The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Overview
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a science fiction comedy
Comic science fiction
Comic science fiction is a sub-genre of science fiction that exploits the genre's conventions for comic effect. Comic science fiction often mocks or satirizes standard SF conventions like alien invasion of Earth, interstellar travel, or futuristic technology....

 series created by Douglas Adams
Douglas Adams
Douglas Noel Adams was an English writer and dramatist. He is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which started life in 1978 as a BBC radio comedy before developing into a "trilogy" of five books that sold over 15 million copies in his lifetime, a television...

. Originally a radio comedy
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (radio series)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a science fiction comedy radio series written by Douglas Adams . It was originally broadcast in the United Kingdom by BBC Radio 4 in 1978, and afterwards on global short wave radio on the BBC World Service, National Public Radio in the U.S. and CBC Radio in...

 broadcast on BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

 in 1978, it was later adapted to other formats, and over several years it gradually became an international multi-media phenomenon. Adaptations have included stage shows, a "trilogy" of five books published between 1979 and 1992, a sixth novel penned by Eoin Colfer
Eoin Colfer
Eoin Colfer is an Irish author. He is most famous as the author of the Artemis Fowl series, but he has also written other successful books. His novels have been compared to the works of J. K. Rowling...

 in 2009, a 1981 TV series
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (TV series)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, is a BBC television adaptation of Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy broadcast in January and February 1981 on BBC Two...

, a 1984 computer game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (computer game)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is an interactive fiction computer game based on the comedic science fiction series of the same name. It was designed by series creator Douglas Adams and Infocom's Steve Meretzky, and was first released in 1984 for the Apple II, Macintosh, Commodore 64, DOS,...

, and three series of three-part comic book adaptations of the first three novels published by DC Comics
DC Comics
DC Comics, Inc. is one of the largest and most successful companies operating in the market for American comic books and related media. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment a company of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which itself is owned by Time Warner...

 between 1993 and 1996.
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Quotations

This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from 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.

"Some factual information for you. Have you any idea how much damage that bulldozer would suffer if I just let it roll straight over you?" "How much?" said Arthur. "None at all," said Mr Prosser.

"The mere thought," growled Mr. Prosser, "hadn't even begun to speculate," he continued, settling himself back, "about the merest possibility of crossing my mind."

[The Guide] says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. It says that the effect of a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.

"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so." "Very deep," said Arthur, "you should send that in to the Reader's Digest. They've got a page for people like you."

"This must be Thursday," said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer, "I never could get the hang of Thursdays."

The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.

Encyclopedia
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a science fiction comedy
Comic science fiction
Comic science fiction is a sub-genre of science fiction that exploits the genre's conventions for comic effect. Comic science fiction often mocks or satirizes standard SF conventions like alien invasion of Earth, interstellar travel, or futuristic technology....

 series created by Douglas Adams
Douglas Adams
Douglas Noel Adams was an English writer and dramatist. He is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which started life in 1978 as a BBC radio comedy before developing into a "trilogy" of five books that sold over 15 million copies in his lifetime, a television...

. Originally a radio comedy
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (radio series)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a science fiction comedy radio series written by Douglas Adams . It was originally broadcast in the United Kingdom by BBC Radio 4 in 1978, and afterwards on global short wave radio on the BBC World Service, National Public Radio in the U.S. and CBC Radio in...

 broadcast on BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

 in 1978, it was later adapted to other formats, and over several years it gradually became an international multi-media phenomenon. Adaptations have included stage shows, a "trilogy" of five books published between 1979 and 1992, a sixth novel penned by Eoin Colfer
Eoin Colfer
Eoin Colfer is an Irish author. He is most famous as the author of the Artemis Fowl series, but he has also written other successful books. His novels have been compared to the works of J. K. Rowling...

 in 2009, a 1981 TV series
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (TV series)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, is a BBC television adaptation of Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy broadcast in January and February 1981 on BBC Two...

, a 1984 computer game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (computer game)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is an interactive fiction computer game based on the comedic science fiction series of the same name. It was designed by series creator Douglas Adams and Infocom's Steve Meretzky, and was first released in 1984 for the Apple II, Macintosh, Commodore 64, DOS,...

, and three series of three-part comic book adaptations of the first three novels published by DC Comics
DC Comics
DC Comics, Inc. is one of the largest and most successful companies operating in the market for American comic books and related media. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment a company of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which itself is owned by Time Warner...

 between 1993 and 1996. There were also two series of towels, produced by Beer-Davies, that are considered by some fans to be an "official version" of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, as they include text from the first novel. A Hollywood-funded film version
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (film)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a 2005 comic science fiction film based on the book of the same name by Douglas Adams. Shooting was completed in August 2004 and the movie was released on April 28, 2005 in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and on the following day in Canada and the United...

, produced and filmed in the UK, was released in April 2005, and radio adaptations of the third, fourth, and fifth novels
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Tertiary to Quintessential Phases
The Tertiary Phase, Quandary Phase and Quintessential Phase are radio adaptations of the books Life, the Universe and Everything, So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish and Mostly Harmless produced in 2003 and 2004 by Above the Title Productions for BBC Radio 4...

 were broadcast from 2004 to 2005. Many of these adaptations, including the novels, the TV series, the computer game, and the earliest drafts of the Hollywood film's screenplay, were done by Adams himself, and some of the stage shows introduced new material written by Adams.

The title is the name of a fictional, eccentric, electronic travel guide, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, prominently featured in the series.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is often abbreviated "HHGTTG" (as used on fan websites) or "H2G2" (first used by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman
Neil Richard Gaiman born 10 November 1960)is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films. His notable works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book...

 as a chapter title in Don't Panic
Don't Panic: The Official Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Companion
Don't Panic: The Official Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Companion is a book by Neil Gaiman about Douglas Adams and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy...

and later by the online guide run by the BBC
H2g2
h2g2 is a British-based collaborative online encyclopedia project engaged in the construction of, in its own words, "an unconventional guide to life, the universe, and everything", in the spirit of the fictional publication The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy from the science fiction comedy series...

). The series is also often referred to as "The Hitchhiker's Guide", "Hitchhiker's", or simply "[The] Guide". This title can refer to any of the various incarnations of the story of which the books are the most widely distributed, having been translated into more than 30 languages by 2005.

Plot


The various versions follow the same basic plot but they are in many places mutually contradictory, as Adams rewrote the story substantially for each new adaptation. Throughout all versions, the series follows the adventures of Arthur Dent
Arthur Dent
Arthur Philip Dent is a fictional character, the hapless protagonist and anti-hero in the comic science fiction series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams....

, a hapless Englishman
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

, although the story also follows the adventure of other major characters: Ford Prefect
Ford Prefect (character)
Ford Prefect is a fictional character in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by the British author Douglas Adams. He is the only character other than the protagonist, Arthur Dent, to appear throughout the entire Hitchhiker's saga.-Name:Although Ford had taken great care to blend into Earth...

, who named himself after the Ford Prefect
Ford Prefect
Ford Prefect may refer to:* Ford Prefect , a line of British cars produced by the UK section of the Ford Motor Company from 1948 - 1961* Ford Prefect , a character in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, named after the car...

 car because his real name is impossible to say, an alien
Extraterrestrial life in popular culture
In popular cultures, "extraterrestrials" are life forms — especially intelligent life forms— that are of extraterrestrial origin .-Historical ideas:-Pre-modern:...

 from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse
Betelgeuse
Betelgeuse, also known by its Bayer designation Alpha Orionis , is the eighth brightest star in the night sky and second brightest star in the constellation of Orion, outshining its neighbour Rigel only rarely...

 who is a researcher for the eponym
Eponym
An eponym is the name of a person or thing, whether real or fictitious, after which a particular place, tribe, era, discovery, or other item is named or thought to be named...

ous guidebook; Zaphod Beeblebrox
Zaphod Beeblebrox
Zaphod Beeblebrox is a fictional character in the various versions of the humorous science fiction story The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams who based him on his Cambridge contemporary, Johnny Simpson....

, Ford's semi-cousin and the Galactic President; the depressed robot
Robot
A robot is a mechanical or virtual intelligent agent that can perform tasks automatically or with guidance, typically by remote control. In practice a robot is usually an electro-mechanical machine that is guided by computer and electronic programming. Robots can be autonomous, semi-autonomous or...

 Marvin the Paranoid Android
Marvin the Paranoid Android
Marvin, the Paranoid Android, is a fictional character in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams. Marvin is the ship's robot aboard the starship Heart of Gold...

; and Trillian
Trillian (character)
Tricia McMillan, also known as Trillian Astra, is a fictional character from Douglas Adams' series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. She is most commonly referred to simply as "Trillian", a modification of her birth name, which she adopted because it sounded more "space-like". According to the...

, formerly known as Tricia McMillan, a woman Arthur once met at a party in Islington and the only other human survivor of Earth's destruction.

Background


The first radio series comes from a proposal called "The Ends of the Earth": six self-contained episodes, all ending with the Earth being destroyed in a different way. While writing the first episode, Adams realised that he needed someone on the planet who was an alien to provide some context, and that this alien needed a reason to be there. Adams finally settled on making the alien a roving researcher for a "wholly remarkable book" named The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. As the first radio episode's writing progressed, the Guide became the centre of his story, and he decided to focus the series on it, with the destruction of Earth being the only hold-over.

Adams claimed that the title came from a 1971 incident while he was hitchhiking
Hitchhiking
Hitchhiking is a means of transportation that is gained by asking people, usually strangers, for a ride in their automobile or other road vehicle to travel a distance that may either be short or long...

 around Europe as a young man with a copy of the Hitch-hiker's Guide to Europe
Hitch-hiker's Guide to Europe
The Hitch-hiker's Guide to Europe was a guide book, copyright 1971 by Ken Welsh and first published that year in the UK by Pan Books. A first American edition was published in 1972 by Stein and Day, New York, NY, USA....

book, and while lying drunk in a field in Innsbruck
Innsbruck
- Main sights :- Buildings :*Golden Roof*Kaiserliche Hofburg *Hofkirche with the cenotaph of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor*Altes Landhaus...

 with a copy of the book and looking up at the stars, thought it would be a good idea for someone to write a hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy as well. However, he later claimed that he had told this story so many times that he had forgotten the incident itself, and only remembered himself telling the story. His friends are quoted as saying that Adams mentioned the idea of "hitch-hiking around the galaxy" to them while on holiday in Greece in 1973.

