The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Season 1 Episode 1

Episode 1

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Jan 05, 1981 on BBC Two



  • Trivia

    • 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.)

  • Quotes

    • 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.

    • The Book: This is the story of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, perhaps the most remarkable, certainly the most successful book ever to come out of the great publishing corporation of Ursa Minor. More popular than The Celestial Home Care Omnibus, better selling than Fifty Three More Things to Do in Zero Gravity, and more controversial than Oolon Colluphid's trilogy of philosophical blockbusters: Where God Went Wrong, Some More of God's Greatest Mistakes, and Who Is This God Person, Anyway?

    • Arthur : (hears loud crashing noise) What's that?
      Ford : Don't worry, they haven't started yet.
      Arthur : Oh good.
      Ford : It's probably just your house being knocked down.

    • Ford(upon giving Arthur a towel): If you're gonna survive out there, you've really got to know where your towel is.

    • Ford Prefect: And no sneaky knocking Mr Dent's house down while he's away, all right?
      Prosser: The slightest thought hadn't even begun to speculate about the merest possibility of crossing my mind.
      Arthur Dent: Can we trust him?
      Ford Prefect: Myself, I'd trust him till the end of the Earth.
      Arthur Dent: Yes, but how far's that?
      Ford Prefect: (looks at watch) About twelve minutes away.

    • Arthur: Look, I hate to ask this, Ford, but what exactly am I doing here (on board the Vogon ship)?

      Ford: Simple. I rescued you from the Earth.

      Arthur: What happened to the Earth?

      Ford: It's been disintegrated.

      Arthur: Has it?

      Ford: Yeah. It just boiled away into space.

      Arthur: Listen, Ford, I'm a bit upset about that.

      Ford(shrugs shoulders): Oh well.

    • (Arthur and Mr. Prosser discuss what is in the public good)

      Arthur: On display? I had to go down to the cellar...
      Mr Prosser: That's the display department...
      Arthur: With a torch!
      Mr. Prosser: The lights had probably gone.....
      Arthur: So had the stairs!!
      Mr. Prosser: But you found the plans, yes?
      Arthur: Oh yes. They were on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying beware of the leopard! Ever thought of going into advertising?

  • Notes

    • 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.

  • Allusions