THHGTTG Logo 'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy'
(Fit the Third)

by Douglas Adams
THHGTTG Cast

ANNOUNCER:
'The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, by Douglas Adams. Starring Peter Jones as ‘The Book’.

[Theme Tune]

NARRATOR:
Far back in the mists of ancient time, in the great and glorious days of the former Galactic Empire, life was wild, rich, and on the whole, tax-free. In those days, spirits were brave; the stakes were high; men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. And all dared to brave unknown terrors to do mighty deeds to boldly split infinitives that no man had split before. And thus was the Empire forged. Many men, of course, became extremely rich. But this was perfectly natural and nothing to be ashamed of, because no one was really poor - at least no one worth speaking of. And for these extremely rich merchants life eventually became rather dull and it seemed that none of the worlds they settled on was entirely satisfactory: either the climate wasn’t quite right in the later part of the afternoon, or the day was half an hour too long, or the sea was just the wrong shade of pink. And thus were created the conditions for a staggering new form of industry: custom-made luxury planet building. The home of this industry was the planet Magrathea, where vast hyperspatial engineering works were constructed to suck matter through white holes in space and form it into dream planets, lovingly made to meet the exacting standards of the galaxy’s richest men. And so successful was this venture that very soon Magrathea itself became the richest planet of all time, and the rest of the galaxy was reduced to abject poverty. And so the system broke down, the empire collapsed, and a long, sullen silence settled over the galaxy, disturbed only by the pen-scratchings of scholars as they laboured into the night over smug little treatises on the value of a planned political economy. In these enlightened days, of course, no one believes a word of it. Meanwhile, on Zaphod Beeblebrox’s ship, deep in the darkness of the Horsehead Nebula…



Scene 1. Int. Heart of Gold Bridge

FORD:
I’m sorry, I just don’t believe a word of it.

ZAPHOD:
Listen to me Ford, I’ve found it. I swear I’ve found it.

FORD:
Magrathea is a myth! A fairy story! It’s what parents tell their kids at night if they want them to grow up to be economists. And -

ZAPHOD:
…and we are currently in orbit around it.

FORD:
Zaphod, I can’t help what you may personally be in orbit around, but this ship -

ZAPHOD:
Computer.

[EDDIE comes on-line with his usual ticking]

FORD:
oh no.

EDDIE:
Hi there! This is Eddie your ship board computer, and I’m feeling just great guys, and I know I’m just gonna get a bundle of kicks out of any program you care to run through me.

FORD:
Is this necessary?

ZAPHOD:
Computer, tells us again what our current trajectory is.

EDDIE:
A real pleasure feller. We are currently in orbit, at an altitude of three hundred miles, around the legendary planet of Magrathea. Goll-ee.

FORD:
Proving nothing. I wouldn’t trust that computer to speak my weight. Eddie I could do that for you sure.

FORD:
No thank you.

EDDIE:
I could even work out your personality problems to ten decimal places if it’ll help.

TRILLIAN:
Zaphod, we should have dawn coming up any minute now on the planet… whatever it turns out to be.

ZAPHOD:
Yea, Ok. Okay, uh. Let’s just take a look at it. Computer.

EDDIE:
Hi there! What can I do for you, anything -

ZAPHOD:
Just, uh, just shut up and give us external vision on the monitors.

ARTHUR:
Tricia, I feel I may be missing the point of something.

TRILLIAN:
Hmmm? Oh, well Arthur, according to what Zaphod’s told me, Magrathea is a legendary planet from way back, which no one seriously believes in. A bit like Atlantis really, oh except the legends say the Magratheans used to manufacture planets.

ARTHUR:
Hmm. Is there any tea on this spaceship?