Adams's fictional Guide is an electronic guidebook to the Milky Way
Milky Way
The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains the Solar System. This name derives from its appearance as a dim un-resolved "milky" glowing band arching across the night sky...

 galaxy, originally published by Megadodo Publications, one of the great publishing houses of Ursa Minor Beta. The narrative of the various versions of the story are frequently punctuated with excerpts from the Guide. The voice of the Guide (Peter Jones
Peter Jones (actor)
Peter Jones was an English actor, screenwriter and broadcaster.-Early life and career:Jones was born in Wem, Shropshire and he was educated at the Wem Grammar School and Ellesmere College. He made his first appearance as an actor in Wolverhampton at the age of 16 and then appeared in repertory...

 in the first two radio series and TV versions, later William Franklyn
William Franklyn
William Leo Franklyn was a British actor, perhaps best known for voicing the "Schhh... You Know Who" adverts for Schweppes from 1965 to 1973...

 in the third, fourth and fifth radio series, and Stephen Fry
Stephen Fry
Stephen John Fry is an English actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, television presenter and film director, and a director of Norwich City Football Club. He first came to attention in the 1981 Cambridge Footlights Revue presentation "The Cellar Tapes", which also...

 in the movie version), also provides general narration.

Original radio series


The first radio series of six episodes (called "Fits" after the names of the sections of Lewis Carroll
Lewis Carroll
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson , better known by the pseudonym Lewis Carroll , was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer. His most famous writings are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, as well as the poems "The Hunting of the...

's nonsense poem "The Hunting of the Snark
The Hunting of the Snark
The Hunting of the Snark is usually thought of as a nonsense poem written by Lewis Carroll in 1874, when he was 42 years old...

") was broadcast in 1978 on BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

. Despite a low-key launch of the series (the first episode was broadcast at 10:30 pm on Wednesday, 8 March 1978), it received generally good reviews and a tremendous audience reaction for radio. A one-off episode (a "Christmas special") was broadcast later in the year. The BBC was in the practice, at the time, of commissioning "Christmas Special" episodes for popular radio series, and while an early draft of this episode of The Hitchhiker's Guide had a Christmas-related plotline, it was decided to be "in slightly poor taste" and the episode as transmitted served as a bridge between the two series. This episode was released as part of the second radio series and, later, The Secondary Phase on cassettes and CDs. The Primary and Secondary Phases were aired, in a slightly edited version, in the United States on NPR Playhouse
NPR Playhouse
NPR Playhouse was a series of radio dramas from National Public Radio. The series was a successor to the NPR series Earplay and was discontinued in September 2002....

.

The first series was repeated twice in 1978 alone and many more times in the next few years. This led to an LP re-recording, produced independently of the BBC for sale, and a further adaptation of the series as a book. A second radio series, which consisted of a further six episodes, and bringing the total number of episodes to 12, was broadcast in 1980.

The radio series (and the LP and TV versions) greatly benefited from the narration of noted comedy actor Peter Jones
Peter Jones (actor)
Peter Jones was an English actor, screenwriter and broadcaster.-Early life and career:Jones was born in Wem, Shropshire and he was educated at the Wem Grammar School and Ellesmere College. He made his first appearance as an actor in Wolverhampton at the age of 16 and then appeared in repertory...

 as The Book. He was cast after it was decided that a "Peter-Jonesy" sort of voice was required. This led to a three-month search for an actor who sounded exactly like Peter Jones, and was, eventually, unsuccessful, so, leading to the producers having to reluctantly, and indeed expensively, hire Peter Jones as the 'Peter Jonesy' kind of voice originally looked for. His sonorous, avuncular tones undoubtedly gave the series a tremendous boost and firmly established the tenor of the piece.

The series was also notable for its use of sound, being the first comedy series to be produced in stereo. Adams said that he wanted the programme's production to be comparable to that of a modern rock album. Much of the programme's budget was spent on sound effects, which were largely the work of Paddy Kingsland
Paddy Kingsland
Paddy Kingsland is a composer of electronic music best known for his incidental music for science fiction series on BBC radio and television whilst working at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Educated at Eggars Grammar School, Alton, in Hampshire, he joined the BBC as a tape editor before moving on to...

 (for the pilot episode and the complete second series) and Dick Mills
Dick Mills
Dick Mills is a British sound engineer, specialising in electronic sound effects which he produced at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop....

 and Harry Parker (for the remaining episodes (2–6) of the first series). The fact that they were at the forefront of modern radio production in 1978 and 1980 was reflected when the three new series of Hitchhiker's became some of the first radio shows to be mixed into four-channel Dolby Surround
Dolby Surround
Dolby Surround was the earliest consumer version of Dolby's multichannel analog film sound decoding format Dolby Stereo introduced to the public in 1982 during the time home video recording formats were introducing Stereo and HiFi capability...

. This mix was also featured on DVD releases of the third radio series.

The theme tune used for the radio, television, LP and film versions is "Journey of the Sorcerer", an instrumental
Instrumental
An instrumental is a musical composition or recording without lyrics or singing, although it might include some non-articulate vocal input; the music is primarily or exclusively produced by musical instruments....

 piece composed by Bernie Leadon
Bernie Leadon
Bernard Mathew "Bernie" Leadon, III is an American musician and songwriter, best known as a founding member of the Eagles. Prior to the Eagles, he was a member of two pioneering and highly influential country rock bands, Dillard & Clark and the Flying Burrito Brothers...

 and recorded by The Eagles on their album One of These Nights
One of These Nights
One of These Nights is the fourth studio album by the Eagles, released in 1975. The record's title song became the group's second #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100, in July of that year. The album released three Top 10 singles, "One Of These Nights", "Lyin' Eyes", and "Take It To The Limit". Those...

. Only the transmitted radio series used the original recording; a sound-alike cover by Tim Souster
Tim Souster
Tim Souster was a British composer best known for his electronic music output.- Background :Born Timothy Andrew James Souster in Bletchley, Buckinghamshire, Souster was educated at Bedford Modern School and New College, Oxford...

 was used for the LP and TV series, another arrangement by Joby Talbot
Joby Talbot
Joby Talbot is a British composer.Born in Wimbledon, London, Talbot studied composition at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under Brian Elias and Simon Bainbridge....

 was used for the 2005 film, and still another arrangement, this time by Philip Pope
Philip Pope
Philip R. J. Pope is a British composer and actor. He was educated at Downside School and New College, Oxford.-Performer:He appeared in the Oxford Revue in Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1978 and 1979, both with Angus Deayton...

, was recorded to be released with the CDs of the last three radio series. Apparently, Adams chose this song for its futuristic-sounding nature, but also for the fact that it had a banjo
Banjo
In the 1830s Sweeney became the first white man to play the banjo on stage. His version of the instrument replaced the gourd with a drum-like sound box and included four full-length strings alongside a short fifth-string. There is no proof, however, that Sweeney invented either innovation. This new...

 in it, which, as Geoffrey Perkins
Geoffrey Perkins
Geoffrey Howard Perkins was a comedy producer, writer and performer, and an important figure in British comedy broadcasting. This was recognised in December 2008 when he was awarded with an Outstanding Contribution to Comedy Award...

 recalls, Adams said would give it an "on the road, hitch-hiking feel."

The twelve episodes were released (in a slightly edited form, removing the Pink Floyd music and two other tunes "Hummed" by Marvin when the team land on Magrathea) on CD and cassette in 1988, becoming the first CD release in the BBC Radio Collection
BBC Radio Collection
The BBC Radio Collection was an imprint or record label used for audio books from the British Broadcasting Corporation, mainly of previously broadcast material...

. They were re-released in 1992, and at this time Adams suggested that they could retitle Fits the First through Sixth as "The Primary Phase" and Fits the Seventh through Twelfth as "The Secondary Phase" instead of just "the first series" and "the second series". It was about at this time that a "Tertiary Phase" was first discussed with Dirk Maggs, adapting Life, the Universe and Everything, but this series would not be recorded for another ten years.

The audience survey reaction report at the time actually reported a very split reaction – people hated it, or loved it. The decision to commission the second series was backed by gut management instincts rather than clear metrics.

Main cast:
  • Simon Jones
    Simon Jones (actor)
    Simon Jones is an English actor, most famous for his appearances in the television and radio series of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, in which he played the lead role of Arthur Dent from 1978 to 2005...

     as Arthur Dent
    Arthur Dent
    Arthur Philip Dent is a fictional character, the hapless protagonist and anti-hero in the comic science fiction series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams....

  • Geoffrey McGivern
    Geoffrey McGivern
    Geoffrey McGivern is an English actor in film, radio, stage and television. He was born in Balham, South London and grew up in York. There he attended Archbishop Holgate's School, where he was made Head Boy...

     as Ford Prefect
    Ford Prefect (character)
    Ford Prefect is a fictional character in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by the British author Douglas Adams. He is the only character other than the protagonist, Arthur Dent, to appear throughout the entire Hitchhiker's saga.-Name:Although Ford had taken great care to blend into Earth...

  • Susan Sheridan
    Susan Sheridan
    Susan Sheridan is a British actress. Her voice acting roles include Noddy in the Cosgrove Hall/BBC Television series Noddy's Toyland Adventures, Trillian in the radio series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Princess Eilonwy in the animated film The Black Cauldron.She has also provided...

     as Trillian
    Trillian (character)
    Tricia McMillan, also known as Trillian Astra, is a fictional character from Douglas Adams' series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. She is most commonly referred to simply as "Trillian", a modification of her birth name, which she adopted because it sounded more "space-like". According to the...

  • Mark Wing-Davey
    Mark Wing-Davey
    Mark Wing-Davey is a British actor and director.-Early life and career:The son of actor and actress Peter Davey and Anna Wing, Wing-Davey went to school at Woolverstone Hall School, before studying at Cambridge University where he was a member of the Footlights from 1967 to 1970.He had a featured...

     as Zaphod Beeblebrox
    Zaphod Beeblebrox
    Zaphod Beeblebrox is a fictional character in the various versions of the humorous science fiction story The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams who based him on his Cambridge contemporary, Johnny Simpson....

  • Stephen Moore
    Stephen Moore (actor)
    Stephen Moore is an English actor, known for his work on British television since the 1980s. He is known for his appearances in Rock Follies and other TV series such as The Last Place on Earth, the children's series The Queen's Nose and the drama Mersey Beat and the British TV comedy series Solo,...

     as Marvin, the Paranoid Android
    Marvin the Paranoid Android
    Marvin, the Paranoid Android, is a fictional character in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams. Marvin is the ship's robot aboard the starship Heart of Gold...

