|'The Hitch Hiker's Guide
to the Galaxy'
by Douglas Adams
The Heart of Gold arrives in orbit around a remote planet, which Zaphod is convinced is the legendary planet of Magrathea, where entire planets were once manufactured by the planet’s population. Ford’s disbelief is quickly dispelled when the ship’s irritating computer, Eddie, picks up a five-million-year-old recorded message emanating from the planet below, welcoming them to Magrathea, and informing them that there is no-one home and they should call back later. Zaphod ignores the message, planning to take the ship down to the surface so that they can explore. However, the planet’s automated defences activate, and two very large and very deadly guided nuclear missiles are launched at the Heart of Gold. Zaphod, Trillian and Ford are somewhat dismayed to learn that Arthur has inadvertently tied up Eddie’s systems with the task of making a really nice cup of tea, and so they desperately attempt to evade the oncoming missiles using the manual controls, but to no avail. All seems lost and death imminent, when Arthur suddenly hits upon the notion of engaging the Infinite Improbability Drive -the two missiles promptly turn into a sperm whale and a rather fatalistic bowl of petunias, which then plummet to their deaths on the planet surface below. No one else is hurt, apart from a small bruise on Arthur’s arm and the escape of Trillian’s two white mice. The ship arrives on Magrathea and, after a slight altercation with Eddie’s matronly back-up personality, the crew step onto the desolate surface. While Arthur and Marvin stay behind Zaphod, Ford, and Trillian explore a nearby cave. Night falls, and Arthur meets Slartibartfast, a particularly eccentric old man who takes him into the bowls of the planet in his hopper. Whizzing along the massive planetary construction area within, Arthur is shocked to see the Magratheans’ latest construct: the Earth Mark II !
Peter Jones (Voice of the Book), Simon Jones (Arthur Dent), David Dixon (Ford Prefect), Sandra Dickinson (Trillian [Trisha McMillan]), Mark Wing-Davey (Zaphod Beeblebrox), David Learner (Marvin), Stephen Moore (Voice of Marvin), Richard Vernon (Slartibartfast) David Tate (Voice of Eddie)
Produced and Directed by Alan J.W. Bell
Associate Producer John Lloyd
Adapted from the B.B.C. Radio series
UK (BBC 1):
January 19th, 1981 @ 9.00 pm - 9.30 pm
*Featuring Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Trillian and Marvin