NARRATOR:
Arthur Dent had basically assumed that he was the only native ape-descended earthman to escape from the planet Earth when it was unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass, because his only companion, disconcertingly called Ford Prefect, had already revealed himself to be from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse and not from Guildford after all. So when, against all conceivable probability, they were suddenly rescued from certain death in deep space by a stolen starship manned by two people, one of whom is Ford’s semi-brother, the infamous Zaphod Beeblebrox, and the other of whom is Tricia McMillan, a rather nicely descended ape-person Arthur once met at a party in Islington, it could only be because the ship was powered by the new Infinite Improbability Drive -which of course it was. Slowly, majestically, this mighty starship begins its long descent towards the surface of the ancient planet which might or might not be Magrathea…

FORD:
Well even supposing it is -

ZAPHOD:
It is.

FORD:
…which it isn’t, what do you want with it anyway? I mean I take it your not here for the sheer industrial archaeology of it all. What is it you’re after?

ZAPHOD:
Well, it’s partly the curiosity, partly a sense of adventure, but mostly I think it’s the fame and the money.

FORD:
It’s just a dead planet!

ARTHUR:
The suspense is killing me.

NARRATOR:
Stress and nervous tension are now serious social problems in all parts of the galaxy and it is in order that this situation should not be in any way exacerbated that the following facts will now be revealed in advanced: The planet in question, is, in fact, Magrathea. The deadly nuclear missile attack shortly to be launched by an ancient automatic defence system will merely result in the bruising of somebody’s upper arm, and the untimely creation and sudden demise of a bowl of petunias and an innocent sperm whale. In order that some sense of mystery should still be preserved no revelation will yet be made concerning whose upper arm has been bruised. This fact may safely be made the subject of suspense since it is of no significance whatsoever. Arthur’s next question about the planet is very complex and difficult, and Zaphod’s answer is wrong in every important respect.

ARTHUR:
Is it safe?

ZAPHOD:
Magrathea’s been dead for five-million years, of course it’s safe. Even the ghosts will have settled down and raised families by now.

RECORDED MESSAGE:
Greetings to you.

ZAPHOD:
What?

TRILLIAN:
Who’s that voice?

ZAPHOD:
Computer?

EDDIE:
Hi there!

ZAPHOD:
What is it?

EDDIE:
Oh just some five-million-year-old tape-recording that’s been broadcast at us

RECORDED MESSAGE:
This is a recorded announcement as I’m afraid we’re all out at the moment. The commercial council of Magrathea …

ZAPHOD:
A voice from the ancient Magra--

RECORDED MESSAGE:
…thanks you for your esteemed...

FORD:
Okay, okay

RECORDED MESSAGE:
…visit, but regrets that the entire planet is closed for business. Thank you. If you would like to leave your name, and a planet where you can be contacted, kindly speak when you hear the tone [Beep]

TRILLIAN:
They want to get rid of us. What do we do?

ZAPHOD:
It’s just a recording, keep going, got that computer?

EDDIE:
I got it!

RECORDED MESSAGE:
We would like to assure you that as soon as our business is resumed, announcements will be made in all fashionable magazines and colour supplements when our clients will once again be able to select from all that’s best in contemporary geography. Meanwhile we thank our clients for their kind interest and would ask them to leave. Now.

ARTHUR:
Well I suppose we better be going haven’t we.

ZAPHOD:
Shh! There’s absolutely nothing to be worried about

ARTHUR:
Then why is everyone so tense?

ZAPHOD:
They’re just interested, we keep going.

RECORDED MESSAGE:
It is most gratifying that your enthusiasm for our planet continues unabated. And so we would like to assure you that the guided missiles currently converging with your ship are part of a special service we extend to all of our most enthusiastic clients… And the fully armed nuclear warheads are, of course, merely a courtesy detail. We look forward to your custom in future lives. Thank you.

ARTHUR:
Listen, if that’s there sales pitch what must it be like in the complaints department?

ZAPHOD:
Hey this is terrific. It means we really must be on to something if they’re trying to kill us.

ARTHUR:
Terrific?

TRILLIAN:
You mean there is someone down there after all?

ZAPHOD:
No the whole defence system must be automatic but the question is: why?

ARTHUR:
But what are we going to do?

ZAPHOD:
Just, keep cool.

ARTHUR:
Is that all?

ZAPHOD:
No, we’re also going to take evasive action. Computer what evasive action can we take?

