It's an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem.
For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was the most intelligent species occupying the planet, instead of the third most intelligent.
The second most intelligent creatures were dolphins, who, curiously enough, had long known of the impending destruction of the planet Earth.
They'd made many attempts to alert mankind, but most of their communications were misinterpreted as amusing attempts to punch footballs or whistle for tidbits.
So they eventually decided they would leave Earth by their own means.
The last ever dolphin message was misinterpreted as a sophisticated attempt to do a backward somersault through a hoop, whistling The Star-Spangled Banner.
In fact, the message was this:
"So long and thanks for all the fish."
The extraordinary story of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy begins very simply.
It begins with a man.
An Earthman, to be precise.
Who no more knows his destiny, than a tea leaf knows the history of the East India Company.
His name is Arthur Dent.
He is a five-foot-eight-inch-tall ape descendant and someone is trying to drive a bypass through his house.
What do I want you to do about it? Find him and tell him I'm currently lying flat on my back in front of...
Fine, I'll hold.
You can't lie in front of the bulldozers for ever.
I'm game. We'll see who rusts first.
This bypass has got to be built and it is going to be built.
Why has it got to be built? It's a bypass.
You've got to build bypasses. Besides, you should've protested months ago.
The plans have been on display at the planning office for a year.
On display? I had to go down to a cellar.
Mr. Dent, have you any idea how much damage this bulldozer would suffer if I just let it roll straight over you?
How much? None at all.
By a strange coincidence, none at all is exactly how much suspicion ape-descendant Arthur had that one of his closest friends was not descended from an ape, but was, in fact, from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse.
Ah, there you are!
Eat, drink. We gotta talk.
Now's not the best time. They're going to demolish my home.
Whoa! You already... You already know? How?
What do you m...?
Oh, they, they? When you say "they" you mean they? Got it.
Listen. I got somethin' important I gotta tell you. Right now.
Well, what about my house?
Workers of the Earth, I bring good tidings of peanuts and beer!
Good. Let's go to the pub. Huh?
They won't demolish it until they've finished the beers.
Can we trust 'em? To the end of the Earth.
How far's that? About 12 minutes away.
Barman, six pints of bitter and quickly. The world's about to end.
Six pints coming up.
Keep the change. You got about ten minutes to spend it.
Three pints each? At lunchtime?
Sorry. Ah. Time is an illusion.
Lunchtime, doubly so.
And eat those peanuts, because you'll need the salt.
Look, what is going on, Ford? Arthur...
What if I told you I really wasn't from Guildford?
I was from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse?
Is that something you're likely to say?
Remember when we met?
Out the way!
Wasn't it strange I was trying to shake hands with a car?
I assumed you were drunk.
I thought cars were the dominant life form. I was introducing myself.
You saved my life. And now I'm saving yours. Please drink.
It must be Thursday. I could never get the hang of Thursdays.
If this is about your house... No, it's not about the house.
Who's he? She. She.
Tricia McMillan. We met at a fancy-dress party.
I hate those kind of parties.
I'd rather have stayed at home and ironed my hankies.
- But there I was. Who are you?
- Oh! And there she was.
Uh, Dent. Arthur Dent. Oh, no. I mean, who are you?
Oh, the costume? Right. "Livingstone, I presume!"
Yeah, it's not as clever as Darwin, but the best I could do at short notice.
You're the first to get that right.
Really? Yes. Everyone calls me Santa.
Right. I thought the beagle was a giveaway.
So did I.
People at these parties are drunken idiots.
All these people are idiots! God!
She was amazing though, Ford.
Beautiful, witty, mad as a balloon.
Uh, without the beard, you look at least 80 years younger.
Maybe I'm de-evolving.
Well, I should tell you that I do not date single-celled organisms, okay?
Let's go somewhere.
Yeah. Definitely. Um, where do you have in mind?
Madagascar. Is that that new club on Dean Street?
No, it's a country off the coast of Africa.
That Madagascar? Why are we waiting here?
Wait a sec.
God, you're serious. Um, I can't go to Madagascar.
Why not? Because, I just, you know...
You're serious? Yeah.
I want to go somewhere I've never been and I'd like to go with you, so...
...what do you say, Dr Livingstone?
I say that's an extraordinary proposition.
I can't go. I mean, I've got a job.
Quit. Get a new one when you come back.
I don't even know your real name. Ow! Ow!
Tricia McMillan. Well, Tricia McMillan.
Um, I have a proposition for you.
Why don't we go somewhere a little closer first, say Cornwall, and we'll see how it goes.
Right, of course, Cornwall.
Hey, excuse me.
Is this guy boring you?
Why don't you talk to me instead?
I'm from a different planet.
It's true. You want to see my spaceship?
"Do you want to see my spaceship?" What kind of chat-up line is that?
Mm, that does happen.
We've got two minutes. Drink up.
That's my house.
People of Earth, a round of drinks, for everyone, on me.
You really think the world's going to end?
Shouldn't we lie down, or put a paper bag over our heads, or something?
If you like. Will it help?
Not at all. See you.
What is that? Run!
What the hell are those things?
Yeow! They're ships from a Vogon constructor fleet.
I picked up their signal this morning. You'll need this.
What are you doing? We're hitching a ride.
Um, people of Earth, this is Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace Planning Council.
As you are probably aware, plans for the development of the outlying regions of the galaxy involve the building of a hyperspace express route through your star system.
And your planet is one of those scheduled for demolition.
There's no point acting surprised about it.
The plans have been on display at your local planning office in Alpha Centauri for 50 Earth years.
If you can't be bothered with local affairs, that's your lookout.
Apathetic bloody planet.
I've no sympathy at all.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book.
Perhaps the most remarkable, certainly the most successful, ever to come out of the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor.