  • Richard Vernon
    Richard Vernon
    Richard Vernon was a British actor. He appeared in many feature films and television programmes, often in aristocratic or supercilious roles...

     as Slartibartfast
    Slartibartfast
    Slartibartfast is a fictional character in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a comedy/science fiction series created by Douglas Adams. The character appears in the first and third novels, the first and third radio series , the 1981 television series and the 2005 feature film...

  • Peter Jones
    Peter Jones (actor)
    Peter Jones was an English actor, screenwriter and broadcaster.-Early life and career:Jones was born in Wem, Shropshire and he was educated at the Wem Grammar School and Ellesmere College. He made his first appearance as an actor in Wolverhampton at the age of 16 and then appeared in repertory...

     as The Book
    The Guide (character)
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a fictional electronic guide book in the multimedia scifi/comedy series of the same name by Douglas Adams. The Guide serves as "the standard repository for all knowledge and wisdom" for many members of the series' galaxy-spanning civilization...



Novels


The novels are described as "a trilogy
Trilogy
A trilogy is a set of three works of art that are connected, and that can be seen either as a single work or as three individual works. They are commonly found in literature, film, or video games...

 in five parts", having been described as a trilogy on the release of the third book, and then a "trilogy in four parts" on the release of the fourth book. The US edition of the fifth book was originally released with the legend "The fifth book in the increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker's Trilogy" on the cover. Subsequent re-releases of the other novels bore the legend "The [first, second, third, fourth] in the increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker's trilogy". In addition, the blurb on the fifth book humorously describes the book as "the book that gives a whole new meaning to the word 'trilogy.

The plots of the television and radio series are more or less the same as that of the first two novels, though some of the events occur in a different order and many of the details are changed. Much of parts five and six of the radio series were written by John Lloyd
John Lloyd (writer)
John Hardress Wilfred Lloyd CBE is a British comedy writer and television producer. He is the great nephew of John Hardress Lloyd.-Early life and career:...

, but his material did not make it into the other versions of the story and is not included here. Some consider the books' version of events to be definitive, because they are the most readily accessible and widely distributed version of the story. However, they are not the final version that Adams produced.

Before his death from a heart attack at age 49 in 2001, Adams was considering writing a sixth novel in the Hitchhiker's series. He was working on a third Dirk Gently
Dirk Gently
Dirk Gently is a fictional character created by Douglas Adams and featured in the books Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul...

 novel under the working title, The Salmon of Doubt
The Salmon of Doubt
The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time is a posthumous collection of previously published and unpublished material by Douglas Adams...

, but felt that the book was not working and abandoned it. In an interview, he said some of the ideas in the book might fit better in the Hitchhiker's series, and suggested he might rework those ideas into a sixth book in that series. He described Mostly Harmless as "a very bleak book" and said he "would love to finish Hitchhiker on a slightly more upbeat note". Adams also remarked that if he were to write a sixth instalment, he would at least start with all the characters in the same place. Eoin Colfer, who wrote the sixth book in the Hitchhiker's series in 2008–09, used this latter concept but apparently none of the plot ideas from The Salmon of Doubt.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (published in 1979), the characters visit the legendary planet Magrathea, home to the now-collapsed planet-building industry, and meet Slartibartfast
Slartibartfast
Slartibartfast is a fictional character in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a comedy/science fiction series created by Douglas Adams. The character appears in the first and third novels, the first and third radio series , the 1981 television series and the 2005 feature film...

, a planetary coastline designer who was responsible for the fjords of Norway. Through archival recordings, he relates the story of a race of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings who built a computer named Deep Thought to calculate the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. When the answer was revealed to be 42, Deep Thought explained that the answer was incomprehensible because the beings didn't know what they were asking. It went on to predict that another computer, more powerful than itself would be made and designed by it to calculate the question for the answer. (Later on, referencing this, Adams would create the 42 Puzzle, a puzzle which could be approached in multiple ways, all yielding the answer 42.)

The computer, often mistaken for a planet (because of its size and use of biological components), was the Earth, and was destroyed by Vogons to make way for a hyperspatial express route, five minutes before the conclusion of its 10-million-year program. Two of a race of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings who commissioned the Earth in the first place, disguise themselves as Trillian's mice, and want to dissect Arthur's brain to help reconstruct the question, since he was part of the Earth's matrix moments before it was destroyed, and so he is likely to have part of the question buried in his brain. Trillian is also human but had left Earth six months previously with Zaphod Beeblebrox, President of the Galaxy. The protagonists escape, setting course for "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe". The mice, in Arthur's absence, create a phony question since it is too troublesome for them to wait 10 million years again just to cash in on a lucrative deal. Their new question was "How many roads must a man walk down?
Blowin' in the Wind
"Blowin' in the Wind" is a song written by Bob Dylan and released on his album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan in 1963. Although it has been described as a protest song, it poses a series of questions about peace, war and freedom...

"

The book was adapted from the first four radio episodes. It was first published in 1979, initially in paperback, by Pan Books
Pan Books
Pan Books is an imprint which first became active in the 1940s and is now part of the British-based Macmillan Publishers owned by German publishers, Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group....

, after BBC Publishing had turned down the offer of publishing a novelisation, an action they would later regret. The book reached number one on the book charts in only its second week, and sold over 250,000 copies within three months of its release. A hardback edition was published by Harmony Books, a division of Random House
Random House
Random House, Inc. is the largest general-interest trade book publisher in the world. It has been owned since 1998 by the German private media corporation Bertelsmann and has become the umbrella brand for Bertelsmann book publishing. Random House also has a movie production arm, Random House Films,...

 in the United States in October 1980, and the 1981 US paperback edition was promoted by the give-away of 3,000 free copies in the magazine Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone is a US-based magazine devoted to music, liberal politics, and popular culture that is published every two weeks. Rolling Stone was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner and music critic Ralph J...

to build word of mouth
Word of mouth
Word of mouth, or viva voce, is the passing of information from person to person by oral communication. Storytelling is the oldest form of word-of-mouth communication where one person tells others of something, whether a real event or something made up. Oral tradition is cultural material and...

. In 2005, Del Rey Books rereleased the Hitchhiker series with new covers for the release of the 2005 movie
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (film)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a 2005 comic science fiction film based on the book of the same name by Douglas Adams. Shooting was completed in August 2004 and the movie was released on April 28, 2005 in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and on the following day in Canada and the United...

. To date, it has sold over 14 million copies.

A photo-illustrated edition of the first novel appeared in 1994.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe


In The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (published in 1980), Zaphod is separated from the others and finds he is part of a conspiracy
Cabal
A cabal is a group of people united in some close design together, usually to promote their private views and/or interests in a church, state, or other community, often by intrigue...

 to uncover who really runs the Universe. Zaphod meets Zarniwoop, a conspirator and editor for The Guide, who knows where to find the secret ruler. Zaphod becomes briefly reunited with the others for a trip to Milliways, the restaurant of the title. Zaphod and Ford decide to steal a ship from there, which turns out to be a stunt ship pre-programmed to plunge into a star as a special effect in a stage show. Unable to change course, the main characters get Marvin to run the teleporter they find in the ship, which is working other than having no automatic control (someone must remain behind to operate it), and Marvin seemingly sacrifices himself. Zaphod and Trillian discover that the Universe is in the safe hands of a simple man living on a remote planet in a wooden shack with his cat.

Ford and Arthur, meanwhile, end up on a spacecraft full of the outcasts of the Golgafrinchan civilisation. The ship crashes on prehistoric
Prehistory
Prehistory is the span of time before recorded history. Prehistory can refer to the period of human existence before the availability of those written records with which recorded history begins. More broadly, it refers to all the time preceding human existence and the invention of writing...

 Earth; Ford and Arthur are stranded, and it becomes clear that the inept Golgafrinchans are the ancestors of modern humans, having displaced the Earth's indigenous hominids. This has disrupted the Earth's programming so that when Ford and Arthur manage to extract the final readout from Arthur's subconscious mind by pulling lettered tiles from a Scrabble
Scrabble
Scrabble is a word game in which two to four players score points by forming words from individual lettered tiles on a game board marked with a 15-by-15 grid. The words are formed across and down in crossword fashion and must appear in a standard dictionary. Official reference works provide a list...

 set, it is "What do you get if you multiply six by nine?" Arthur then comments, "I've always said there was something fundamentally wrong with the universe."
The book was adapted from the remaining material in the radio series—covering from the fifth episode to the twelfth episode, although the ordering was greatly changed (in particular, the events of Fit the Sixth, with Ford and Arthur being stranded on pre-historic Earth, end the book, and their rescue in Fit the Seventh is deleted), and most of the Brontitall incident was omitted, instead of the Haggunenon sequence, co-written by John Loyd, the Disaster Area stuntship was substituted—this having first been introduced in the LP version. Adams himself considered Restaurant to be his best novel of the five.

Life, the Universe and Everything


In Life, the Universe and Everything (published in 1982), Ford and Arthur travel through the space-time continuum from prehistoric Earth to Lord's Cricket Ground
Lord's Cricket Ground
Lord's Cricket Ground is a cricket venue in St John's Wood, London. Named after its founder, Thomas Lord, it is owned by Marylebone Cricket Club and is the home of Middlesex County Cricket Club, the England and Wales Cricket Board , the European Cricket Council and, until August 2005, the...

. There they run into Slartibartfast, who enlists their aid in preventing galactic war. Long ago, the people of Krikkit attempted to wipe out all life in the Universe, but they were stopped and imprisoned on their home planet; now they are poised to escape. With the help of Marvin, Zaphod and Trillian, our heroes prevent the destruction of life in the Universe and go their separate ways.

This was the first Hitchhiker's book originally written as a book and not adapted from radio. Its story was based on a treatment Adams had written for a Doctor Who
Doctor Who
Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a time-travelling humanoid alien known as the Doctor who explores the universe in a sentient time machine called the TARDIS that flies through time and space, whose exterior...

theatrical release, with the Doctor role being split between Slartibartfast (to begin with), and later Trillian and Arthur.

In 2004 it was adapted for radio as the Tertiary Phase of the radio series.

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish


In So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (published in 1984), Arthur returns home to Earth, rather surprisingly since it was destroyed when he left. He meets and falls in love with a girl named Fenchurch, and discovers this Earth is a replacement provided by the dolphin
Dolphin
Dolphins are marine mammals that are closely related to whales and porpoises. There are almost forty species of dolphin in 17 genera. They vary in size from and , up to and . They are found worldwide, mostly in the shallower seas of the continental shelves, and are carnivores, mostly eating...

s in their Save the Humans campaign. Eventually he rejoins Ford, who claims to have saved the Universe in the meantime, to hitch-hike one last time and see God's Final Message to His Creation. Along the way, they are joined by Marvin, the Paranoid Android, who, although 37 times older than the universe itself (what with time travel and all), has just enough power left in his failing body to read the message and feel better about it all before expiring.

