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My Science Fiction Life

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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

1978

Radio: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Creator: Douglas Adams

Recollections...

Classic 80's TV Comedy Sci- Fiarrow icon

I watched it in its original run on BBC2. I have since bought the video and the new "big budget" film.
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Vogon Poetry Recitalarrow icon

1979. Living in Durham. The world's most straightlaced teacher (a colleague) introduced me.
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More recollections...

In Depth

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Immensely durable science-fiction comedy that taught us all not to panic.

It may have spawned a BBC TV series, five novels and a biggish-budget movie, but purists still point to the original humble radio series as the real deal when it comes to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Kicking off with the destruction of the Earth to make way for an intergalactic bypass, Hitchhiker's is a winning amalgam of the good old catastrophe story, social satire and science-fiction pastiche.

One of the last surviving members of the human race, Arthur Dent, still in his dressing gown, is dragged through an intergalactic whirligig. He's exposed to deadly Vogon poetry, Pan-Galactic Gargleblasters and a restaurant at the end of the universe. The answer to the ultimate question is revealed as "42", and humanity is discovered to have descended from a group of shipwrecked estate agents and marketing executives.

The book sold million of copies in 30 different languages, though Adams sadly died in 2001 - too young to realise his ambition of having the story appear on film, which finally occurred in 2005.

Ian Pearson, one of the contributors to My Science Fiction Life

My Science
Fiction Life on
BBC Four

My Science Fiction Life interviewee Ian Pearson talks about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Watch a clip Ian Pearson

Futurologist for BT

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