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.
The Worst Poem in the Universe:
The dead swans lay in the stagnant pool.
They lay. They rotted. They turned around occasionally.
Bits of flesh dropped off them from time to time
And sank into the pool's mire.
They also smelt a great deal.
By Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings, Greenbridge, Essex, England.
O Frettled Gruntbuggly, thy micturations are to me
As plurdled gabbleblotchits on a lurgid bee.
Groop, I implore thee, my foonting turlingdromes,
And hooptiously drangle me with crinkly bindlewurdles,
Lest I rend thee in the gobberwarts with my blurgle-cruncheon.
See if I don't.
Arthur Dent: What the hell's that?
Ford Prefect: Well, if we're lucky, it's the Vogon Guard come to throw us into space.
Arthur Dent: And if we're unlucky?
Ford Prefect: The Vogon Captain might want to read us some of his poetry first.
The Book: Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the galaxy lies a small, unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly 92 million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a really neat idea. And lots of the people were mean, and most of them were miserable, even the ones with digital watches. Many were increasingly of the opinion that they all made a big mistake in coming out of the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move and that no one should ever have left the oceans.
Vogon Guard: Resistance is useless.
Ford Prefect: So, the hours are good, are they?
Vogon Guard: Yeah. Though now that you come to mention it, most of the actual minutes are pretty lousy. Except some of the shouting. I quite like "Resistance is..."
Ford Prefect: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You're good at that.
Arthur Dent: You know, it's at times like this, when I'm stuck in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, about to die of asphyxiation in deep space, that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young.
Ford Prefect: Why? What did she tell you?
Arthur Dent: I don't know! I didn't listen.
Ford Prefect: Great idea of mine. Find a passing spaceship, get rescued by it.
Ford Prefect: (turns into a penguin, as Arthur's leg drifts off into the sunset) Hey. Quack. Who are you? Where are you? What's going on? Quack. Is there any way of stopping it?
Trillian: Please relax. You are perfectly safe.
Ford Prefect: That is not the point. Quack. The point is, I am now a perfectly safe penguin, and my colleague here is rapidly running out of limbs.
Trillian: We will be restoring normality as soon as we are sure what is normal anyway. Thank you.
Trillian: Probability factor of one to one. We have normality. I repeat, we have normality... Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem.
Ford: (to Vogon Guard) Look! There's a whole world you know nothing about! Listen! How about this? How about this? (hums first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony) Doesn't that stir anything in you?
Vogon Guard: No. (he shoves Ford into air lock) But I'll tell my aunt what you said.