The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

BBC Two (ended 1981)


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  • Season 1 Episode 5: Episode 5

  • Peter Davison, who provides the voice of the Dish of the Day in this episode, was about to take up the role of the Doctor in Doctor Who. He remained as the Fifth Doctor from 1981 to 1984.

  • When our heroes are standing in Milliways early in the episode, a stagehand who provides Zaphod's third arm can be clearly seen crouching behind Mark Wing-Davey (Zaphod).

  • Season 1 Episode 3: Episode 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.

  • Season 1 Episode 2: Episode 2

  • 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.

  • Season 1 Episode 1: Episode 1

  • 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.)

More Info About This Show


Comedy, Science Fiction


cultural phenomenon, cheap special effects, alien technology, apocalyptic, beings from another world