This was the first Hitchhiker's novel which was not an adaptation of any previously written story or script. In 2005 it was adapted for radio as the Quandary Phase of the radio series.

Mostly Harmless


Finally, in Mostly Harmless (published in 1992), Vogons take over The Hitchhiker's Guide (under the name of InfiniDim Enterprises), to finish, once and for all, the task of obliterating the Earth. After abruptly losing Fenchurch and travelling around the galaxy despondently, Arthur's spaceship crashes on the planet Lamuella, where he settles in happily as the official sandwich-maker for a small village of simple, peaceful people. Meanwhile, Ford Prefect breaks into The Guide's offices, gets himself an infinite expense account from the computer system, and then meets The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Mark II, an artificially intelligent, multi-dimensional guide with vast power and a hidden purpose. After he declines this dangerously powerful machine's aid (which he receives anyway), he sends it to Arthur Dent for safety ("Oh yes, whose?"—Arthur).

Trillian uses DNA that Arthur donated for travelling money to have a daughter, and when she goes to cover a war, she leaves her daughter Random Frequent Flyer Dent with Arthur. Random, a more-than-typically troubled teenager, steals The Guide Mark II and uses it to get to Earth. Arthur, Ford, Trillian, and Tricia McMillan (Trillian in this alternate universe) follow her to a crowded club, where an anguished Random becomes startled by a noise and inadvertently fires her gun at Arthur. The shot misses Arthur and kills a man (the ever-unfortunate Agrajag). Immediately afterwards, The Guide Mark II causes the removal of all possible Earths from probability. All of the main characters, save Zaphod, were on Earth at the time and are apparently killed, bringing a good deal of satisfaction to the Vogons.

In 2005 it was adapted for radio as the Quintessential Phase of the radio series, with the final episode first transmitted on 21 June 2005.

And Another Thing...



It was announced on 17 September 2008 that Artemis Fowl
Artemis Fowl (series)
Artemis Fowl is a series of fantasy novels written by Irish author Eoin Colfer and all the books are best sellers, starring the teenage criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl II. The author summed up the series as: "Die Hard with fairies." There are seven novels in the series; the first was published in...

author Eoin Colfer
Eoin Colfer
Eoin Colfer is an Irish author. He is most famous as the author of the Artemis Fowl series, but he has also written other successful books. His novels have been compared to the works of J. K. Rowling...

 had been commissioned to write the sixth instalment entitled And Another Thing... with Jane Belson, Adams' widow.

The story begins as death rays bear down on Earth, and the characters awaken from a virtual reality. Zaphod picks them up shortly before they're killed, but completely fails to escape the death beams. They are then saved by Bowerick Wowbagger, the Infinitely Prolonged, who they agree to help kill. Zaphod travels to Asgard to get Thor's help. In the meantime, the Vogon
Vogon
The Vogons are a fictional alien race from the planet Vogsphere in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams, who are responsible for the destruction of the Earth, in order to facilitate an intergalactic highway construction project. Vogons are slug-like but vaguely humanoid, are...

s are heading to destroy a colony of people who also escaped Earth's destruction, on the planet Nano. Arthur, Wowbagger, Trillian and Random head to Nano to try to stop the Vogons, and on the journey, Wowbagger and Trillian fall in love, making Wowbagger question whether or not he wants to be killed. Zaphod arrives with Thor, who then signs up to be the planet's God. With Random's help, Thor almost kills Wowbagger. Wowbagger, who merely loses his immortality, then marries Trillian.

Thor then stops the first Vogon attack, and apparently dies. Meanwhile, Constant Mown, son of Prostetnic Jeltz, convinces his father that the people on the planet are not citizens of Earth, but are, in fact, citizens of Nano, which means that it would be illegal to kill them. As the book draws to a close, Arthur is on his way to check out a possible university for Random, when, during a hyperspace jump, he is flung across alternate universes, has a brief encounter with Fenchurch, and ends up exactly where he'd want to be. And then the Vogons turn up again.

The book was published by Penguin Books
Penguin Books
Penguin Books is a publisher founded in 1935 by Sir Allen Lane and V.K. Krishna Menon. Penguin revolutionised publishing in the 1930s through its high quality, inexpensive paperbacks, sold through Woolworths and other high street stores for sixpence. Penguin's success demonstrated that large...

 in the UK and Hyperion
Hyperion (publisher)
Hyperion Books is a general-interest book publishing part of the Disney-ABC Television Group, a division of The Walt Disney Company, established in 1991. Hyperion publishes general-interest fiction and non-fiction books for adults under the following imprints: ABC Daytime Press, ESPN Books,...

 in the US on 12 October 2009.

Related stories


A short story by Adams, "Young Zaphod Plays it Safe
Young Zaphod Plays it Safe
"Young Zaphod Plays It Safe" is a short story by Douglas Adams set in his The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy universe. It is included with several collections but has never been released as a standalone work. It first appeared in The Utterly Utterly Merry Comic Relief Christmas Book which...

", first appeared in The Utterly Utterly Merry Comic Relief Christmas Book
The Utterly Utterly Merry Comic Relief Christmas Book
The Utterly Utterly Merry Comic Relief Christmas Book was a fundraising book issued on behalf of Comic Relief in 1986. It was edited by Douglas Adams and Peter Fincham and contained contributions from many of the leading comedy writers and performers of the day.- Contents :The book is of particular...

, a special large-print compilation of different stories and pictures that raised money for the new (at the time) Comic Relief charity in the UK. It is in The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, which also contains the five classic novels from the Hitchhiker series: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (book)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is the title of the first of six books in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction "trilogy" by Douglas Adams . The novel is an adaptation of the first four parts of Adams's radio series of the same name. The novel was first published in...

, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe is the second book in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction trilogy of five by Douglas Adams. It was originally published by Pan Books as a paperback. The book was inspired by the song "Grand Hotel" by British rock band Procol Harum...

, Life, the Universe and Everything
Life, the Universe and Everything
Life, the Universe and Everything is the third book in the five-volume Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy science fiction series by British writer Douglas Adams...

, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish is the fourth book of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy "trilogy" written by Douglas Adams. Its title is the message left by the dolphins when they departed Planet Earth just before it was demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass, as described in The...

, and Mostly Harmless
Mostly Harmless
Mostly Harmless is a novel by Douglas Adams and the fifth book in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. It is described on the cover of the first editions as "The fifth book in the increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhikers Trilogy"...

. The story also appears in some of the omnibus editions of the trilogy, and in The Salmon of Doubt
The Salmon of Doubt
The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time is a posthumous collection of previously published and unpublished material by Douglas Adams...

. There are two versions of this story, one of which is slightly more explicit in its political commentary.

Also appearing in The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide, at the end of Adams' introduction, is a list of instructions on "How to Leave the Planet," providing a humorous explanation of how one might replicate Arthur and Ford's feat at the beginning of Hitchhikers.

A novel, Douglas Adams's Starship Titanic written by Terry Jones
Terry Jones
Terence Graham Parry Jones is a Welsh comedian, screenwriter, actor, film director, children's author, popular historian, political commentator, and TV documentary host. He is best known as a member of the Monty Python comedy team....

, is based on Adams's computer game of the same name, which in turn is based on an idea from Life, the Universe and Everything. The idea concerns a luxury passenger starship that suffers "spontaneous massive existence failure" on its maiden voyage.

Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged, a character from Life, the Universe and Everything, also appears in a short story by Adams titled "The Private Life of Genghis Khan" which appears in some early editions of The Salmon of Doubt.

Published radio scripts


Douglas Adams and Geoffrey Perkins collaborated on The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Original Radio Scripts
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Original Radio Scripts
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Original Radio Scripts is a book, published in 1985, containing the scripts for the original radio series version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Text present in the original scripts but cut to meet time constraints is printed...

, first published in the United Kingdom and United States in 1985. A tenth-anniversary (of the script book publication) edition was printed in 1995, and a twenty-fifth-anniversary (of the first radio series broadcast) edition was printed in 2003.

Dirk Maggs
Dirk Maggs
Dirk Maggs, a freelance writer and director working across all media, is principally known for his work in radio, where he evolved radio drama into "Audio Movies," a near-visual approach combining scripts, layered sound effects, cinematic music and cutting edge technology. He pioneered the use of...

, who adapted and dramatised the last three novels for radio, released a collection of their scripts in July 2005, with Maggs providing notes for each episode. This second radio script book is entitled The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Radio Scripts: The Tertiary, Quandary and Quintessential Phases. Douglas Adams gets the primary writer's credit (as he wrote the original novels), and there is a foreword by Simon Jones
Simon Jones (actor)
Simon Jones is an English actor, most famous for his appearances in the television and radio series of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, in which he played the lead role of Arthur Dent from 1978 to 2005...

, introductions by Bruce Hyman
Bruce Hyman
Bruce Anthony Hyman is a radio and TV producer and the only barrister in 800 years to be sent to prison for attempting to pervert the course of justice.-Crime:On Monday 6 August 2007 Hyman was convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice....

 and Dirk Maggs, and other introductory notes from other members of the cast.

TV series


The popularity of the radio series gave rise to a six-episode television series, directed and produced by Alan J. W. Bell
Alan J. W. Bell
Alan J. W. Bell is a British television producer and director. He has produced and/or directed many BBC series since the early 1970s, most notably Last of the Summer Wine, Ripping Yarns and the TV adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy...

, which first aired on BBC Two
BBC Two
BBC Two is the second television channel operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom. It covers a wide range of subject matter, but tending towards more 'highbrow' programmes than the more mainstream and popular BBC One. Like the BBC's other domestic TV and radio...

 in January and February 1981. It employed many of the actors from the radio series and was based mainly on the radio versions of Fits the First through Sixth. A second series was at one point planned, with a storyline, according to Alan Bell and Mark Wing-Davey, that would have come from Adams's abandoned Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen project (instead of simply making a TV version of the second radio series). However, Adams got into disputes with the BBC (accounts differ: problems with budget, scripts, and having Alan Bell and/or Geoffrey Perkins involved are all offered as causes), and the second series was never made. The elements of the Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen project instead became the third novel, Life, the Universe and Everything.

