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The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

"Humans are considered to be primitive, the third smartest species on Earth..."
Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect
Episode Guide

If you cannot remember what happened in each episode, cheat with the BBC 7 episode guide
Recording Hitchhikers

Read our insider's guide to the recording of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Queerer Than We Can Suppose

News of the first DNA Memorial Lecture
Related Links

BBC's Cult TV Hitchhikers page
h2g2 discusses HHGTTG Hitchhikers page
Hitchhikers @ Douglas Adams. com
Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy - BBC Radio 4
Douglas Adams' obituary at BBC News

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy is a giant encyclopaedia stored in a small computer whose purpose is to aid intergalactic hitchhikers on their journeys.

Reporter for the guide, Ford Prefect, is alerted to the imminent death facing his friend, Arthur Dent. He rescues him five seconds before construction of a bypass destroys the Earth. Arthur Dent is human with a liking for tea, while Ford Prefect comes from Betelgeuse and has developed a passion for the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.

The rescue involves hitching onto a Vogon space ship, however Vogons are not as likeable as expected and they are tortured with having to listen to Vogon poetry and then tossed into the void. Thirty seconds is the limit for human life in outer space. On the twentyninth second succor takes the form of Zaphod Beeblebrox, the president of the universe on his ship, The Heart of Gold.

Other memorable characters encountered on their journey are Marvin, the incredibly depressed robot, and the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, who is remarkably stupid but very hungry.

The guide contains many useful entries such as the one on the towel, recommended as an indispensable article for the traveller. "Towels can be used for snaring birds whilst falling from a three-mile high marble statue; they can be used to signal temporally unstable spaceships by fossilizing them in planetary strata; and they can be soaked in nutrients to provide sustenance in awkward situations".

It is the humour of the book that is most enlightening. Humans are considered to be primitive, the third smartest species on Earth, and Earth is considered "mostly harmless" and destroyed FIVE seconds before the secret of life is found. The answer to the meaning of life is 42, but what is the question?

Once you've encountered the Guide, your view of 'life, the universe and everything' will be transformed forever.
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