EDDIE:
Uh none I’m afraid guys

ZAPHOD:
…or something?

EDDIE:
There seems to be something jamming my guidance systems. Impact minus thirty seconds

[Am alarm sounds]

EDDIE:
Sorry, I didn’t mean to do that. Please call me Eddie if it will help you relax

ZAPHOD:
Right. Um look we’ve got to get manual control of this ship

TRILLIAN:
Can you fly her?

ZAPHOD:
No. Can you?

TRILLIAN:
No.

ZAPHOD:
Ford?

FORD:
No.

ZAPHOD:
Fine we’ll do it together.

ARTHUR:
I can’t either.

ZAPHOD:
I guessed that. Computer I want full manual control now.

EDDIE:
You got it. Good luck guys. Impact minus twenty seconds.

ZAPHOD:
Okay Ford, full retro-thrust and ten degrees starboard.

TRILLIAN:
We’re veering too fast!

FORD:
I can’t hold her, she’s going into a spin!

ZAPHOD:
Dive! Dive!

NARRATOR:
It is, of course, more or less at this point that one of our heroes sustains a slight bruise to the upper arm. This should be emphasised because, as has already been revealed, they escape otherwise completely unharmed, and the deadly nuclear missiles do not eventually hit the ship. Our heroes’ safety is absolutely assured.

EDDIE:
Impact minus fifteen seconds guys!

ARTHUR:
The rockets are still homing in! You can’t shake them! We’re going to die!

EDDIE:
[Singing] When you walk through a storm…

ZAPHOD:
Shut that bloody computer up!

TRILLIAN:
Zaphod can we stabilise X zero zero five four seven by splitting our flight path tangentially across the summate vector of nine G X seven eight with a five degree inertial correction?

ZAPHOD:
What? Er, yes I expect so, just do it… and god forgive you if you’re only bluffing

TRILLIAN:
Here we go

[The ship executes the manoeuvre]

FORD:
Where did you learn a stunt like that Trillian?

TRILLIAN:
Going ‘round Hyde Park Corner on a moped.

ZAPHOD:
What?

FORD:
Oh it’s another earth -

ZAPHOD:
Yeah tell me later.

ARTHUR:
It’s no good the missiles are swinging round after us and gaining fast. We are quite definitely going to die.

EDDIE:
[Singing] Though your dreams be vast... and - [Normal voice] Impact minus five seconds. [He continues singing]

ARTHUR:
Why doesn’t anyone turn on this Improbability Drive thing?

TRILLIAN:
Oh don’t be silly you can’t do that!

ARTHUR:
Why not? There’s nothing to lose at this stage.

TRILLIAN:
Well because… does anyone know why Arthur can’t turn on the Improbability Drive?

EDDIE:
[Normal voice] Impact minus one second it’s been great knowing you guys, god bless [He continues singing]

TRILLIAN:
I said does anyone know --?

[There is a loud explosion, then soft music begins…]

ZAPHOD:
Er, what the hell happened?

ARTHUR:
Well I was just saying, there’s this switch here you see, and if I -

ZAPHOD:
Where are we Trillian?

TRILLIAN:
Exactly where we were I think.

ZAPHOD:
Then what’s happened to the missiles?

FORD:
Well, er, according to this screen they’ve just turned into a bowl of petunias and a very surprised-looking whale.

EDDIE:
At an improbability factor of eight-million, seven-hundred-and-sixty-seven-thousand, one-hundred-and-twenty-eight to one against.

ZAPHOD:
Did you think of that Earthman?

ARTHUR:
Well, I did, it was just -

ZAPHOD:
That’s very good thinking, you know that? You’ve just saved our lives.

ARTHUR:
It was nothing really…

ZAPHOD:
Oh, was it? Oh, well forget it. Ok computer, take us into land…

ARTHUR:
Well, I say it was nothing... I mean obviously it was something…I was just trying to say it’s not worth making too much of a fuss about… I mean just saving everybody’s life you know?

