The original Radio Four series.

Some members of the main cast

The Book................................Peter Jones
Arthur Dent.............................Simon Jones
Ford Prefect and Deep Thought...........Geoffrey McGivern
Prosser and Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz......Bill Wallis
Eddie and the Vogon Guard...............David Tate
Marvin..................................Stephen Moore
Zaphod Beeblebrox.......................Mark Wing-Davey
Trillian................................Susan Sheridan
Slartibartfast..........................Richard Vernon

The Episodes

Here follows a list of the episodes from the original two series. There is, in existence, a third series and a forth and fith are planned. These are not covered here because they are not part of this original run and, more importantly, I haven't got them :-)

Interesting note: The episodes are called 'fit the nth' as a reference to the Lewis Carol poem The Hunting of the Snark.


In which the Earth is unexpectedly destroyed and the great Hitch-Hike begins.

First broadcast 8th March 1978. This first programme was originally the pilot episode. It was recorded at the BBC Radio Light Entertainment Department on the 1st of March 1977.


After being saved from certain death during the demolition of the Earth, Arthur Dent now faces a hopeless choice between meeting certain death in the vacuum of space or finding something pleasant to say about Vogon poetry.

First broadcast 15th March 1978. Marvin was heard for the first time, and was originally only intended for this one episode (Adams was of the opinion that he was a one-joke robot). Luckly, due to the fact that the scripts for each episode were being written as the series went along, his instant popularity convinced Adams to add him to the permenent cast. The phone number of the London flat in this episode (which are also the odds against being saved from certain death when thrown into empty space is a real phone number (or was at the time). It was actually the phone of the flat Adams was writing the script in at the time.


After being improbably rescued from certain death in the vacuum of space, Arthur Dent and his companions now face a missile attack and certain death

First broadcast 15th March 1978. An interesting note from this episode is how Adams came up with the name 'Slartibartfast'. He started with the name 'PHARTIPHUKBORLZ' (which was clearly unbroadcastable) and played around with the syllables until he came up with something which sounded rude, but wasn't.


It has been revealed to Arthur that the Earth has been built by the Magratheans and run by mice. Meanwhile his companions have been suddenly confronted by something nasty (probably certain death).

First broadcast 29th March 1978. This is, of course, the episode in which the answer to the ultimate question of life, the Universe and Everything is discovered to be forty-two.


Sent to find the Ultimate Question to Life, the Universe and Everything, Arthur Dent and his companions have been cornered by two humane cops who, nethertheless, have left them in a certain death situation.

First broadcast 5th April 1978. Adams came back to writing HHGTTG after taking a break in which he wrote four episodes of Doctor Who. For this episode, and the next, Adams was assisted by John Lloyd (who went on to produce Spitting Image and The Black Adder.


Will the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything (to which the answer is forty-two be discovered?

Will our heroes be able to control their newly-stolen spaceship and the enourmous fleet of black battle cruisers that is following them?

Will all end happily or in the certain death that has threatened them so persistently?

First broadcast 12th April 1978. The last episode in the first series. David Jason of Only Fools and Horses (among many others) fame was cast to play The Captain of the B-Ark simply because he was regularly playing Dr David Owen (then, the foreign secretary) who was, for no good reason, always in a bath. Luckily, Jason later escaped from his man-in-a-bath typecasting.


The show that began with The End of the World continues with Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect stranded on a prehistoric Earth, and Zaphod Beeblebrox and Marvin thoroughly devoured by a carbon copy of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal.

First broadcast 24th December 1978. It was written as a one-off christmas special.


Zaphod Beeblebrox and his mysterious friend Roosta are being taken to the evil Frogstar, whilst Ford Prefect and Arthur Dent are stranded on pre-historic Earth. Some of them are getting hungry.

FORD: I don't believe it. It's impossible.
ARTHUR: But it's happening.

First Broadcast 21st January 1980. The first episode of the second series. This second series was broadcast one a night for a week between the 21st and 25th of January.


In which our heroes have the chance to chew the fat with some old enemies and Arthur Dent has an unpleasant cup of tea.

EDDIE: Man and Machines share in the stimulating exchange of... aaargh.

First Broadcast 22nd January 1980.


In which our heroes have some close encounters with others and themselves.

ARTHUR: It's not a question of whose habitat it is, it's a question of how hard you hit it.

First broadcast 23rd January 1980.


In which our heroes do a lot of running and digging.

In which all is resolved, everyone lives happily ever after and pigs fly.

MAN IN SHACK: I have no idea. It merely pleases me to behave in a certain way to what appears to be a cat.

First broadcast 25th January. This episode very nearly didn't make it to air. The mixing was only completed twenty minutes before broadcast. This explains some of the lower-quality editing of the final scenes. These were, in fact, re-done for later repeats. It should be noted that Adams intentionally had an open ending ready for a third series (which was never commissioned) after having problems trying to get out of a very final ending of the first.