More popular than The Celestial Homecare Omnibus, better selling than 53 More Things to Do in Zero Gravity, and more controversial than Oolon Colluphid's trilogy of philosophical blockbusters, Where God Went Wrong, Some More of God's Greatest Mistakes, and Who Is This God Person Anyway?
It's already supplanted the Encyclopedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom for two important reasons.
First, it's slightly cheaper, and second, it has the words "Don't Panic" printed in large, friendly letters on its cover.
So you're not from Guildford?
Which would explain the accent, which I've always wondered about.
Um, you're not an out-of-work actor, but rather a writer for this, this book thing.
I don't feel well. I need a cup of tea.
If I asked where we were, would I regret it?
We're safe for now. Good.
We're in the washroom on one of the ships of the Vogon constructor fleet.
Oh, get me home, Ford. Arthur, your home is...
Oh, God, my home. My home was demolished.
You don't remember.
Okay, Arthur, I've got something to tell you. It's unfortunate, but it's true.
Your home planet has been blown up.
Huh, blown up.
Couldn't you have done something?
I saved your life. Okay, that makes us even.
It's a tough galaxy. If you want to survive out here, you've...
...gotta know where your towel is.
Okay, give me a hand over here.
Careful. It's hot. We've gotta get off this ship.
Before the Vogons find us.
Vogons, they hate hitchhikers. Pull.
Now we'll get a signal. What is a Vogon?
Ask the Guide. Say "Vogons".
Vogons are one of the most unpleasant races in the galaxy.
Not evil, but bad-tempered, bureaucratic, officious 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 and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters.
On no account should you allow a Vogon to read poetry to you.
They can't think or imagine. Most can't spell. They just run things.
And if we don't get a ride soon, we won't need the Guide to tell us how unpleasant the Vogons are.
They've already destroyed a planet today.
That always makes them a little eee!
Ughh! What is that?
Put this in your ear. Huh?
We have unwittingly picked up a couple of hitchhikers.
The fish is translating for you.
The Babel fish is small, yellow, leech-like, and probably the oddest thing in the universe.
It feeds on brainwave energy, absorbing unconscious frequencies, and excreting a matrix of conscious frequencies to the speech centers of the brain.
The practical upshot of which is that, if you stick one in your ear, you instantly understand anything said to you in any language.
Resistance is useless.
All right. Someone's coming.
Here we go. Look lively.
"O freddled gruntbuggly..."
No, really, you don't have to read.
We've put you through enough trouble already.
"... as plerdled gabbleblotchits on a lurgid bee."
Vogon poetry is widely accepted as the third worst in the universe.
The second worst is that of the Azgoths of Kria.
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 audience died of internal hemorrhaging, and the President of the Mid-Galactic Arts Nobbling Council survived by gnawing one of his own legs off.
"Or I will rend thee in the gobberwarts..."
"... with my blurgle..."
The absolute worst poetry was by Paula Millstone Jennings of Sussex.
Luckily, it was destroyed when the Earth was.
"See if I don't." Yeah.
So, Earthlings, I present you with a choice.
Either die in the vacuum of space, or tell me what you thought of my poem.
A... a... actually, I rather liked it.
That's good. Run with it. Hmmm.
Uh, some of the words I didn't understand, but I found the imagery quite effective.
Well, uh, yes, interesting rhythmic devices, which seemed to counterpoint the underlying metaphor of the humanity of...
Vogonity! Vogonity, sorry, vogonity... of the poet's soul.
So what you're saying is, I write poetry because underneath this mean, callous, heartless exterior, I just want to be loved?
Yes, yes, yes.
Yes, yes, yeah, please.
Ahh, ooh, ooh, mmm.
Throw them off the ship!
No! No! Ford. Ford!
All right! All right!
Resistance is useless!
Shut up! Get a job! Wash your filthy hands!
Don't panic. Don't panic.
So this is it? We're going to die?
Yeah, we're gonna die.
No, no, what's this?
What is this?
What's this? This is... nothing. Yeah, we're gonna die.
Would you like a hug? No.
"Space," says the introduction to The Hitchhiker's Guide, "is big. Really big."
"You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is."
A... a... and so on.
It also says that if you hold a lungful of air, you can survive in the total vacuum of space for about 30 seconds.
But with space being really big and all, the chances of being picked up within that time are two to the power of two billion, 79 million, 460 thousand, 347 to one against.
By a staggering coincidence, it's also the phone number of the Islington flat, where Arthur went to a fancy dress party and met a very nice young woman whom he totally blew it with.
Though the planet Earth, the Islington flat and telephone have all now been demolished, Ford and Arthur were, in fact, rescued.
I think I'm a sofa. I know how you feel.
So much for the laws of physics.
And our top story.
The sensational theft of the most coveted ship in the universe, the starship Heart of Gold.
Stolen at the launch ceremony by none other than Galactic President Zaphod Beeblebrox.
In the name of people, freedom, and, uh... democracy, stuff like that, I hereby kidnap myself and I'm taking the ship with me. Whoo!
Beeblebrox, universally considered to be the dimmest star in several solar systems, is most famous for his controversial defeat of Humma Kavula who claimed many thought they were voting for the worst-dressed being in the universe contest.
Kavula is best remembered for his slanderous
"Don't Vote for Stupid!" campaign.
Put your ego aside. Something important has happened.
If there's anything more important than my ego, I want it caught and shot now.
Come on, I love it.
Zaphod's just this guy, you know.
Hey, hey, hey, hey. What d'you...?
I was just watching myself. We have a couple of hitchhikers.
Hitchhikers? Why'd you pick up hitchhikers?
I didn't. The ship did.
What? Wh... wh... Say what?
When we engaged the Improbability Drive... The big button.
I know. They were picked up here.
In sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha. Wait. That's where you picked me up.
On Earth. That's impossible.
No, just very improbable. Listen. I don't have time for this.
We've got the police of half the galaxy after us. We've stopped for hitchhikers.
So ten out of ten for style, but...
