“I told you there was something fundamentally wrong with the universe” (Arthur Dent).
Believe it or not, this is true somehow. How, you ask? Well, I’m starting a new tradition this week for Media Mondays. I’ll pose a question/seemingly wrong fact/something similar at the beginning of each Monday’s post and reveal the answer at the end of the following Monday’s post. Now, you say, does this have a point in the age of Google? Google it if you want and then see if we agree. J. J
Anyway, moving on to the topic of the first true Media Monday—“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy—which is the only book in the whole of the known universe to have the letters ‘Don’t Panic’ inscribed in large, friendly letters on the cover.” If you are anything like me, you are now wondering how letters can be friendly. I don’t know either. Maybe they wave at you or something. That would be neat.
Anyway, this post will focus on the Primary and Secondary series of the original BBC radio show (1978). It’s British Comedy at its best, and it’s funny science fiction. What more could you ask for? (Answer—probably a lot, but this is what you’re getting.)
Moving on—or perhaps back. For anyone who doesn’t know. The concept behind “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” (hence forth known as “Hitchhiker” because typing that whole thing out takes too long) is basically that the Earth has been demolished “to make way for a new hyperspace bypass.” Earthman survivor (Arthur Dent), his companion Ford Prefect (who is “from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse”), Zaphod Beeblebrox (the galactic president), Trillian (“a rather nice astrophysicist Arthur once met at a party in Islington), and Marvin the Paranoid Android spend the subsequent eleven episodes (after the demolishing of Earth) traveling the galaxy and attempting to revise the Guide/stay alive and reasonably out of harm’s way. The exception to this is Trillion.
Fit 5 – Series 1 – The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
“End of what?”
“When did that end?”
“In just a few minutes.”
In this fit, our dynamic groupies (with the exception of Marvin) find themselves “blasted 567 million years through time by an exploding computer” and at the host desk of “Milliways: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.” The episode features Ford trying to explain how the restaurant doesn’t end with the rest of the universe through the use of a wine glass, which he shatters. So, “well forget that.” He then launches into a lengthy, but very false, description of how the universe began.
While this is happening, Marvin is down in the parking garage waiting, and yes, he had been waiting the entirety of the 576 million years. According to him, “The first ten million years—they were the worst, and the second ten million—they were the worst too. The third ten million—I didn’t enjoy at all. After that I went into a bit of a decline.” Clearly, he had a great time.
This fit ends with the dynamic groupies “stealing the flag ship of the admiral of the space fleet.” Oh, and they also have a discussion revolving around the question to the ultimate answer of the universe, which is (of course) “42.”
Now Trillion-less, the group (in the previous fit) found themselves on a mysterious planet featuring a 15-mile high statue of Arthur throwing a cup. “It’s a long story.” In this fit, the results of this development are that Arthur found his way to ground level (after falling,, being picked up by an “extremely large passing bird,” and meeting the bird people and learning of the “somethings of which the bird people refuse to speak.” Ford and Zaphod also fell, and begin the fit on the back of a different “extremely large passing bird,” which they force to take them to the ground and spend the remainder of the fit running away from. “That should keep them busy.”
Back to Arthur, he is now in the company of an archaeologist named Lintilla. After a discussion and narration about “crisis psychology—the benefits of working under extreme pressure,” Arthur then finds himself in the company of three archaeologists named Lintilla. One of these three Lintillas explains that they are clones. Arthur jumps on board (thinking he finally understands something) and explains “that there was one of them and then exact copies were made and now there are three of them.”
“Yes, except there are now nearly 578 thousand million of us.” But the rest aren’t there.
In any event, “that’s rather a lot, isn’t it?”
The fit plays out with Arthur and Lintilla 1 being captured by a shoe company executive and his foot warrior who's “feet are the wrong size for his shoes” and thus is of virtually no help to anyone because he can’t walk. Marvin rescues Arthur and Lintilla 1 and they take off for better parts, and the fit ends with Ford and Zaphod taking cover in an old building full of “amazing old ships”.” And, I mean really old ships. “One look and they fall apart. I mean look at that one. *ship falls apart*.”
Summary complete. There you have it—a look into the world, excuse me, universe of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” Oh darn, I said I wasn’t going to type that out again. Oh well. If you found this funny, read the books, watch the movie, or track down the radio series. Aside from the Primary and Secondary series, there were three more made several years later—the Tertiary, Quandary, and Quintessential Phases.
Closing statement—for this to work, let’s pretend for a moment that the word “drink” means the same as “post.” Ready, go.
“If you enjoyed this drink, why not share it with your friends?” – A drink Machine on the Star Ship Heart of Gold Infinite Improbability Drive Ship
See you out of the box,
P.S. I have added a video to the “Disney Gave Me Unrealistic Expectations about Death” post. Would have been up with the post, but “we were experiencing technical difficulties.” So, it wasn’t, but it is now. Enjoy J