THHGTTG Logo 'The Hitch Hiker's Guide
to the Galaxy'
(Part 6)

by Douglas Adams

Arthur, Ford, Zaphod and Trillian learn the fate of Hotblack Desiato’s spaceship from Marvin, who responds to their horrified anger by pointing out that he did not volunteer the information because they never asked for it. The group are unable to break the ship out of its preset course for the heart of a sun, but salvation is at hand when they spot a teleportation device; unfortunately, the machine is faulty, and needs someone to operate it manually. Marvin is volunteered to stay behind, and as the ship plunges into the sun Arthur, Ford, Zaphod and Trillian are sent on their way into the unknown. Arthur and Ford rematerialise in what appears to be a mausoleum, filled with dead telephone sanitizers, hairdressers and advertising account executives; however, Zaphod and Trillian are nowhere to be seen, and so must have arrived somewhere else entirely. After seeing a group of joggers arrive and then enter the alcoves set around the huge room Ford realises that the people are all held in suspended animation. He and Arthur are then captured by an officer-chappie, who takes them at gunpoint to the bridge to meet the ship’s Captain, who is currently enjoying a three-year-long bath. After offering Arthur and Ford gin and tonics the Captain tells them that they are from the planet Golgafrincham; the people of their world learnt of an impending cataclysm, and so made the decision to evacuate the population in three huge space-arks, which would be sent off into space in search of a new world to colonise. There are reportedly three ‘Arks’: the ‘A’ Ark, which contains all the brilliant thinkers; the ‘C’ Ark, which contains the workers; and the ‘B’ Ark - theirs - which contains all the middle-men. Oddly, neither the Captain or any of his officers can agree on what the impending disaster was, as they all heard differing reports; Ford and Arthur immediately realise that the whole thing was merely a ploy by the Golgafrinchams to rid themselves of the useless third of their population (although the ‘Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ tells us that the Golgafrinchams all died out from a virulent disease, ironically contracted from a dirty telephone handset). The ‘B’ Ark has now reached its destination, and it promptly crash-lands on the remote planet that is to become its occupants’ new home. Two years later, Ford and Arthur return from exploring the new world, bringing with them some important news; unfortunately they find that the Golgafrincham colonists are more concerned with making documentaries about themselves than with starting up a new civilisation, and are now all ‘rich’ after adopting the leaf as a form of currency. Ford and Arthur leave in disgust, refusing to reveal the fact that they have discovered Slartibartfast’s signature on a glacier - this is the Earth, but the computer program to discover the Question to Life, the Universe and Everything has been corrupted because the indigenous lifeforms, the ape-like cavemen, are now dying out as a result of the Golgafrinchams’ inept actions. In a last attempt, Ford gets Arthur to subconsciously access the Question residing in his brain by pulling home-made Scrabble letters from a bag, but they just get ‘What do you get when you multiply six by nine?’ Giving up, the two friends walk off into the distance…

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), Rayner Bourton (Newscaster), Aubrey Morris (Captain), Matthew Scurfield (Number One), David Neville (Number Two), Geoffrey Beevers (Number Three), Beth Porter (Marketing Girl), David Rowlands (Hairdresser), Jon Glover (Management Consultant)

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

Adapted from the B.B.C. Radio series

UK (BBC 1):
February 9th, 1981 @ 9.00 pm - 9.35 pm

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

*Closing song: ‘Wonderful World’ by Louis Armstrong