...minus several million for good thinking.
You're too gorgeous, baby, stop it. You drive me crazy.
Don't. I'll send Marvin.
You ought to know, I'm feeling very depressed.
Well, we have something that should take your mind off things.
It won't work. I have an exceptionally large mind.
Yeah, we know. But we need you to go down to the number two entry bay and pick up our stowaways and bring them up here.
Just that? I won't enjoy it.
Yeah, well, that's life.
Life? Don't talk to me about life.
- Commander Kwaltz. Yes.
We have located the spaceship Heart of Gold and President Beeblebrox.
- Where? Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha.
Requesting hyperspace clearance.
Hold your position, captain, until clearance is granted.
- Yes, sir. Get me Vice-President Questular.
Hyperspace permission granted, captain.
Here we go.
I think that door just sighed.
Ghastly, isn't it?
All the doors have been programmed to have a cheerful and sunny disposition.
Anyway, come on. I've been ordered to take you up to the bridge.
Here I am, brain the size of a planet, and they ask me to take you up to the bridge.
Call that job satisfaction? 'Cause I don't.
You can thank the Sirius Cybernetics Corp. For building robots with G.P.P.
What's G.P.P.? Genuine People Personalities.
I'm a personality prototype. You can tell, can't you?
Hey, Slim, are you wearing my underwear? 'Cause I'm wearing yours.
And they ain't doing the trick. Come on. All right.
Oh, for heaven's sake.
I've brought the aliens. Don't thank me or anything.
Freeze? I'm a robot. Not a refrigerator.
I wasn't talking to you, Giggles. Oh, why do I bother?
Is that you? Ford! Praxibetel Ix!
What the hell are you doing here?
I just stuck out my thumb and here I am.
That is so you. Look at you!
President of the Galaxy. I can't believe you beat Humma Kavula.
You zarkin' frood.
I want you to meet a friend. Arthur, this is Zaphod Beeblebrox.
President of the Galaxy. This is my cousin. He's a semi-half brother...
We share three of the same mothers. We've met.
Have we? I'm sorry. I've got a terrible memory for species.
This is him, Ford. The would-you-like- to-see-my-spaceship bloke.
Hello, Arthur. Tricia!
How you doin'? Hey, Trillian.
This is my semi-half-brother Ix, I'm sorry, Ford.
Um, would you excuse us for a second, please?
You went down on that little planet and didn't call me?
Sorry, I didn't know. I had a galaxy to run.
Hi, Tricia McMillan, right?
I think he called you Trillian. Which of us got the right one?
I shortened it. Something a little more spacey.
Right. I was thinking of changing mine to, I don't know, Arthoolia.
That's a good one. Well, this is weird.
How'd you get here? I just stuck out my thumb.
Right. In your pajamas? I was in a hurry.
Okay. Did you know I was here?
Don't flatter yourself. I've got a spaceman too.
Yeah, that's kinda like the Dingo Shuffle, yeah.
Okay, um, look.
I left you at the party. I feel bad, but I was gonna call you when I got back.
Well, there is no going back now, is there?
You do know what happened?
Enough small talk. We're on the run, remember?
Excuse me, we're having a chat.
Well, I think the girl's getting... Boo!
You blew it with her, Earthman, so shut your face or I'll kick you in the zatch.
You wanna fight? Okay.
No. No. I'm just kidding.
I'm a kidder. Let's be friends. Let's connect. You and I.
Didn't see that one coming, did you?
Popped right out of the box. You foxy, yeah!
Teach your pal a lesson, Ford. He's a guest on my ship.
He's a guest on my ship!
I thought you said you stole it.
Stole what? What are we talking about?
Whoa! That doesn't sound good.
Are you okay? Just fabulous, thanks, "Trill".
A little help over here. I'm in over my head.
I'll take care of this. Good Zarquon, do I have to do everything?
Yes, I do!
Hey, this is really pretty.
Don't! Whoo! They're on our tail.
Fire a gun. Launch a missile. Do some damage!
Ow! Stop that! Ow!
Just kiddin'. I love it rough. Hit me.
- Uh, computer? Hi, there.
I'm Eddie, your computer.
I'm pleased to report that it's a fleet of 100 Vogon battle destroyers.
They're sending you a message.
This is Vice-President Questular Rontok.
I am speaking to the kidnapper of the President?
She digs me.
Surrender the stolen vessel at once or we will take action as defined and permitted by... section 1-8 of the Galactic Interstellar Space Bylaws...
Zaphod, please come back now. This is ridiculous.
Leap to hyperspace! Come on!
Sure thing, fella!
Did they have proper hyperspace authorization?
No, commander. Oh.
Bring me the request to pursue fugitive forms.
I'm coming, sir.
I'm boiling! Oh, oh. Here's the form, sir.
So are you along for the ride or am I just dropping you somewhere?
That depends. Where are you going?
Where am I going?
You okay? Yeah. Don't suppose there's any tea.
Yes, there is. Come on. I'll show you the kitchen.
When you see what I'm about to show you, you'll beg me to take you with us.
The best drink in existence is the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster, the effect of which is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.
Belgium. Hold it one second. Belgium.
Ape-man, Earth dude, sorry, what's your name again?
Arthur. Right. Gorgeous.
No hard feelings, okay? Sorry to hear about your planet...
Earth. Yeah. I liked Earth.
Got these boots there. But don't mention it to the girl.
Because if you do... I'll pull your spleen out through your throat.
All right. Thanks, buddy. Okay.
Good stuff. Like those jammies.
Hey, hey, Zaphod, what's with the two-head thing?
Oh, yeah. Apparently, you can't be president with a whole brain.
Oh, so you carved it up? Yes.
Parts of my personality weren't exactly what you'd call presidential.
You know what I'm talkin' about.
Your tea is ready.
I suppose I should've said it resembles tea.
So, two heads is what does it for a girl?