The main cast was the same as the original radio series, except for David Dixon
David Dixon
David Dixon is an English actor and screenwriter. He was born in the Nightingale Maternity Home, Derby, near his father's shop in 94 London Road and brought up there before the family moved to 14 St...

 as Ford Prefect instead of McGivern, and Sandra Dickinson
Sandra Dickinson
Sandra Dickinson is an American-British actress. She trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She has often played a dumb blonde with a high-pitched voice in the UK – notably commencing in the St...

 as Trillian instead of Sheridan.

Other television appearances


Segments of several of the books were adapted as part of the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

's The Big Read survey and programme, broadcast in late 2003. The film, directed by Deep Sehgal
Deep Sehgal
Deep Sehgal is an award-winning British film-maker whose work includes the Emmy nominated series Soul Deep, India with Sanjeev Bhaskar and Selling Jesus....

, starred Sanjeev Bhaskar
Sanjeev Bhaskar
Sanjeev Bhaskar, OBE is a British Indian comedian, actor and broadcaster, best known for his work in the BBC Two comedy series Goodness Gracious Me and as host of The Kumars at No. 42...

 as Arthur Dent, alongside Spencer Brown as Ford Prefect, Nigel Planer
Nigel Planer
Nigel George Planer is an English actor, comedian, novelist and playwright.Planer is perhaps best known for his role as Neil Pye in the cult BBC comedy The Young Ones. He has appeared in many West End musicals, including Evita, Chicago, We Will Rock You, Wicked and Hairspray...

 as the voice of Marvin, Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking
Stephen William Hawking, CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA is an English theoretical physicist and cosmologist, whose scientific books and public appearances have made him an academic celebrity...

 as the voice of Deep Thought, Patrick Moore
Patrick Moore
Sir Patrick Alfred Caldwell-Moore, CBE, FRS, FRAS is a British amateur astronomer who has attained prominent status in astronomy as a writer, researcher, radio commentator and television presenter of the subject, and who is credited as having done more than any other person to raise the profile of...

 as the voice of the Guide, Roger Lloyd Pack
Roger Lloyd Pack
Roger Lloyd-Pack is an English actor known for his roles in the TV shows The Vicar of Dibley, Only Fools and Horses and The Old Guys.-Career:...

 as Slartibartfast, and Adam Buxton
Adam Buxton
Adam Offord Buxton is an English comedian and actor. With Joe Cornish, he forms one half of the duo Adam and Joe. The pair presented Adam and Joe on BBC 6 Music, whilst Buxton also presents his own show on 6 Music on Sundays, called Adam Buxton's Big Mix Tape, currently on hiatus.-Major work:His...

 and Joe Cornish
Joe Cornish (comedian)
Joseph Murray "Joe" Cornish is an English comedian, television and radio presenter, director, writer and actor, who along with his long-time comedy partner, Adam Buxton, form the comedy duo Adam and Joe....

 as Loonquawl and Phouchg.

Radio series three to five


On 21 June 2004, the BBC announced in a press release that a new series of Hitchhiker's based on the third novel would be broadcast as part of its autumn schedule, produced by Above the Title Productions
Above the Title Productions
Above the Title Productions is a UK independent radio and TV production company based in London. The company specializes in the making of drama, music, comedy and feature programmes, principally for BBC Radio. The company's past works include adaptations of Agatha Christie mysteries, radio...

 Ltd. The episodes were recorded in late 2003, but actual transmission was delayed while an agreement was reached with The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company is the largest media conglomerate in the world in terms of revenue. Founded on October 16, 1923, by Walt and Roy Disney as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, Walt Disney Productions established itself as a leader in the American animation industry before diversifying into...

 over Internet re-broadcasts, as Disney had begun pre-production on the film. This was followed by news that further series would be produced based on the fourth and fifth novels. These were broadcast in September and October 2004 and May and June 2005. CD releases accompanied the transmission of the final episode in each series.

The adaptation of the third novel followed the book very closely, which caused major structural issues in meshing with the preceding radio series in comparison to the second novel. Because many events from the radio series were omitted from the second novel, and those that did occur happened in a different order, the two series split in completely different directions. The last two adaptations vary somewhat—some events in Mostly Harmless are now foreshadowed in the adaptation of So Long and Thanks For All The Fish, while both include some additional material that builds on incidents in the third series to tie all five (and their divergent plotlines) together, most especially including the character Zaphod more prominently in the final chapters and addressing his altered reality to include the events of the Secondary Phase. While Mostly Harmless originally contained a rather bleak ending, Dirk Maggs created a different ending for the transmitted radio version, ending it on a much more upbeat note, reuniting the cast one last time.

The core cast for the third through fifth radio series remained the same, except for the replacement of Peter Jones by William Franklyn
William Franklyn
William Leo Franklyn was a British actor, perhaps best known for voicing the "Schhh... You Know Who" adverts for Schweppes from 1965 to 1973...

 as the Book, and Richard Vernon by Richard Griffiths
Richard Griffiths
Richard Griffiths, OBE is an English actor of stage, film and television. He has received the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play, the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Featured Actor and a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor...

 as Slartibartfast, since both had died. (Homage to Jones' iconic portrayal of the Book was paid twice: the gradual shift of voices to a "new" version in episode 13, launching the new productions, and a blend of Jones and Franklyn's voices at the end of the final episode, the first part of Maggs' alternative ending.) Sandra Dickinson
Sandra Dickinson
Sandra Dickinson is an American-British actress. She trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She has often played a dumb blonde with a high-pitched voice in the UK – notably commencing in the St...

, who played Trillian in the TV series, here played Tricia McMillan, an English-born, American-accented alternate-universe version of Trillian, while David Dixon
David Dixon
David Dixon is an English actor and screenwriter. He was born in the Nightingale Maternity Home, Derby, near his father's shop in 94 London Road and brought up there before the family moved to 14 St...

, the television series' Ford Prefect, made a cameo appearance as the "Ecological Man". Jane Horrocks
Jane Horrocks
Barbara Jane Horrocks is an English voice, stage, screen and television actress, voice artist, musician, and singer. She is best known for her role as "Bubble" in the TV series Absolutely Fabulous as well as her distinctive voice....

 appeared in the new semi-regular role of Fenchurch, Arthur's girlfriend, and Samantha Béart
Samantha Béart
Samantha Béart is a British actress.Her first major role was as Random Dent, in the radio version of Mostly Harmless the fifth series of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, as well as short film, feature, theatre and radio parts....

 joined in the final series as Arthur and Trillian's daughter, Random Dent. Also reprising their roles from the original radio series were Jonathan Pryce
Jonathan Pryce
Jonathan Pryce, CBE is a Welsh stage and film actor and singer. After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and meeting his longtime partner English actress Kate Fahy in 1974, he began his career as a stage actor in the 1970s...

 as Zarniwoop (here blended with a character from the final novel to become Zarniwoop Vann Harl), Rula Lenska
Rula Lenska
Rula Lenska is an English actress. Best known for her work in the United Kingdom, she is remembered in the United States for a television advert that presented her as a celebrity, even though she was not widely known in the US at the time the advert was produced.She has appeared extensively on...

 as Lintilla and her clones (and also as the Voice of the Bird), and Roy Hudd
Roy Hudd
Roy Hudd, OBE is an English comedian, actor, radio host and author, and an authority on the history of music hall entertainment.- Early life :...

 as Milliways compere Max Quordlepleen, as well as the original radio series' announcer, John Marsh
John Marsh (newsreader)
John Marsh is a freelance newsreader on BBC Radio 2."Boggy", as he has been nicknamed by Terry Wogan, is from Sussex, and was originally a cameraman. However, a radio opportunity came up, and he ended up in BBC Radio 4. In 1982 he transferred to Radio 2. Marsh presented various radio shows, but...

.

The series also featured guest appearances by such noted personalities as Joanna Lumley
Joanna Lumley
Joanna Lamond Lumley, OBE, FRGS is a British actress, voice-over artist, former-model and author, best known for her roles in British television series Absolutely Fabulous portraying Edina Monsoon's best friend, Patsy Stone, as well as parts in The New Avengers, Sapphire & Steel, and Sensitive...

 as the Sydney Opera House Woman, Jackie Mason
Jackie Mason
Jackie Mason is an American stand-up comedian and movie actor.-Early life:Born Yacov Moshe Maza in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, he grew up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City....

 as the East River Creature, Miriam Margolyes
Miriam Margolyes
Miriam Margolyes, OBE is an English actress and voice artist. Her earliest roles were in theatre and after several supporting roles in film and television she won a BAFTA Award for her role in The Age of Innocence .-Early life:...

 as the Smelly Photocopier Woman, BBC Radio cricket legends Henry Blofeld
Henry Blofeld
Henry Calthorpe Blofeld is a sports journalist. He is best known as a cricket commentator for Test Match Special on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra.Blofeld had an exceptional career as a schoolboy cricketer, cut short by injury...

 and Fred Trueman
Fred Trueman
Frederick Sewards Trueman OBE was an English cricketer, generally acknowledged as one of the greatest fast bowlers in history. A bowler of genuinely fast pace who was widely known as Fiery Fred, Trueman played first-class cricket for Yorkshire County Cricket Club from 1949 until he retired in 1968...

 as themselves, June Whitfield
June Whitfield
June Rosemary Whitfield, CBE is an English actress, well known in the United Kingdom since the 1950s for roles in radio and television comedy series....

 as the Raffle Woman, Leslie Phillips
Leslie Phillips
Leslie Samuel Phillips, CBE is an English actor with a highly recognisable upper class accent. Originally known for his work as a comedy actor, Phillips subsequently made the transition to character roles.-Early life:...

 as Hactar, Saeed Jaffrey
Saeed Jaffrey
Saeed Jaffrey OBE is an Indian-born British actor, who has done numerous British movies. He was born in Malerkotla, Punjab...

 as the Man on the Pole, Sir Patrick Moore
Patrick Moore
Sir Patrick Alfred Caldwell-Moore, CBE, FRS, FRAS is a British amateur astronomer who has attained prominent status in astronomy as a writer, researcher, radio commentator and television presenter of the subject, and who is credited as having done more than any other person to raise the profile of...

 as himself, and Christian Slater
Christian Slater
Christian Michael Leonard Slater is an American actor. He made his film debut with a small role in The Postman Always Rings Twice before playing a leading role in the 1985 film The Legend of Billie Jean...

 as Wonko the Sane. Finally, Adams himself played the role of Agrajag, a performance adapted from his book-on-tape reading of the third novel, and edited into the series he created some time after the author's death.

Tertiary, Quandary and Quintessential Phase Main cast:
  • Simon Jones
    Simon Jones (actor)
    Simon Jones is an English actor, most famous for his appearances in the television and radio series of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, in which he played the lead role of Arthur Dent from 1978 to 2005...

     as Arthur Dent
    Arthur Dent
    Arthur Philip Dent is a fictional character, the hapless protagonist and anti-hero in the comic science fiction series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams....

