Mere seconds before the Earth is to be demolished by an alien construction crew, journeyman Arthur Dent is swept off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher penning a new edition of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."
When the Earth is destroyed a Vogon Demolition Fleet to make way for a new hyperspace bypass, Arthur Dent joins his friend Ford Prefect (who turns out to be a researcher for an electronic reference guide called the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) for a galactic voyage on which they meet Zaphod Beeblebrox, a two-headed ex-President of the Galaxy, and his human companion, Trillian. Their journey takes them from the remains of Earth to Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Based on a radio play by Douglas Adams. Written by
Alexander Lum <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Shooty and Bang-Bang (the American cops at the end of episode 4) were inspired by the main characters in Starsky and Hutch (1975). Douglas Adams' impression of this show was that the characters cared too much to shoot people, so they crashed their cars into them instead. See more »
Episode 2: When Arthur and Ford are following Marvin through a white hallway, where Marvin mentions that the ship has been stolen, when Marvin walks toward the camera to enter a doorway, the actor's nose can be seen through the mesh of his mouth. See more »
So says the Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy's definition of the recently exterminated Planet Earth, as Arthur Dent goes on a fabulous and very silly journey through space and time without even having time to change out of his pyjamas and dressing gown. He's accompanied by his friend Ford Prefect (so called because he chose the name as the one most likely to blend in), a field reporter for the Guide.
The Guide itself of course is a huge best-seller mainly because it has 'Don't Panic' on the front in big letters ...
I'm watching it again as I write, now knowing every line and enjoying it immensely. It looks inept despite the cost (but the animation to create the computer sequences was good). It gives a few visual pointers to the (superior) radio series of the late 1970s, which had many of the same cast (specifically Peter 'voice of the book' Jones, Simon 'Arthur Dent' Jones, and the totally wonderful Mark 'Zaphod Beeblebrox' Wing-Davey - the sexiest two-headed guy you'll see in deep space).
Added to this version is Sandra Dickinson as Trillian, excellent in her bubble bimbo blonde astrophysicist way; and David Dixon as a charming Ford Prefect. There are other good actors in the cast - Colin Jeavons, Dave Prowse, David Rowlands, Richard Vernon, and Peter Davison. And who can forget Marvin 'I'm feeling very depressed' the Paranoid Android, voiced by Stephen Moore?
Can this BBC class act be topped by the upcoming movie? I doubt it. The good news is that many of the cast from this version will be back on the radio continuing the story very soon. That's something to look forward to.
In the meantime, those of you who are waiting for the film and haven't seen this, please seek the original out. So many highlights and so hilarious, not to mention 'What a Wonderful World'. 'Resistance is useless...'.
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