I mean, if I'd had two heads, or three...
Or your own spaceship.
Anything else he's got two of?
Come on, Arthur, don't be like that.
What am I supposed to be like? Green? Bleeping?
I can fold my eyelids inside out if you like.
Okay, look. Do you see this?
This detects what you're craving and makes it for you.
Enjoy your doughnut.
Do you see this?
This toasts bread while you're slicing it.
We're on a spaceship, Arthur. In space.
I told you I wanted to get away. To Madagascar.
That was... some sort of test. And I failed.
How badly does it hurt? It doesn't feel great.
No, I mean your chin.
Ah... I might have an aspirin.
Tricia... Trillian, sorry. There's something I have to tell you.
Please, don't. Showtime, Trill.
I'm going to set up. Buttons aren't toys.
Buttons aren't toys.
Anyway... When I saw what I'm about to show you, that's when I realized why I had to do what I did to my brain.
I think. It's all a little...
I've seen it. It's rubbish.
Many millions of years ago, a race of hyper intelligent, pan-dimensional beings got so fed up with the constant bickering about the meaning of life, that they commissioned two of their brightest and best to design and build a stupendous super-computer to calculate the answer to life, the universe and everything.
O Deep Thought, we want you to tell us the answer.
The answer to what?
The answer to life, the universe, everything.
We'd really like an answer. Something simple.
Hmm, I'd have to think about that.
Return to this place in exactly seven-and-a-half million years.
Is it finished? No, there's more. They go back.
Seven-and-a-half million years later? That's right, they do.
Deep Thought, do you have...
An answer for you? Yes, but you're not going to like it.
- It doesn't matter. We must know it. All right.
The answer to the ultimate question...
...of life, the universe and everything...
Yes, I thought it over quite thoroughly. It's 42.
It would've been simpler to have known what the question was.
But it was the question. The ultimate question. Of everything!
That's not a question.
Only when you know the question will you know what the answer means.
- Give us the ultimate question then. I can't. But there is one who can.
A computer that will calculate the ultimate question.
A computer of such infinite complexity, that life itself will form part of its operational matrix.
And you yourselves shall take on new, more primitive forms, and go down into the computer to navigate its 10-million-year program.
I shall design this computer for you, and it shall be called...
That's it? That's it.
You're looking for the ultimate question? You? Why?
I tried that. Why? 42. Doesn't work.
Let's get it ready, baby. Why...
...do you want to know the ultimate question?
Partly curiosity, partly a sense of adventure, but, uh, mostly I think it's for the fame and the money.
You're President of the Galaxy.
Yes, Arman. Arthur.
Whatever. Presidential fame is temporary.
I find the question, that's permanent. It sticks.
Plus, everyone thinks you're deep. Win-win.
We just hit that button and bam, we're at Magrathea, I think.
We've hit it twice and we're still not there, but anyway...
You in? Always.
All right! Uh, I want to get off.
Uh, sorry, what exactly are we doing? This!
The Infinite Improbability Drive is a wonderful new method of crossing interstellar distances in a few seconds, without all that tedious mucking about in hyperspace.
As the Improbability Drive reaches infinite improbability, it passes through every conceivable point in every conceivable universe almost simultaneously.
So you're never sure where you'll end up or even what species you'll be when you get there.
It's therefore important to dress accordingly.
The Drive was invented following research into finite improbability often used to break the ice at parties by making all the molecules in the hostess's undergarments leap one foot to the left in accordance with the theory of indeterminacy.
Many physicists said they wouldn't stand for that sort of thing, partly because it debased science, but mostly because they didn't get invited to those sort of parties.
Wow, is this gonna happen every time we hit that button?
Very probably, yes.
Ah, I think the Earthman's about to be sick.
In the trashcan, ape-man. This ship's new.
Aw, come on!
We have normality.
Did it work? Are we there?
Yeah. We're here. Magrathea!
I don't think so. Eddie...
Ow! What planet is this?
I'm checking for you.
Did you just pluck one of my hairs? Off my head?
Thank you for waiting. Sorry to disappoint, but this is not Magrathea.
We are currently in orbit around the planet Viltvodle Six.
Magrathea's gonna have to wait. I got a score to settle on this planet.
In the beginning, the universe was created.
This made a lot of people very angry, and is widely regarded as a bad move.
Many races believed it was created by some sort of god, though the Jatravartid people of Viltvodle Six firmly believe that the entire universe was sneezed out of the nose of a being called the Great Green Arkleseizure.
The Jatravartids, who lived in fear of the time they called the Coming of the Great White Handkerchief, were small blue creatures with more than 50 arms each.
They were unique in being the only race in history to have invented the aerosol deodorant before the wheel.
Hey, all right. How you doin'?
Hey, what have we here? I love it!
Hey, I love you. Fantastic!
You guys related? Don't go changing.
Arthur, I want a drink.
I think I've been here before. Have I been here before?
I've been here before. Humma Kavula!
Tricia! Tricia, I...
Join us. Sit down. Good to see you. Thanks. All right.
The handkerchief is coming.
Let us pray the Almighty will exhale a breath of compassion on us all.
So that's Humma Kavula. I thought he was just swearing.
We lift our noses, clogged and unblown, in reverence to you.
Send the handkerchief, O Blessed One, so that it may wipe us clean.
We ask this and all things in Thy precious and alliterative name.
We goin' in here?
All right, I like it. It's big, it's gold, it's fancy. Fancy pants.
Zaphod Beeblebrox, our infamous President.
What brings you to our humble planet?
Oh, I think you know why I'm here.
No, I don't think I do.
I think you think you don't. But we both know... you do.
Eloquent as always.
Your ability to articulate never ceases to amaze.
That's funny. During the campaign, Humma, when you were my opponent running against me, you said I was stupid.
The election is ancient history, Zaphod, but...
...if memory serves, you won, proving that good looks and charm win over brilliance and the ability to govern.
