British Comedy Guide

The cast of the radio series. Copyright: BBC / Above The Title Productions.

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

BBC Radio 4 sitcom about space travel. 32 episodes (6 series), 1978 - 2018. Stars Simon Jones, Geoffrey McGivern, Peter Jones, William Franklyn and others.

Next new episode is on tomorrow at 6:30pm. The Hexagonal Phase, Episode 3
Catch-up on Episode 2 on BBC iPlayer Radio   The Hexagonal Phase, Episode 2 is repeated on Radio 4 Extra tomorrow at 7:30am.

The Primary Phase, Episode 4 - Fit The Fourth

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

Full synopsis

Slartibartfast takes Arthur to his study and shows him a film which explains the story behind the quest to find 'The Ultimate Question'.

The story begins with a race of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings building a super-computer called 'Deep Thought' to calculate the Ultimate Answer of Life, the Universe and Everything. After 7.5 million years, it announced the answer - 42.

Deep Thought then said that in order to find the Ultimate Question, that would explain the Ultimate Answer, an even larger computer needed to be built. 'Deep Thought' called this the 'The Earth'... and it turns out The Vogons demolished the computer just five minutes before the final question to ask was due to be given.

Arthur and Slartibartfast then meet up with Ford, Zaphod and Trillian, who are unharmed after having been attacked. They also meet Trillian's mice, who are two of the pan-dimensional beings who designed the experiment. They cannot be bothered to go through the whole experiment again and so decide not to build a second Earth.

Their discussion is interrupted by the police wishing to arrest Zaphod. Arthur, Ford, Zaphod and Trillian try to confront them, but the police instead shoot them, until they blow up a computer bank that the four where hiding behind.

Broadcast details

Wednesday 29th March 1978
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes


  1. Saturday 29th March 2014 at 6:00pm on Radio 4 Extra
  2. Sunday 30th March 2014 at 12:00am on Radio 4 Extra
  3. Sunday 21st August 2016 at 6:30pm on Radio 4 Extra
  4. Monday 22nd August 2016 at 12:30am on Radio 4 Extra

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Simon Jones Arthur Dent
Geoffrey McGivern Ford Prefect
Peter Jones The Book
Mark Wing-Davey Zaphod Beeblebrox
Susan Sheridan Trillian
Richard Vernon Slartibartfast
Guest cast
Geoffrey McGivern Deep Thought
Ray Hassett First Computer Programmer
Ray Hassett Bang Bang
Ray Hassett Magrathean PA Voice
Jeremy Browne Second Computer Programmer
Jonathan Adams Cheerleader
Jonathan Adams Majikthise
Jim Broadbent (as James Broadbent) Vroomfondel
Jim Broadbent (as James Broadbent) Shooty
Peter Hawkins Frankie Mouse
David Tate Benjy Mouse
Writing team
Douglas Adams Writer

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