The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Missing image
The cover of the first novel in the Hitchhiker's series, from a late 1990s printing. The cover incorporates the 42 puzzle devised by Douglas Adams.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (see note regarding spelling) is a science fiction comedy written by Douglas Adams. It originated in 1978 as a radio comedy broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (see articles on the radio series in general and the original run). Since then it has become a series of five books, published between 1979 and 1992, (the first of which was entitled The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), a 1981 TV series, and a 1984 computer game. A Hollywood film version was released in April 2005, and adaptations of the last three books to radio were broadcast from 2004 to 2005.

The title The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is often abbreviated as "HHG", "HHGG", "HHGTTG", "HG2G", or "H2G2". This title can refer to the several incarnations of the story, of which the books, having been translated into over 30 languages by 2005 Template:Mn are the most widely distributed. The title can also refer to the fictional guidebook The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, an eccentric electronic encyclopedia which features in the series. Last but not least, h2g2, launched as the "Earth Edition" of the Guide, is a website hosted by the BBC featuring a range of user-submitted articles.

Although the various versions followed the same basic plot, they are in many places mutually contradictory, as Adams rewrote the story substantially for each "adaptation". In all versions, the series follows the adventures of Arthur Dent, a hapless Englishman who escapes the destruction of Earth by an alien race called the Vogons with his friend Ford Prefect, an alien from a small planet in the vicinity of Betelgeuse and researcher for the eponymous guide. Unfortunately for them, they have done so by hitching a ride onboard one of the Vogons' ships, and after being read some Vogon poetry, they are promptly thrown out of an airlock. Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ford's semi-cousin and sometime Galactic President, unknowingly saves the pair from death in his stolen spaceship, the Heart of Gold, whose crew rounds out the main cast of characters: Marvin the Paranoid Android, a severely depressed robot, and Trillian, a woman known by Arthur as the only other surviving human being. After this, the characters get involved in a quest to find legendary planet of Magrathea and the Question to the Ultimate Answer.


Origin of The Guide

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 hitch-hiking around Europe as a young man with a copy of the Hitch-hiker's Guide to Europe book, and while lying drunk in a field in Innsbruck 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 Template:Mn.

Adams's fictional Guide is meant to be an electronic guidebook to the Milky Way galaxy, 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 in the first two radio series and TV versions, later William Franklyn in the new radio series, and Stephen Fry in the movie version), also provides general narration.

The original radio series

Main article: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Primary and Secondary Phases

The first radio series, of six episodes (called Fits, after an obscure term for a part of a poem) Template:Ref was broadcast in 1978 on BBC Radio 4. 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 Template:Mn. A one-off episode (a "Christmas special") was broadcast later in the year. 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, 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 commentary of noted radio comedy actor Peter Jones as The Book. 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 (for the pilot episode and the complete second series) and Dick Mills and Harry Parker for the remaining episodes (2-6) of the first series.

The theme tune used for the radio, television, LP and movie versions is "Journey of the Sorcerer", an instrumental piece by The Eagles from the album One of These Nights. Only the radio series used the original recording; a soundalike cover by Tim Souster was used for the LP and TV series, and another arrangement by Joby Talbot was used for the 2005 movie. Apparently, Adams chose this song for its futuristic sounding nature, but also for the fact that it had a banjo in it, which as Geoffrey Perkins recalls, Adams said would give it an "on the road, hitch-hikey feel" Template:Mn.

The twelve episodes were released on CD and cassette in 1988, becoming the first CD release in the BBC Radio Collection. 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" Template:Mn. 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.

Main cast:


Missing image
The front cover of The Hitchhiker's Quartet, a collection of the first four books in the series, published in the USA by Harmony Books in 1986.

The books are described as "a trilogy 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 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, 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, even though they are not the final version Adams produced (though they are the most readily accessible).

It was not truly clear that the series was over (since it was already a trilogy with five books) until Adams died of a heart attack at age 49 in 2001. Indeed, Adams said that the new novel he was working on, The Salmon of Doubt, was not working as a Dirk Gently story, and suggested it might instead become a sixth book in the Hitchhiker's series. He described Mostly Harmless in an interview 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 installment, he would at least start with all the characters in the same place Template:Mn.