  • Geoffrey McGivern
    Geoffrey McGivern
    Geoffrey McGivern is an English actor in film, radio, stage and television. He was born in Balham, South London and grew up in York. There he attended Archbishop Holgate's School, where he was made Head Boy...

     as Ford Prefect
    Ford Prefect (character)
    Ford Prefect is a fictional character in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by the British author Douglas Adams. He is the only character other than the protagonist, Arthur Dent, to appear throughout the entire Hitchhiker's saga.-Name:Although Ford had taken great care to blend into Earth...

  • Susan Sheridan
    Susan Sheridan
    Susan Sheridan is a British actress. Her voice acting roles include Noddy in the Cosgrove Hall/BBC Television series Noddy's Toyland Adventures, Trillian in the radio series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Princess Eilonwy in the animated film The Black Cauldron.She has also provided...

     as Trillian
    Trillian (character)
    Tricia McMillan, also known as Trillian Astra, is a fictional character from Douglas Adams' series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. She is most commonly referred to simply as "Trillian", a modification of her birth name, which she adopted because it sounded more "space-like". According to the...

  • Mark Wing-Davey
    Mark Wing-Davey
    Mark Wing-Davey is a British actor and director.-Early life and career:The son of actor and actress Peter Davey and Anna Wing, Wing-Davey went to school at Woolverstone Hall School, before studying at Cambridge University where he was a member of the Footlights from 1967 to 1970.He had a featured...

     as Zaphod Beeblebrox
    Zaphod Beeblebrox
    Zaphod Beeblebrox is a fictional character in the various versions of the humorous science fiction story The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams who based him on his Cambridge contemporary, Johnny Simpson....

  • Stephen Moore
    Stephen Moore (actor)
    Stephen Moore is an English actor, known for his work on British television since the 1980s. He is known for his appearances in Rock Follies and other TV series such as The Last Place on Earth, the children's series The Queen's Nose and the drama Mersey Beat and the British TV comedy series Solo,...

     as Marvin, the Paranoid Android
    Marvin the Paranoid Android
    Marvin, the Paranoid Android, is a fictional character in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams. Marvin is the ship's robot aboard the starship Heart of Gold...

  • Richard Griffiths
    Richard Griffiths
    Richard Griffiths, OBE is an English actor of stage, film and television. He has received the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play, the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Featured Actor and a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor...

     as Slartibartfast
    Slartibartfast
    Slartibartfast is a fictional character in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a comedy/science fiction series created by Douglas Adams. The character appears in the first and third novels, the first and third radio series , the 1981 television series and the 2005 feature film...

  • Sandra Dickinson
    Sandra Dickinson
    Sandra Dickinson is an American-British actress. She trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She has often played a dumb blonde with a high-pitched voice in the UK – notably commencing in the St...

     as Tricia McMillan
    Trillian (character)
    Tricia McMillan, also known as Trillian Astra, is a fictional character from Douglas Adams' series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. She is most commonly referred to simply as "Trillian", a modification of her birth name, which she adopted because it sounded more "space-like". According to the...

  • Jane Horrocks
    Jane Horrocks
    Barbara Jane Horrocks is an English voice, stage, screen and television actress, voice artist, musician, and singer. She is best known for her role as "Bubble" in the TV series Absolutely Fabulous as well as her distinctive voice....

     as Fenchurch
  • Rula Lenska
    Rula Lenska
    Rula Lenska is an English actress. Best known for her work in the United Kingdom, she is remembered in the United States for a television advert that presented her as a celebrity, even though she was not widely known in the US at the time the advert was produced.She has appeared extensively on...

     as the Voice of the Bird
  • Samantha Béart
    Samantha Béart
    Samantha Béart is a British actress.Her first major role was as Random Dent, in the radio version of Mostly Harmless the fifth series of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, as well as short film, feature, theatre and radio parts....

     as Random
  • William Franklyn
    William Franklyn
    William Leo Franklyn was a British actor, perhaps best known for voicing the "Schhh... You Know Who" adverts for Schweppes from 1965 to 1973...

     as The Book

Film


After years of setbacks and renewed efforts to start production and a quarter of a century after the first book was published, the big-screen adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was finally shot. Pre-production began in 2003, filming began on 19 April 2004 and post-production began in early September 2004.

After a London premiere on 20 April 2005, it was released on 28 April in the UK and Australia, 29 April in the United States and Canada, and 29 July in South Africa. (A full list of release dates is available at the IMDb
Internet Movie Database
Internet Movie Database is an online database of information related to movies, television shows, actors, production crew personnel, video games and fictional characters featured in visual entertainment media. It is one of the most popular online entertainment destinations, with over 100 million...

.) The movie stars Martin Freeman
Martin Freeman
Martin John C. Freeman is an English actor. He is known for his roles as John in Love Actually, Tim Canterbury in the BBC's Golden Globe-winning comedy The Office, Arthur Dent in the film adaptation of Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Dr. John Watson in Sherlock and Mr. Madden...

 as Arthur, Mos Def
Mos Def
Dante Terrell Smith is an American actor and Emcee known by the stage names Mos Def and Yasiin Bey. He started his hip hop career in a group called Urban Thermo Dynamics, after which he appeared on albums by Da Bush Babees and De La Soul. With Talib Kweli, he formed the duo Black Star, which...

 as Ford, Sam Rockwell
Sam Rockwell
Sam Rockwell is an American actor known for his leading roles in Lawn Dogs, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Choke and Moon, as well as for his supporting roles in The Green Mile, Iron Man 2, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Frost/Nixon, Galaxy Quest, Matchstick Men, The Assassination of...

 as President of the Galaxy Zaphod Beeblebrox and Zooey Deschanel
Zooey Deschanel
Zooey Claire Deschanel is an American actress, musician, and singer-songwriter. In 1999, Deschanel made her film debut in Mumford, followed by her breakout role as young protagonist William Miller's troubled older sister Anita in Cameron Crowe's 2000 semi-autobiographical film Almost Famous...

 as Trillian, with Alan Rickman
Alan Rickman
Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman is an English actor and theatre director. He is a renowned stage actor in modern and classical productions and a former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company...

 providing the voice of Marvin the Paranoid Android
Marvin the Paranoid Android
Marvin, the Paranoid Android, is a fictional character in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams. Marvin is the ship's robot aboard the starship Heart of Gold...

 (and Warwick Davis
Warwick Davis
Warwick Ashley Davis is an English actor. He is most notable for playing the title characters in Willow and the Leprechaun film series, as well as for his roles in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and the Harry Potter movies. Davis currently stars in the sitcom Life's Too Short, written...

 acting in Marvin's costume), and Stephen Fry
Stephen Fry
Stephen John Fry is an English actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, television presenter and film director, and a director of Norwich City Football Club. He first came to attention in the 1981 Cambridge Footlights Revue presentation "The Cellar Tapes", which also...

 as the voice of the Guide/Narrator.

The plot of the film adaptation of Hitchhiker's Guide differs widely from that of the radio show, book and television series. The romantic triangle between Arthur, Zaphod, and Trillian is more prominent in the film; and visits to Vogsphere, the homeworld of the Vogons (which, in the books, was already abandoned), and Viltvodle VI are inserted. The film covers roughly events in the first four radio episodes, and ends with the characters en route to the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, leaving the opportunity for a sequel open.

Commercially the film was a modest success, taking $21 million in its opening weekend in the United States, and nearly £3.3 million in its opening weekend in the United Kingdom.

The film was released on DVD (Region 2, PAL) in the UK on 5 September 2005. Both a standard double-disc edition and a UK-exclusive numbered limited edition "Giftpack" were released on this date. The "Giftpack" edition includes a copy of the novel with a "movie tie-in" cover, and collectible prints from the film, packaged in a replica of the film's version of the Hitchhiker's Guide prop. A single-disc widescreen or full-screen edition (Region 1, NTSC) were made available in the USA and Canada on 13 September 2005. Single-disc releases in the Blu-ray format and UMD
Universal Media Disc
The Universal Media Disc is an optical disc medium developed by Sony for use on their PlayStation Portable handheld gaming and multimedia platform...

 format for the PlayStation Portable
PlayStation Portable
The is a handheld game console manufactured and marketed by Sony Corporation Development of the console was announced during E3 2003, and it was unveiled on , 2004, at a Sony press conference before E3 2004...

 were also released on the respective dates in these three countries.

Stage shows


There have been multiple professional and amateur stage adaptations of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. There were three early professional productions, which were staged in 1979 and 1980.

The first of these was performed at the Institute of Contemporary Arts
Institute of Contemporary Arts
The Institute of Contemporary Arts is an artistic and cultural centre on The Mall in London, just off Trafalgar Square. It is located within Nash House, part of Carlton House Terrace, near the Duke of York Steps and Admiralty Arch...

 in London, between 1 and 9 May 1979, starring Chris Langham
Chris Langham
Christopher "Chris" Langham is an English writer, actor and comedian. He is most famous for playing MP Hugh Abbot in BBC Four sitcom The Thick of It and as presenter Roy Mallard in People Like Us, first on BBC Radio 4 and later on its transfer to television on BBC Two, where Mallard is almost...

 as Arthur Dent (Langham later returned to Hitchhiker's as Prak in the final episode of 2004's Tertiary Phase). This show was adapted from the first series' scripts and was directed by Ken Campbell
Ken Campbell (actor)
Kenneth Victor Campbell was an English writer, actor, director and comedian known for his work in experimental theatre...

, who went on to perform a character in the final episode of the second radio series. The show ran 90 minutes, but had an audience limited to eighty people per night. Actors performed on a variety of ledges and platforms, and the audience was pushed around in a hovercar, 1/2000th of an inch above the floor. This was the first time that Zaphod was represented by having two actors in one large costume. The narration of "The Book" was split between two usherettes, an adaptation that has appeared in no other version of H2G2. One of these usherettes, Cindy Oswin, went on to voice Trillian for the LP adaptation.

The second stage show was performed throughout Wales between 15 January and 23 February 1980. This was a production of Clwyd Theatr Cymru
Clwyd Theatr Cymru
Clwyd Theatr Cymru , known until 1998 as Theatr Clwyd, is a regional arts centre located 1 mile from Mold, Flintshire, in north-east Wales.The complex contains five auditoria:*The Anthony Hopkins Theatre ....

