The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy (1981)

TV Series  |   |  Comedy, Sci-Fi, Adventure
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An Earth man and his alien friend escape Earth's destruction and go on a truly strange adventure as space hitchhikers.

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Complete series cast summary:
Peter Jones ...
 The Book (6 episodes, 1981)
 Arthur Dent (6 episodes, 1981)
David Dixon ...
 Ford Prefect (6 episodes, 1981)
Sandra Dickinson ...
 Trillian (5 episodes, 1981)
Mark Wing-Davey ...
 Zaphod Beeblebrox (5 episodes, 1981)
Stephen Moore ...
 Marvin / ... (5 episodes, 1981)
David Learner ...
 Marvin (4 episodes, 1981)
David Tate ...
 Eddie / ... (3 episodes, 1981)
Martin Benson ...
 Vogon Captain (2 episodes, 1981)
Richard Vernon ...
 Slartibartfast (2 episodes, 1981)
Rayner Bourton ...
 Newscaster (2 episodes, 1981)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

30 October 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(6 episodes) | (2 parts) | (7 episodes) (original release) | (6 episodes) (subsequent syndication) | (6 episodes)

Sound Mix:

| (video release)


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although this series follows very closely to the plot and dialogue of the first six episodes of the radio series (a.k.a. the "Primary Phase", first broadcast in 1978), it also includes some minor references to elements of radio episodes 7-12 (a.k.a. the "Secondary Phase", first broadcast in 1980). For example, the book entry on Sirius Cybernetics Robots shows a Frogstar Warrior Robot; Ford advises Arthur on the need to possess a towel for galactic hitchhiking; and the book's entry on Disaster Area shows the word "Belgium", which, in the Hitchhikers' universe, is the rudest word imaginable. See more »


The person operating Zaphod's third arm can be seen on multiple occasions. See more »


[repeated line]
Marvin: Life. Don't talk to me about life.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits for episode 3, the voice of the book returns briefly to resolve which one of the characters sustained a bruised arm -- a question that had been raised earlier in the episode, but left unanswered because it was unimportant. See more »


Featured in Screenwipe: Episode #3.4 (2007) See more »


Journey of the Sorcerer
(title music)
Written by Bernie Leadon
Arranged by Tim Souster
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

There is a need to set the record straight!
23 February 2005 | by (England) – See all my reviews

I have read through the reviews and find that many people are questioning whether this series is faithful to the books. It pre-dated most of them! I remember listening to the original radio shows on the BBC – I loved them: the humour, the wit, the sheer mind-boggling grandeur of the concept. Later when Adams rewrote his early radio scripts as a book I read it, but was disappointed: for me, it lacked the immediacy and the warmth of the radio scripts – I personally think the later books that were not radio script rewrites were better, or maybe it's just that I wasn't finding fault with differences between the books and the loved original.

Yes this was first a radio show, then a book (later books) and during the process of writing the books was transcribed from radio to a TV comedy in 6 half hour episodes closely matching the equivalent radio episodes from the first (radio) series. Don't assume you are watching a film or a mini-series – you are not! This was produced, because the Radio series was absolutely cult for many baby-boomers who had listened to it during their University years and the BBC recognised the demand and catered for it. Yes it was low budget, yes of course there were many things wrong with it, but Adams, himself, was involved in the TV scripts and the story changes were his or at least approved by him.

For those of us who had loved the radio series, this was good stuff; the right jokes were there and more importantly the late great Peter Jones was still the voice of the book. In fact we had the same Arthur Dent, Zaphod and Marvin as well. I, personally, was reasonably happy with the new Ford Prefect, but oh so disappointed by Sandra Dickenson as Trillian; for me, as for so many, this character had to have Susan Sheridan's voice and I will never be able to imagine her as blond.

It wasn't the radio series, but it was still very good, so please see this show in context as something between the original radio series and the books: it was never an adaptation of a book it was an adaptation of a radio script as were at least half of the books (I say at least half, since Adams wrote more radio scripts than were ever made and I think some of the later books were first conceived as radio scripts). Finally please remember you are criticising what was designed to be a sort of six episode sitcom it was never a mini-series. And for those of you who are only familiar with the books go back to source, if you can, and revel in the original radio series (12 half hour episodes in two series) and please remember these are not an adaptation of the books: these are the original and were made and broadcast before the first book was ever written.

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