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 of the now-collapsed planet building industry, and meet Slartibartfast, a planetary architect who was responsible for the fjords of Norway. 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 as 42, they were forced to build a more powerful computer to work out what the Ultimate Question actually was, but their plans never come to fruition. [Later on, referencing this, Adams would create a puzzle which could be approached in multiple ways, all yielding the answer 42.]

The computer, disguised as a planet, was the Earth, and was destroyed five minutes before the conclusion of its 10-million-year program. The hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings, who turn out to be mice, want to dissect Arthur's brain to help reconstruct the question, but our protagonists escape, setting course for "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe."

The book was adapted from the first four radio episodes. It was first published in 1979, initially in paperback, by Pan Books, after BBC Publishing had turned down the offer of publishing a novelisation, an action they would later regret Template:Mn. 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 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 to build word of mouth.

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The front cover of The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide, a collection of all five books in the series, a leatherbound volume published in the USA by Portland House, a division of Random House, in 1997.

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 to uncover whoever really runs the Universe. Zaphod meets Zarniwoop, a co-conspirator and editor for the guide, who knows where to find the secret ruler. Briefly reunited with the others for a trip to Milliways, the restaurant of the title, 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, fall backwards through time and end up on a spacecraft full of the outcasts of the Golgafrincham civilisation. The ship crashes on prehistoric Earth, disrupting the program to find the Ultimate Question and stranding Ford and Arthur, to deal with Cavemen, and have a rather interesting game of Scrabble. Arthur randomly draws Scrabble tiles out of a bag to determine the ultimate question, which turns out to be: "What do you get when you multiply six by nine".

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 Lloyd, the Disaster Area stuntship was substituted - this having first been introduced in the LP version.

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. 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 movie, 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 dolphins 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.

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. Arthur's spaceship crashes on the planet Lamuella, where he settles as a sandwich-maker. Meanwhile, Ford Prefect breaks into the guide's offices, gets himself an infinite expense account from the computer system, then meets the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Mark II. After he declines this dangerously powerful machine's aid (which he receives anyway), he sends it to Arthur Dent.

Trillian uses DNA that Arthur donated for 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, Random, and Tricia McMillan (Trillian in this alternate universe) follow her to a crowded club, where an anguished Random tries to kill her father. The shot misses Arthur and kills a man (the ever-unfortunate Agrajag). Immediately afterwards the Guide Mark II removes 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.

Other books

Douglas Adams and Geoffrey Perkins collaborated on The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Original Radio Scripts, first published in the UK and USA in 1985. A tenth anniversary edition was printed in 1995, and a twenty-fifth anniversary edition was printed in 2003.

A short story was also written, Young Zaphod Plays it Safe. It appears in some of the omnibus editions of the trilogy, and in The Salmon of Doubt. It is almost, but not quite, entirely unrelated to the rest of the trilogy. There are two versions of this story, one of which is slightly more explicit in its already heavy-handed political commentary.

A novel, Douglas Adams's Starship Titanic, based on Adams's computer game and written by Terry Jones, is also set in the HHGG universe. While the story is entirely unrelated to the trilogy, Starship Titanic was briefly mentioned in Life, the Universe and Everything.

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.

For some information on understanding the philosophy of the Guide, or Douglas Adams's influence on technology, see The Anthology at the End of the Universe, a series of essays edited by Glenn Yeffeth, published in 2005.

Michael Hanlon published The Science of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in 2005. Topics include space tourism, parallel universes, instant translation devices and sentient computers.

The TV series

Missing image
Opening titles from the TV series

Main article: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (TV series)

The popularity of the radio series gave rise to a six-episode television series, directed and produced by Alan Bell, which aired on BBC Two in January and February of 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 Krikketmen project instead became the third novel, Life, the Universe and Everything

The main cast was same as the original radio series, except for David Dixon as Ford Prefect instead of McGivern, and Sandra Dickinson as Trillian instead of Sheridan.

