The cast of the radio series. Copyright: BBC / Above The Title Productions
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

  • Radio sitcom
  • BBC Radio 4
  • 1978 - 2018
  • 32 episodes (6 series)

A science fiction radio comedy series written by Douglas Adams that started off the H2G2 multi-media franchise phenomenon. Stars Simon Jones, Geoffrey McGivern, Peter Jones, William Franklyn, John Lloyd and more.

Episode menu

The Quintessential Phase, Episode 4 - Fit The Twenty-Sixth

In which the Grebulons decide to take positive action, and our heroes discover that Earth is never a safe place to be.

Further details

Ford tells Arthur that the new Guide uses Reverse Temporal Engineering, which means that it automatically benefits the person who owns it. The new Guide is responsible for everything that has happened to Arthur. As a result, they have to go to Earth as quickly as they can, but there are no space ships nearby. Arthur and Ford instead leave using the Perfectly Normal Beasts, entering the Domain of the King (The King being Elvis Presley). Ford is worried about the whole thing, but Arthur tells him that it is OK, because he knows he will not die until he kills Agrajag on Stavromula Beta.

Tricia McMillan has returned from Rupert, but believes that no-one will take her journey to the planet seriously. She then learns that a space ship has landed in Regent's Park and that someone in it wants to meet her. The Grebulons themselves are unhappy, but according to their horoscopes, they should take positive action, using their gun turrets.

Arthur and Ford land on Earth. They got to a night club where Random is arguing with Trillian and Tricia at gunpoint. Random, in her anger, fires the gun. However, Arthur pushes Random to the ground and she instead kills the night club owner. It is revealed however that the club is called Stavro Müller Beta, i.e. he is in Stavromula Beta and Agrajag has just been killed. At this point, the Earth gets demolished again.

However, thanks to the Babel Fish, which is able to shift sideways in probability when needed, the owners and those nearby survive and escape from the Earth. This leaves a range of different possible endings for Arthur. One possible end features Arthur on the Heart of Gold with several Lintilla clones, a second sees him and Fenchurch trying to stop their house from being demolished.

A third, and perhaps the most probable one sees Arthur at Milliways: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. He is dining with Ford, Zaphod and Random. Trillian and Tricia have merged so that Trillian now has blonde hair, but she is still trying to flirt with Thor. Marvin is also working again, because his warranty had not run out. Finally, Fenchurch returns, working as a waitress.

The series ends with the diners singing Auld Lang Syne, and Arthur and Fenchurch go flying together. Meanwhile, Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz is finally able to declare that the Earth has been demolished.

Broadcast details

Tuesday 21st June 2005
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Monday 30th July 2018 10:30pm Radio 4 Extra
Saturday 25th July 2020 6:00pm Radio 4 Extra
Sunday 26th July 2020 12:00am Radio 4 Extra

Cast & crew

Simon Jones Arthur Dent
Geoffrey McGivern Ford Prefect
Peter Jones The Book
William Franklyn The Book
Mark Wing-Davey Zaphod Beeblebrox
Stephen Moore Marvin
Susan Sheridan Trillian
Sandra Dickinson Trillian
Jane Horrocks Fenchurch
Rula Lenska Voice of the Bird
Toby Longworth Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz
Roger Gregg Eddie
Samantha Béart (as Sam Burke) Random
Guest cast
Roy Hudd Max Quordlepleen
Rula Lenska Lintilla
Toby Longworth Wowbagger
Douglas Adams Agrajag
Dominic Hawksley Thor
Michael Cule Vogon Helmsman
Michael Fenton Stevens Grebulon Lieutenant
Griff Rhys Jones Old Thrashbarg
Andy Taylor Grebulon Leader
Roger Gregg Bartender
Philip Pope Elvis
Neil Sleat The Newsreader
Tom Maggs Runner
Writing team
Douglas Adams Writer
Production team
Dirk Maggs Producer

Share this page

Promoted video