And, incidentally, you are stupid.
Excuse me, Mr. Humma, sir.
Uh, I just want to say, there's been some sort of terrible mix up
'cause, actually, he's not with us.
We came to worship you. He followed us and...
He grew, didn't he. He's not that tall.
You didn't come half-way across the galaxy to settle a campaign grudge.
Why are you here?
Of course not, that's, that's ridiculous.
I've been stranded on a strange planet for years, I haven't been avoiding you.
You look great. You're doing well.
You've grown, obviously.
Aggh! Oomph! Wait! We don't know why we're here.
We were trying to get to Magrathea and our ship brought us here.
How very, very improbable.
I kept a few souvenirs from my former life.
Ah, the heady days of space piracy.
But... even an Infinite Improbability Drive requires coordinates.
Which I happen to have.
No, no, no.
You don't get something for nothing, Zaphod.
You must bring me something in return.
Wh... What? A gun.
A gun? A very special gun.
Designed by the greatest computer ever invented.
But the only way to find it is to go to Magrathea.
Fine. I'll get your gun. Just give me the coordinates.
And what will you give me to ensure your return?
My word as President.
No. I need a hostage.
Only... what does Zaphod Beeblebrox treasure?
Hey, take it easy now.
No, stop it. Ah! Oh, that kind of tickles.
Two heads are better than one. Double your pleasure.
You need me!
Come back! Come back! Don't leave me alone.
I thought I alone considered your boyfriend a narcissistic moron, but the whole galaxy does.
What about you? "Excuse me, Mr. Humma, sir."
"We're not with him. We just came to worship you." Very brave.
Where the hell is Ford?
By the left, march. Left, right, left, right.
Mr. President, we're here for your protection.
Fire upon the kidnapper!
Hey, come on!
The President is the kidnapper. You'll kill him!
Thank you, darling. I'll be in touch.
Come on, Zaphod.
Hey, what did I miss? What have you been doing?
Field research. So they found where we are? Belgium bummer!
They're shooting at us! What are we going to do?
I have an idea. Pushing him out and running away?
What? He's the one they want.
You can't go out there. What are you doing?
Back off! What's going on?
I have the President and I will kill him, I swear.
Could that actually kill him? I don't think so.
It's an aerosol can. Oh.
Okay, frightened now, frightened.
Hi, little guy. Get her!
Zaphod, no, come on! Arthur!
Arthur! Tricia! Wait!
Resistance is useless!
Bring her to Vogsphere for processing, captain.
Where's the circus?
They got her and it's my fault. We have to go!
Whoo! Computer, take us to Magrathea!
What? No, no, no. We've got to go after Tricia.
They've got Trillian, you stupid half-brained git!
Right, you're coming out!
Computer, we don't want to go to Magrathea, we want to follow the ships.
I'd love to, but my guidance system has been deactivated.
Oh, come on!
I'm sorry. It wasn't my fault.
What you doing on this ship?
I've been talking to the ship's computer.
It hates me.
No, uh-uh. Eddie, computer, is there another way to follow the ships?
Activating Emergency Escape Pod. It's super-neat and fun to fly!
I'm in. I'm in. Okay, Ford, do you have any idea?
We'll press this.
Oh, no, no, no, no.
This button. Okay. Nothing's... Okay!
Good man, good man, good man.
Okay, we're wobbling... You forgot your towel.
Get him off me! I'll kill him!
Okay, Ford, there's a... Is that better?
No, that's worse, that's worse.
Do what... I don't need that. Okay.
Stop the rocking. Marvin, any ideas?
I have a million ideas. They all point to certain death.
Ooh, ooh. Eee. Ooh, ooh.
Magrathea! No, we're on the Vogon planet.
Yes, it is. It's Magrathea! This is Vogsphere.
Yeah, Magrathea. I know it. No, it's not.
There is no Magrathea. Yes, it is.
What are you doing? They took my head.
They have these on Arcturan mega freighters.
They use them when they need to concentrate.
What is it? It's a thinking cap.
There you go.
Should give him some zest for about ten minutes or so.
Now I'm feeling much better about our predicament.
I checked the Guide for how to rescue a prisoner from Vogsphere.
It said don't. I'm assuming you have a better plan.
Well, I kind of had this idea that we could... Ow!
Did anyone see that? See what?
What was it? Uh...
Nothing, it's, uh, nothing. It's just my imagination.
Okay, right. Now, everyone just stop a minute, please, and look at me.
There's... definitely something going on here.
Just... just watch.
Okay, I think we...
Oooh! Ah-ha! You too!
Yeah, what was that?
Zaphod, what do you think?
I think... Ow! Zarquon! What was that? Jeez!
I'd make a suggestion, but you wouldn't listen.
No one ever does. I have an idea.
Ooh, ooh, ooh, Ford! Kill it! Get rid of it!
Okay, don't think.
Nobody think. No ideas.
No theories. No nothing.
This is crazy. Trillian is in there somewhere.
We need an idea to save her. I have an ide...
Ah! Run! Yeeaaghh!
You're supposed to stop.
Okay, so I'm not thinking. Not thinking. No ideas coming.
Okay, this isn't an idea that has any merit at all, but, Marvin, can you give me a hand?
Okay, where is she?!
Who, the director of robot arm repair?
Tricia Yggarstuk McMillanus of... Blaard?
No, Tricia Marie McMillan of Earth.
Sorry, no record of Earth.
Galactic sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha?
Oh, yes. She's lying.
She's skinny, and she's pretty, and she's lying.
Mmmm. Here we are. Earth.
Oh. Um, "destroyed."
Um, do you have a second home planet?
Destroyed? That's impossible. That's what it says here.
Says it was destroyed to make way for a hyperspace expressway.
Who in their right mind gives an order to destroy a planet?
He said the gray building, right? All the buildings are gray.