The new radio series

Main article: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Tertiary to Quintessential Phases

On June 21 2004, the BBC announced in a press release Template:Ref that a new series of Hitchhiker's based on the third novel would be broadcast as part of their autumn schedule, produced by Above the Title Productions Ltd. The episodes were recorded in late 2003, but delayed while an agreement was reached with the Walt Disney Company, who had begun pre-production on the movie Template:Mn. 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. 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. Mostly Harmless originally had rather a bleak ending, and Dirk Maggs has created a completely different ending in the new radio version.

The core cast remained the same, except for the replacement of Peter Jones by William Franklyn as the Book, and Richard Vernon by Richard Griffiths as Slartibartfast, due to their deaths. Jane Horrocks appeared as Fenchurch and Samantha Béart as Random.


Main article: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (movie).

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 has finally been shot. Pre-preduction began in 2003, filming began on 19 April 2004 and post-production began in early September of 2004 Template:Mn. After a London premiere on April 20 2005, it was released on 28 April in the UK and Australia, 29 April in the USA and Canada, and 10 June in South Africa. (A full list of release dates is available at the IMDb Template:Ref.) The movie stars Martin Freeman as Arthur, Mos Def as Ford, Sam Rockwell as Beeblebrox and Zooey Deschanel as Trillian, with Alan Rickman providing the voice of Marvin and Stephen Fry voicing the Book.</p>

The movie is the most different version so far. A romantic triangle is introduced between Arthur, Zaphod, and Trillian; and visits to Vogsphere, the homeworld of the Vogons, and Viltvodle VI are inserted. The movie 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.

Reactions to the film were mixed Template:Ref, both within and outside fandom. Some fans felt essential elements of the humour had been lost in the adaption, and the introduction of a romantic subplot was an unnecessary Hollywoodism, whereas criticism from movie reviewers was typically that the film did not make much sense without knowledge of the earlier variants. Commercially the film was a success, taking $21 million in its opening weekend in the United States.

Other adaptations

Hitchhiker's has also appeared as a stage show, three LP albums with condensed (and slightly contradictory) versions of the first six radio episodes, a text-only adventure computer game, and three series of comic books (with a set of collectors' cards spun off containing art from the comics).

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 Template:Mn, Template:Mn.

The first of these was performed at the Institute for Contemporary Arts in London, between 1st-9th May 1979. This show was adapted from the first series' scripts and was directed by Ken Campbell, 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 Theatr Clwyd, and was directed by Jonathan Petherbridge. The company performed adapatations 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 starting in 1981/1982 (accounts differ).

The third, and least successful stage show was held at the Rainbow Theatre in London, in August 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 referernce books mentioned above 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 the music, laser effects, and the acting. Despite attempts to shorten the script, and make other changes, it closed three-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 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 movie, though various amateur adapations appeared worldwide at least through 2004.

Missing image
The front covers of the US cassette releases of the audio adaptations of the first radio series.

LP album adaptations

The first four radio episodes were released in a new double LP adaptation, also entitled The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, first by mail-order only, and later into stores. The double LP and its sequel were originally released by Original Records in the UK, in 1979 and 1980 with the catalogue numbers ORA042 an ORA054 respectively. They were released by Simon & Schuster's Audioworks in the USA in the 1980s, and Hannibal Records in Canada (the US edition of the first cassette carries a 1982 Hannibal Records copyright, the second only has Adams' 1980 copyright).

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. Most of the original cast returned, except for Susan Sheridan, who was recording a voice for the character of Princess Eilonwy in The Black Cauldron for Walt Disney Pictures. Cindy Oswin voiced Trillian on all three LPs in her place. Other casting changes in the first double LP included Stephen Moore taking on the additional role of the barman, and Valentine Dyall as the voice of Deep Thought. Adams' voice can be heard making the Public Address announcements on Magrathea.

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."

Interactive fiction and video games

Main article: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (computer game)

The TV series was followed in 1984 by a best-selling "interactive fiction", or text-based adventure game, distributed by Infocom. It was designed by Adams and Infocom regular Steve Meretzky 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 destruction of Earth, 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 Template:Ref for the initial broadcast of the Tertiary Phase, and is still available to play online Template:Ref. 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 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 March 2nd 2005 it won the Interactive BAFTA in the "best online entertainment" category.

