The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy : Episode Guide

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Episode Guide (Series 1)

Series:   1

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1: Fit The First (5 Jan 81)

Arthur Dent wakes up to find a demolition crew outside his house, which must be knocked down to make way for a new bypass. He tries to prevent the demolition of his house, but is persuaded by his friend Ford Prefect to end his protest in order to visit the local pub.

When they reach the pub, Ford says that he's an alien from a small planet near Betelgeuse. He's been on Earth for several yeas doing research for a book called 'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy'. He also tells Arthur that the World is about to end.

Just as the demolition crew begins to knock down Arthur's house, a Vogon Constructor Fleet spaceship appears overhead. The Vogon Captain announces to humanity that the Earth must be demolished to build a hyperspace bypass, the plans for which have been on display in the planning office on Alpha Centauri for the previous fifty years.

Ford and Arthur manage to get on board the Vogon spaceship shortly before the Earth is destroyed.

2: Fit The Second (12 Jan 81)

Ford and Arthur are caught hiding on the Vogon Constructor Fleet spaceship. The Captain decides that they should be thrown out into space - but inssists on reading some of his awful poetry to them first. Arthur and Ford are then shoved into the airlock and shot out into space.

They are rescued, at an improbability level of 2 to the power of 267,709 to one against, by a spaceship equipped with the Infinite Improbability Drive. The ship, which is called 'Heart of Gold', is manned by Ford's semi-cousin, Zaphod Beeblebrox, a young astrophysicist named Trillian and a paranoid android called Marvin.

It turns out that Arthur has met Zaphod and Trillian before.

3: Fit The Third (19 Jan 81)

The Heart Of Gold reaches the legendary planet of Magrathea. The inhabitants used to manufacture planets, until their services became too expensive for anyone to afford. The Magratheans decided to go into hibernation until the galactic economy has improved to a point where there's once again a demand for custom-built planets.

Zaphod decides that they should land on the planet and explore. Before they can do so, however, the planet's automatic defense systems activate and fires two nuclear missiles. Arthur switches on the Infinite Improbability Drive and the the nuclear missiles are changed into a sperm whale and a bowl of petunias.

The travellers land on Magrathea, where they find the entrance to a subterranean cavern. Ford, Zaphod and Trillian set off to explore the cave, leaving Arthur and Marvin on the surface. After the others have gone, Arthur encounters an ancient Magrathean named Slartibartfast, who gives him a lift in his flying machine, down below the surface of the planet.

4: Fit The Fourth (26 Jan 81)

Slartibartfast tells Arthur that the Earth was a giant, organic computer, with its inhabitants forming part of its operational matrix. It had been built by the Magratheans and was designed to run a ten million year program intended to find the meaning of life, the universe and everything. Five minutes before the program was due to finish, the Earth was destroyed by the Vogons.

Arthur is also astonished to learn that the Earth and everything on it was controlled by mice, who were really the earthly manifestation of a race of super-intelligent, pan-dimensional beings.

After Slartibartfast has finished telling him the real history of the Earth, Arthur is reunited with his companions. They are subsequently ambushed by two galactic enforcers who are determined to capture or kill Zaphod Beeblebrox. The end result is a massive explosion.

5: Fit The Fifth (2 Feb 81)

After the explosion, Arthur, Ford, Zaphod and Trillian find that they've been thrown far forward in time. They find themselves in Milliways, the Restaurant At The End Of The Universe, which exists in a time bubble situated at the moment when the universe comes to its natural end.

They encounter Marvin, who has spent millions of years waiting for them on Magrathea, where Milliways was eventually built. He's currently working as a car park attendant.

Zaphod and Ford steal an all-black spaceship and, along with the others, they leave Milliways.

6: Fit The Sixth (9 Feb 81)

The all-black spaceship turns out to be a remote-controlled vessel which is programmed to crash into a sun as the climax to a rock concert given by a band called Disaster Area. The only way to escape is to use a very temperamental teleportation device which must be operated manually. Marvin is 'volunteered' to stay behind to operate the device, while the others depart.

Ford and Arthur reappear on a large spaceship which seems to be full of bodies. They are apprehended by an officer and marched off to the bridge. They meet the captain, who's spent the previous three years in the bath, and discover that they're on an 'ark' which is carrying the least useful inhabitants of a planet called Golgafrincham to a new home. The Ark crashes onto a planet, which Ford and Arthur later discover to be the Earth at a very early stage of its development.

Unfortunately, the unplanned arrival of the Golgafrincham colonists is likely to have dire consequences for the program which the Earth (a giant, organic computer) is supposed to be running.

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