"Give me a hand." Ha-ha, very funny.
How am I supposed to drive this pod with one arm? Stupid human.
Go and fill that in.
Then, make sure, when you fill in the facilitating form...
Leave this to me. I'm British. I know how to queue.
If you'd fill that form in for me, and return it as soon as possible.
Writing implements to your left... You're President. Can you do anything?
Presidents don't have power. Their job is to draw attention away from it.
Hey, how you doin'?
Hey, it's me, your President! What's goin' on? Thanks for coming.
All right. I know that sponge. All right!
Next! President coming through.
How you doin', Pinhead? No, really, it's me.
I love kabuki. Look at that.
Out the way.
Give us a kiss!
Hi, I've come about release of a prisoner.
Prisoner release form.
I don't believe you.
These are the orders.
"Love and kisses"?!
Mm. Now, according to the Galactic Penal Code, the punishment for a presidential kidnapping is to be fed to the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal.
Ow, get off of me!
Ow! What the hell is that?
Ow, no, wait, wait! There's been some kind of mistake. Ah!
Tick all the boxes on the right. Right. Got it.
Not that one!
What to do if you find yourself stuck with no hope of rescue.
Consider how lucky you are that life has been good to you so far.
Alternatively, if life hasn't been good to you so far, which, given your current circumstances seems more likely, consider how lucky you are that it won't be troubling you much longer.
Right, there we go.
Oh, kidnapping the President.
Oh, no, she's not eligible for release at this time.
Okay. Right. Look, this is the President.
Oh! Okay. See, there?
He says the kidnapping business was a horrible misunderstanding.
She meant nothing by it. He's ordering you to let her go.
But this isn't a presidential release of prisoner form.
Those are blue.
I'll stay here. All right. Hold that. Okay. Wai...
Oh, he's hungry today.
That's blue. Right.
I'm not a journalist. We're just hanging out.
Okay, this is, uh, it's for Tricia McMillan.
Tricia McMillan. Mm. Okay.
Sir, it's a release form.
She's free to go.
Zaphod's here. Well, then, uh, that's fine then.
Who are we waiting for again?
No, I'm serious.
Hey, come on. You idiot!
You signed the order to destroy Earth.
He did? I did?
Yes."Love and kisses, Zaphod"? You didn't even read it, did you?
Honey, I'm President of the Galaxy. I don't get a lot of time for reading.
An entire planet, my home, destroyed because you thought they wanted your autograph.
They framed me! Are you an idiot?
Trillian. You knew. Why didn't you tell me?
He threatened me. Get a backbone, Arthur.
Oh, a backbone? What about coming here to rescue you? Thank you. My idea. Oh!
Got your arm. How considerate.
Right, then, all those lucky enough to have two arms, hold tight.
Oh, the President tests my patience.
This time I shall pursue him myself. Ready my ship.
Fantastic. At last.
Oh. That's one hour for lunch, everybody.
I think I'll have soup today.
The Encyclopedia Galactica, in its chapter on love, states that it is far too complicated to define.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has this to say on love.
"Avoid, if at all possible."
Unfortunately, Arthur Dent has never read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Oh, I'm so sorry. No, come in.
I... I didn't...
Um, look, uh...
Trillian, I just wanted to say, you were right, I should've told you, and I understand totally if you're angry with me.
Um, for what it's worth, I know how you must be feeling...
Can you hand me a towel? Yeah, sure, this...
Actually, what I was going to say was...
...if I'd said yes to you and gone to Madagascar, then neither of us would be here now.
I just thought that might count for something.
It doesn't matter.
All right, computer, take us to... Where are we... Where we headed again?
Okay, I'm gonna get you another lemon.
Engaging Improbability Drive.
No, Zaphod, no. Buttons are not toys. What did you do?
Magrathean coordinates accepted.
It blows my circuits to tell you that we're in orbit, at an altitude of 300 miles, around the legendary planet of Magrathea.
It's even worse than I thought it would be.
Greetings. This is a recorded announcement as we are all out.
The Commercial Council of Magrathea thanks you for your visit, but regrets that the entire planet is temporarily closed.
If you'd like to leave your name and a planet where you can be contacted, kindly do so at the tone.
How can a planet be closed? Zarkin' A, cousin.
Okay, computer, keep going. Take us down.
I'd be happy to.
It is gratifying that your enthusiasm for our planet continues unabated.
As a token of our appreciation, we hope you will enjoy the two thermo-nuclear missiles we've just sent to converge with your craft.
To ensure on-going quality of service, your death may be monitored for training purposes. Thank you.
I'm delighted to tell you there are two nuclear missiles heading right for us.
If you don't mind, I'm going to take evasive action.
Something's jamming my guidance system.
Impact minus 45 seconds.
Computer, do something!
Sure. Handing over manual control. Good luck.
I need some help.
I can't do this without my third arm.
Arthur, grab my hand!
Did we lose 'em? No, they're coming right at us.
Why don't I just press this? No, we're not back to normal yet.
What will happen? I don't know.
Don't do it! We're here. No telling where it'll send us.
Sod it all. No!
Wow. Where are we?
Exactly where we were.
And the missiles?
Apparently, they've turned... into a bowl of petunias.
And a very surprised-looking whale.
And an improbability factor of 8,767, 128 to 1 against.
We have norm... normality.
We can talk about normality till the cows come home.
What is normal? What's home?
What are cows?
A proper cup of tea would restore my normality.
It is important to note that suddenly, and against all probability, a sperm whale had been called into existence several miles above the surface of an alien planet.
Since this is not a tenable position for a whale, this innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity.
This is what it thought as it fell:
Ah, whoa, what's happening? Who am I?
Why am I here? What's my purpose? What do I mean by who am I?
Okay, Okay, calm down, get a grip now.
Ooh, this is an interesting sensation. A sort of tingling in my...
I better start finding names for things. Let's call it a tail. Yeah, tail.