NARRATOR:
Another thing that no one made too much fuss about was the fact that against all probability a sperm whale had suddenly been called into existence some miles above the surface of an alien planet. And since this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale this innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity as a whale before it had to come to terms with suddenly not being a whale at all. This is what it thought as it fell:


Scene 2. Above the Surface of Magrathea

SPERM WHALE:
Ahhhhh...! What's happening? Ee, excuse me, who am I? Hello? Why am I here? What's my purpose in life? What do I mean by who am I? Calm down, get a grip now... Oh! This is an interesting sensation, what is it? It's a sort of...yawning, tingling sensation in my...my...well, I suppose I’d better start finding names for things if I want to make any headway in what for the sake of what I shall call an argument I shall call the world, so let’s call it my stomach. So, a yawning tingling sensation in my stomach Good. Ooooh, it’s getting quite strong. And hey, what about this whistling, roaring sound going past what I’m suddenly going to call my head? That can be... Wind! Is that a good name? Oh er, It’ll do... perhaps I can find a better name for it later when I've found out what it’s for because there certainly seems to be a hell of a lot of it. Hey! What's this thing? This... let's call it a tail. Yeah! Tail. Hey! I can really thrash it about pretty good, can’t I? Wow! Wow! Hey doesn’t seem to achieve much but I'll probably find out what it's for later on. Now, have I built up any coherent picture of things yet? No. Oh hey, this is really exciting, so much to find out about, so much to look forward to, I'm quite dizzy with anticipation... Or is it the wind? Hey! There really is a lot of that now, isn't there? And wow! What’s this thing suddenly coming toward me very fast? Very, very fast. So big and flat and wide it needs a big wide-sounding word like ...ow...ound...round...ground! That’s it! Ground! I wonder if it’ll be friendly?

[There is a loud, wet, splat]

NARRATOR:
Curiously enough the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was, “Oh, no not again.” Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we should know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now. Meanwhile the starship has landed on the surface of Magrathea, and Trillian is about to make one of the most important statements of her life. Its importance is not immediately recognised by her companions.


Scene 3. Int. Heart of Gold Bridge

TRILLIAN:
Hey! My white mice have escaped.

ZAPHOD:
Oh, nuts to your white mice.

NARRATOR:
It is possible that Trillian’s observation would have commanded greater attention had it been generally realised that human beings were only the third most intelligent life-form on the planet Earth, instead of, as was generally thought by most independent observers, the second.

ZAPHOD:
Okay, run atmospheric checks on the planet.

[Various beeps and whirrings of the scanners]

FORD:
Are we taking this robot?

MARVIN:
Don’t feel you have to take any notice of me, please.

ZAPHOD:
Oh, Marvin the paranoid android? Yeah we’ll take him.

TRILLIAN:
What are you supposed to do with a manically depressed robot?

MARVIN:
You think you’ve got problems? What are you supposed to do if you are a manically depressed robot? No, don’t try an’ answer that, I’m fifty-thousand times more intelligent than you and even I don’t know the answer. It gives me a headache just trying to think down to your level.

ZAPHOD:
Well what’s the result?

SCANNERS:
[A beep] It’s okay, but it smells a bit

ZAPHOD:
Okay, everybody, let’s go.

EDDIE’S ALTERNATE PERSONALITY:
[Like a mad matron] Good Afternoon boys,

ARTHUR:
What’s that?

ZAPHOD:
Oh that, that’s just the computer. I discovered it had an emergency back-up personality, which I thought might be marginally preferable.

EDDIE’S ALTERNATE PERSONALITY:
Now this is going to be your first day on a strange planet, so I want you all wrapped-up, snug and warm and no playing with any naughty, bug-eyed monsters.

ZAPHOD:
I’m sorry, I think we might’ve been better off with a slide rule.

EDDIE’S ALTERNATE PERSONALITY:
Right, who said that?

ZAPHOD:
Will you open up the exit hatch please computer?

EDDIE’S ALTERNATE PERSONALITY:
Not until who ever said that owns up.

FORD:
Oh, God!

EDDIE’S ALTERNATE PERSONALITY:
Come on.

ZAPHOD:
Computer…

EDDIE’S ALTERNATE PERSONALITY:
I’m waiting, I can wait all day if necessary.