, and was directed by Jonathan Petherbridge. The company performed adaptations of complete radio episodes, at times doing two episodes in a night, and at other times doing all six episodes of the first series in single three-hour sessions. This adaptation was performed again at the Oxford Playhouse in December 1981, Plymouth's Theatre Royal in May–June 1982, and also at the Belgrade Theatre
Belgrade Theatre
The Belgrade Theatre is a live performance venue seating 858 and situated in Coventry, England. It was the first civic theatre to be built after the Second World War in Britain and as such was more than a place of entertainment...

, Coventry
Coventry
Coventry is a city and metropolitan borough in the county of West Midlands in England. Coventry is the 9th largest city in England and the 11th largest in the United Kingdom. It is also the second largest city in the English Midlands, after Birmingham, with a population of 300,848, although...

, in July 1983.

The third, and least successful stage show was held at the Rainbow Theatre in London, in July 1980. This was the second production directed by Ken Campbell. The Rainbow Theatre had been adapted for stagings of rock operas in the 1970s, and both reference books mentioned in footnotes indicate that this, coupled with incidental music throughout the performance, caused some reviewers to label it as a "musical". This was the first adaptation for which Adams wrote the "Dish of the Day" sequence. The production ran for over three hours, and was widely panned for this, as well as for the music, laser effects, and the acting. Despite attempts to shorten the script, and make other changes, it closed three or four weeks early (accounts differ), and lost a lot of money. Despite the bad reviews, there were at least two stand-out performances: Michael Cule and David Learner
David Learner
David Learner is a British actor who is most famous for his portrayal of Marvin the Paranoid Android in the TV show and stage adaption of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and his performance as Pickle in the popular CITV Adventure Gameshow Knightmare....

 both went on from this production to appearances in the TV adaptation.

Future stage production rights got tied up with the rights to make the film, though various amateur adaptations still appear worldwide today.

LP album adaptations


The first four radio episodes were adapted for a new double LP, also entitled The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (appended with "Part One" for the subsequent Canadian release), first by mail-order only, and later into stores. The double LP and its sequel were originally released by Original Records in the United Kingdom in 1979 and 1980, with the catalogue numbers ORA042 and ORA054 respectively. They were first released by Hannibal Records
Hannibal Records
Hannibal Records was a record label and one of the first to work with the World music genre.Hannibal was started by Joe Boyd in 1980. Boyd had produced records by artists such as Nick Drake, The Incredible String Band and Fairport Convention and released recordings by these artists as well as...

 in 1982 (as HNBL 2301 and HNBL 1307, respectively) in the United States and Canada, and later re-released in a slightly abridged edition by Simon & Schuster's Audioworks in the mid-1980s. Both were produced by Geoffrey Perkins
Geoffrey Perkins
Geoffrey Howard Perkins was a comedy producer, writer and performer, and an important figure in British comedy broadcasting. This was recognised in December 2008 when he was awarded with an Outstanding Contribution to Comedy Award...

 and featured cover artwork by Hipgnosis
Hipgnosis
Hipgnosis was a British art design group that specialized in creating cover art for the albums of rock musicians and bands, most notably Pink Floyd, T.Rex, The Pretty Things, UFO, 10cc, Bad Company, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Scorpions, Yes, The Alan Parsons Project, Genesis, Peter Gabriel, ELO and XTC...

.

The script in the first double LP very closely follows the first four radio episodes, although further cuts had to be made for reasons of timing. Despite this, other lines of dialogue that were indicated as having been cut when the original scripts from the radio series
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Original Radio Scripts
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Original Radio Scripts is a book, published in 1985, containing the scripts for the original radio series version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Text present in the original scripts but cut to meet time constraints is printed...

 were eventually published can be heard in the LP version. The Simon & Schuster cassettes omit the Veet Voojagig narration, the cheerleader's speech as Deep Thought concludes its seven-and-one-half-million-year programme, and a few other lines from both sides of the second LP of the set.
Most of the original cast returned, except for Susan Sheridan
Susan Sheridan
Susan Sheridan is a British actress. Her voice acting roles include Noddy in the Cosgrove Hall/BBC Television series Noddy's Toyland Adventures, Trillian in the radio series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Princess Eilonwy in the animated film The Black Cauldron.She has also provided...

, who was recording a voice for the character of Princess Eilonwy
Princess Eilonwy
Princess Eilonwy is a fictional character in Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain and wife of High King Taran in the Chronicles of Prydain and also appears in Disney's 1985 animated film The Black Cauldron...

 in The Black Cauldron
The Black Cauldron (film)
The Black Cauldron is a 1985 American animated fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and originally released to theatres on July 24, 1985...

for Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures is an American film studio owned by The Walt Disney Company. Walt Disney Pictures and Television, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Studios and the main production company for live-action feature films within the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, based at the Walt Disney...

. Cindy Oswin voiced Trillian on all three LPs in her place. Other casting changes in the first double LP included Stephen Moore
Stephen Moore (actor)
Stephen Moore is an English actor, known for his work on British television since the 1980s. He is known for his appearances in Rock Follies and other TV series such as The Last Place on Earth, the children's series The Queen's Nose and the drama Mersey Beat and the British TV comedy series Solo,...

 taking on the additional role of the barman, and Valentine Dyall
Valentine Dyall
Valentine Dyall was an English character actor, the son of veteran actor Franklin Dyall. Dyall was especially popular as a voice actor, due to his very distinctive sepulchral voice, he was known for many years as "The Man in Black", narrator of the BBC Radio horror series Appointment With Fear.In...

 as the voice of Deep Thought. Adams's voice can be heard making the Public Address announcements on Magrathea.

Due to copyrights, the music used during the first radio series was either replaced, or in the case of the title, it was re-recorded in a new arrangement. Composer Tim Souster
Tim Souster
Tim Souster was a British composer best known for his electronic music output.- Background :Born Timothy Andrew James Souster in Bletchley, Buckinghamshire, Souster was educated at Bedford Modern School and New College, Oxford...

 did both duties (with Paddy Kingsland
Paddy Kingsland
Paddy Kingsland is a composer of electronic music best known for his incidental music for science fiction series on BBC radio and television whilst working at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Educated at Eggars Grammar School, Alton, in Hampshire, he joined the BBC as a tape editor before moving on to...

 contributing music as well), and Souster's version of the theme was the version also used for the eventual television series.

The sequel LP was released, singly, as The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Part Two: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe in the UK, and simply as The Restaurant at the End of the Universe in the USA. The script here mostly follows Fit the Fifth and Fit the Sixth, but includes a song by the backup band in the restaurant ("Reg Nullify and his Cataclysmic Combo"), and changes the Haggunenon sequence to "Disaster Area".
Due to a misunderstanding, the second record was released before being cut down in a "final edit" that Douglas Adams and Geoffrey Perkins both had intended to make. Perkins has said, "[I]t is far too long on each side. It's just a rough cut. [...] I felt it was flabby, and I wanted to speed it up." The Simon & Schuster Audioworks re-release of this LP was also abridged slightly from its original release. The scene with Ford Prefect and Hotblack Desiato's bodyguard is omitted.

Sales for the first double-LP release were primarily through mail order. Total sales reached over 60,000 units, with half of those being mail order, and the other half through retail outlets. This is in spite of the facts that Original Records' warehouse ordered and stocked more copies than they were actually selling for quite some time, and that Paul Neil Milne Johnstone complained about his name and then-current address being included in the recording. This was corrected for a later pressing of the double-LP by "cut[ting] up that part of the master tape and reassembl[ing] it in the wrong order". The second LP release ("Part Two") also only sold a total of 60,000 units in the UK. The distribution deals for the USA and Canada with Hannibal Records and Simon and Schuster were later negotiated by Douglas Adams and his agent, Ed Victor
Ed Victor
Ed Victor is one of the world's leading Literary Agents.-Biography:Victor is the son of Russian-Jewish immigrant parents, who ran a photographic equipment store...

, after gaining full rights to the recordings from Original Records, which went bankrupt.

Interactive fiction and video games


Sometime between 1982 and 1984 (accounts differ), the British company Supersoft
Supersoft
Supersoft is a software and computer game developer and publisher founded in England in 1978. It was founded by Peter Calver and Pearl Wellard to develop and publish software primarily for the Commodore PET.-Hardware:...

 published a text-based adventure game
Adventure game
An adventure game is a video game in which the player assumes the role of protagonist in an interactive story driven by exploration and puzzle-solving instead of physical challenge. The genre's focus on story allows it to draw heavily from other narrative-based media such as literature and film,...

 based on the book, which was released in versions for the Commodore PET
Commodore PET
The Commodore PET was a home/personal computer produced from 1977 by Commodore International...

 and Commodore 64
Commodore 64
The Commodore 64 is an 8-bit home computer introduced by Commodore International in January 1982.Volume production started in the spring of 1982, with machines being released on to the market in August at a price of US$595...

. One account states that there was a dispute as to whether valid permission for publication had been granted, and following legal action the game was withdrawn and all remaining copies were destroyed. Another account states that the programmer, Bob Chappell, rewrote the game to remove all Hitchhiker's references, and republished it as "Cosmic Capers".

Officially, the TV series was followed in 1984 by a best-selling "interactive fiction
Interactive fiction
Interactive fiction, often abbreviated IF, describes software simulating environments in which players use text commands to control characters and influence the environment. Works in this form can be understood as literary narratives and as video games. In common usage, the term refers to text...

", or text-based adventure game, distributed by Infocom
Infocom
Infocom was a software company, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that produced numerous works of interactive fiction. They also produced one notable business application, a relational database called Cornerstone....

. It was designed by Adams and Infocom regular Steve Meretzky
Steve Meretzky
Steven Eric Meretzky is an American computer game developer, with dozens of titles to his credit. He has been involved in almost every aspect of game development, from design to production to quality assurance and box design...

 and was one of Infocom's most successful games. As with many Infocom games, the box contained a number of "feelies" including a "Don't panic" badge, some "pocket fluff", a pair of peril-sensitive sunglasses, an order for the destruction of the Earth, a small, clear plastic bag containing "a microscopic battle fleet" and an order for the destruction of Arthur Dent's house (signed by Adams and Meretzky).

In September 2004, it was revived by the BBC on the Hitchhiker's section of the Radio 4 website for the initial broadcast of the Tertiary Phase, and is still available to play online. This new version uses an original Infocom datafile with a custom-written interpreter, by Sean Sollé, and Flash programming by Shimon Young, both of whom used to work at The Digital Village
The Digital Village
The Digital Village was a digital media company based inCovent Garden, London WC2 in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1994. The science fiction/comedy writer Douglas Adams was one of the founding members, along with Robbie Stamp, who is the Executive Producer of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the...

