Arthur Dent's home is destroyed one Thursday morning, only for him to find his
home destroyed on a larger scale when the Earth is demolished by a Vogon
Construction Fleet to make way for a hyperspace bypass. Luckily, he is saved
from certain death by a friend of his named Ford Prefect who handily turns out
not to be from Guildford at all. The pair then has a series of adventures in
which, at one point or another, they are often faced with yet more certain
After the huge success of his Radio 4 series of the same name in 1978 (the
second series appeared in 1979/1980), Douglas Adams developed his ideas for
that show into a TV format, re-arranging some events and re-writing or
The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy first thumbed a lift with the BBC
on January 5th 1981.
Number of Episodes: Six. Plans were afoot for a
second six-part effort for a long time, but nothing ever materialized. A
Hollywood movie is still allegedly in development.
The Good Guys:
Arthur Dent (Simon Jones), an Earthman very much out of his depth when his
planet is blown up; Ford Prefect (David Dixon), a man with a name chosen to
blend in and who doesn't come from Earth at all, rather a small planet
somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse; Zaphod Beeblebrox (Mark Wing-Davey),
two-headed, three-armed and hoopy distant relative of Ford with a colossal ego;
Trillian (Sandra Dickinson), a scientist from Earth saved by Zaphod who Arthur
once met at a party and totally failed to get off with; Marvin (Stephen Moore),
paranoid and depressed android. Oh, and The Book (Peter Jones), packed with
The Bad Guys:
The ancient Magratheans, who fire missiles at our heroes and cause Arthur's arm
to be bruised; two mice who want to dissect Arthur's brain; humane cops who
want to kill Zaphod and co (although they'll agonize over it later) and the
inhabitants of the Golgafrincham B-Ark, but they're more a danger to themselves
and, ultimately, the Earth.
Genre favourite and Doctor Who Black Guardian Valentine Dyall
provides several voices and Peter Davison is heavily disguised as the Dish of
Oh, come on. One of the most original pieces of Sci-Fi comedy ever? Even the
constant threats don't become a cliché.
Slightly naff extra heads, dressing gowns and skimpy red numbers for Trillian.