A sequel to the original Infocom game was never made. An all new, fully graphical game, designed and developed by PAN Interactive (no connection to Pan Books/Pan Mcmillan) and which became Phase 3 Studios, was planned and developed between 1998 and 2002, but also never materialized. M. J. Simpson has information on the graphical game on his Hitchhiker's Guide website Template:Ref.

In April 2005 Starwave Mobile released 2 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" Template:Ref. 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, was a graphical adventure game named "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Adventure Game" Template:Ref. Despite its name the puzzles were new and 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's "Editors' Choice Award" on May 2005.

Comic Books

Missing image
The front cover of the DC Comics adaptation of the first book.

In 1993, DC Comics, in conjunction with Byron Preiss Visual Media, published a three part comic book adaptation of the novelization of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. This was followed up with three part adapations of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe in 1994, and Life, the Universe and Everything in 1996. There was also a series of collectors' cards with art from the comic adaptations, and a graphic novelization (or "collected edition") combining the three individual comic books from 1993, itself released in May 1997.


Many merchandising and spin-off items were produced in the early 1980s, dubbed "Hitch-Hikeriana" and included a beach towel printed with the Guide's entry for towels and a number of novelty singles. Stephen Moore recorded two of these 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 compilation. There was also another single featuring the re-recorded "Journey of the Sorcerer" (arranged by Tim Souster) on side A 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 bit of collectibles, mostly through the National Entertainment Collectibles Association. These included three prop replicas of objects seen on the Vogon ship and homeworld (a mug, a pen and a stapler), sets of "action figures" with a height of either 3 or 6 inches, a gun, based on a prop used by Marvin the Paranoid Android that shoots foam darts, a crystal cube, shot glasses, a ten inch 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, along with some of the "Guide Entries", newly written material read in-character by Fry.

Cultural references

Main Article: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy cultural references

References to the series can be seen on websites, within TV and radio programmes, songs, and in console and computer games. Examples include borrowing Adams's characters' names, or references to the number forty-two, or other catchphrases, or even reusing "The Hitchhiker's Guide to ..." to title other books and articles (which Adams himself had borrowed from Ken Welsh).

International phenomenon

Main Article: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as international phenomenon

Many science fiction fans and radio listeners outside of 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 Annual Science Fiction Convention, Seacon, held in Brighton, England, UK. It was there that the radio series was nominated for a Hugo Award (the first radio series to receive a nomination) but lost to Superman: The Movie. 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 USA, Canada, Germany and Finland. The books have been translated into more than thirty languages.



  1. Template:Note Merriam-Webster Online ( definition of 'fit'.
  2. Template:Note BBC Press Office release (, announcing a new series (the third) to be transmitted on BBC Radio 4 beginning in September 2004.
  3. Template:Note IMDb page ( for the release dates of the movie adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
  4. Template:Note Various reviews (, by critics and fans, of the movie adapation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy at
  5. Template:Note BBC Radio 4 homepage (
  6. Template:Note New online version ( of the 1984 Hitchhiker's Guide computer game, by Steve Meretzky and Douglas Adams.
  7. Template:Note Screenshots and other information ( about a second planned computer game adapation of Hitchhiker's Guide which was never completed.
  8. Template:Note Webpage about the "Vogon Planet Destructor" ( game hosted at
  9. Template:Note Webpage about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Adventure Game ( hosted at

See also


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External links


Official sites

Significant fan sites

Template:HitchhikerBooksda:Håndbog for vakse galakseblaffere de:Per Anhalter durch die Galaxis es:Guía del Autoestopista Galáctico fi:Linnunradan käsikirja liftareille fr:Le Guide galactique he:מדריך הטרמפיסט לגלקסיה hu:Galaxis útikalauz stopposoknak is:The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy it:Guida galattica per gli autostoppisti nl:The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy pl:Autostopem przez Galaktykę pt:The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy sv:Liftarens guide till galaxen


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