ZAPHOD:
Computer, if you don’t open that exit hatch this moment, I shall go straight to your major data banks with a very large axe and give you a reprogramming you’ll never forget. Is that clear?

EDDIE’S ALTERNATE PERSONALITY:
[A pause, and then ticks of calculations] I can see this relationship is something we’re all going to have to work at.

[The hatch hisses open, and steps extend down to the surface]

ZAPHOD:
Thank you. Let’s go.

EDDIE’S ALTERNATE PERSONALITY:
It’ll all end in tears, I know it.

TRILLIAN:
Zaphod, are you sure you know what you’re doing? We’ve been attacked once already you know.

ZAPHOD:
Look, I promise you, the live population of this planet is nil plus the four of us.

TRILLIAN:
And two white mice.

ZAPHOD:
And two white mice if you insist.

FORD:
Oh come on, let’s go if we’re going.

ZAPHOD:
Er, hey, er, Earthman,

ARTHUR:
Arthur.

ZAPHOD:
Uh, could you sort of keep the robot with you and guard this end of the passageway, okay?

ARTHUR:
Guard? What from? You just said there’s no one here!

ZAPHOD:
Yeah, well, uh, just for safety, okay?

ARTHUR:
Whose? Yours or mine?

ZAPHOD:
Yeah, er, good lad. Okay, here we go.

[ZAPHOD, FORD and TRILLIAN walk off]

ARTHUR:
[Shouts] Well I hope you all have a really miserable time!

MARVIN:
Don’t worry, they will.


Scene 4. Int. Cave.

TRILLIAN:
This is really spooky.

FORD:
Look at all this, galleries of derelict equipment just lying about. Does anyone know what happened to this place in the end? Why did the Magratheans die out?

ZAPHOD:
Something to do I suppose.

FORD:
If I had two heads like you Zaphod, I could have hours of fun banging them against a wall.

TRILLIAN:
Hey, shine the torch over there.

ZAPHOD:
Where? Here?

TRILLIAN:
Well, we aren’t the first beings to go down this corridor in five million years, then.

ZAPHOD:
Whaddya mean?

TRILLIAN:
Look! Fresh mouse droppings.

ZAPHOD:
Oh your bloody mice.!

TRILLIAN:
[Gasps] What’s that light down the corridor?!

ZAPHOD:
It’s just a torch reflection.

TRILLIAN:
There’s definitely something happening down there.

ZAPHOD:
Nooo.

TRILLIAN:
Listen!

[Energy weapons fire]

ANNOUNCER:
'The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ is a very unevenly edited book and contains many passages which simply seemed to its editors like a good idea at the time. One of these supposedly relates the experiences of one Veet Voojagig, a quiet young student at the University of Maximegalon who pursued a brilliant academic career studying ancient philology, transformational ethics, and the wave harmonic theory of historical perception, and then, after a night of drinking Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters with Zaphod Beeblebrox, became increasingly obsessed with the problem of what had happened to all the biros he bought over the past few years. There followed a long period of painstaking research during which he visited all the major centres of biro-loss through out the galaxy, and eventually came up with a rather quaint little theory which quite caught the public imagination at the time. Somewhere in the cosmos, he said, along with all the planets inhabited by Humanoids, reptiloids, fishoids, walking treeoids, and super-intelligent shades of the colour blue, there was also a planet entirely given over to biro life-forms. And it was to this planet that unattended biros would make their way. Slipping quietly through wormholes in space to a world where they knew they could enjoy a uniquely biroid lifestyle. Responding to highly biroid-orientated stimuli, in fact, leading the Biro equivalent of the good life. And as theories go, this was all very fine and pleasant, until Veet Voojagig suddenly claimed to have found this planet and to have worked there for a while, driving a limousine for a family of cheap green retractables. Where upon he was taken away, locked-up, wrote a book, and was finally sent into tax exile, which is the usual fate reserved for those who are determined to make a fool of themselves in public. When one day an expedition was sent to the spatial coordinates that Voojagig had claimed for this planet, they discovered only a small asteroid inhabited by a solitary old man who claimed repeatedly that nothing was true. Though he was later discovered to be lying. Meanwhile, on the surface of Magrathea, two suns have just set…


Scene 5. Ext. Surface of Magrathea.

