THHGTTG Logo 'The Hitch Hiker's Guide
to the Galaxy'
(Part 4)

by Douglas Adams

Slartibartfast tells Arthur that he helped design the fjords on the original Earth, which, contrary to Arthur’s and everyone else’s belief, was actually run by mice; he is now helping to design the replacement Earth Arthur saw earlier. Using ancient recordings, he shows Arthur the history of the original Earth: Millions of years ago, a race of hyper-intelligent, pan-dimensional beings sought to discover the Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything; they built a machine called Deep Thought, a gigantic computer that they believed would be able to calculate the Answer, much to the objection of the Amalgamated Union of Philosophers, Sages, Luminaries and Other Professional Thinking Persons, who feared that such a revelation would put them out of a job. However, Deep Thought then informed his creators that the program would take seven-and-a-half-million years to run, giving them the chance to make their fortune from predicting and arguing over what the result would eventually be, thereby putting them on the gravy train for life. But when the descendants of the original programmers arrived on the fateful day when Deep Thought would give his answer, they were rather disappointed to learn that it was ‘Forty-Two’. Deep Thought pointed out that no-one really understood the Question to the Answer of Life, the Universe and Everything; luckily, he would be able to design the ultimate organic computer to work out the question, which would use its inhabitants as part of its operational matrix. The pan-dimensional beings were then transformed into mice to oversee the project, which was called the Earth. Unfortunately, after ten million years the Earth was then destroyed by the Vogons to make way for a hyperspace bypass five minutes before the program completed; the mice have now commissioned a replacement Earth to begin the whole process again. Slartibartfast takes Arthur to Ford, Zaphod and Trillian, who are now dining with Trillian’s mice, which were in fact the pan-dimensional beings. The two rodents offer Arthur great wealth in exchange for his brain, which they believe contains the Question as it was part of the Earth’s operational programming. Arthur and the others refuse their offer and decide to leave, only to be cornered by Shooty and Bang-Bang, two intergalactic policemen who are on Zaphod’s trail following his theft of the Heart of Gold. Trapped and under fire from the cops, our heroes realise that the constant energy bolts hitting the computer bank they are hiding behind will make it explode in a matter of seconds - taking them with it!

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), Anthony Carrick (Lunkwill), Timothy Davies (Fook), David Leland (Majikthise), Charles McKeown (Vroomfondel), Matt Zimmerman (Shooty), Marc Smith (Bang Bang), Valentine Dyall (Voice of Deep Thought)

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

Adapted from the B.B.C. Radio series

UK (BBC 1):
January 26th, 1981 @ 9.00 pm - 9.30 pm

*Featuring Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Trillian and Marvin