THHGTTG Logo 'The Hitch Hiker's Guide
to the Galaxy'
(Part 1)

by Douglas Adams

When Arthur Dent, a six-foot-tall ape descendant, wakes up one morning he is rather alarmed to discover that his nice house is about to be demolished to make way for a new bypass. As the workmen close in Arthur makes his protest by lying down in front of their bulldozer. The supervisor, Mr. Prosser informs Arthur that the plans for the bypass have been on display at the planning office for some time, and refuses to listen when Arthur points out that they were actually in the basement, in a locked filing cabinet located in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’. Arthur is joined by his friend Ford Prefect, who is desperate to talk to him, and concerned with the amount of time they have left; Ford manages to persuade Mr. Prosser to hold off on the demolition and to take Arthur’s place in front of the bulldozer, so that the two of them can slip away for a quick pint. At the local pub, Arthur is amazed to discover that not only is Ford not from Guildford after all, but is instead from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse; works as a researcher for a best-selling intergalactic reference book called ‘The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’; and that the world is about to end. As Arthur finishes downing his three pints, he suddenly hears the dreadful sounds of his house being destroyed. Leaving Ford to settle up with the barman - who receives all of Ford’s money as it will be worthless in three minutes anyway - Arthur races back to his house just in time to see it being reduced to rubble by the demolition crew. Shouting obscenities at the workmen, Arthur’s sanity is stretched even further by the appearance of several gigantic yellow spacecraft, which Ford tells him is a Vogon Constructor fleet. The Vogon Captain broadcasts a message to the people of Earth: he has arrived to demolish the Earth to make way for a hyperspace bypass. When the population protest, the Captain points out that the plans have been on display at the Alpha Centauri planning office for the last fifty years, and it is not his fault that they have not got around to inventing space travel yet. Disgusted at mankind’s apathy, the Captain orders the destruction of the Earth. Some time later, Arthur comes to and finds himself and Ford in the hold of the lead Vogon ship - it seems that Ford has ‘hitched a lift’ from the Dentrassi cooks that work on board the vessel. However, they are then captured by a Vogon guard, who takes them to meet the Captain; if they are lucky they will just be thrown into space - if unlucky, then the captain will read them some of his poetry first…

Peter Jones (Voice of the Book), Simon Jones (Arthur Dent), David Dixon (Ford Prefect), Joe Melina (Mr. Prosser), Martin Benson (Vogon Captain), Steve Conway (Barman), Cleo Rocos, Andrew Mussell (Aliens)

Produced and Directed by Alan J.W. Bell
Associate Producer John Lloyd

Adapted from the B.B.C. Radio series

UK (BBC 1):
January 5th, 1981 @ 9.00 pm - 9.30 pm

*Introducing Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect