The Musical

( Music: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)


(Setting: Country backdrop on main stage. ARTHUR's house is SL. There is a bulldozer CS. ARTHUR is lieing on the ground between the house and the bulldozer. PROSSER is talking with the DRIVER of the bulldozer. ESR is a bar, with three stools. The BARTENDER is wiping the bar, and a DRUNK is sitting in the farthest right stool, asleep. Curtain opens.)

(After a brief pause, PROSSER comes forward and looks down at ARTHUR.)

PROSSER: Come off it, Mr. Dent. You can't win you know. You can't lie down in the path of progress!

ARTHUR: Oh can't I?

PROSSER: Well, you can't lie in front of the bulldozer forever!

ARTHUR: I'm game! We'll see who rusts first!

PROSSER: Look. I'm a busy man. This bypass has got to be built, and it is going to be built!

ARTHUR: Why has it got to be built!

PROSSER: What do you mean, why has it got to be built? It's a bypass! You've got to build bypasses!

ARTHUR: But why? This is the middle of the country! What purpose would a four-lane expressway through the middle of the alfalfa fields do?

PROSSER: That's beside the point. The plans for the building of this bypass have been on display at the local planning office for the last nine months!

ARTHUR: Oh yes! But how many people are in the habit of casually dropping by the local planning office on Friday night? "What do you want to do tonight, guys? See a movie? Go to the bar? Hang out at the planning office?" It just doesn't work that way!

PROSSER: But the plans were on display.

ARTHUR: Yes. I went down to find them yesterday afternoon, after some workman arrived at the door. I asked him if he'd come to clean the windows, and he said he'd come to demolish the house!

PROSSER: Mister Dent....

ARTHUR: He didn't tell me right away, of course. First he wiped a couple of windows with a greasy rag and charged me ten dollars. Then he told me.

PROSSER: Mister Dent. You may choose to scoff at City Government...

ARTHUR: Me? I wasn't scoffing.

PROSSER: I said you may choose to scoff at City Government.

ARTHUR: Alright, maybe I was a little.

PROSSER: May I continue?

ARTHUR: Yes, go ahead.

PROSSER: You may choose to scoff at City Government...

ARTHUR: Is this you continuing?

PROSSER: Yes! I said...

ARTHUR: Because it's just that it sounded more like you saying the same thing again.

PROSSER: You keep missing the point. The plans... were... on... display!

ARTHUR: I eventually had to go down to the cellar!

PROSSER: That's the display department!

ARTHUR: With a flashlight.

PROSSER: The lights had propably gone.

ARTHUR: So had the stairs.

PROSSER: But you found the notice, didn't you?

ARTHUR: Ah yes. (He gets up, and advances towards SR step by step. PROSSER retreats, fearfully.) It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused janitorial closet with a sign on the door saying beware of the leapord! (He stops, pauses) Have you ever thought of going into advertizing?

(DRIVER revs the bulldozer motor. ARTHUR quickly runs back in front of it and lies down stolidly, arms crossed across his chest. PROSSER tiredly returns.)

PROSSER: Mister Dent.

ARTHUR: Hello? Yes?

PROSSER: Do you have any idea whatsoever how much damage that bulldozer would suffer if I were to just let it roll straight over you?

ARTHUR: How much?

PROSSER: None at all.

(PROSSER stalks angrily off, talks with DRIVER. ARTHUR remains in his position. FORD comes in from SR. He is nervously looking up towards the sky. He doesn't seem to notice the bulldozer at all, and goes directly over to ARTHUR.)

FORD: Hello, Arthur.

ARTHUR: Hi, Ford, how are you?

FORD: (distracted) Fine, look, are you busy?

ARTHUR: (sarcastically) Busy? No, not all! I just have this bulldozer to lie in front of so it doesn't knock my house down, but otherwize, no, not especially!

FORD: Oh good. Lets go over to the bar and talk.

ARTHUR: Ford, don't you understand? That man wants to knock my house down!

FORD: Well can't he do it while you're gone?

ARTHUR: But I don't want him to!

FORD: Then ask him to wait until you get back!


FORD: Arthur! Listen, this is very important. I've got to tell you the most important think you've ever heard. I've got to tell you now, and I've got to tell you in that bar there!


FORD: Becuase you'll need to be very drunk to hear it.

ARTHUR: Well what am I going to do about the bulldozer?

FORD: (suprised) Bulldozer? (he turns and sees it) Oh! This man wants to knock your house down with that bulldozer?

ARTHUR: Yes, he...

FORD: And he can't because you're lieing in front of it?

ARTHUR: Yes, and...

FORD: I'll see if we can't come to some arrangement. (glances at his watch, and walks over to PROSSER) Hello there!

PROSSER: Hello. Has Mr. Dent come to his senses yet?

FORD: No, I'm afraid he hasn't. And I'm also afraid that he's going to be lieing there all day.

PROSSER: (sighs) Is he.

FORD: Yes. He is. And that means that you and your driver are going to be standing around here all day doing absolutely nothing.

PROSSER: I suppose so.

FORD: So, since you're already resigned to doing nothing all day, you don't actually need Mr. Dent there all the time, do you?

PROSSER: (confused) Um.... er.... no, ah... I guess...

FORD: So if you could just pretend that he's actually here, he and I could go down to the bar for half an hour or so. How does that sound?

PROSSER: Oh... ah... that sounds, uh, very reasonable, um, I think.

FORD: And, if you wanted to take a break for a bit later on, we could always cover for you in return!

PROSESR: Oh! Thank you! That's very kind.

FORD: Certainly. (beat) So, if you could just lie down there now...


FORD: Perhaps I haven't made myself clear. You see, there needs to be someone lieing there in front of the bulldozer, otherwise what's to stop it from knocking Mr. Dent's house down?

PROSSER: You want me to lie there?

FORD: Yes.

PROSSER: In front of the bulldozer?

FORD: Yes.

PROSSER: In the mud?

FORD: In, as you say, the mud.

PROSSER: And in return for this, you will take Mr. Dent down to the bar for half an hour.

FORD: Yes.

PROSSER: Promise?

FORD: Promise.

(PROSSER obviously is sure he has just won, somehow. As ARTHUR stands up, bewildered, PROSSER happily lies down in his place. The DRIVER looks at him as if he is insane. FORD looks at his watch again, glances up at the sky, and drags ARTHUR towards the bar.)

FORD: Come on.

ARTHUR: Wait! Do you think we can trust him?

FORD: I'd trust him till the end of the earth!

ARTHUR: Yes, but how far's that?

FORD: About twelve minutes away. Hurry up, I need a drink.

FORD and ARTHUR move to bar, sit in stools.)

FORD: Six beers, and quickly, please, the world's about to end.

BARTENDER: Oh really, sir? Nice weather for it. You going to watch the game this afternoon, sir?

FORD: No, no point.

BARTENDER: Foregone conclusion, you think? Visitors without a chance?

FORD: (patiently) No, it's just that the world's about to end.

BARTENDER: Yes sir, you said. Lucky escape for them if it did.

FORD: Not really.

BARTENDER: There you are sir. Seven dollars even.

FORD: (hands him a bill) Keep the change.

BARTENDER: What, from a fifty? Thank you, sir!

FORD: You've got ten minutes left to spend it in.

(At this point the DRUNK wakes up. During the next few lines, he looks over at the six drinks. He looks over at FORD and ARTHUR. He does some math on his fingers, and comes up with a happy conclusion. He smiles hopefully at them. FORD ignores him. Meanwhile, FORD has taken one of the mugs and has started drinking. Every few words he takes another sip. ARTHUR reluctantly picks one up but doesn't start drinking yet.)

ARTHUR: Ford, will you please tell me what the hell is going on?

FORD: Okay, I'll try to explain. How long have we known each other, Arthur?

ARTHUR: Five years, maybe six.

FORD: Alright. (Stops drinking, makes eye contact with ARTHUR.) How would you react if I told you that I'm from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse?

ARTHUR: (confused) I don't know. Why, is it the sort of thing you're likely to say?

FORD: Just drink. You've got two more to get through.

ARTHUR: Three? At lunchtime?

FORD: Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

ARTHUR: Very deep. You should send that in to the Reader's Digest. They've got a page for people like you.

FORD: Drink up!

ARTHUR: (sigh) This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays.

( MUSIC: It Must Be Thursday)

(NARRATER comes out onto the stage with a spot on him. As he talks, FORD and ARTHUR continue drinking. About the middle of the speech, but in the background, PROSSER suddenly realizes what he is doing. He jumps up, brushes off mud, talks with bulldozer driver. Extras and LADY CYNTHIA come in right as the NARRATER first mentions her name.)

NARRATER: On this particular Thursday, something was moving quietly through the ionosphere miles above the surface of the planet. But only two people on the surface of the planet were aware of it. One was a deaf and dumb lunatic in the Amazon basin who leapt off a cliff in horror, and the other was Ford Prefect. One of the six thousand million people who hadn't glanced into the ionosphere recently was called Lady Cynthia Fitzmilton, and she is about to give a speech about the building of the new bypass through Arthur's home. Many of the people who will listen to her speech would propably feel great satisfaction to know that in four minutes time, she would evaporate into a whiff of hydrogen, ozone, and carbon monoxide. However, they will propably be too busy evaporating themselves to notice.

(At this point, LADY CYNTHIA begins her speech. At the beginning, the extras are excited, but as it wears on and on, they get tired, and start to wish she'd just get on with it. FORD and ARTHUR are still drinking their beers. If the director wants, FORD can buy the DRUNK a drink to get rid of him.)

LADY CYNTHIA: I have been asked to come here to say a few words about the building of the new splendid and very worthwile bypass through this splendid and worthwile stretch of countryside. And I must say immediately what a great honor and a great privilage I feel it must be for you, the little people of this backward countryside, to have this gleaming black motorway running through your little country villiage. I know how proud you must feel at this moment, to know that your obscure and unsung hamlet will now arise reborn as a wonderful truck stop and service station! And for myself, it gives me great satisfaction to know that I will be opening this age of excitement and discovery by a simple act. Oh, a simple act indeed. I will be opening this new age of excitement and prosperity by the simple, simple act of breaking this very splendid and worthwile bottle of champagne against the noble prow of this very splendid and worthwhile #003366 bulldozer.

( SOUND EFFECT: Bulldozer moving forward.)

(She does as she says. The crowd cheers, mainly because she has finally stopped talking. The bulldozer motor revs, and it moves forward. The crowd steps away, and moves over to CS. LADY CYNTHIA walks off regally to SR. The bulldozer smashes into ARTHUR's house. ARTHUR looks up at the sound.)

( SOUND EFFECT: Smashing house.)

ARTHUR: What was that?

FORD: Don't worry, they haven't started yet.

ARTHUR: Oh good.

FORD: It's propably just your house being knocked down.

ARTHUR: What?! (he jumps up)

FORD: It hardly makes any difference now. There's only three minutes left.

ARTHUR: Hardly makes any difference!? (he runs out of the bar towards his smashed house.) Stop, you vandals, you homewreckers, you half-crazed visigoths, stop!

(An extra walks by, looks at ARTHUR, and enters the bar. He orders a drink from the BARTENDER. Meanwhile, ARTHUR is trying to get to PROSSER, who has a triumphant look on his face, but is unsuccessful, the extras are milling about in a crowd and ARTHUR can't get through them.)

FORD: Arthur, stop! It's pointless! Ah, I'd better go after him. Barman, quick! Can you just get me four packets of peanuts?

BARTENDER: Just a moment, sir, I'm helping this gentleman here.

FORD: What's the point! He'll be dead in a few minutes! (He leaps over the bar, grabs a box, opens it, frantically pulls out packaging peanuts, and grabs four peanut bags.)

BARTENDER: What do you think you're doing?!

FORD: Here! Is this enough!? (He opens his satchel, and throws out money.)

BARTENDER: Are you serious, sir? Do you really think the world's going to end this afternoon?

FORD: Yes, in just over one minute and twenty five seconds.

BARTENDER: Well, isn't there anything we can do?

FORD: No, nothing.

DRUNK: (he looks up, bleary-eyed) I always thought we were s'posed to lie down and put a paper bag over our head or something.

FORD: If you like, sure.

BARTENDER: Well will that help?


DRUNK: That's what they told us in the army.

FORD: Excuse me, I've got to find my friend.

BARTENDER: Last orders, please!

(FORD runs after ARTHUR. The crowd is still in the way.)

ARTHUR: You barbarians! I'll sue the city government for every penny it's got! I'll have you hung, electrocuted, shot, and drowned! Then I'll chop you up into little bits, and then jump on them! And I'll keep jumping until I get blisters, or I can think of something worse to do!

(ARTHUR finally breaks through to the other side of the crowd. He runs at PROSSER, fully looking like he is going to carry out his threats. Then there is a huge roaring sound; a spaceship is passing overhead. ARTHUR and all onstage characters look up, some scream.)

ARTHUR: What in God's name is that?

FORD: It's an alien spaceship! Haven't you ever read the National Inquirer?

ARTHUR: Well what's it doing here?

FORD: It's a Vogon Constructor Ship! I picked up news of its arrival a few hours ago on my sub-etha radio!

ARTHUR: Those three drinks must be getting to me. I think I'll go lie down for a while.

FORD: No, just stay here! Take hold of this rod!


FORD: Just do it! And wait for...

( SOUND EFFECT: A big click, like a P.A. system coming on.)

VOGON: People of Earth, your attention, please.

(All the hubbub dies down. All characters are looking up at the sky. It has become deadly quiet, except for the booming loud voice of the Vogon Captain.)

VOGON: Thank you. As you are no doubt aware, the Galactic Government has decided to build a new bypass through this section of space, to service star systems in the Western Spiral Arm of the Galaxy. Regrettably, your planet is one of those scheduled for demolition. The process will take slightly less than two of your Earth minutes. Thank you very much.

( SOUND EFFECT: P.A. going off.)

(All the characters onstage start shouting. Optionally, a sound effect can be played of people shouting, so it sounds like more people than just the onstage extras and characters are shouting. Ideally, it should sound like the whole Earth is shouting at the Vogons. The P.A. comes back on again.)

VOGON: Oh, come now, stop complaining. The plans have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for fifty of your Earth years, so you can't start making a big fuss about it now!

(The P.A. clicks off. Shouting resumes. It comes on again)

VOGON: What do you mean, you've never been to Alpha Centauri? For heavens sake, it's only four light years away! I'm sorry, mankind, but if you can't even bother to take an interest in local affairs, that's not the problem of Galactic Government. Energize the demolition beams.

(FORD and ARTHUR should be gripping the rod now.)

( MUSIC: Brief reprise of "It Must Be Thursday")

( SOUND EFFECT: Strange Star Trek type noise as of beams energizing, rising up to a creshendo after about four seconds. There should be a very loud boom. The Earth has just blown up. See back for more information on how to convincingly stage the end of the world.)



(SETTING: On the Vogon ship. DSL are two dirty matresses stacked on top of each other. There are bits of green underwear, dirty dishes, and a piece of strange machinery there. DSR is the airlock. Behind the curtain is the Vogon captain's throne. He is sitting on it, with a guard at each side. CS are two poetry appreciation chairs. The curtain is closed. FORD and ARTHUR are DSL.)

(Lights are off.)

FORD: I got some peanuts.

ARTHUR: Huuhhhggghnnnnaaahh?

FORD: I'd expect you to feel a bit disorentated. You've never been through a matter transference beam before.

ARTHUR: A what?

FORD: You've propably lost some salt and protein. The beer you had should have cushioned your system a bit. How are you feeling?

ARTHUR: Like a military acadamy. Bits of me keep on passing out. If I asked you where we were, would I regret it?

FORD: We're safe. (He lights a match. Lights come on very dim DSL, not bright enough to make out any detail distinctly.)

ARTHUR: Oh good.

FORD: (He starts to look around for the light switch, which is on the wall.) We're in a small galley cabin aboard the flagship of the Vogon Constructor fleet.

ARTHUR: Ah. This is obviously some strange usage of the word "safe" that I wasn't previously aware of. How did we get here?

FORD: We hitched a lift.

ARTHUR: Excuse me? You mean we just stuck out our thumbs and some green bug-eyed monster stuck his head out and said "Hi fellas, hop right in!"

FORD: Well, the thumb's an electronic sub-etha device, and the Dentrassi didn't really stick his head out to talk to us, but otherwize, that's more or less right.

ARTHUR: And the bug-eyed monster?

FORD: Is green, yes. Ah, I've found the light. (He switches it on and the lights come on fairly bright DSL).

ARTHUR: Good grief! Is this really the interior of a flying saucer?

FORD: It certainly is! What do you think?

ARTHUR: Well... it's a bit messy, isn't it?

FORD: Well, the Dentrassi aren't known for their cleanliness.

ARTHUR: Dentrassi? I thought you said they were called Vogons or something?

FORD: The Vogons run the ship. The Dentrassi are the cooks. They let us on board.

ARTHUR: I'm confused!

FORD: Here. Have a look at this. (He reaches into his satchel and gets out The Guide.)

ARTHUR: What is it?

FORD: It's a sort of electronic book. It will tell you everything you need to know about anything.

ARTHUR: What's it called?


FORD: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

ARTHUR: (They are starting to stroll towards DSR along the stage) I like the cover. "Don't Panic." It's the first helpful or intelligible thing anybody's said to me all day!

FORD: That's why it sells so well. Here, you want to find out about Vogons. So you look through the index-computer. There it is: Vogon Constructor Fleets. Type in that code on the keyboard and see what it says.

ARTHUR: Alright. (He does.)

(Lights dim and spot is on the GUIDE, who is CS. FORD and ARTHUR freeze during his speech.)

THE GUIDE: Vogon Constructor Fleets. Here is what to do if you want to get a lift from a Vogon: Forget it. They are one of the most unpleasant races in the Galaxy, not actually evil, but bad-tempered, beaurocratic, malicious, and callous. They wouldn't even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, without orders signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, buried in soft peat for three months and finally recycled as firelighters. The best way to get a drink out of a Vogon is to stick your finger down his throat, and the best way to irritate him is to feed his grandmother to the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal.

(GUIDE steps back, lights come back up, and FORD and ARTHUR begin to move again.)

ARTHUR: What a strange book. Well, how did we get a lift then?

FORD: That's the problem. It's out of date now. I'm a field researcher for the new, revised edition of the Guide. That's how I came to be on Earth in the first place, you know. I came for a week and got stranded for fifteen years.

ARTHUR: (They start to walk down the stairs and down the audiance aisle.) Oh, that reminds me. Um... what has happened to the Earth?

FORD: Ah. It's been... disintegrated.

ARTHUR: (levelly) Has it.

FORD: Yes. It just, ah, boiled away into space.

ARTHUR: Has it.

FORD: Ah, yes.

ARTHUR: Look. I'm a bit upset about that.

FORD: Uh, yes, I can understand.

ARTHUR: It's times like this when I could really use a good cup of tea. Do you think we could get any from these, uh, Dentrassi people?

FORD: Tea? Arthur, Arthur, Arthur! You've got lots to learn. Out here in the Milky Way Galaxy, we don't drink tea.

ARTHUR: Oh no?

FORD: No! We drink Ol' Janx Spirit, and Santraganian Mineral Water, and Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters.

ARTHUR: What are those?

FORD: The best drink in existance. The effect is somewhat like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick.

ARTHUR: Really.

FORD: Oh yes. It's been described as a mugging: expensive and bad for the head. But it's a great drink.

ARTHUR: I think I'll stick with tea.

FORD: Suit yourself.

ARTHUR: (pause) Did you get much useful material on Earth?

FORD: Oh yes! Great article. Submitted it off to the editor just last week.

ARTHUR: Let's see what it says in this edition then. Let see here... E.... Earth. (he types in the code). Well it doesn't have an entry!

FORD: (looks at book) Yes it does! Right there, at the bottem of the page.

ARTHUR: Oh yes.

(They freeze as the GUIDE comes out and unfreeze when he's done.)

GUIDE: Harmless.

ARTHUR: Harmless? Harmless? That's all it's got to say? One word? Harmless?

FORD: Well, there's only a limited amount of space in the book! There are a hundred billion stars in the galaxy, you know. And no one knew much about the Earth anyway!

ARTHUR: I hope you've managed to rectify that a little!

FORD: Yes, the new article has much more information. The editor had to trim it a bit, but it's still an improvement.

ARTHUR: What does it say now?

FORD: Umm..... Mostly Harmless.

ARTHUR: Mostly Harmless?!?

FORD: Well that's the way it is! We're on a whole new scale, now! The Earth is gone! And no one cares! You're just going to have to get used to that, Arthur!

ARTHUR: Well what am I going to do?

FORD: You come along with me and help me research the new edition! (He stops at a machine, presses a button, and retrieves something from a dispenser). You'll need to have this fish in your ear.

ARTHUR: (This is just too much.) I beg your pardon?!?

(A horrible noise begins. It is the Captain making an announcement over the PA in Vogon).

ARTHUR: What's that noise?

FORD: Listen! It might be important?


FORD: It's the Vogon Captain making an announcement over the P.A.

ARTHUR: Well I can't speak Vogon!

FORD: Just put the fish in your ear. Come on, it's only a little one!

(He claps his hand to ARTHUR's ear, as we hear a horrible slurping sound. ARTHUR makes discusted horrified noises. Suddenly the strange noise turns into the VOGON CAPTAIN as he sounded in ACT 1 SCENE 1.)

CAPTAIN: ...should have a good time. Message repeat. This is your Captain speaking, so stop whatever you're doing and pay attention! First of all, I see from our instruments that we have a few hitchhikers aboard our ship. Hello there, wherever you are! I just want to make it absolutely, totally clear to you that you are NOT welcome! I worked hard to get where I am today, and I didn't become Captain of a Vogon Constructor ship just to turn it into a taxi service for degenerate freeloaders! As soon as my guards find you, I will throw you off my ship. If you're very lucky, I may read you some of my poetry first. Secondly, we are about to make the hyperspace jump to Barnard's star. Upon arrival, we will stay in dock for a refit, and no one's to leave the ship during that time. I repeat, all planet leave is cancelled! I've just had an unhappy love affair, so I don't see why anyone else should have a good time. Message ends.

ARTHUR: Charming, these Vogons. I wish I had a daughter so I could forbid her to marry one!

FORD: You wouldn't need to. The current theory is that the forces of evolution gave up on them moments after they crawled out of the seas. They haven't evolved since.

ARTHUR: Ford, what's this fish doing in my ear?

FORD: It's translating for you. Look it up in the book.

ARTHUR: (He begins to type in the code, when the lights flash and they are pushed against the wall as if by some force.) What's happening?

FORD: We're going into hyperspace.

(Lights flash faster, than die out. The GUIDE comes forward with a spot.)

GUIDE: The Babel fish is small, #003366, leechlike, and propably the oddest thing in the universe. It feeds on brainwave energy, absorbing all unconcious frequencies and then excreting telepathically a matrix formed from the concious frequencies and nerve signals picked up from the speech centers of the brain. Which means that you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language. Now, it is such an improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could evolve purely by chance, that many people have chosen to see it as final, clinching proof of the non-existance of God. The argument goes something like this: "I refuse to proove that I exits," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing." "But," says man, "the Babel Fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. Q.E.D." "Oh dear, I hadn't thought of that," says God, and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic. "Oh, that was easy!" says man, and goes on to prove that black is white and gets killed on the next zebra crossing. Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different cultures and races, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.

(At the cue of "Oh, that was easy," the lights begin to come up very slowly. By the time the narrater has concluded his speech, they have resumed their former level. FORD and ARTHUR are lieing on the ground. They begin to stir, and are once again looking at the Guide by the narrater's conclusion).

ARTHUR: What a strange book.

FORD: Help me write the new edition!

ARTHUR: No. I want to back to Earth, I'm afraid. Or it's nearest equivalent.

FORD: Well that'll be difficult to do. Earth is fairly unique in the galaxy. That's why it's been so isolated, except for the teasers.

ARTHUR: Teasers?

FORD: Oh! Teasers are rich kids looking for a good time. They land on planets that haven't made interstellar contact yet, and buzz them.

ARTHUR: (thourougly confused) Buzz them?

FORD: Yes, they find some isolated spot, right by some poor unsuspecting soul who no one's going to believe, and then stut up and down in front of them wearing silly antenae on their head and making "beep beep" noises. Rather childish, really. (he chuckles}.

ARTHUR: (somewhat bemused, he chuckles too). Ford, I don't know if this is a silly question, but what am I doing here?

FORD: Well you know that. I rescued you from the Earth.

ARTHUR: But what am I going to do? I don't know anything about how to survive in the galaxy!

FORD: You just come along with me and enjoy yourself! Once we get to Barnard's Star, we can get nearly anywhere. It's a sort of hyperspace junction. (there is heavy pounding on the door) That is, assuming we actually get there.

ARTHUR: What's that?

FORD: Well, if we're lucky, it's just the Vogons coming to throw us into space.

ARTHUR: And if we're unlucky?!

FORD: If we're unlucky the Captain might be serious about his threat to read some of his poetry to us!

(NARRATER comes out with spot. The action continues (albeit in silence) in the background while he speaks. The VOGON GUARD bursts in, spots the two of them, grabs them, and carries him across the stage. The curtain opens, and he approaches the set behind it from DSR. He straps both FORD and ARTHUR into the poetry appreciation chairs, and salutes to the CAPTAIN. The GUARD then goes to stand next to the CAPTAIN with the other GUARD. The VOGON CAPTAIN pantomimes talking to the prisoners for the duration of the NARRATER's speech).

NARRATER: Vogon poetry is, of course, the third worst in the universe. The second worst is that of the Azgoths of K'ria. During a recitation by their poet Master Grunthos the Flatulent, of his poem "Ode To A Small Lump Of Green Putty I Found In My Armpit One Midsummer Morning," four of his audiance died of internal hemmorhaging, and the President of the Mid-Galactic Arts-Nobbling Council survived by gnawing one of his own legs off. Grunthos was reported to have been "disapointed" by the poems reception, and was about to embark on a reading of his twelve-book epic entitled "My Favorite Bathtime Gurgles" when his own major intestine, in a desperate attempt to save humanity, leapt straight up through his neck and throttled his brain. The very worst poetry of all was written by Paul Weston Winestein Taylor, of Salt Lake City, Utah, and perished along with the destruction of the planet Earth. Vogon poetry is mild by comparison, but it is still bad enough to provoke the following reactions from our heroes.

(As the VOGON CAPTAIN reads his poetry, ARTHUR and FORD react much as if they are being physically tortured. They let out cries of pain, thrash in their chairs, writhe their heads, etc.)

VOGON CAPTAIN: Oh freddled gruntbuggly, the nycturations are to me

As plurdled gabbleblothches on a lurgid bee.

Groop, I implore thee, thy foonting turlingdromes

And hooptiously drangle thee in finky binglewardles

For otherwize I will rend thee in thy gobberwarts

With my blurgocrunceon, see if I don't!

Now, Earthlings. I present you with a simple choice. Either die in the blackness of space, or tell me how good my poetry was.

(FORD and ARTHUR are still recovering. ARTHUR manages to say:)

ARTHUR: I liked it.

CAPTAIN: (quite suprised) Oh, really?

ARTHUR: Ah, yes. I thought some of the, um, metaphysical imagery was particularly effective.


ARTHUR: Oh. Uh, and interesting rhythmic devices, too, which seem to, uh, counterpoint the...

FORD: (who has caught on) ...counterpoint the surrealism of the underlying metaphor of the.. umm....

ARTHUR: Humanity of the...

FORD: Vogonity.


FORD: Vogonity.

ARTHUR: Oh! Oh, Vogonity, sorry, of the poets compassionate soul,

which contrives through the medium of the verse structure

to sublimate this, transcend that, and come to terms with the

fundamental dichotamates of the other, and one is left with

a profound and vivid insight into... uh...

FORD: Into whatever it was the poem was about! (whispered) Well

done Arthur, that was very good!

CAPTAIN: So what you're saying is that I write poetry because underneath

my mean, callous, heartless exterior, I really just want to

be loved. Is that right?

FORD: Uh... well, I mean, yes. Yes! Don't we all, deep down, you


JELTZ: No, no, you're totally wrong. I just write poetry to throw my mean, callous, heartless exterior into sharp relief! I'm going to

throw you off the ship anyway. Guard! Take the prisoners to

number three airlock and throw them out!

SECOND GUARD: Yes Captain!

(The second guard steps forward and grabs FORD and ARTHUR. He begins to carry them across the stage.)

FORD: You can't throw us off into deep space! We're trying to

write a book!

GUARD: Resistance is useless!

ARTHUR: I don't want to die now, I've still got a headache! I don't

want to go to heaven with a headache, I'd be all cross and

wouldn't enjoy it!

GUARD: Resistance is useless!

FORD: You can't do this!

CAPTAIN: And why not?

FORD: Oh! Why not? Why not?! Does there have to be a reason for

everything? Why don't you just let us go on a mad impulse?!?

Go on, live a little! Suprise yourself!

(The Trio is now out of earshot.)

CAPTAIN: Counterpoint the surrealism of the underlying metaphor. Ha!

Death's too good for them.

(The curtain closes.)

ARTHUR: Ow! Let go of me, you brute!

FORD: Don't worry, Arthur. I'll think of something!

GUARD: Resistance is useless!

FORD: Don't say things like that! How can anyone maintain a positive mental attitude if you're saying things like that?

ARTHUR: My god, you're talking about a positive mental attitude and you haven't even had your planet demolished today! I woke up this morning and thought I'd have a nice relaxed

day! Do a bit of reading, brush the dog! It's now just after

four in the afternoon and I'm already being thrown out of an

alien spaceship five light-years from the smoking remains

of the Earth!!!

FORD: Alright, just stop panicking!

ARTHUR: Who said anything about panicking!!!? This is still just

the culture shock! You wait until I've settled down and found my bearings, THEN I'LL START PANICKING!!

FORD: Arthur, you're getting hysterical! Shut up!

GUARD: Resistance is useless!

FORD: You can shut up as well!

GUARD: Resistance is useless!

FORD: Oh, give it a rest! Do you really enjoy this sort of thing?

(This comes quite unexpectedly from FORD. The GUARD is confused, and stops.)

GUARD: Resistance is... what do you mean?

FORD: I mean, does it give you a full, satisfying life? Stomping

around, shouting, pushing people out of spaceships...?

GUARD: Well, the hours are good.

FORD: They'd have to be.

ARTHUR: (strangled) Ford!

GUARD: But now that you come to mention it, I suppose most of the

actual minutes are pretty lousy. Except some of the souting

I quite like! RESISTANCE IS...

FORD: Sure, yes, you're good at that I can tell, but if it's

mostly lousy, then why do you do it?

GUARD: Ah, I..I don't know, I... I think I just sort of do it,

really. My aunt said that spaceship guard was a good career for a young Vogon.

FORD: There, Arthur, you think you've got problems.

ARTHUR: Yes! This guy's still half throttling me!

FORD: Yeah, but try and understand his problem! Here he is, a lowly officer on a Vogon demolition ship, and his life consists of stomping around, saluting...

GUARD: And shouting!

FORD: Yeah, and shouting... and he doesn't even know why he's doing it!

ARTHUR: Oh. Poignaint. Very poignant.

GUARD: Right, so what's the alternitive?

FORD: Well, stop doing it of course!

GUARD: Hmmmmmm... Doesn't sound that great to me!

FORD: Well, wait a minute, that's just the start! There's more to

it than that you see!

GUARD: Well, uh, I think if it's all the same to you, I'd better

just get you both shoved into this airlock, and then go

get on with some other bits of shouting I've got to do! Resistance is useless!

FORD: No wait, come on, I mean look ahhhh....

GUARD: But thanks for taking an interest. Bye now!

ARTHUR: No! Don't do it!

(The GUARD and his PRISONERS have now arrived at the airlock, SR. He is preparing to throw them in.)

FORD: No! No listen, listen, there's a whole world you

don't know anything about! Here, listen to this... (he hums the first bar of Beethoven's Fifth)... Doesn't that stir anything in you?

GUARD: (After considering) No. (He throws them into the airlock).

Bye! I'll mention what you said to my aunt! (He leaves).

FORD: Potentially bright lad, I thought.

ARTHUR: We're trapped now, aren't we?

FORD: Ah.... yes. We're trapped.

ARTHUR: Well didn't you think of anything?

FORD: Oh, yes!


FORD: But unfortunatley, it rather involved being on the other side of the airtight hatchway they've just sealed behind us.

ARTHUR: So what happens next?

FORD: The hatchway in front of us will open automatically in a

moment, and we'll shoot out into deep space and asphyxiate

in about thirty seconds.

ARTHUR: So this is it! We're going to die!

FORD: Yes. Except... no! Wait a minute! What's this switch?!

ARTHUR: What! Where?

FORD: No, I was only fooling. We are going to die after all.

ARTHUR: You know, it's at times like this, when I'm trapped in a

Vogon airlock with a man from Betelguese and about to die

from asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I'd listened

to what my mother told me when I was young.

FORD: Why? What did she tell you?

ARTHUR: I don't know, I didn't listen!

FORD: Teriffic.

(There is a great hissing sound as the airlock opens. The lights black out as FORD and ARTHUR scream. After a moment, the NARRATER steps out from behind the curtain with a spot on him.)

NARRATOR: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholy remarkable book. The introduction starts out like this: Space, it says, is big, really big. You just can't belive how vastly, hugely,

mind-bogglingly big it is! I mean, you may think it's a long

way down the street to the grocery store, but that's just peanuts

to space! Listen..." And so on. After a while, the style settles

down a bit, and it starts telling you things you actually need

to know, like the fact that the fabulously beautiful planet

Bethsillamin is now so worried about the cumulative erosion

caused by ten million visiting tourists a year that any net

in balance between the amount you eat and the amount you

excreet during your visit to the planet is surgically removed from your

body weight when you leave, so every time you go to the

bathroom there it's vitally important to get a reciept. In

the entry in which it talks about dieing of asphyxiation

thirty seconds after being thrown out of a spaceship, it goes

on to say that what with space being the size it is, the

chances of being picked up by another craft within those

seconds are two to the power of two hundred and sixty-seven thousand, seven hundred and nine to one against.

Which, by a staggering coincidence, was also the telephone

number of an apartment on Earth where Arthur once went to a very

good party, and met a very nice girl, whom he entirely

failed to impress. Though the planet Earth, the apartment and the telephone have all now been demolished, it

is comforting to reflect that they are in some small way

commemorated by the fact that twenty-nine seconds later,

Ford and Arthur were, in fact, rescued.


(The curtain opens on a dark stage. Spotlights or sidelights come up on FORD and ARTHUR. We should be able to see them, but not the stage or scenery.)

(During this scene, the most improbable events imaginable happen. Strange fragments of music and miscelaneous noises (see the notes at the end of the play ) should play until the end of the dialog. As the spotlights come on, FORD and ARTHUR are CS, panting heavily, with their eyes closed.)

FORD: (panting) There you are! I told you I'd think of something!

ARTHUR: (panting) Oh, sure!

FORD: Great idea of mine... find a passing spaceship and get

rescued by it!

ARTHUR: Oh, come on! The chances against it were astronomical!

FORD: Don't knock it! It worked!

ARTHUR: What sort of ship are we in?

FORD: I don't know, I haven't opened my eyes yet.

ARTHUR: Neither have I.

(They both open their eyes. The lights come on them a bit brighter, but, even though they stare around themselves in astonishment, we still cannot see the rest of the stage.)

ARTHUR: Good god! It looks just like the sea front at Miami beach!

FORD: Hell, I'm relieved to hear you say that.


FORD: I thought I must be going mad!

ARTHUR: Perhaps you are. Perhaps you only thought I said it.

FORD: Well, did you or didn't you?

ARTHUR: I think so.

FORD: Well, perhaps we're both going mad.

ARTHUR: Yes. We'd be mad, all things considered, to think that this was Miami.

FORD: Well, do you think it is?

ARTHUR: Oh yes.

FORD: So do I.

ARTHUR: Therefore we must be mad.

FORD: Nice day for it.


(The voice sounds like it belongs to someone very near them. They stare at "him" in considerable astonishment.)

ARTHUR: Who was that?

FORD: Who -- the man with the five heads and the boysenberry bush full of kippers?


FORD: I don't know. Just someone.

ARTHUR: Ah. (pause) You know, if this is Miami, there's something very odd about it.

FORD: You mean the way the sea stays steady as a rock and the

buildings keep washing up and down? Yes, I thought that was odd. In fact, there is something altogether very strange going on.

VOICE OF TRILLIAN: Two to the power of one hundred thousand to one against and falling.

ARTHUR: What was that?

FORD: Sounded like a measurement of propability. Hey, that couldn't mean... no!


FORD: Well, I'm not sure, but I think we definately are on some kind of spaceship.

ARTHUR: I can only assume that we're not travelling first class. (beat) Miami seems to be melting away. A dustbowl... snow!... My legs, drifting off into the sunset! (ARTHUR suddenly falls onto his knees.) Ford, you're turning into a penguin! Stop it!

(The special audio effects are getting even more bizarre. FORD does indeed appear to be turning into a penguin. There are numerous ways that this can be accomplished: again, see the back of the script.)

VOICE OF TRILLIAN: Two to the power of seventy-five thousand to one against and falling.

ARTHUR: My left arm seems to have come off as well.

FORD: (nasal voice) Hey! Who are you! Quack! Where are you! What's going on, and is there any way of stopping it! Quack!

VOICE OF TRILLIAN: Please relax. You are perfectly safe.

FORD: That's not the point! The point is that I am now a perfectly

safe penguin, and my friend here is rapidly running out of


ARTHUR: It's all right, I've got them back now.

VOICE OF TRILLIAN: Two to the power of fifty thousand to one against and falling.

ARTHUR: Admittedly, they're longer that I usually like them, but...

FORD: Isn't there anything you feel you ought to be telling us?

VOICE OF TRILLIAN: Welcome to the starship Heart of Gold. Please do

not be alarmed by anything you observe around you. You are bound to feel some initial ill effects, as you have

been rescued from certain death at an impropability level of

two to the power of two hundred and sixty seven thousand, seven hundred and nine to one against, possibly much

higher. We are now cruising at a level of two to the power of

twenty-five thousand to one against and falling, and we will be restoring

normality as soon as we are sure what is normal anyway.

Thank you. Two to the power of twenty thousand to one against and


FORD: Arthur, this is fantastic! We've been

picked up by a ship with the new infinite impropability

drive! This amazing, Arthur, this is... Arthur? Arthur? What's


(Arthur has jammed himself up against a door, trying to keep it from opening.)

ARTHUR: Ford! There's an infinite number of monkeys outside who

want to talk to us about this script for Hamlet they've

worked out!

(The lights and the sounds fade out, and the NARRATER steps forward.)

NARRATOR: The Infinite Impropability Drive is a wonderful new

method of crossing interstellar distances in a few seconds,

without all that tedious mucking about in hyperspace. For years, the concept of generating small amounts of finite impropability by simply hooking the logic circuits of a Bambleweeny 57 sub-meeson brain to an atomic vector plotter suspended in

a strong Brownian motion producer, say, a nice hot cup of

tea, had been well understood. Such generators were often used to break the ice at parties by causing all

the molecules in the hostesses undergarments to simultaneously

leap one foot to the left. Many respectable physicists said that they weren't going to stand for that sort of thing, partly

because it was a debasement of science, but mostly because

they didn't get invited to those sorts of parties. Another

thing they couldn't stand was the continuing failure they

encountered in trying to construct a machine that could

generate the infinite impropability field needed to flip

a spaceship between the furthest stars, and in the end

they grumpily announced that such a machine was virtually

impossible. Then, one day, a student who had been left to

sweep up the lab after a particularily unsuccessful party,

found himself reasoning in this way: "If such a machine is a

virtual impossibility," he thought, "then it must logically be a finite

impropability. So all I have to do to make one is to work out exactly how impropable it is, then feed

that number into the finite imporopability generator, give

it a fresh cup of really hot tea, and turn it on."

He did this, and was quite startled to discover that he'd

managed to create the long sought after infinite

impropability generator out of thin air. It startled him

even more when, just after he was awarded the Galactic

Institute's Prize for Extreme Cleverness, he got lynched

by a rampaging mob of respectable physicists who had

finally realized that the one thing they really couldn't

stand was a smart aleck.

(The lights fade up and the curtain opens on the bridge of the Heart of Gold. CSL and CSR are TRILLIAN and ZAPHOD's consoles, respectively. They are facing the audiance. USC is EDDIE's Computer console.)

(ZAPHOD BEEBLEBROX is FORD's semi-brother, sharing three of the same mothers as him. He is kind of an intergalactic hippie, and until recently was Galactic President. He no longer holds this title because of his theft of The Heart Of Gold.)

(TRILLIAN (short for Tricia MacMillan) is from the planet Earth. Zaphod picked her up at a university party he crashed a few months before the planet's demolition. She is extremely intelligent: she was an astrophysicist on Earth.)

(MARVIN is a maniacally depressed robot. He is a prototype "Genuine People Personalities" Android, as is EDDIE, the shipboard computer. EDDIE is an exact opposite of MARVIN: always happy and eager to please. Both drive humans crazy in their own special way.)

(At rise, ZAPHOD is impatiently sitting at his console, and TRILLIAN at hers, talking into a microphone. EDDIE is deactivated. MARVIN is sitting with his head between his legs next to EDDIE.)

TRILLIAN: Five to one against and falling. Four to one against

and falling. Three to one. Two... one... propability factor

of one to one. We have normality. I repeat, we have normality.

Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own

problem. Please relax. You will be sent for soon.

ZAPHOD BEEBLEBROX: Who are they, Trillian?

TRILLIAN: Oh, just a couple of guys we picked up in open space.

Sector Zed-Zed-Nine-Plural-Zed-Alpha.

ZAPHOD: Yeah yeah, well, that's a real sweet thought, Trillian,

but do you really think it's wize under the circumstances?

I mean, here we are, on the run and everything, we've got

the police of half the galaxy after us and we stop to pick

up hitchhikers! Okay, so ten out of ten for style but minus

several million for good thinking, okay?

TRILLIAN: Zaphod, they were floating unprotected in open space.

You didn't want them to die, did you?

ZAPHOD: Well, not as such, no, but...

TRILLIAN: Anyway, I didn't pick them up.

ZAPHOD: What do you mean? Who picked them up then?

TRILLIAN: The ship did.


TRILLIAN: The ship did. All by itself.


TRILLIAN: While we were in infinite Improbability drive.

ZAPHOD: That's incredible!

TRILLIAN: No, just very very impropable. Look... don't worry about

the aliens, they're just a couple of guys I expect. I'll

send the robot down to check them out. Hey Marvin!

(MARVIN's head swivels up at mention of his name. He slowly gets to his feet as if he is about ten pounds heavier than he actually is, and make what looks like a heroic effort to cross the stage to Trillian's console. He pauses for a moment.)

MARVIN: I think you ought to know I'm feeling very depressed.

ZAPHOD: (head in hands) God.

TRILLIAN: (brightly) Well, here's something to occupy you and keep your mind

off things.

MARVIN: It won't work. I have an extremely large mind.


MARVIN: Alright, what do you want me to do?

TRILLIAN: Go down to Number Two entry bay and bring the two aliens

up here under surveilance.

MARVIN: Just that?


MARVIN: I won't enjoy it.

ZAPHOD: She's not asking you to enjoy it! Just do it, will you!

MARVIN: Alright, I'll do it.

ZAPHOD: Good. Great. Thank you!

MARVIN: I'm not getting you down at all, am I?

TRILLIAN: No no, Marvin, that's just fine, really!

MARVIN: I wouldn't like to think I was getting you down.

TRILLIAN: No, don't worry about that! You just act as comes 0naturally

and everything will be fine.

MARVIN: You're sure you don't mind?

ZAPHOD: No, no, it's all just part of life.

MARVIN: Life. Don't talk to me about life. (He clanks his way off the stage).

TRILLIAN: I don't think I can stand that robot much longer, Zaphod.

(Again, the lights dim on stage and the curtains close. FORD and ARTHUR walk on.)

FORD: I think this ship is brand new, Arthur!

ARTHUR: How can you tell? Have you got some exotic device for measuring

the age of metal?

FORD: No, I just found this sales brochure lieing on the floor. (after studying it for a moment) It's all about the robotics on board. "A new generation of Sirius Cybernetics Corporation robots and computers, with the new GPP feature.

ARTHUR: GPP? What's that?

FORD: Uh.... it says Genuine People Personalities.

ARTHUR: Sounds ghastly.

MARVIN: (entering) It is.


MARVIN: Ghastly. It all is. Absolutly ghastly. Just don't even talk

about it. Look at the brochure. "A GPP Robot: Your Plastic Friend Who's Fun To Be With". The only friend I ever had was a small rat. One day it crawled into a hole in my right ankle and died. I've a horrible feeling it's still there.

(ARTHUR and FORD are watching MARVIN in horror as he shakes his right foot around experimentally.)

MARVIN: Come on. I've been ordered to take you up to the bridge. Here I am,

brain the size of a planet, and they tell me to take you up

to the bridge. Call that job satisfaction? 'Cause I don't.

FORD: Excuse me, which government owns this ship?

(MARVIN starts slowly trudging along. FORD follows him anxiously, waiting for an answer, and ARTHUR follows in bemusement.)

MARVIN: Lets build robots with Genuine People Personalities, they

said. So they tried it out with me. I'm a personality prototype. (to ARTHUR) You can tell, can't you?

ARTHUR: Um.....

MARVIN: I hate that door. I'm not getting you down, am I?

FORD: Which government owns this ship?

MARVIN: No government owns it. It's been stolen.

FORD: Stolen? Who by?

MARVIN: Zaphod Beeblebrox.

FORD: (strangled) Zaphod Beeblebrox!?

MARVIN: Sorry, did I say something wrong? Pardon me for breathing

which I never do anyway so I don't know why I even bothered to say it. Oh God, I'm so depressed. Life. Don't talk to me about life.

ARTHUR: No one even mentioned it!

FORD: (to himself) Really! Zaphod Beeblebrox!

(Lights come up on the stage again. ZAPHOD is standing by TRILLIAN's console. She is sitting down. Both are watching an invisible viewscreen in front of them.)

NEWSCASTER: ...and, news reports, brought to you here on the sub-etha wave band broadcasting around the galaxy around the clock. And of course, the big news story tonight is the sensational theft of the new Impropability

Drive prototype ship, by none other than Zaphod Beeblebrox.

And the question everyone's asking is, has the Big Z finally

flipped? Beeblebrox, the man who invented the Pan Galactic

Gargle Blaster, ex-confidence trickster, part-time Galactic

president, and recently voted the worst-dressed

sentient being in the Universe for the seventh time running...

Has he got an answer this time? We asked his private brain-

care specialist, Gag Halfrunt.

GAG HALFRUNT: Vell look... Zaphod's just ziz guy, ya know?

(Suddenly, Trillian flips a switch on her console and turns the screen off.)

ZAPHOD: (annoyed) Hey, what did you turn it off for, Trillian?

TRILLIAN: Zaphod. I've just thought of something.

ZAPHOD: Something worth interrupting a news broadcast about me for?

TRILLIAN: Can we leave your ego out of this for the moment? This is important!

ZAPHOD: If there's anything more important than my ego around I want it caught and shot now!

TRILLIAN: Listen! We picked up those couple of guys...

ZAPHOD: (alarmed) Hey, what couple of guys?

TRILLIAN: The couple of guys we picked up.

ZAPHOD: Oh, those couple of guys.

TRILLIAN: We picked them up in Sector Zed-Zed-Nine-Plural-Zed-Alpha. Doesn't that mean

anything to you?

ZAPHOD: Ummmm...... what does the Zed mean?

TRILLIAN: Which one?

ZAPHOD: Any one!

TRILLIAN: (patiently) Look, right there! (she points to the viewscreen).

ZAPHOD: There! Hey, yeah!


ZAPHOD: Well what?

TRILLIAN: It's where you originally picked me up!

ZAPHOD: Hey, right! Now that is wild! How did we come to

be there?

TRILLIAN: Impropability drive. We pass through every point in the

universe, you know that.

ZAPHOD: Yeah, but, but picking them up there, out of the whole universe to choose from? That is just too strange

a coincidence. I'm going to work this out. Computer?

(EDDIE activates himself.)

EDDIE: Hi there!

ZAPHOD: Oh god.

EDDIE: I want you to know that whatever your problem, I am here to

help you solve it.

ZAPHOD: Uh, look, I think I'll just use a piece of paper.

EDDIE: Sure thing. I understand. If you ever need...

ZAPHOD: Shutup!

EDDIE: Okay, okay!

ZAPHOD: Trillian, listen. The ship picked them up all by itself,



ZAPHOD: So, that already gives us a high impropability

factor. It picked them up in that particular space sector, which gives us another high impropability factor. Plus, they were not wearing space suits, so we picked them up during a crucial

thirty second period.

TRILLIAN: I've got that factor here.

ZAPHOD: (looking at her screen) Wow. They're two lucky guys. Put it all together, and we have a total impropability factor of... (he punches it in, and stares at the screen, dismayed.) It's still pretty low.

TRILLIAN: Yes. We were at Infinite Improbability when we picked them up.

ZAPHOD: That's one big whack of Improbability to be accounted for. Something pretty improbable has got to show up on the balance sheet if it's all going to work out into a pretty sum. (He struggles for a few moments.) Photons, I can't work it out!


ZAPHOD: (sighing) Okay. Computer?

EDDIE: Why, hello there! All I want to do is make your day nicer and nicer and nicer...

ZAPHOD: Yeah, well, shutup and work something out for me.

EDDIE: Sure thing! You want an improbability forcast based on improbability data?

ZAPHOD: Right.

EDDIE: Okay. Here's an interesting little fact. Did you realize that most people's lives are governed by telephone numbers?

(TRILLIAN suddenly gasps. She frantically punches some buttons and stares at the screen. Meanwhile, a pained look has crawled across ZAPHOD's face.)

ZAPHOD: Have you flipped?

EDDIE: No, but you will when I tell you that...

TRILLIAN: Telephone number? Did that thing say telephone number!?

ZAPHOD: What is it, Trillian?

TRILLIAN: I don't know, but... look, they're on their way up here now, aren't they?

With that bloody robot. Can we pick them up on any moniter


ZAPHOD: Uh, yeah.

(As ZAPHOD punches the button, they both stare at the screen as their eyes pop and their jaws go slack. A spot comes up on FORD, ARTHUR, and MARVIN, walking up the audiance isle towards the stage. ARTHUR is walking beside MARVIN. He seems to be sympathizing with him.)

MARVIN: And then of course I've got this terrible pain in all the

diodes down my left side.

ARTHUR: Is that so.

MARVIN: Oh yes, I mean, I've asked for them to be replaced, but no

one ever listens.

ARTHUR: I can imagine.

TRILLIAN: Oh god, I don't believe it!

FORD: Well well well. Zaphod Beeblebrox.

ZAPHOD: I don't believe it! This is just too amazing! (He switches off the console switch and the spot goes out.) This is the most incredible... is anything wrong?

TRILLIAN: (slightly dazed) I think I'll just wait in the cabin. I'll be back in a minute.

ZAPHOD: Oh, this is going to be great. I'm going to be so unbelievably

cool about it would flummox a Vegan snow lizard! This is terrific!

What real cool. Several million points out of ten for style.

TRILLIAN: (exiting) I'll go and listen for the police on the sub-etha wave band.

ZAPHOD: Right. Which is the most nonchalant chair to be discovered

working at? Yeah... okay...

(As he sits down and relaxes, MARVIN clunks onstage.)

MARVIN: I suppose you'll want to see the aliens now. Do you want me

to sit in a corner and rust, or just fall apart where I'm


ZAPHOD: Show them in, please, Marvin!

(MUSIC: Underscore - Introduction)

ZAPHOD: Ford, hi, how are you? Glad you could drop in!

FORD: Hey Zaphod, great to see you, you're looking well. Nice ship you've stolen!

ARTHUR: You mean you know this guy?

FORD: Know him? He's... oh, Zaphod, this is a friend of mine, Arthur Dent. I saved him when his planet blew up.

ZAPHOD: Oh, sure, hi Arthur, glad you could make it.

FORD: And Arthur, this is my semi-brother, Zaphod Beeblebrox, who shares three of the same mothers as me.

ARTHUR: Do I know you from somewhere?

ZAPHOD: (guiltily) Oh, I rather doubt it, hey Ford! Have you seen this ship, man? Absolutely incredible!

FORD: Well what's so special about it? What does it do?

ZAPHOD: Two words, man, two words:

( MUSIC: Infinite Improbability

FORD: Ha ha! Great, Zaphod, really cool...

ARTHUR: We have met! I know you from somewhere!

FORD: What do you mean, you've met? This is Zaphod Beeblebrox, from

Betelgeuse Five, you know, not bloody Martin Smith from Croydon!

ARTHUR: I don't care, we've met. Haven't we, Zaphod? Or should I

say... Phil?

FORD: What?!

ZAPHOD: Uh, you'll have to remind me, I have a terrible memory for


ARTHUR: It was at a party.

ZAPHOD: I rather doubt it.

FORD: Cool it, will you Arthur?

ARTHUR: A party, six months ago. On Earth. America. New York City.


ARTHUR: Manhatten Island.

ZAPHOD: Oh, that party.

FORD: Zaphod, you don't mean to say you've been on that miserable

little planet as well, do you?

ZAPHOD: No, of course not. Well, I may have just dropped in, briefly,

on my way somewhere.

FORD: What is all this, Arthur?

ARTHUR: At this party, there was a girl. I'd had my eye on her for

weeks. Beautiful, charming, devastatingly intelligent. Everything

I'd been saving myself up for. And just when I'd finally

managed to get her to myself for a few tender moments, this

friend of yours barges up and says "Hey doll, is this guy

boring you? Come and talk to me. I'm from a different planet."

I never saw her again!

FORD: Zaphod!

ARTHUR: Yes, he was dressed in normal clothes and he called

himself Phil, but...

(TRILLIAN walks in from SL, carrying a tray of drinks.)

TRILLIAN: But, you must admit that he did turn out to be from a different planet, Arthur.

ARTHUR: (astonished) Good god, it's her! Tricia McMillan, what are you doing here?

TRILLIAN: Same as you, Arthur. I hitched a ride. After all, with a

degree in math and another in astrophysics, it was either that

or back to the university on Monday. Oh, I'm sorry I missed that

Wenesday lunch date, but I was in a black hole all morning.

ZAPHOD: Oh, god. Ford, this is Trillian, hi, Trillian, this is my

semi-brother Ford, hi. Trillian, is this sort of thing going to happen every time

we use the Infinite Impropability Drive?

TRILLIAN: Very propably, I'm afraid.

ZAPHOD: (taking a drink) Zaphod Beeblebrox, this is a very large drink. Hi.





(CURTAIN rises on the bridge of the Heart of Gold. MARVIN and EDDIE are alone. MARVIN paces as the music starts.)


(Some kind of big long medly where all the characters sing - Ford & Zaphod have a song, Arthur and Trillian sing, and Marvin and Eddie sing a contrasting melody. Maybe they all sing together at the end, but it is not very probable.)

(Lights go down, spot on NARRATER.)

NARRATER: But unfortunately, life is not always songs and dancing. That would be too easy. Little do our hapless characters know that in but a few short hours, their carefree lives will be rudely interrupted by a deadly nuclear missile attack, shortly to be launched at them from the planet Magrathea. You do know, of course, the stories of ancient Magrathea, don't you? Well then, hold on a moment.... let's see here... M... Magrathea.

(MUSIC: Magrathea background)

(During the Guide's speech, extras walk on and pantomime the actions described.)

GUIDE: Far back in the mists of ancient time, in the great and

glorious days of the former Galactic Empire, life was wild,

rich, and, on the whole, tax free. In those days, spirits

were brave, the stakes were high, and all

dared to brave unknown terrors, to do mighty deeds, to boldly

split infinitives that no man had split before. And thus was

the Empire forged. Many men, of course, became extremely rich,

but this was perfectly natural, and nothing to be ashamed

of, because no one was really poor, at least, no one worth

speaking of. And for these extremely rich merchants, life

eventually became rather dull, and it seemed that none of the

planets they settled on was entirely satisfactory. Either the

climate wasn't quite right in the early afternoon,

or the day was half an hour too long, or the sea was just the

wrong shade of pink... and thus were created the conditions

for a staggering new form of industry: custom-made luxary

planet building. The home of this industry was the planet

Magrathea, where vast hyperspacial engineering works were

constructed, sucking matter through white holes in space to

form it into dream planets, lovingly made to meet the

exacting standards of the galaxy's richest men. And this venture was so successful that very soon Magrathea itself

became the richest planet of all time, and the rest of the

Galaxy was reduced to poverty. And so the system

broke down, the Empire collapsed, and a long, sullen silence

settled over the Galaxy. In

these enlightened days, of course, no one believes a word

of it.

NARRATER: Meanwhile, on Zaphod Beeblebrox's ship, deep in the

darkness of the Horsehead Nebulae...

(Lights come up. FORD, ZAPHOD are onstage by the SL computer console arguing, TRILLIAN is doing calculations at the SR console, and MARVIN is slumped dejectedly in a corner. The lights are dim because it is night on board the ship.)

FORD: I'm sorry, I just don't believe a word of it.

ZAPHOD: Look Ford, I've found it! I swear, I've found it!

FORD: Magrathea is a myth! A legend! It doesn't exist! You are looking for a non-existant planet Zaphod! And...

ZAPHOD: And we are currently in orbit around it.

FORD: Zaphod, I can't help what you may personally be in orbit around, but this ship...

ZAPHOD: Computer!

FORD: Oh no...

EDDIE: Hi there! This is Eddie, your shipboard computer, and I'm

feeling just great, guys, and I know I'm just going to get

a bundle of kicks out of any program you care to run through


FORD: Is this necessary?

ZAPHOD: Computer, tell us again what our current trajectory is?

EDDIE: A real pleasure, fella! We are currently in orbit, at an

altitude of 300 miles, around the legendary planet of

Magrathea! Neat, huh?

FORD: Proving nothing! I wouldn't trust that computer to speak my


EDDIE: I can do that for you, sure!

FORD: No thank you.

EDDIE: I can even work out your personality problems to ten decimal

places, if it will help!

TRILLIAN: Zaphod, we should have dawn coming up any minute now on the

planet, whatever it turns out to be.

ZAPHOD: Okay, okay, lets take a look at it. Computer?

EDDIE: Hi there! What can I do...

ZAPHOD: Just shutup and give us external vision on the monitors.

(TRILLIAN punches some buttons on the console, and they all look up towards the imaginary screen (i.e. towards the audiance). ARTHUR wanders in during TRILLIAN's next line, yawning).

TRILLIAN: We've still got a minute or so until dawn.

ZAPHOD: (getting into it) Yeah, but it should be pretty spectacular from this height, eh, apeman?

ARTHUR: Arthur!

ZAPHOD: Yeah yeah, whatever.

ARTHUR: Tricia, what's going on?

TRILLIAN: Well, Arthur, according to what Zaphod's told me, we're now orbiting Magrathea. It's a legendary planet from way back, which no one seriously

believes in. A bit like Atlantis, really. Except that the

legends say the Magratheans used to manufacture planets.

ARTHUR: (uninterested) Hmm. Is there any tea on this spaceship?

ZAPHOD: (distracted) Um, go check the Nutrimat.

(ARTHUR wander off ER to the Nutrimatic machine.)

(MUSIC: Magrathea drama build-up)

ZAPHOD: (dramatically) We are now traversing the night side... the surface is now three hundred miles below us! In a few moments, we should see... there!

(Lights come up extremely bright on the stage, but the actors watch the screen in amazement. The music swells dramatically.)

ZAPHOD: The fires of dawn! The legendary twin suns of Soulianis and Rahm!

FORD: Or whatever.

ZAPHOD: Soulianis and Rahm! And orbiting them.... the legendary... Magrathea!

(Music abruptly stops at the pitch of it's dramatic climax)

MARVIN: Horrible, isn't it?

(This breaks the atmosphere of drama, and ZAPHOD stares angrily at MARVIN as the lights go out on the bridge and come up on ARTHUR at the NUTRIMAT, and the NARRATER and GUIDE on SL).

NARRATER: Fortunately for Arthur, the Heart of Gold has been equipped with the latest in synthetic drink dispension machines from the Sirius Cybernetic Corporation. The way it works is simple: when you press the panel, the Nutrimat makes a highly detailed spectroscopic analysis of the subjects taste buds, brain, and metabolism, to determine the perfect beverage for each individual subject. However, no one is quite sure why it does this because it then proceeds to deliver a small cup filled with a liquid that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.

ARTHUR: (recieving a drink from the machine) Ahhhhh.... (sips) Ewwwww! (He spits it out)

NARRATER: Sirius Cybernetics Corporation's largest branch is it's Complaint Department, which now takes up the major land masses of three large planets. The company slogan, "Share and Enjoy," has recently been changed to "Go Stick Your Head In A Pig." Arthur is about to discover why.

ARTHUR: But look, really, what is the point?

NUTRIMAT: Nutrition and pleasurable sense data. Share and enjoy!

ARTHUR: Listen, you stupid machine, it tastes discusting!

NUTRIMAT: If you have enjoyed the experiance of this drink, why not share it with your friends?

ARTHUR: Because I want to keep them! Will you try and comprehend what I'm telling you? That drink...

NUTRIMAT: That drink was individually tailored to meet your personal requirements for nutrition and pleasure.

ARTHUR: Ah. So I'm a masochist on a diet, am I?

NUTRIMAT: Share and enjoy.

ARTHUR: Oh, shutup.

NUTRIMAT: Will that be all?

ARTHUR: Yes. No, look, it's very, very simple. All I want... are you listening?


ARTHUR: a cup of tea. Got that?


ARTHUR: Good. And do you know why I want a cup of tea?

NUTRIMAT: Please wait.


NUTRIMAT: Computing.

ARTHUR: What are you doing?

NUTRIMAT: Attempting to calculate answer to your question. Why you want dried leaves in boiling water.

ARTHUR: Because I happen to like it, that's why!

NUTRIMAT: Stated reason does not compute with programmed facts.

ARTHUR: What are you talking about?

NUTRIMAT: Standby.... computing....

(Lights come up on stage, with characters frozen, while EDDIE talks. Alternatively, we just hear EDDIE's voice coming over an intercom.)

EDDIE: Attention, attention. This is Eddie, your shipboard computer, just alerting you to the fact that the Nutrimatic machine has now tapped into my computing circuits to ask me why the human perfers boiled leaves to anything we have to offer him, and wow, it's a biggie. Gonna take a little time to work out. Share and enjoy!

NUTRIMAT: Share and enjoy! Share and enjoy!

ARTHUR: Oh shutup!

(As ARTHUR pounds on the machine in an attempt to get it to work, the lights go out on him and come back on the bridge. After a few moments, he gives up on the NUTRIMAT and wanders onto the bridge).

FORD: Well even supposing it is...

ZAPHOD: It is!

FORD: ...but it isn't, what do you want with it anyway! I mean, I

take it you're not here for the sheer industrial archeology

of it all. What is it you're after?

ZAPHOD: Well, it's partly the curiosity, partly a sense of adventure,

but mostly I think it's the fame and the money.

FORD: It's just a dead planet!

MARVIN: The suspense is killing me.

ZAPHOD: Shutup, Marvin. Computer, begin landing descent.

(This next bit will be handled very differently depending on the capabilities of your stage. The character of SLARTIBARTFAST can appear in the center of the stage in a puff of smoke, if you have trapdoors, he can step forward from a hiding place with a spot on him, or we can just hear his voice. This is probably the best approach.)

SLARTIBARTFAST: Greetings to you.

ALL: (adlib) What?! What was that? Who's he? What's that voice?

ZAPHOD: Computer?

EDDIE: Hi there!

ZAPHOD: What is it?

EDDIE: Oh, just some five million year old tape recording that's being

broadcast at us.

SLARTI: This is a recorded announcement as I'm afraid we're all out at

the moment. The commercial council of Magrathea thanks you for your interest...

ZAPHOD: (over the speech) A voice from ancient Magrathea!

FORD: Okay, okay!

SLARTI: ...but regrets that the entire planet is temporarily closed

for business. Thank you. If you would like to leave your name,

and a planet where you can be contacted, kindly speak when you

hear the tone. (buzz)

(He disappears again).

TRILLIAN: They want to get rid of us! What do we do?

ZAPHOD: It's just a recording, nothing to be worried about! We keep going! Got that, computer?

EDDIE: I got it.

SLARTI: (back again) We would like to assure you that as soon as our business is

resumed, announcements will be made in all fashionable magazines

and newspapers, when our clients will once again be able

to select from all of the best in contemporary geography. Meanwhile,

we thank our clients for their kind interest, and would ask them

to leave. Now. (he's gone)

ARTHUR: Well, I suppose we'd better be going then, hadn't we?

ZAPHOD: There's absolutely nothing to be worried about!

ARTHUR: Then why's everyone so tense?

ZAPHOD: They're just interested! We keep going!

SLARTI: It is most gratifying that your enthusiasm for our planet

continues unabated. And so we would like to assure you that the

the guided missiles currently converging with your ship are

part of a special service we extend to all of our most enthusiastic

clients. The fully armed nuclear warheads are of course merely

a courtesy detail. We look forward to your custom in future

lives. Thank you.

ARTHUR: Listen, if that's their sales pitch, think of what it's like in the complaints department!

ZAPHOD: Hey, this is teriffic! It means we really must be on to

something if they're trying to kill us!

ARTHUR: Oh. Teriffic.

TRILLIAN: You mean there is someone down there after all?

ZAPHOD: No, the whole defense system must be automatic, but the

question is why!

ARTHUR: But what are we going to do?

ZAPHOD: Just, uh.... keep cool.

ARTHUR: Is that all?!

ZAPHOD: No, we're also going to take evasive action. Computer, what

evasive action can we take?

EDDIE: Uh, none I'm afraid guys.

ZAPHOD: Or something...

EDDIE: All my circuits are currently engaged on a different problem. Why the Earthman wants dried leaves in boiling water. As soon as I figure it out I'll get right back to you. Impact minus ninety seconds! (Sound effect of sirens, red flashing lights on stage for a few brief moments.) Sorry, I didn't mean to do


(Everyone stares at ARTHUR, who nervously backs away)

ZAPHOD: Earthman, I think there's something wrong with your lungs.


ZAPHOD: You're breathing.

ARTHUR: That's not a problem!

ZAPHOD: It is for me! Here, let me tie a knot in your neck!

(FORD and TRILLIAN hold ZAPHOD back while ARTHUR cowers nervously in a corner.)

FORD: Zaphod, we don't have time for this! We've got to get manual control of this ship.

TRILLIAN: Can you fly her?

ZAPHOD: No, can you?




ZAPHOD: Fine, we'll do it together.

ARTHUR: I can't either.

ZAPHOD: I'd guessed that. Computer, I want full manual control now.

(MUSIC: Dramatic. Builds up with Improbability Theme to when Arthur turns on the drive.)

EDDIE: You got it! Good luck guys! Impact minus sixty seconds!

ZAPHOD: Okay, Ford, full retro thrust and ten degrees starboard!

TRILLIAN: We're veering too fast!

FORD: I can't hold her, she's going into a spin!

ZAPHOD: Dive, dive!

(All onstage characters lurch violently to the left.)

EDDIE: Impact minus fify-five seconds, guys!

ARTHUR: The missiles are still homing in! You can't shake them!

We're going to die!

EDDIE: (starts singing his song)

ZAPHOD: Shut that fetching computer up!

TRILLIAN: Zaphod, can we stabalize at X 0 0 5 4 7 by splitting our

flight path tangentally across the summit vector of 9 G X 7 8

with a five degree inertial correction?

ZAPHOD: What? Uh, yes, I'm sure we can, just do it. And may God forgive you if you're only bluffing.

TRILLIAN: Here we go!

(TRILLIAN presses some buttons. Characters lurch a little to the right.)

FORD: Where'd you learn a stunt like that, Trillian?

TRILLIAN: Going around tight corners in a station wagon.


ARTHUR: It's no good, the missiles are swinging around after us,

and gaining fast! We are quite definately going to die!

EDDIE: (stops singing for a moment)... Impact minus fifteen seconds... (resumes singing)

ARTHUR: Why doesn't anybody turn on this Impropability Drive thing?

TRILLIAN: Oh, don't be silly, you can't do that?

ARTHUR: Why not?! There's nothing to loose at this stage!

TRILLIAN: Well, because... does anyone know why Arthur can't turn

on the Impropability Drive?

EDDIE: Impact minus five seconds, it's been great knowing you guys!

God bless! (sings the last strain)

TRILLIAN: I said, does anyone know...

(As the music crescendos, ARTHUR presses the button on the console. We hear the sound of an explosion as the stage goes black. Then, after a few moments, a jazzy reprise of Infinite Improb. begins. During the few moments that the stage is black, many changes must be made to the set - chairs and onstage props moved around, characters wearing slightly different costumes. The main changes are the addition to the bridge set of a large number of tropical potted plants and some deck chairs, (one of which ZAPHOD is lieing in, wearing sunglasses and holding a drink). The lights slowly come back up and the music ends just before ZAPHOD's first line).

ZAPHOD: Uh... what the hell happened?

ARTHUR: Well, I was just saying, there's this switch here, you see, and...

ZAPHOD: Where are we, Trillian?

TRILLIAN: Exactly where we were, I think.

ZAPHOD: Then what's happened to the missiles?

FORD: Well, according to this screen, they've turned into a bowl of petunias and a very suprised looking whale!

EDDIE: At an Impropability factor of eight million seven hundred and sixty seven thousand one hundred and twenty eight to one against!

ZAPHOD: Computer, you're working again!

EDDIE: Oh yeah! Right as we went into Improbability Drive, I suddenly realized the answer to our problem! Why the Earthman wants dried leaves in water? Because he's an ignorant monkey who doesn't know any better!

ARTHUR: Listen you stupid heap of scrap metal...

EDDIE: Hi there!

ZAPHOD: Okay okay, ah, computer, take us in to land.

(Lights go out on stage and the curtain shuts. Spot on NARRATER.)

NARRATER: Another thing that no one made too much fuss about was

the fact that, against all propability, a large whale had

suddenly been called into existance some miles above the

surface of an alien planet, and since this is not a very natural

position for a whale, this innocent creature had

very little time to come to terms with it's identity as a

whale, before it had to come to terms with suddenly not

being a whale any more. This is what is thought as it fell.

(Lights black out. Because this whole dialog is conducted in darkness, the sound effects must be extensive and very well done. A wind, which grows louder throughout the speech, is the predominant one.)

(MUSIC: Whale's theme)

WHALE: AAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! What's happening? Uh, excuse me, who

am I? Hello? Why am I here? What's my purpose in life? What

do I mean by who am I? Now, calm down, get a grip now. Oooo,

this is an interesting sensation, what is it? It's a sort of

yawning, tingling sensation in my.. my... well, I suppose I'd

better start finding names for things, so let's call it my stomach. So, a

yawning, tingling sensation in my stomach. Good! Ooo,

it's getting quite strong! Hey! What about this whistling,

roaring sound going past what I'm suddenly going to call my

head! That can be... wind! Is that a good name? Oh, well,

it'll do. Maybe I can find a better name for it later when

I've found out what it's for, because there certainly seems

to be a heck of a lot of it. Hey, what's this thing, this...

let's call it... a tail! Yeah, tail! Hey, I can really thrash

it about pretty good, can't I? Woah! Wow! Hey! Doesn't seem

to achieve much, but I'll propably find out what it's for

later on. Now, have I built up any coherent picture of things

yet? No. Oh, hey, this is really exciting! So much to find

out about, so much to look forward to! I'm quite dizzy with

anticipation. Or is it the wind? Hey, there really is a lot

of that now, isn't there, and... woah! What's this thing

suddenly coming towards me very fast! Very, very fast! So big

and flat and wide, it needs a big, wide sounding word, like...

ow..row...rown...rownd...ra-...Ground! That's it! Ground!

I wonder if it'll be friends with me?

(The scene finishes with a sickening "splat" sound effect. Light back up on narrater.)

NARRATER: Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the

mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was "Oh no, not again." Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the

bowl of petunias had thought that, we should know a lot more

about the nature of the universe than we do now. Meanwhile,

the starship has landed on the surface of Magrathea, and

Zaphod, Trillian, Arthur, Ford, and Marvin are about to embark on an exploration trip.

(The five walk out onto SR, which is set up like an airlock. The door to the outside is facing towards the stage thrust. EDDIE's console is also on the side.

FORD: Are we taking this robot?

MARVIN: Don't feel you have to take any notice of me, please.

ZAPHOD: Oh, Marvin the Miserable Android. Yeah, we'll take him.

TRILLIAN: What are you supposed to do with a suicidally depressed


MARVIN: You think you've got problems? What are you supposed to do

if you are a suicidally depressed robot? No, don't try to

answer that. I'm fifty thousand times more intelligent than

you and even I don't know the answer. It gives me a headache

just trying to think down to your level.

ZAPHOD: Okay everybody, lets go.

(We see EDDIE through his porthole. He has lipstick on and his hair is in curlers. His voice is high pitched, and he sounds very maternal.)

EDDIE: Good afternoon, boys!

FORD: What's that?

ZAPHOD: Oh, that's just the computer. I discovered it had an emergancy backup personality which I thought might be a good idea.

EDDIE: Now, this is going to be your first day on a strange planet,

so I want you all wrapped up snug and warm, and no playing with

any naughty bug-eyed monsters.

ZAPHOD: I'm sorry, I think we might have been better off with a slide rule.

EDDIE: (Indignantly) Who said that?

ZAPHOD: Will you open up the exit hatch, please, computer?

EDDIE: Not until whoever said that owns up.

FORD: Oh, god.

EDDIE: Come on!

ZAPHOD: Computer...

EDDIE: I'm waiting, I can wait all day if necessary.

ZAPHOD: Computer, if you don't open that exit hatch this moment I

will go straight to your major data banks with a very large

axe, and give you a reprogramming you'll never forget. Is that


EDDIE: (after a long pause) I can see this relationship is something we're all going to have to work at.

ZAPHOD: Thank you. Let's go.

EDDIE: It'll all end in tears, I know it!

(The five move out slowly onto the stage thrust, walking towards SL. They shiver (possibly a wind sound effect)).

(MUSIC: Magrathea Theme).

TRILLIAN: Zaphod, are you sure you know what you're doing? We've been

attacked once already, you know.

ZAPHOD: Look, I promise you, the live population of this planet is

nil plus the four of us.

FORD: And one trigger-happy computer.

ZAPHOD: Well come on! Let's go!

(ARTHUR is still standing rooted to one spot, staring at the landscape around him with wonder in his eyes.)

ARTHUR: It's fantastic!

FORD: Desolate hole.

ARTHUR: No, don't you understand? This is the first time I've actually stood on the surface of another planet.... a whole alien world! Too bad it's such a dump, though.

(ZAPHOD and TRILLIAN have moved ahead, and have found something exciting.)

ZAPHOD: Over here! We've found something!

ARTHUR: (Sees something on the ground, stoops to pick it up.) What's this?

FORD: (glancing at it) Whale meat.

(ARTHUR doesn't comprehend for a moment, then drops it in disgust. He hurries to catch up to the others).

ZAPHOD: Look! It's a passageway! We've got to get into this planet, man!

FORD: I'm not into it.

ZAPHOD: No, I mean into it! The Magratheans all lived underground, you know.

ARTHUR: Why? Did the surface become too overpopulated or poluted or something?

ZAPHOD: No, I think they just didn't like it very much. Uh, hey Marvin?

MARVIN: What do you want?

ZAPHOD: Uh, could you sort of stay here and guard this end of the passageway, kiddo?

MARVIN: What from? You just said there's no one here.

ZAPHOD: Yeah, well just for safety, okay?

MARVIN: Yours or mine?

ZAPHOD: Good lad. Okay, here we go.

MARVIN: Well I hope you all have a really miserable time.

FORD: Don't worry, we will.

(They ALL slip through the edge of the curtain, and there is a brief blackout while MARVIN goes through. The lights come up very dim on SLARTIBARTFAST's study, as the FOUR enter from SL).

(MUSIC: Spooky).

TRILLIAN: This is really spooky!

FORD: Look at all this! Rooms and rooms of abandoned equipment just lieing around!

ARTHUR: Does anyone know what finally happened to this place? Why did all the Magratheans die out?

ZAPHOD: Something to do, I suppose.

FORD: If I had a head as thick as yours, Zaphod, I could have hours of fun banging it against a wall.

TRILLIAN: Hey! Shine the light over here!

ZAPHOD: Where? Here?

TRILLIAN: What do you think these stranges symbols are?

ZAPHOD: Oh, probably just strange symbols of some kind.

(TRILLIAN suddenly gasps and points towards SR.)

TRILLIAN: What's that light down the hall?

ZAPHOD: It's just reflection from the light!

TRILLIAN: There's something happening over there!

(A Shadowy FIGURE has come onstage and is mysteriously searching the wall, though it cannot be clearly seen what he is doing).


(MUSIC reaches a creshendo. FIGURE manipulates a switch and the lights come up on SLARTIBARTFAST'S study. It is a mess of desks covered in old papers, drafting boards, globes of various planets, and aging trophies and awards. There is a window with shades drawn against the back wall, with a riser in front of it. SLARTIBARTFAST himself is an old man in a fading smock. He is quite an anticlimax to the buildup).


(ALL stare at him, momentarily speechless. He shuffles over to a desk and starts fiddling with some papers).

SLARTIBARTFAST: You chose a cold night to visit our dead planet.

ZAPHOD: Uh... who are you?

SLARTIBARTFAST: My name is not important.

ZAPHOD: You, uh, scared us, man.

SLARTIBARTFAST: Do not be alarmed. I will not harm you.

ARTHUR: But you shot at us! There were missiles!

SLARTIBARTFAST: Merely an automatic system. Ancient computers deep in the bowels of the planet, with nothing to do for eons? I think they take the occasional pot

shot to relieve the boredom. I am a great fan of science, you


ARTHUR: Really.



(Everyone is still standing rooted in place, not quite knowing how to take all this.)

SLARTIBARTFAST: You seem ill at ease.

FORD: Yes, well, no disrespect, but we thought you were all dead!

SLARTIBARTFAST: Dead? No! We have but slept!


SLARTIBARTFAST: Yes, through the economic recession, you see.


SLARTIBARTFAST: Well, five million years ago, the Galactic economy

collapsed. And seeing that custom built planets are something

of a luxary commodity, we decided

to sleep through it. We just programmed the computers to

revive us when it was all over. They were index-linked to the

Galactic stock market prices, you see, so that we'd be revived

when everybody else had rebuilt the economy enough to be able

to afford our rather expensive services again.

ARTHUR: Good god, that's a pretty unpleasant way to behave, isn't it?

SLARTIBARTFAST: Is it? I'm sorry, I'm a bit out of touch.

ZAPHOD: Hey, old man... do you mean that you're starting it all up again now?

SLARTIBARTFAST: No, no, for heavens sake. The galaxy isn't nearly

rich enough to support us yet. No, we've been awakened to

perform just one extraordinary commission.

ARTHUR: Excuse me... what is your name by the way?

SLARTIBARTFAST: (sadly) My name is.... my name is... Slartibartfast.

ARTHUR: Mmmphh!!.... I beg your pardon?

SLARTIBARTFAST: Slartibartfast!

FORD: (incredulously) Slartibartfast?

SLARTIBARTFAST: I said it wasn't important.

FORD: So Slarti, where do you make all these planets?

SLARTIBARTFAST: Inside the planet. Right out this window, as a matter of fact. (Gesturing towards window.) You see, the interior of Magrathea is really a vast tract of hyperspace. We do all of our major works in here.

ZAPHOD: Hey hey hey... uh, old man... what was that special commission you mentioned earlier?

SLARTIBARTFAST: Hmmm? Oh yes, yes... (speaking to ARTHUR and TRILLIAN) It may interest you... over there... in the distance behind us.

(MUSIC: Dramatic).

(SLARTI pulls the shades of the window down, revealing the Earth, floating in a colassal cavern. This can either be a painting or a diarama. TRILLIAN and ARTHUR stare in amazement out the window).

ARTHUR: My god!

TRILLIAN: The Earth!

SLARTIBARTFAST: Well, the Earth Mark II, in fact. It seems that the

first one was demolished five minutes too early and the most

vital experiment was destroyed. There's been a terrible fuss

and so we're going to make a copy from our original blueprints.

TRILLIAN: Are you saying that you originally made the Earth?

SLARTIBARTFAST: Oh yes. Did you ever go to a place... I think it's

called... Norway? (They both shake their heads no). Pity, that was one of mine. Won an award, you know. Lovely crinkly edges.

ARTHUR: I can't take this! Did I hear you say the Earth was destroyed five minutes too early?

SLARTIBARTFAST: Shocking cock-up. You can't imagine how annoyed I was.

TRILLIAN and ARTHUR: Annoyed?!

SLARTIBARTFAST: Yes! Now we have to start the expirament all over again. Ten million years of research, gone! What a waste.

TRILLIAN: Experament?

SLARTIBASTFAST: Your coming here now, two last generation products of the computer matrix, has already been hailed as the third most improbable event in the history of the universe.

ARTHUR: What were the first two?

SLARTIBARTFAST: Oh, probably just coincidences.

ARTHUR: Look, would it save you all this trouble if I just gave up and went insane now?


(During the speech, the Deep Thought scenery is brought out onto the thrust of the stage.)

NARRATER: There are, of course, many problems connected with life,

of which some of the most popular are Why Are People Born, Why

Do They Die, and Why Do They Spend So Much Of The Intervening

Time Wearing Digital Watches? Many millions of years ago, a race

of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings got so fed up with

all the constant bickering about the meaning of life that they

decided to sit down and solve the problem once and for all.

So they built a stupendous supercomputer

which was so amazingly intelligent that even before it's data

banks had been connected, it had started from first principals

with "I Think Therefore I Am" and had got as far as deducing

the existance of rice pudding and income tax before anyone

managed to turn it off. Could a mere computer solve the problem

of life, the universe, and everything? Fortunately for posterity,

there exists a tape recording of what happened when the

computer was given this particularily monumental task. In the interest of preserving the Arthur and Trillian's sanity, Slartibartfast plays it for them.

(Lights dim on stage. FOOK and LUNKWILL are standing CS, staring towards DEEP THOUGHT, who is out in the audiance. We only hear the computer's VOICE.)

DEEP THOUGHT: What is this great task for which I, Deep Thought,

the Second Greatest Computer in the Universe of Time and

Space, have been called into existance?

FOOK: Your task, oh computer, is to calc...

LUNKWILL: Wait a minute, this isn't right! Deep Thought!

DEEP THOUGHT: Speak, and I will hear!

LUNKWILL: Are you not the greatest, most powerful computer in all creation, as we designed you to be?

DEEP THOUGHT: I described myself as the second greatest, and such I am.

LUNKWILL: But... but this is preposterous! Are you not a greater computer than the Milliard Gargantu-Brain at Maximegalon, which can count all the atoms in a star in a millisecond?

DEEP THOUGHT: The Miliard Gargantu-Brain? A mere abacus. Mention it


FOOK: And are you not a greater analyst than the Googleplex Star Thinker which can calculate the trajectory of every single dust particle in a five-week Dangrabad Beta sand blizzard?

DEEP THOUGHT: A five-week sand blizzard? Do not insult my computational skills. Molest me not with this pocket calculator stuff.

LUNKWILL: Then what's the problem?

DEEP THOUGHT: I speak of none but the computer that is to come after me.

FOOK: (unbelieving) Oh, come on!

DEEP THOUGHT: You know nothing of future time, and yet, in my teeming circuitry, I can navigate the infinite delta streams of future probability, and see that there must one day come a computer whos merest operational parameters I am not worthy to calculate, but which it will be my destiny, eventually, to design.

FOOK: Can we get on and ask the question?


FOOK: Oh Deep Thought, the task we have designed you to

perform is this. We want you to tell us... the Answer!

DEEP THOUGHT: The answer to what?


FOOD: The Universe!

LUNKWILL: Everything!

(MUSIC: Life, The Universe, Everything!)


LUNKWILL: But can you do it?

DEEP THOUGHT: Yes. I can do it.

LUNKWILL: You can!

FOOK: There is an answer? A simple answer?

DEEP THOUGHT: Yes. Life, the Universe, and Everything; there is an

answer. But I'll have to think about it.

LUNKWILL: Oh, that's alright. How long?

DEEP THOUGHT: The program

will take me seven and a half...

FOOK: What, not till next Thursday?

DEEP THOUGHT: ...million years.

LUNKWILL and FOOK: (pause) Seven and a half million years?!

DEEP THOUGHT: I said I'd have to think about it, didn't I?

FOOK: (pause, turns to LUNKWILL) So, Lunkwill... want to go out to lunch while we wait?

(Lights down on DEEP THOUGHT SET. Curtain rises on set. ARTHUR and TRILLIAN are fascinated, and SLARTIBARTFAST seems pleased to have their company. ZAPHOD and FORD, however, are bored out of their minds. They are leaning against desks with their eyes rolled back in their heads and are drooling.)

ARTHUR: But I don't understand what any of this has got to do with the

Earth and Magrathea and everything.

TRILLIAN: What did the computer say?

SLARTIBARTFAST: All will become clear to you, Earthlings. Would you like to see a recording of the events of that fateful day, seven and a half million years later?

FORD: (drolly) Oh yes. Quite. Please go ahead.



SLARTIBARTFAST: Here is the tape. I think you will find the answer most.... intreging.

(Curtains close. PHOUCHG and LOONQUAWL come out... they are really FOOK and LUNKWILL in different costumes. They are the descendants of the original computer programmers.)

PHOUCHG: Seventy-five thousand generations ago, our ancestors set this

program in motion! And now we are here to recieve the results!

LOONQUAWL: An awesome prospect, Phouchg!

DEEP THOUGHT: (clears throat)

LOONQUAWL: (in awe) Deep thought prepares to speak!

DEEP THOUGHT: Good evening.

PHOUCHG: (nervously) Uh, good evening, uh, oh Deep Though, ah, do you have, um...

DEEP THOUGHT: An answer for you? Yes. I have the answer.

LOONQUAWL: There really is one?

DEEP THOUGHT: There really is one.

PHOUCHG: To everything? To the Great Question of Life, the Universe, and



LOONQUAWL: And are you ready to give it to us?




PHOUCHG: Wowwwwww!

DEEP THOUGHT: (pause) Though I don't think you're going to like it.

LOONQUAWL: It doesn't matter!

PHOUCHG: We must know it!


LOONQUAWL: (impatiently) Yes, now!

DEEP THOUGHT: (pause) Alright.

(Long pause, during which the PROGRAMMERS fidget impatiently.)


DEEP THOUGHT: You're really not going to like it.


(MUSIC: Buildup)

DEEP THOUGHT: Alright. The Answer to Everything...


DEEP THOUGHT: Life, The Universe, and Everything...





PHOUCHG and LOONQUAWL: Yes??!?!?!?

(Long, tense pause.)

DEEP THOUGHT: (With great majesty) Forty-two.

(Another long pause, during which the programmers stare in horror at the computer.)

DEEP THOUGHT: It was a tough assignment.

PHOUCHG and LOONQUAWL: Forty-two?!?!

DEEP THOUGHT: (quickly) I think the problem was that the question was too broadly based.

You never actually said what it was.

LOONQUAWL: Well, it was the Ultimate Question! The Question of Life, the

Universe, and Everything!

DEEP THOUGHT: Exactly. Now that you know that the answer to the Ultimate

Question is forty-two, all you

need to do now is find out what the Question itself is.

(Both of the PROGRAMMERS sigh deeply.)

PHOUCHG: Alright, alright, alright. Can you please tell us the Question!

DEEP THOUGHT: The Ultimate Question?


DEEP THOUGHT: Of Life, the Universe...

PHOUCHG: ...and Everything.

DEEP THOUGHT: Precisely. (he sighs) Tricky.

LOONQUAWL: But can you do it?


PHOUCHG and LOONQUAWL: {adlib} Oh god. Great. Oh well.

DEEP THOUGHT: But I'll tell you who can.

LOONQUAWL: Who! Tell us, tell us!

PHOUCHG: Who is it?

DEEP THOUGHT: I speak of none but the computer that is to come after me.

LOONQUAWL: What computer?

DEEP THOUGHT: A computer who's merest operational parameters I am not

worthy to calculate, and yet I will design it for you. A computer

which can calculate the Question to the Ultimate Answer, a computer

of such infinite and subtle complexity that organic life itself

will form part of it's operational matrix. And it shall be called

The Earth.

LOONQUAWL: (pause) Oh. What a dull name.

(CURTAIN RISES. Lights up on SLARTIBARTFAST's study again. FORD and ZAPHOD are slumped over at a table, overcome with mind-boggling boredeom.)

SLARTIBARTFAST: So there you have it. Deep Thought designed it, we built

it, and you lived on it.

ARTHUR: And the Vogons came and destroyed it five minutes before the

program was completed.

SLARTIBARTFAST: Yes. Ten million years of planning and work, gone, just

like that. Well, that's beaurocracy for you.

TRILLIAN: You know, all this explains a lot of things. All through my life

I've had this strange feeling that something was going

on in the world, but no one would tell me what it was.

SLARTIBARTFAST: No, that's just perfectly normal paranoia. Everyone has that.

ARTHUR: Well, perhaps that means that somewhere outside the Universe...

SLARTIBARTFAST: Maybe. Who cares? Perhaps I'm old and tired, but I always

thought that the chances of anyone finding out what really is going on are so

absurdely remote that there's no point in even trying. Look at me, I design

coastlines! I got an award for Norway. What's the sense in that?

None that I've been able to find. I've been doing fjords all my

life. For a fleeting moment they become fashionable, and I get a

major award.

(ZAPHOD begins pantomiming playing a violin, and FORD holds out an imaginary hat with a sad expression on his face. The other THREE do not notice.)

SLARTIBARTFAST: In this replacement Earth we're building they've given

me Africa to do, and of course I'm doing it with lots of fjords again,

because I happen to like them, and I'm old-fashioned enough to think

that they give a lovely baroque feel to a continent. And they tell

me it's not equatorial enough! Hmph! But what does it matter? Science has

achieved some wonderful things, of course... but I'd far rather be

happy than right any day!

ARTHUR: And are you?

SLARTIBARTFAST: No. That's where it all breaks down.

TRILLIAN: Too bad. It sounded like quite a good lifestyle otherwise.

ARTHUR: I seem to be having this tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle.

As soon as I reach some kind of definate policy about what is my

kind of music and my kind of restaurant, and my kind of lifestyle,

people start blowing up my kind of planet, and throwing me out of

their kind of spaceships. It's so hard to build up anything coherent.

Oh, I'm sorry. All this must sound rather fatuous to you.

SLARTIBARTFAST: Yes, I thought so.

ARTHUR: Mmm. Just forget I ever said it.

(Lights down. Spot on NARRATER)

NARRATER: It is of course well known that careless talk costs lives, but

the full scale of the problem is not always appreciated. For instance,

at the very moment that Arthur Dent said "I seem to be having this

tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle," a freak wormhole opened

up in the fabric of the space-time continuum and carried his words

far, far back in time across almost infinite reaches of space, to

a distant galaxy where strange and war-like beings were poised on

the brink of frightful interstellar battle. The two opposing leaders

were meeting for the last time, and a dreadful silence fell across

the conference table as the commander of the Vl'Hurgs, resplendant

in his black jeweled battle shorts, gazed levelly at the G'Gugvant

leader squatting opposite him in a cloud of green sweet-smelling

steam, and with a million sleek and horribly beweaponed star cruisers

poised to unleash electric death at his single word of command,

challenged the vile creature to take back what it had said about

his mother. The creature stirred in his sickly broiling vapor, and

at that very moment, the words "I seem to be having this tremendous

difficulty with my lifestyle" drifted across the conference table.

Unfortunately, in the Vl'Hurg tongue this was the most dreadful

insult imaginable, and there was nothing for it but to wage terrible

war. Eventually, of course, it was realized that the whole thing

had been a ghastly mistake, and so the two opposing battle fleets

settled their few remaining differences in order to launch a joint

attack on our galaxy, now positively identified as the source of the

offending remark. For thousands more years, the mighty ships tore

across the empty wastes of space, and finally dived screaming onto

the planet Earth, where, due to a terrible miscalculation of scale,

the entire battle fleet was accidentally swallowed by a small dog.

Those who study the complex interplay of cause and effect in the

history of the Universe say that this sort of thing is going on all

the time, but are powerless to prevent it. "It's just life," they


(CURTAIN up, lights on stage. ZAPHOD and FORD look even more bored than before, if possible. SLARTIBARTFAST is showing a diagram to ARTHUR and TRILLIAN, who are also beginning to loose interest.)

SLARTIBARTFAST: And that's basically my plan for the northeastern section of the new Africa. It needs a little work, but I'm pretty satisfied with it now. Now then, the southeastern coastline... oh, where is it.... I'm not boring you, am I?

ZAPHOD: Oh, not at all.

FORD: Please continue.

SLARTIBARTFAST: Oh, I remember now! (apologetically) Terribly unfortunate. A diode blew in one of the life-support computers. When we tried to revive our cleaning staff , we discovered they'd all been dead for nearly 30,000 years. Who's going to clear away the bodies, that's what I want to know. (HE shuffles off SR.)

FORD: Let's get out of here before he comes back!

ZAPHOD: I'm with you man! Finally things are starting to look good!

(Sirens blare and red lights begin flashing. ALL onstage look around in fear.)

ZAPHOD: Oh hell.

VOICE: Emergancy, emergancy! Hostile ship has landed on the planet!

Intruders now within architect office area! Defense stations, defense

stations! Come on you guys! What, are you nuts? Get out of there!

TRILLIAN: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

ZAPHOD: The police! We've got to get out of here!

ARTHUR: Police?

ZAPHOD: Yeah, it's this wretched spaceship we've stole,

and I left them a note explaining how they could make a profit on

the insurance claim, but it doesn't seem to have worked.

FORD: Well come on then, lets move!

(They run around in circles, bump into each other.)

FORD: Which way, Zaphod?

ZAPHOD: At a wild guess, I'd say... this way.

TRILLIAN: Right, lets go.

(They all run towards SR. SHOOTY, the Galactic Cop, steps onto upstage right with a large blaster gun pointed at the group.)

SHOOTY: Okay, Beeblebrox! Hold it right there, we've got you covered!

ZAPHOD: Uh, okay, this way!

(They all about face and run towards SL. BANGBANG, the other cop, steps onto stage with another gun pointed at them.

BANGBANG: We don't wanna shoot you, Beeblebrox!

ZAPHOD: Suits me fine!

TRILLIAN: We're cornered!

ZAPHOD: Alright, uh, behind this computer bank! Get down!

(They run downstage and right and dive behind one of the consoles. The cops start firing at them, and move to Center stage on the riser. ZAPHOD, FORD, TRILLIAN, and ARTHUR are huddled behind the computer bank, facing the audiance.)

ARTHUR: Hey! They're shooting at us!


ARTHUR: I thought they said they didn't want to do that!

TRILLIAN: Yeah, I thought they said that!

ZAPHOD: (shouting out behind the computer bank) Hey! I thought you said you didn't want to shoot us!

BANGBANG: It isn't easy being a cop!

FORD: (incredulous) What did he say?

ZAPHOD He said it isn't easy being a cop.

FORD: Well, that's his problem, isn't it?

ZAPHOD: I'd have thought so.

FORD: (shouting at the cops) Uh, hey listen! I think we've got enough problems of our own

with you shooting at us, so if you could avoid laying your personal

problems on us as well, I think we'd all find it easier to cope.

SHOOTY: Now see here, buddy. You ain't dealin' with any dumb two-bit

trigger-pumpin' morons with low hairlines and little piggy eyes and

no conversation!


SHOOTY: We're a couple of intelligent carin' guys who you'd probably like

if you met us socially.

BANGBANG: He's right, I'm really sensitive!

SHOOTY: I don't go around gratuitously shootin' people and then braggin'

about it in seedy space rangers bars! I go around gratuitously

shootin' people and then agonizin' about it afterwords to my


BANGBANG: And I write novels!

SHOOTY: He writes 'em in crayon!

BANGBANG: Though I haven't had any of them published yet, so I'd better

warn ya, I'm in a meeeeeeean mood!

FORD: Who are these guys!

(MUSIC: The Cop Theme)

ZAPHOD: I think I prefered it when they were shooting!

SHOOTY: So are ya going to come quietly or are ya gonna let us blast ya?

FORD: Which would you rather?

(The cops shoot at them for a minute. They stop and there is a brief pause. The cops try to peer around the computer bank.)

SHOOTY: You still there?


BANGBANG: We didn't enjoy doin' that at all!

SHOOTY: Oh no! Waste of bullets!

FORD: (shouting) We could tell! (aside) Zaphod, do you have any idea how we're going to deal

with these loonies?

SHOOTY: Now listen to this, Beeblebrox!


SHOOTY: And ya better listen good!


(SHOOTY stops to think about it for a minute. He consults BANGBANG about it briefly, then shouts back his answer.)

SHOOTY: Because it's gonna be very intelligent! Quite interesting and


ZAPHOD: Okay, fire away.

(COPS mistake his meaning and start shooting at them. FOUR huddle behind computer bank. After a second, they realize their miskate and stop. BANGBANG slaps his forehead.)

BANGBANG: (aside) Oh, god that was really dumb. (To group) Sorry, misunderstanding there!

FORD: (quitely) Nice one, Zaphod.

SHOOTY: Beeblebrox! Either you all give yourselves up now and let us beat

ya up a bit...

BANGBANG: Though not very much, of course, because we are firmly

opposed to needless violence...

SHOOTY: ...Or we blow up this entire planet, and

possibly a couple others we noticed on our way over here.

TRILLIAN: (disbelieving) But that's crazy! You wouldn't blow up this entire planet just

to get a stupid spaceship back!

SHOOTY: Oh yes we would! I think we would. Hell, wouldn't we?

BANGBANG: Oh yeah, we'd have to, no question!

TRILLIAN: But why?

BANGBANG: Tell her!

SHOOTY: Because there are some things ya got to do even if you are an

enlightened liberal cop who knows all about sensitivity and


BANGBANG: This is true!

ZAPHOD: (To himself) I just don't believe these guys!

BANGBANG: Shall we shoot 'em again for a bit?

SHOOTY: Yeah, heh heh, why not!

(They begin firing again. The computer bank begins sparking.)

TRILLIAN: We're not going to be safe behind this computer bank for much

longer. It's been really nice knowing you .

FORD: The computer bank is absorbing a hell of a lot of energy. I think

it's about to blow!

ARTHUR: It's a shame we never managed to get the work done revising the

book. I thought it looked rather promising.

ZAPHOD: Yeah. What book?

ARTHUR: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!

ZAPHOD: Oh, that thing.

FORD: Look, I hate to say this, guys, but this thing really is going to

blow up!

ZAPHOD: Okay, okay!

(Rising creshendo, then a flash and blackout.)



(MUSIC: Light dinner music.)

(As the scene begins, all lights black out. We hear the character's voices. They are lieing SR on the ground. The lights come up very dimly as the WAITER steps on to the stage and greets them.))

ARTHUR, FORD, TRILLIAN, and ZAPHOD: (adlib) Oww! Oh, my head! Ugg!

WAITER: Good evening, gentlemen, madam. Have you a reservation?

FORD: (Groggily) Reservation?

WAITER: Yes sir.

FORD: You need a reservation for the afterlife?

WAITER: The afterlife, sir?

ARTHUR: Is this the afterlife?

FORD: Well, I assume so! I mean, there's no way we could have survived

that blast, is there?


TRILLIAN: None at all!

ZAPHOD: I certainly didn't survive! I was a total goner!

ARTHUR: I was dead too!

ZAPHOD: Wham, bang, and that was it!

FORD: We didn't stand a chance! We must have been blown to bits! Arms,

legs everywhere!


WAITER: (patiently) Ahem. If you would care to order drinks...

(The FOUR gradually struggle to their feet.)

ZAPHOD: Kerpow, splat...


ZAPHOD: Uh, so here we are. Lieing dead...

TRILLIAN: (correcting him) Standing.

ZAPHOD: ...uh, standing dead in this, uh, desolate...

(The lights come on a bit brighter. We still cannot see clearly the background. There is light shining from behind stage.)

ARTHUR: (looking around him in suprise) Restaraunt!

ZAPHOD: (doggedly) Standing dead in this desolate...

ARTHUR: Five star!

ZAPHOD: ...restaraunt.

FORD: (after a pause) A bit odd, isn't it?

ZAPHOD: Uh, yeah.

TRILLIAN: Nice chandeleirs, though.

(Lights come up brighter. The WAITER is an old man - the same actor as SLARTIBARTFAST. He is in a formal suit and waiter's outfit, and is holding four menus in his arm.)

ZAPHOD: Hey hey, wait a minute! I think we're missing something important here,

something that somebody just said.

TRILLIAN: About the chandeleirs?

ZAPHOD: No, something really important! (Gradually becomes aware of the WAITER.) Hey, hey, hey, uh, you.

WAITER: (patiently) Sir.

ZAPHOD: Did you say something about... drinks?

WAITER: Certainly, sir. If the lady or the gentlemen would care to take

drinks before dinner...

ALL: (adlib) Yeah, great! Wow! Oh!

WAITER: ...and the Universe will explode later for your pleasure.

FORD: Wow! What sort of drinks do you serve here?

WAITER: (Politely laughs) I think sir has perhaps misunderstood me.

FORD: Oh, I hope not!

WAITER: It is not unusual for our customers to be a little disorentated

by the time journey, so if...

ALL: (adlib) Time journey? What time journey? Huh? What?

ARTHUR: You mean this isn't the afterlife?

WAITER: Afterlife, sir? No, sir.

ARTHUR: And we're not dead?

WAITER: No sir. Sir is most evidently alive, otherwise I would not

attempt to serve sir.

FORD: Then where the photon are we?

ZAPHOD: Hey, wait! I've got it!


ZAPHOD: This must be The Macrocosm!

WAITER: (relieved) Yes. Macrocosm. The Restaraunt at the End of the Universe.

ARTHUR: End of what?

WAITER: (with undue stress) The Universe.

ARTHUR: When did that end?

WAITER: In just a few minutes, sir. Now, if you would care to order

drinks, I'll show you to your tables.

(The CURTAIN opens on the Macrocosm set. There is a small stage in the center, a few tables and chairs with aliens in them. Flashy lights, expensive vases and statues, and any other items to make this look like the classiest place in time and space. Sitting in robes and quietly meditating are some members of the Church of the Second Coming of the Great Prophet Zarquon. They sit quietly on the ground and do not speak.)

(During the NARRATER's speech, the WAITER hands the four menus, and guides them to their table, CS and a little towards stage left. ARTHUR and TRILLIAN are amazed at the size and scope of the place, and FORD and ZAPHOD are glad to finally be in their element. Lights up on NARRATER.)

NARRATER: The Restaraunt at the End of the Universe is one of the most

amazing ideas in the entire history of catering. A huge

time bubble has been projected into the future to the exact

moment of the end of the universe. This is, of course, impossible.

In it, guests sit at tables and eat sumptuous meals

while watching all of creation explode around them. This is,

of course, impossible. You can arrive from any city you like without

prior reservation, because you can reserve tables when you return to your own time. This is, of course, impossible.

At the restaurant, you can meet and dine with a fantastic cross-section of the

entire population of space and time. This is, of course, impossible.

All you have to do is deposit one

penny in a savings account in your own time, and when you arrive at

the restaraunt, the interest you've accumulated has paid for the fabulous cost of your meal.

This is of course, impossible, which is why the advertizing executives for the restaraunt

came up with this slogan: "If you've done

five impossible things this morning, why not top it off with

breakfast at The Macrocosm, the Restaurant At The End Of The Universe!"

(Light off on NARRATER. TRILLIAN and ARTHUR are still amazed.)

ARTHUR: The lights!

TRILLIAN: The people!

ARTHUR: (refering to a diner) The.... things!

FORD: The things are also people.

ARTHUR: The other people!

TRILLIAN: The chandeleirs!


WAITER: Please sit down. Now, would you prefer to look at the daily specials, or would you care to meet the Dish of the Day?



FORD: Huh?

ZAPHOD: That's cool. We'll meet the meat.

(WAITER goes off SR. MAX QUARDLEPLEEN comes from SL and leaps onto the stage smiling. He is a charismatic preformer, the host of the Restaraunt. He carries a microphone.)

MAX QUARDLEPLEEN: Ladies and gentlemen, friends, welcome to the Restaurant

at the End of the Universe! I am your host for tonight, Max

Quardlepleen, and I will be with you

throughout this tremendous, historic occasion... the end of history

itself. Now, I just want you to think about that, ladies and

gentlemen, friends, thank you. (applause from audiance members) Thank you, thank you.

Ladies and gentlemen! Take your places at tables, the candles are

lit, the band is playing, as the force-shielded

dome above us fades into transparency, revealing a dark and sullen

sky hung heavy with the ancient light of livid, swolen stars, I can see, friends, we're in for a fabulous evening's apocolypse.

(MUSIC: The Restaraunt Song)

MAX: Thank you very much!

(He walks off stage and drinks a glass of water. Attention refocuses on ARTHUR and FORD, who are having a discussion. FORD is a little drunk.)

ARTHUR: But look, Ford! I don't understand. If the universe is about to end here and

now, don't we go with it?

FORD: Oh, no no no, look, as soon as you come into this place I think

you get held in this sort of amazing force-shielded temporal warp thing.

Look, look, I'll show you. Now, imagine this napkin, right? As the

temporal universe, and this spoon as a transductional mode in the

matter curve.

ARTHUR: But that's my spoon!

FORD: Alright, imagine this spoon, as the transductional mode in the matter

curve, no no, better still, this fork...

ZAPHOD: Hey, could you let go of my fork, please?

FORD: No, look look, look, why don't we say this wine glass is the temporal

universe, so if I sort of... (He drops the wineglass onto the floor) ... yeah, well, forget that, I mean, uh, do you know how the universe began for a kick-off?

ARTHUR: (resigned) Propably not.

FORD: Alright, imagine this. You get this large round bathtub made of ebony.

ARTHUR: Where from? Macey's was destroyed by the Vogons.

FORD: Doesn't matter!

ARTHUR: (depressed) So you keep saying.

FORD: (Not to be drawn off track) No no, listen! Just imagine that you've got this ebony bathtub. And it's conical. (makes hand gestures to indicate a cone-shaped tub.)

ARTHUR: (unbelieveing) Conical?!

FORD: No, it's conical, okay? So what you do is you fill it with fine

white sand, right?


FORD: Or sugar, or anything like that, and when it's full, you pull the plug

out, and it all just twirls down out of the plughole.


FORD: But the thing is, no, the clever thing is, is that you film it

happening! You get a movie camera from somewhere, and actually film

it! And then you run the film through the projector backwards!

ARTHUR: Backwards?

FORD: Yeah, neat, you see, so what happens is you sit and you watch it,

and everything appears to spiral upwards out of the plughole and

fill the bathtub! Amazing!

ARTHUR: And that's how the universe began?

FORD: No! But it's a marvelous way to relax.

TRILLIAN: Ford, are you feeling alright?.

FORD: Well it broke the ice, didn't it?

(WAITER approaches with large cart. On the cart is a large bovine animal of some sort - The Dish of the Day. He is resting on a platter of green leaves.)

WAITER: Gentlemen and madam... may I present the Dish of the Day.

DISH OF THE DAY: Hello (snort) May I interest you in parts of my body?

(ARTHUR and TRILLIAN look on with horror. FORD seems to accept the fact fairly calmly. ZAPHOD smiles and begins prodding the cow's body for tender sections.)

ARTHUR: Are you serious? Does this animal really want us to eat it?

DISH: Oh yes. I've been bred that way. A whole race of bovines genetically bred to grow and devolop for your pleasure. (To ZAPHOD) The rump is especially tender, sir. I've been fattening it up for months.

TRILLIAN: That's horrible!

DISH: Better than eating an animal that doesn't want to be eaten, isn't it?

TRILLIAN: Yes, but.... but....

(FORD shrugs and joins ZAPHOD.)

DISH: I expect that my liver is quite tender and juicy by now. I've been force feeding myself for weeks.

ZAPHOD: Three steaks, please.


DISH: (To ARTHUR) What's the matter, sir? Are you sure you're not hungry?

ARTHUR: Green salad.

DISH: (worried) I know some vegetables who are very partial to that subject.

ARTHUR: (faintly) Glass of water?

DISH: Well then, I'll just go off and shoot myself now. (gripping TRILLIAN's shoulder in gesture of comfort.) Don't worry, miss. I'll be very humane.

TRILLIAN: (Lets out a low, soft moan.)

(The WAITER wheels the DISH OF THE DAY off stage right. MAX steps back onstage.)

MAX QUARDLEPLEEN: Now, as the photon storms gather in the swirling clouds

around us, preparing to tear apart the last of the red hot hot suns,

I hope you'll all settle back and enjoy with me what I'm sure we will

all find an immensely exciting and terminal experiance. Believe me,

ladies and gentlemen, this time's for real, you

know what I mean, this, ladies and gentlemen, is the proverbial IT!

(A pause, then applause from the audiance. Suddenly there is a loud gunshot from offstage right. The only person who notices is TRILLIAN, who moans again and puts her head in her hands.)

MAX: Thank you, thank you. And after this, there is void.

Absolute nothing. Except, of course, for the desert bar and our

fine selection of Adelbaron wines! And now, at the risk of putting

a damper on the wonderful sense of doom and futility here, I'd like

to welcome a few parties. Now, do we have a party here from the

Zanzel Quizurr Flamorian Bridge Club, from beyond the Verd Void of

Quarn? Are they here!

(Group at SL table shouts and cheers, waving streamers. The WAITER brings two steaming steaks and two glasses of water from SR to the table. ZAPHOD and FORD dig in, ARTHUR and TRILLIAN sip at their water, feeling sick.)

MAX: Oh, there they are! Ah, that's wonderful,

waving their Quarn streamers in the air, good, good! Now,

do we have here a party of young conservatives from Sirius B?

(A group on the other side of the stage cheers and throws something bizarre at the stage.)

MAX: Um, I guess we do. And lastly, a party of devout believers from the

Church of the Second Coming of the Great Prophet Zarquon? Well fellas,

let's hope he's hurrying, because he's only got eight minutes left!

(There is laughter from the audiance. The church members sit in stony silence on the floor.)

MAX: No, no, seriously though, no, please. No offense meant, because I know we shouldn't make fun of deeply held beliefs. So, I

think, a big hand, please, for the Great Prophet Zarquon... wherever

he is! (The audiance laughs). I just want to say how marvelous it is to

see how many of you come here time and time again, to see...

(MAX becomes silent and pantomimes talking as the WAITER comes onstage with a telephone.) t

WAITER: (To ZAPHOD) Excuse me, sir.

ZAPHOD: Who, me?

WAITER: Mister Zaphod Beeblebrox?

ZAPHOD: (nervously) Uh, yeah?

WAITER: There is a phone call for you.

ZAPHOD: Hey, what?

FORD: Here?

ZAPHOD: Hey, but who knows where I am?

TRILLIAN: (worried) Zaphod! Maybe it's the police! Could they have traced us here?

ZAPHOD: You mean they want to arrest me over the phone? Could be, I'm a

pretty dangerous dude when I'm cornered.

WAITER: I am not personally acquainted with the metal gentlemen in question,



WAITER: ...but I am informed that he has been awaiting your return for a

considerable number of millenia. It seems you left here somewhat


ZAPHOD: Hey, left here? We just got here!

WAITER: Indeed, sir, but before you arrived here, sir, you left here.

ZAPHOD: You're saying that before we arrived here, we left here?

WAITER: That is what I said, sir.

ZAPHOD: Stop payin' your shrink, man, he's not doing you any good.

FORD: No, no, wait a minute! Where exactly is here?

WAITER: The planet Magrathea, sir.

FORD: But we just left there! This is the Restaurant at the End of the

Universe, I thought!

WAITER: Precisely, sir. The one was constructed on the ruins of the other.

ARTHUR: Ah! So you mean we've travelled in time but not in space!

ZAPHOD: Listen, you semi-evolved simian, go climb a tree, will you?

ARTHUR: Well you can go and... go and... go and....

WAITER: No no, your monkey has got it right, sir.

ARTHUR: Who are you calling a monkey?!

WAITER: You jumped forward in time many millions of years while retaining

the same position in space. Your friend has been waiting for you in

the meantime.

FORD: Well what's he been doing all the time?

WAITER: Rusting a little, sir?

TRILLIAN: (realizing) Marvin! It must be Marvin!

FORD: The miserable android!

ZAPHOD: Space cookies! We left him guarding the passage on Magrathea! Oh, hand me the raprod, plate captain!

WAITER: Pardon, sir?

ZAPHOD: Pass the phone, waiter! Shee, you guys are so unhip it's a wonder

your bums don't fall off.

WAITER: Quite, sir. The phone, sir.

ZAPHOD: (into the telephone) Marvin! Hi, how ya doing, kid?

MARVIN'S VOICE: I think you ought to know I'm feeling very depressed.

ZAPHOD: (to everyone else) It's Marvin! (into phone) Hey, yeah? We're having a great time. Food, wine, a little personal

abuse, and the Universe going foom! Where can we find you?

MARVIN'S VOICE: You don't have to pretend to be interested in me, you know. I know

perfectly well I'm only a menial robot.

ZAPHOD: Yeah, okay, okay, but where are you?

MARVIN: "Reverse primary thrust, Marvin," that's what they say to me. "Open

airlock number three, Marvin." "Marvin, can you pick up that piece of

paper?" Can I pick up that piece of paper. Here I am, brain the size

of a planet... But I'm quite used to being humiliated. I can even go

and stick my head in a bucket of water if you like.

ZAPHOD: Yeah. Uh, Marvin...

MARVIN: Would you like me to go and stick my head in a bucket of water? I've

got one ready. Wait a minute.

FORD: What's he saying, Zaphod?

ZAPHOD: Oh, nothing. He just phoned up to wash his head at us.

(We hear strange watery noises and sad little clinking sounds.)

MARVIN: Has that satisfied you?

ZAPHOD: (impatiently) Will you please tell us where you are!

MARVIN: I'm in the parking lot.

ZAPHOD: In the parking lot? What are you doing there?

MARVIN: Parking cars, what else would I be doing in a parking lot?

ZAPHOD: Okay, we'll be down in a minute to pick up the Heart of Gold.

MARVIN: It's not there.


MARVIN: They made it into teaspoons. I enjoyed that part. Not very much though.

ZAPHOD: Yeah, okay, stay there. (Hangs up phone) Come on, guys, let's go. Marvin's down in

the parking lot!

ARTHUR: The parking lot? What's he doing in the parking lot?

ZAPHOD: Parking cars, what else, dum dum? Hey Ford, come on Trillian, let's


ARTHUR: But I wanted to see...

ZAPHOD: Come on! Let's move!

TRILLIAN: There he is! Marvin!

ZAPHOD: Marvin! Hey, kid, are we pleased to see you!

MARVIN: No you're not. No one ever is.

ZAPHOD: Suit yourself.

TRILLIAN: No, really, Marvin, we are!

ARTHUR: Quite.

TRILLIAN: Hanging around waiting for us all this time!

MARVIN: The first ten million years 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.

FORD: Hey Zaphod, come and have a look at some of these neat star trolleys!

Look at this baby, Zaphod, I mean, the tangerine star buggy with the

black sunbuster!

ZAPHOD: Hey, get this number! Multi-cluster quark drive and Perspilex running

boards. This has got to be a Lazlalyrican custom job. Look! The infra-

pink lizard emblem on the nuetrino core!

FORD: Oh, yes! I was passed by one of these mothers once out near the Axel

Nebula! I was going flat out and this thing just strolled passed me,

stardrive hardly ticking over, just incredible!

ZAPHOD: Too much!

FORD: No, ten seconds later it smashed straight into the third moon of

Jaglan Beta!

ZAPHOD: Hey, right?

FORD: Yeah, but a great looking ship, though. Looks like a fish.... moves

like a fish.... steers like a cow.

ZAPHOD: No kidding.

FORD: No. Oh, wait a minute. That one there!

ZAPHOD: Hey, hey! Now that is really bad for the eyes!

FORD: I mean it is so black! You can hardly even make out it's shape! Light

just falls into it!

ZAPHOD: And feel this surface!

FORD: Yeah... hey! Hey, you can't!

ZAPHOD: See! It's just totally frictionless! This must be one mother of a

mover! I bet even the cigar lighters on photon drive, what do you

reckon, Ford?

FORD: What, you mean... stroll off with it? Do you think we should?

ZAPHOD: No! But let's do it!

FORD: Okay.

ZAPHOD: We'd better shift soon. In a few seconds the Universe will end and

all the captain creeps will be pouring down here to find their bourge


FORD: Zaphod?


FORD: How do we get into it?

ZAPHOD: Just don't spoil a beautiful idea, will you Ford?

FORD: Perhaps the robot can figure something out.

ZAPHOD: Yeah. Hey, Marvin! Come on over, we've got a job for you.

MARVIN: I won't enjoy it.

ZAPHOD: Oh, yes you will! There's a whole new life stretching out in front

of you!

MARVIN: Oh, not another one.

ZAPHOD: Will you shutup and listen? This time there's going to be excitement

and adventure and really wild things!

MARVIN: Sounds aweful.

ZAPHOD: Marvin, all I'm trying to say...

MARVIN: I suppose you want me to open this spaceship for you.

ZAPHOD: Marvin, just listen, will you? What?

MARVIN: I suppose you want me to open this spaceship for you.

ZAPHOD: Uh, yeah. Yeah, that'd be...

MARVIN: Well I wish you'd just tell me rather than trying to engage my

enthusiasm, because I haven't got one. {whiirrrrr}

FORD: Hey, how'd you do that, Marvin?

MARVIN: Didn't I tell you I've got a brain the size of a planet? No one ever

listens to me, of course.

ZAPHOD: Shutup, Marvin.

MARVIN: See what I mean?

FORD: Hey, Zaphod, look at this! Look at the interior of this ship!

ZAPHOD: Hey, wierd!

FORD: I mean, it's black! Everything in it is just totally black!


MAX QUARDLEPLEEN: And now, ladies and gentlemen, the moment you've all been

waiting for! The skies begin to boil! Nature collapses into the

screaming void! In five seconds time, the universe itself will be

at an end! See, friends, see where the light of infinity bursts in

upon us! {singing} Hmmm? What... what's happening here? Who's this?

I don't believe it! A big hand, please, for the Great Prophet

Zarquon! {applause}

THE GREAT PROPHET ZARQUON: Ah, hi there, everybody! Sorry I'm a bit late,

had a terrible time, all sorts of things cropping up at the last

moment... how are we for time? Um...



NARRATER: And so the Universe ended. One of the major selling points of

that wholy remarkable book, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,"

apart from it's relative cheapness and the fact that it has the

words "Don't Panic" written in large, friendly letters on the

cover, is it's compendius, and occasionally accurate, glossary.

For instance the statistics relating to the geosocial nature of

the universe are all deftly set out between pages 576,324 and

576,326. The simplistic style is partly explained by the fact that

it's editors, having to meet a publishing deadline, copied the

information off the back of a packet of breakfast cereal, hastily

embroidering it with a few footnotes in order to avoid prosecution

under the incomprehensibly tortuous Galactic Copyright Laws. It's

interesting to note that a later and wilier editor sent the book

backwards in time through a temporal warp and then successfully

sued the breakfast cerel company for infrigement of the same laws.

Here is a sample in both HEADINGS and footnotes.

THE UNIVERSE (some information to help you live in it).


(As far as anyone can make out).


(It's impossible to import things into an infinite area, there

being no outside to import things in from).


(See Imports).


(Rain cannot fall, because in an infinite space there is no up

for it to fall down from).


(It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, but that

not every one is inhabited. Therefore, there must be a finite

number of inhabited worlds. Any finite number divided by infinity

is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so if every planet in

the universe has a population of zero, then the entire population

of the universe must also be zero. And any people you may actually

meet from time to time are merely the products of a deranged



(In fact, there are three freely convertable currencies in the

Universe, but the Altarian dollar has recently collapsed, the

Flaynian Pobble Bead is only exchangable for other Flaynian

Pobble Beads, and the Triganic Pu doesn't really count as

money. It's exchange rate of six ningis to one pu is simple,

but since a ningi is a triangular rubber coin six thousand

eight hundred miles long each side, no one has ever collected

enough to own one pu. Ningis are not negotiable currency because

the Galactibanks refuse to deal in fiddling small change. From

this basic premise, it's very simple to prove that the Galacti-

banks are also the products of a derranged imagination.)


(Well, actually, there is an aweful lot of this, largely because

of the total lack of money, trade, banks, rainfall, or anything

else that might keep all the nonexistant people in the universe

occupied. However, it's not worth embarking on a long discussion

of it now because it really is terribly complicated. For further

information, see chapters seven, nine, ten, eleven, fourteen,

sixteen, seventeen, nineteen, twenty-one through eighty-four

inclusive, and most of the rest of the book).

It's largely on account of passages like this that the book of the

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is being revised by Ford Prefect

and Arthur Dent. Unfortunately, they are being presented with too

many distractions to be able to settle down to doing any solid

research. Not only does Arthur Dent still have to find the Question

to the Ultimate Answer of Life, the Universe, and Everything, but

the newly stolen spaceship is currently behaving... well, like this.



ARTHUR: Basically, what you're trying to say is that you can't control it!

FORD: I'm not trying to say that, the whole bloody ship is!

ZAPHOD: It's the wild color scheme that freaks me! I mean, when you try

to operate one of these weird black controls which are labeled in

black on a black background a small black light lights up black to

let you know you've done it! I mean, what is this? Some kind of

intergalactic hyper-hearse!?

TRILLIAN: Perhaps it is!

ARTHUR: Isn't there any way you can control it? You're making me feel space


FORD: Time sick! We're plummeting backwards through time!

ARTHUR: Oh, god! Now I think I really am going to be ill!

ZAPHOD: Go ahead, we could do with a little color around the place.

TRILLIAN: Oh, for God's sake, Zaphod, go easy, will you? Already today

we've had to sit through the end of the universe, and before that

we were blasted five hundred and seventy six thousand million years

through time by an exploding computer...

MARVIN: It's alright for you, I had to go the long way round!

ARTHUR: How did that happen anyway? How does an exploding computer push you

through time?

MARVIN: Very simple. It wasn't a computer, it was a hyperspatial field


ARTHUR: Silly, I should have recognized it at once!

MARVIN: As it overheated, it blew a hole through the space-time continuum,

and you dropped through like a stone through a wet paper bag. I hate

wet paper bags.

TRILLIAN: Hey! That sounds better! Have you managed to make some sense of

the controls?

FORD: No, we just stopped fiddling with them. I think this ship has a far

better idea of where it's going that we do.

ARTHUR: Well that sounds quite sensible to me.

ZAPHOD: What do you know about it, apeman?

ARTHUR: Well, look! If whoever owns this ship travelled forward in time

to the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, then presumably he must

have programmed the ship in advance to return him to the exact point

he originally left! Doesn't that make sense?

FORD: That's quite a good thought, you know. Particularly if he was

anticipating having a good time. Drunk in charge of a timeship is a

pretty serious offense! They tend to lock you away in some planet's

stone age and tell you to evolve into a more responsible life form!

TRILLIAN: So there's nothing to do but sit back and see where we turn up.

So what do we do in the meantime?

ARTHUR: I've got a pocket Scrabble set.

ZAPHOD: Go play with a nut.

ARTHUR: Well if that's your attitude...

ZAPHOD: Hey look, Earthman, you've got a job to do, remember? The Question

to the Ultimate Answer, right? Now there's a lot of money tied up in

that head-thing of yours. I mean, just think of the merchandizing!

Ultimate Question T-Shirts, Ultimate Question Biscuits...

ARTHUR: Well yes, but where do we start? I don't know! The Ultimate

Answer, so called, is forty-two! What's the question? How am I

supposed to know? Could be anything, I mean, what's six times seven?

FORD, TRILLIAN, ZAPHOD: Uh... forty-two!

ARTHUR: Yes, I know that! I'm just saying the Question could be anything!

How should I know?

FORD: Because you and Trillian are the last-generation products of the

Earth's computer matrix! You must know!

MARVIN: I know.

FORD: Shutup, Marvin, this is organism talk.

MARVIN: It's printed in the Earthman's brainwave patterns, but I don't

suppose you'll be very interested in knowing that.

ARTHUR: You mean you can see into my mind?



MARVIN: It amazes me how you manage to live in anything that small.

ARTHUR: Ah. Abuse.


ZAPHOD: Oh, ignore him, he's only making it up.

MARVIN: Making it up? Why should I want to make anything up? Life's bad

enough as it is without wanting to invent any more of it.

TRILLIAN: Marvin, if you knew what it was all along, why didn't you tell us?

MARVIN: You didn't ask.

FORD: Well we're asking you now, metal man! What's the Question!

MARVIN: The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything?


MARVIN: To which the answer is forty-two?


MARVIN: I can tell that you're not really interested.

FORD: Will you just tell us, you motorized maniac!

ARTHUR: Hey look, the control panel's lighting up! We must have arrived!

ZAPHOD: Hey yeah, we've zapped back into real space!

MARVIN: I knew you weren't really interested.

FORD: The controls won't respond. It's still going it's own way! Isn't there

any way we can introduce this ship to the concept of democracy?

TRILLIAN: Can we at least find out where we are?

ARTHUR: The vision screens are all blank. Can't we turn them on?

FORD: They ARE on!

ARTHUR: Why can't we see any stars?

ZAPHOD: Hey, you know, I think we must be outside the galaxy!

FORD: We're picking up speed! We're heading out into intergalactic space!

Arthur, check out the rear screens, will you?

TRILLIAN: I feel cold. All alone in this infinite void.

ARTHUR: Apart from the fleet of black battle cruisers behind us.

OTHERS: What? What fleet? Huh?

ZAPHOD: Uh, which particular fleet of black battle cruisers is that,


ARTHUR: Oh, the ones on the rear screens! Sorry, I thought you'd noticed

them. There are about a hundred thousand. Is that wrong?

MARVIN: No. What do you expect if you steal the flagship of an Admiral of

the space fleet?

ZAPHOD: Marvin... what makes you think this is an Admiral's flagship?

MARVIN: I know it is. I parked it for him.


MARVIN: You didn't ask.

FORD: You know what we've done? We've dropped ourselves into the vanguard

of a major intergalactic war!


NARRATER: Will our heroes ever have a chance to find out what the Ultimate

Question is? Will they be too busy dealing with a hundred thousand

horribly beweaponed battle cruisers to have a chance to have a

sympathetic chat with Marvin, the Paranoid Android? Will they

eventually have to settle down and lead normal lives as account

executives or management consultants? Will life ever be the same

again after next week's reasonably exciting installment of The

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

- The Restaraunt

- The Disaster Area ship

- The Golgafrinchim Ark

- Prehistoric Earth








The Guide

Prosser / Number Two

Vogon Captain / Golgafrinchum Captain

Vogon Guard / Dish of the Day

Nutrimat / Marketting Girl / Lady Fitzmilton

Slartibartfast / Waiter

Fook / Ape

Lunkwill / Zarquon

Deep Thought (voice) / Max Quardlepleen

Shooty / Number One

Bangbang / Hairdresser