What's this roaring sound whooshing past what I'm gonna call my head?
Wind. Is that a good name? That'll do.
Yay, this is really exciting. I'm dizzy with anticipation.
Or is it the wind? There's a lot of that now.
And what's this thing coming towards me very fast? So big and flat and round.
It needs a big wide-sounding name like ow, ound, round, ground!
That's it, ground. I wonder if it will be friends with me. Hello, ground.
The only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was, "Oh, no, not again!"
Many have speculated that if we knew why the petunias had thought that, we should know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.
What are those things?
They're portals to another dimension.
Right. I don't suppose this portal has central heating, does it?
Ah, this is the one.
This will all end in tears, I just know it.
Okay, in we go!
We can't just step into that... that! We don't know where it leads.
If we pick the wrong one, we just... we come back, we pick another one. It's no biggie.
What? Yeah, it's a big biggie, Ford. A big biggie.
What if it rips us all into tiny little atomic particle thingies?
This is the right one. I have a hunch.
Ford! His hunches are good.
Arthur, I say we go.
Go with the hunch of a man whose brain is fuelled by lemons?!
This is suicide!
I think I resent that. I don't care.
I'm getting hostility from you, Alex...
Arthur! Have you ever tried yoga?
Trillian! I think that's supposed to happen.
She's gone! Ford, she's gone!
Arthur, don't panic!
Ford! Hey, wait for me!
Idiot! Come on, come on, come on, come on!
No, no, no, don't leave. Come on, come on, just start!
I told you this would end in tears.
Did you? Did you?
Far out! Far out! Ha-ha!
This is it. This is it! Deep Thought. I'm a-coming.
So, this is how it's all going to end, is it?
Me, alone on a dead planet, with a manically depressed robot.
You think you've got problems.
What if you are a manically depressed robot?
Aaaaagghhh! Whoa, whoa.
Who are you? No, uh, my name is not important.
Uh, you must come with me.
Get away. Terrible events are afoot.
Um, you... you must come or you'll be late.
Late? What for? What?
No, no. What's... what's your name, Earthman?
Dent. Arthur Dent. Well... late as in "the late Dentarthurdent."
It's a sort of threat, do you see? No.
No. Your friends are safe.
You can trust me. A man who won't tell me his name?
Okay, my name is, um...
...my name is... is... is... Slartibartfast.
I... I... I said it wasn't important.
Well... so my friends are safe?
Let me show you.
I could calculate your chances of survival, but you won't like it.
Did you know we built planets?
Oh, yes, fascinating trade.
Doing the, um... doing the coastlines was always my favorite.
We used to have endless fun doing the little fiddly bits around the fjords.
But then the galactic economy collapsed, and seeing that custom-built planets are a... are a bit of a luxury commodity...
Come with me because there's been a terrible mix-up with your planet.
Best laid plans of mice, you know.
And men. What?
Best laid plans of mice and men.
Yes, well, I don't think men have much to do with it. Here.
Um, I must warn you, we're going to pass through, well, a sort of gateway thing.
Huh? It may disturb you.
It scares the willies out of me.
Ha, ha, ha. Welcome to our factory floor.
All right. All right.
Yeah, this is it.
This is it.
O great Deep Thought!
We have traveled long...
Have you calculated the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything?
- What? I've been watching TV.
I designed another computer to do that.
Oh, right, I forgot. Is it here?
No, it's not here. It's another world.
It's on another world.
It is another world, stupid.
Or it was until the Vogons destroyed it to make way for a hyperspace expressway.
You sure you don't have the question, or a way to, you know, access it or something?
'Cause I think I've done a lot to get here.
Oh, shh, shh. The show's back on.
Well, I don't wanna bother you, so I'm gonna... Good stuff.
Great. I'm gonna go and find something else for my entire life to be about.
Zaphod, Zaphod, there's the... the gun.
Gun? That Humma sent you for.
You gave him your head. Why'd I... Why'd I do that?
Okay. That's stupid.
O Deep Thought, we were told that there is a gun.
There you are. Hm?
So it wasn't destroyed?
Actually, it was. This is a backup. Earth Mark II.
So you... you made the Earth?
Not me alone, but I... I did my part.
Ever heard of a place, I think it's called Norway?
That was one of mine. I... I got an award for it.
All right, Frank? That's... that's Frank.
Ah-ha. They... they've nearly finished the oceans.
...it's just like Humma said.
Now you can go get your head back. Hey, Ford.
It's been nice knowing you, you zarking frood.
Whoa! This is a bust too.
H... H... Hey, man. You know, you must really be frustrated.
You go through all you have, you don't get an answer, which means no money or fame, which you deserve...
The Point-of-View Gun, conveniently, does precisely what its name suggests.
Fantastic. Fantastic. Fantastic.
If you point it at someone and pull the trigger, they instantly see things from your point of view.
Give me that thing.
It was designed by Deep Thought, but commissioned by a consortium of intergalactic angry housewives who, after arguments with their husbands, were sick of ending those arguments with the phrase, "You just don't get it, do you?"
Uh, uh, and you're right, I shouldn't be so upset because life goes on, you know, and I should just go on with it.
Shoot him again.
Hitchhiking's good. Towels are good too.
Say what? That is brilliant.
I can see why Humma Kavula would want one of these.
We better get back. Arthur's waiting. Who cares?
I do. Especially since we're somewhat of an endangered species, thanks to you.
Why so edgy, baby doll? Relax.
You wanna know why I'm edgy?
Argh. Of course you're edgy. Your planet's been blown up and you've been tooling around with the guy who signed the order.
Ugh! You actually wanted to know the question because you always wondered if there was more to life and now you're crushed because you find out there really isn't.
Hey, fantastic. Psychedelic.
You've got no home, no family, and you're stuck with me, another in a long line of men who doesn't really get you.
Huh? That's not true.