 (TDV). The new version includes illustrations by Rod Lord, who was head of Pearce Animation Studios in 1980, which produced the guide graphics for the TV series. On 2 March 2005 it won the Interactive BAFTA
BAFTA Interactive Awards
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts annually hosted the BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Awards for multimedia entertainment between 1998 and 2003....

 in the "best online entertainment" category.

A sequel to the original Infocom game was never made. An all-new, fully graphical game was designed and developed by a joint venture between The Digital Village
The Digital Village
The Digital Village was a digital media company based inCovent Garden, London WC2 in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1994. The science fiction/comedy writer Douglas Adams was one of the founding members, along with Robbie Stamp, who is the Executive Producer of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the...

 and PAN Interactive (no connection to Pan Books / Pan Mcmillan). This new game was planned and developed between 1998 and 2002, but like the sequel to the Infocom game, it also never materialised. In April 2005, Starwave
Starwave
Starwave was a Seattle, Washington based software and website company, founded in 1993 by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft. The company produced many original CD-ROM titles, including disks for Clint Eastwood, Sting, and Peter Gabriel...

 Mobile released two mobile games to accompany the release of the film adaptation. The first, developed by Atatio, was called "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Vogon Planet Destructor". It was a typical top-down shooter and except for the title had little to do with the actual story. The second game, developed by TKO Software
TKO Software
TKO Software is a video game developer founded in 2002 in Santa Cruz, California, United States by Jacob Hawley and Michael Songy.TKO Software created Medal of Honor: Allied Assault: Breakthrough and the multiplayer portion of Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault , both for Electronic Arts...

, was a graphical adventure game named "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Adventure Game". Despite its name, the newly designed puzzles by Sean Sollé were different from the Infocom ones, and the game followed the movie's script closely and included the new characters and places. The "Adventure Game" won the IGN
IGN
IGN is an entertainment website that focuses on video games, films, music and other media. IGN's main website comprises several specialty sites or "channels", each occupying a subdomain and covering a specific area of entertainment...

's "Editors' Choice Award" in May 2005.

On 25 May 2011, Hothead Games
Hothead Games
Hothead Games is an independent video game developer and publisher based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Hothead is best known for its role-playing/adventure video game series, On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, based on the Penny Arcade webcomic...

 announced they were working on a new edition of The Guide. Along with the announcement, Hothead Games
Hothead Games
Hothead Games is an independent video game developer and publisher based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Hothead is best known for its role-playing/adventure video game series, On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, based on the Penny Arcade webcomic...

 launched a teaser web site made to look like an announcement from Megadodo Publications that The Guide will soon be available on Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

. It has since been revealed that they are developing an iOS app in the style of the fictional Guide.

Comic books


In 1993, DC Comics, in conjunction with Byron Preiss
Byron Preiss
Byron Preiss was an American writer, editor, and publisher. He founded and served as president of Byron Preiss Visual Publications, and later of iBooks.-Early life and career:...

 Visual Publications, published a three-part comic book adaptation of the novelisation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. This was followed up with three-part adaptations of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe in 1994, and Life, the Universe and Everything
Life, the Universe and Everything
Life, the Universe and Everything is the third book in the five-volume Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy science fiction series by British writer Douglas Adams...

in 1996. There was also a series of collectors' cards with art from and inspired by the comic adaptations of the first book, and a graphic novelisation (or "collected edition") combining the three individual comic books from 1993, itself released in May 1997. Douglas Adams was deeply opposed to the use of American English spellings and idioms in what he felt was a very British story, and had to be talked into it by the American publishers, although he remained very unhappy with the compromise.

The adaptations were scripted by John Carnell
John Carnell
Edward John Carnell , known to his friends as either Ted or John, was a British science fiction editor known for editing New Worlds in 1946 then from 1949 to 1963. He also edited Science Fantasy from the 1950s...

. Steve Leialoha
Steve Leialoha
Steve Leialoha is an American comic book artist whose work first came to prominence in the 1970s. He has worked primarily as an inker, though occasionally as a penciller, for several publishers, including Marvel Comics and later DC Comics.-Biography:Leialoha's professional career began in 1975...

 provided the art for Hitchhiker's and the layouts for Restaurant. Shepherd Hendrix did the finished art for Restaurant. Neil Vokes and John Nyberg did the finished artwork for Life, based on breakdowns by Paris Cullins
Paris Cullins
Paris Cullins is an African-American comic-book artist best known for his work on DC Comics' Blue Devil and Blue Beetle, and Marvel Comics' Hyperkind.-Early career:...

 (Book 1) and Christopher Schenck (Books 2–3). The miniseries were edited by Howard Zimmerman
Howard Zimmerman
Howard E. Zimmerman is a professor of chemistry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1980 and the recipient of the 1985 American Institute of Chemists Pioneering Award....

 and Ken Grobe.

"Hitch-Hikeriana"



Many merchandising and spin-off items (or "Hitch-Hikeriana") were produced in the early 1980s, including towels in different colours, all bearing the Guide entry for towels. Later runs of towels include those made for promotions by Pan Books, Touchstone Pictures / Disney for the 2005 movie, and different towels made for ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha, the official Hitchhiker's Appreciation society. Other items that first appeared in the mid-1980s were T-shirts, including those made for Infocom (such as one bearing the legend "I got the Babel Fish" for successfully completing one of that game's most difficult puzzles), and a Disaster Area tour T-shirt. Other official items have included "Beeblebears" (teddy bears with an extra head and arm, named after Hitchhiker's character Zaphod Beeblebrox, sold by the official Appreciation Society), an assortment of pin-on buttons and a number of novelty singles. Many of the above items are displayed throughout the 2004 "25th Anniversary Illustrated Edition" of the novel, which used items from the personal collections of fans of the series.

Stephen Moore
Stephen Moore (actor)
Stephen Moore is an English actor, known for his work on British television since the 1980s. He is known for his appearances in Rock Follies and other TV series such as The Last Place on Earth, the children's series The Queen's Nose and the drama Mersey Beat and the British TV comedy series Solo,...

 recorded two novelty singles in character as Marvin, the Paranoid Android: "Marvin"/"Metal Man" and "Reasons To Be Miserable"/"Marvin I Love You". The last song has appeared on a Dr. Demento
Dr. Demento
Barret Eugene Hansen , better known as Dr. Demento, is a radio broadcaster and record collector specializing in novelty songs, comedy, and strange or unusual recordings dating from the early days of phonograph records to the present....

 compilation. Another single featured the re-recorded "Journey of the Sorcerer" (arranged by Tim Souster) backed with "Reg Nullify In Concert" by Reg Nullify, and "Only the End of the World Again" by Disaster Area (including Douglas Adams on bass guitar) . These discs have since become collector's items.

The 2005 movie also added quite a few collectibles, mostly through the National Entertainment Collectibles Association
National Entertainment Collectibles Association
The National Entertainment Collectibles Association or NECA is an American manufacturer of collectibles typically licensed from films, video-games, sports, music, and television based in New Jersey...

. These included three prop replicas of objects seen on the Vogon ship and homeworld (a mug, a pen and a stapler), sets of "action figure
Action figure
An action figure is a posable character figurine, made of plastic or other materials, and often based upon characters from a film, comic book, video game, or television program. These action figures are usually marketed towards boys and male collectors...

s" with a height of either 3 or 6 inches (76 or 150 mm), a gun—based on a prop used by Marvin, the Paranoid Android, that shoots foam darts—a crystal cube, shot glasses, a ten-inch (254 mm) high version of Marvin with eyes that light up green, and "yarn doll" versions of Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Trillian, Marvin and Zaphod Beeblebrox. Also, various audio tracks were released to coincide with the movie, notably re-recordings of "Marvin" and "Reasons To Be Miserable", sung by Stephen Fry
Stephen Fry
Stephen John Fry is an English actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, television presenter and film director, and a director of Norwich City Football Club. He first came to attention in the 1981 Cambridge Footlights Revue presentation "The Cellar Tapes", which also...

, along with some of the "Guide Entries", newly written material read in-character by Fry.

International phenomenon


Many science fiction fans and radio listeners outside the United Kingdom were first exposed to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in one of two ways: shortwave radio broadcasts of the original radio series, or by Douglas Adams being "Guest of Honour" at the 1979 World Science Fiction Convention
Worldcon
Worldcon, or more formally The World Science Fiction Convention, is a science fiction convention held each year since 1939 . It is the annual convention of the World Science Fiction Society...

, Seacon, held in Brighton, England, UK. It was there that the radio series was nominated for a Hugo Award
Hugo Award
The Hugo Awards are given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was officially named the Science Fiction Achievement Awards...

 (the first radio series to receive a nomination) but lost to Superman. A convention exclusively for H2G2, Hitchercon I, was held in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, in September 1980, the year that the official fan club, ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha, was organised. In the early 1980s, versions of H2G2 became available in the United States, Canada, Germany (Per Anhalter durch die Galaxis), Denmark (Håndbog for vakse galakseblaffere), the Netherlands (Transgalactisch Liftershandboek), Sweden, Finland (Linnunradan Käsikirja Liftareille) and Israel.

Spelling


The different versions of the series spell the title differently−thus Hitch-Hiker's Guide, Hitch Hiker's Guide and Hitchhiker's Guide are used in different editions (US or UK), editions of the novel, (audio
Sound recording and reproduction
Sound recording and reproduction is an electrical or mechanical inscription and re-creation of sound waves, such as spoken voice, singing, instrumental music, or sound effects. The two main classes of sound recording technology are analog recording and digital recording...

 or print
Printing
Printing is a process for reproducing text and image, typically with ink on paper using a printing press. It is often carried out as a large-scale industrial process, and is an essential part of publishing and transaction printing....

) and compilations of the book. Some editions used different spellings on the spine
Bookbinding
Bookbinding is the process of physically assembling a book from a number of folded or unfolded sheets of paper or other material. It usually involves attaching covers to the resulting text-block.-Origins of the book:...

 and title page
Title page
The title page of a book, thesis or other written work is the page at or near the front which displays its title and author, usually together with information relating to the publication of the book...

. The BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

's h2g2
H2g2
h2g2 is a British-based collaborative online encyclopedia project engaged in the construction of, in its own words, "an unconventional guide to life, the universe, and everything", in the spirit of the fictional publication The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy from the science fiction comedy series...

 style manual claims that Hitchhiker's Guide is the spelling Adams preferred. At least two reference works make note of the inconsistency in the titles. Both, however, repeat the statement that Adams decided in 2000 that "everyone should spell it the same way [one word, no hyphen] from then on."

External links


Official sites