ARTHUR:
Night’s falling. Look robot, the stars are coming out.

MARVIN:
I know. Wretched isn’t it?

ARTHUR:
But that sunset, I’ve never seen anything like it in my wildest dreams! The two suns… It was like mountains of fire boiling into space.!

MARVIN:
I’ve seen it, it’s rubbish.

ARTHUR:
We only ever had the one sun at home. I came from a planet called Earth you know.

MARVIN:
I know, you keep going on about it, it sounds awful.

ARTHUR:
No, it was a beautiful place.

MARVIN:
Did it have… oceans?

ARTHUR:
Oh yes. Great wide, rolling, blue oceans.

MARVIN:
Can’t bear oceans.

ARTHUR:
Tell me, do you get on well with other robots?

MARVIN:
Hate them. Where are you going?

ARTHUR:
I just think I’ll take a short walk.

MARVIN:
Don’t blame you.

SLARTIBARTFAST:
Good evening.

ARTHUR:
Agh! Who?

SLARTIBARTFAST:
You choose a cold night to visit our dead planet.

ARTHUR:
Who are you?

SLARTIBARTFAST:
My name is not important.

ARTHUR:
I, um, you startled me.

SLARTIBARTFAST:
Do not be alarmed, I will not harm you.

ARTHUR:
You shot at us! There were missiles.

SLARTIBARTFAST:
Merely an automatic system. Ancient computers ranged in the long caves deep in the bowels of the planet tick away the dark millennia. I think they take the occasional pot-shot to relieve the monotony. I am a great fan of science you know.

ARTHUR:
Really?

SLARTIBARTFAST:
Oh yes.

ARTHUR:
Ah.

SLARTIBARTFAST:
You seem ill at ease.

ARTHUR:
Yes, well, no disrespect, but I gathered you were all dead.

SLARTIBARTFAST:
Dead? No, we have but slept.

ARTHUR:
Slept?

SLARTIBARTFAST:
Yes, through the economic recession you see.

ARTHUR:
What?

SLARTIBARTFAST:
Well five million years ago the galactic economy collapsed, and seeing that custom built planets is something of a luxury commodity. You know we built planets do you?

ARTHUR:
Oh, well yes, I sort of gathered.

SLARTIBARTFAST:
Fascinating trade. Doing the coastlines was always my favourite. Used to have endless fun doing all the fiddly bits and fjords… Anyway, the recession came, so we decided to sleep through it. We just programmed the computers to revive us when it was all over. They were index linked to the galactic stock market prices you see, so that we’d be revived when everybody else had rebuilt the economy enough to be able to afford our rather expensive services again.

ARTHUR:
Good god! That’s a pretty unpleasant way to behave isn’t it?

SLARTIBARTFAST:
Is it? I’m sorry, I’m a bit out of touch. You must come with me, great things are afoot, you must come now or you will be late.

ARTHUR:
Late? What for?

SLARTIBARTFAST:
What is your name human?

ARTHUR:
Dent. Arthur Dent.

SLARTIBARTFAST:
Late, as in, the late Dentarthurdent. It’s a sort of threat you see. Never been very good at them myself, but I’m told they can be terrible effective.

ARTHUR:
Alright, where do we go?

SLARTIBARTFAST:
In my aircar. We are going deep into the bowels of the planet, where even now our race is being revived from its five million year slumber.

ARTHUR:
Excuse me. What is your name by the way?

SLARTIBARTFAST:
My name is…my name is… Slartibartfast.

ARTHUR:
[Snorts] He he he. I beg your pardon?!

SLARTIBARTFAST:
Slartibartfast.

ARTHUR:
Slartibartfast?

[The air car starts up]

SLARTIBARTFAST:
I said it wasn’t important.