And you're worried you might have blown it with the one guy who really does.
Oh, baby doll.
Give me that thing.
It won't affect me. I'm already a woman.
It's okay. It's only a couple of little mice!
Voil? Himalayas. Good, eh?
Earthman, you must realize that the planet you lived on was commissioned, paid for and run by mice.
When you say mice, do you mean the little furry white creatures with whiskers, ears, cheese?
Yeah, but they're protrusions into our dimension of hyper intelligent beings.
I don't know this cheese of which you speak, but they were there on Earth as mice experimenting on you.
I see where you've become confused now. You see, we were experimenting on them.
Ah, no, well, yeah, no. That's what they wanted you to think, but you were actually elements in their computer program.
Actually, this explains a lot.
All my life, I've had this strange feeling there's something big and sinister going on in the world.
No, that's normal paranoia. Everyone in the universe gets that.
Perhaps I'm old and tired, but the chances of finding out what's actually going on are so absurdly remote that the only thing to do is say hang the sense of it and keep yourself busy.
I'd much rather be happy than right any day.
And are you? Uh... no.
That's where it all falls down, of course.
Here you are then.
It's, um... It's all there.
You know, it all works.
Hey! Hey, man!
There you are! Surprise!
What are you doing? What happened to you?
Is that tea?
First, our hosts attacked us. Right.
But then they made up for it by making us...
...this amazing meal.
It's so... Everything's right. Everything's delicious.
Oh, come on, that's lovely.
We're glad you like it, Earth creature.
The, um, talking... talking mice. Cool.
Sit, Earthman. Oh, thank you. Thank you for that.
Please, drink. Um, uh, excuse me.
Uh, is there anything else? No, we're quite happy, thank you.
Um, good, I'll be outside, so...
You were right.
Please, drink. Yes.
He was right.
Now, to business.
We've spent a lot of time on your planet looking for this ultimate question.
Only to have it blow up in our faces. Literally.
Which is why you're here. We've been offered a lucrative contract to do several 5-D TV chat shows.
But here's the point. We must have product.
We need the ultimate question, or one that sounds ultimate.
Of course. We've rebuilt the planet.
Now all we need is the missing piece of the puzzle.
Which happens to be your brain. Right.
Sorry, did you just say you need my brain?
Yes, to complete the program.
You can't have my brain. I'm using it.
Hardly. Hardly? Cheeky... Cheeky mouse.
What was in that food?
What was in my tea?
Don't worry. You won't feel a thing.
Just wait a sodding minute.
You want a question that goes with the answer 42?
What about, what's 6x7?
Or, um, uh, how many Vogons does it take to change a light bulb?
Here's one: How many roads must a man walk down?
Hey, that's not bad.
Fine. Fine, take it, 'cause my head is filled with questions, and no answer to any one of them has ever brought me one iota of happiness.
Except for one.
The one. The only question I've ever wanted an answer to.
Is she the one?
The answer bloody well isn't 42, it's yes.
Undoubtedly, unequivocally, unabashedly, yes.
And for one week, one week in my sad little... blip of an existence...
...it made me happy.
That's a good answer.
We don't want to be happy. We want to be famous.
What's this "Is she the one" tripe? Take his brain!
No, don't take the brain! Don't take the brain, mice!
It wasn't me!
Shoot him, quickly, shoot him!
I'm gonna be sick.
Left, right, left, right.
Thanks a lot for leaving me behind.
Though I can't say I blame you.
Mr. President, we're here for your protection.
Thanks, man. I appreciate it.
What's all the fuss about?
Vogons are the worst marksmen in the galaxy. Ooh.
For God's sake, stop! Cease fire.
Now I've got a headache... headache... headache...
He's got a towel, run away!
I'm gonna get us outta here. How do you drive this thing?
We need that gun.
Come on. Get this ship started. Come on. Start!
Come on. Oh, fire, fire!
Oo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo!
He's locked it from the other side.
We'll have to go the other way.
Come on, let's go!
Stop it! Stop it! Stop shooting at us!
Oh, I feel so depressed.
I can't face another day.
What's the point?
You all right? Yeah.
Sorry about your spaceship, Arthur.
Marvin, you saved our lives.
I know. Wretched, isn't it?
You got to ask yourself, what's the point?
Take it away.
You could do all of that, but it's not gonna... Well, I'll ask... I'll just ask.
I... I... I've just been informed by some of the lads that since we're so near completion, we're gonna go ahead and finish Earth.
We, well, we can put it back exactly as it was when you left, you know.
Unless there's, um...
...there's, you know, anything you want to change.
Something you think your planet could do without.
Oh! Um, hello?
No, as is. Yep, leave it. Yep.
Let's go somewhere.
Definitely. Where did you have in mind?
I know this great restaurant at the end of the universe.
I am a little peckish.
I need to go to Humma's. He's got something of mine.
I think. I'm so confused. Don't worry, baby. We'll sort it out.
All right, let's trip the light fantastic, baby. Just you and me.
You got your towel? Yeah. Why? Am I going to need it?
Only always. Right. Yeah.
I wouldn't want to go anywhere without my wonderful towel.
Okay. Hold tight.
Stand by for commencement of life cycle. In three, two, one...
All right! Whoo!
Not that anyone cares what I say, but the restaurant is at the other end of the universe.
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 wouldn't want to go anywhere without my wonderful towel" 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 warlike beings were poised on the brink of frightful interstellar battle.
The two opposing leaders, resplendent in their black-jeweled battle shorts were meeting for the last time, when a dreadful silence fell.
And at that very moment, the words "I wouldn't want to go anywhere without my wonderful towel" drifted across the conference table.
Unfortunately, in their native tongue, this was the most appalling insult imaginable.
So the opposing battle fleets decided to settle their remaining differences, in order to launch a joint attack on our galaxy, now positively identified as the source of the offending remark.
For thousands of years, the mighty starships 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.