* the Earth? Slartibartfast: Oh, yes. Did you ever go to a place - I think it was called Norway? Arthur Dent: No. No, I didn't. Slartibartfast: Pity. That was one of mine. Won an award, you know. Lovely crinkly edges.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox: Okay. So, ten out of ten for style, but minus several million for good thinking, huh?

    • Marvin: Life. Don't talk to me about life.

    • Eddie: Hi there. This is Eddie, your shipboard computer, and I'm feeling just great, guys, and I know I'm just going to get a bundle of kicks out of any program you care to run through me. Zaphod Beeblebrox: Computer, if you don't open that exit hatch pretty damn pronto, I shall go straight to your major data banks with a very large axe and give you a reprogramming you will never forget, capisco? (pause) Okay. Get the axe.

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    Trivia (3)

    • 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.

    Allusions (1)

    • 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.

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