[The air car zooms off]

NARRATOR:
It is an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem. For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he’s achieved so much: the wheel, New York, wars, and so on, whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But, conversely, the dolphins believed that they were more intelligent than man for precisely the same reasons. Curiously enough, the dolphins had long known of the impending demolition of Earth, and had made many attempts to alert mankind to the danger. But most of their communications were misinterpreted as amusing attempts to punch footballs, or whistle for titbits, so they eventually gave up and left the Earth by their own means - shortly before the Vogons arrived. The last ever dolphin message was misinterpreted as a surprisingly sophisticated attempt to do a double-backwards somersault through a hoop, whilst whistling the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’. But, in fact, the message was this: “So long, and thanks for all the fish”. In fact, there was only one species on the planet more intelligent than dolphins and they spent a lot of their time in behavioural research laboratories running round inside wheels, and conducting frighteningly elegant and subtle experiments on man.


Scene 6. Int. Magrathea.

SLARTIBARTFAST:
Earthman, we are now deep in the heart of Magrathea. I should warn you that the chamber we are about to pass into does not literally exist within our planet; it is simply the gateway to a vast track of hyperspace. It may disturb you.

ARTHUR:
Oh.

SLARTIBARTFAST:
It scares the willies out of me. Hold tight.

[The air car zooms along]

ARTHUR:
[Gasping]

SLARTIBARTFAST:
Welcome to our factory floor.

ARTHUR:
[Gasps] The light.

SLARTIBARTFAST:
This is where we made most of our planets you see.

ARTHUR:
Does this mean you’re starting it all up again now?

SLARTIBARTFAST:
No, no, for heaven’s sake, the galaxy isn’t nearly rich enough to support us yet. No, we’ve been awakened to perform just one extraordinary commission, it may interest you. There, in the distance in front of us…

ARTHUR:
Oh no!

SLARTIBARTFAST:
You see?

ARTHUR:
The Earth!

SLARTIBARTFAST:
Well, the Earth Mark Two in fact. It seems that the first one was demolished five minutes too early and the most vital experiment was destroyed. There’s been a terrible hoo-hah, so we’re going to make a copy from our original blueprints.

ARTHUR:
You… are you saying that you originally made the Earth?

SLARTIBARTFAST:
Oh yes. Did you ever go to a place… I think it’s called Norway?

ARTHUR:
What? Oh. No I didn’t.

SLARTIBARTFAST:
Pity, that was one of mine. Won an award you know. Lovely, crinkly eddies.

ARTHUR:
I- I can’t take this. Did I hear you say the Earth was destroyed five minutes too early?

SLARTIBARTFAST:
Shocking cock-up. The mice were furious.

ARTHUR:
Mice?

SLARTIBARTFAST:
Yes the whole thing was their experiment you see. A ten-million-year research program to find the ultimate question. Big job you know.

ARTHUR:
Look, would it save you all this bother if I just gave up and went mad, now?

NARRATOR:
Has Slartibartfast flipped his lid? Are Ford, Zaphod, and Trillian dying in fearful agony, or have they simply slipped out for a quick meal somewhere? Will Arthur Dent feel better with a good, hot drink inside him? Find out in next week’s exciting instalment of 'The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’.

ANNOUNCER:
In that episode of 'The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, Peter Jones was The Book, Richard Vernon was Slartibartfast, Simon Jones played Arthur Dent, and Geoffrey McGivern, Ford Prefect. Stephen Moore was Marvin; Mark Wing-Davey, Zaphod Beeblebrox; Susan Sheridan, Trillian; and David Tate, computer. The program was written by Douglas Adams and produced by Geoffrey Perkins with the assistance of the BBC Radio-Phonic Workshop. Zaphod Beeblebrox is now appearing in ‘No Sex Please: We’re Amoeboid Zingat-Ularians’ at the Brantisvogan Starhouse.


Scene 7. Int. Magrathea.

ARTHUR:
I’m sorry, but I’d probably be able to cope better if I hadn’t bruised my arm…

TX:
BBC Radio 4:
22nd March 1978

Notes:
*Featuring Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Trisha 'Trillian' McMillan and Marvin