Marvin reveals that he knows the ultimate question to life, the universe and everything, but can tell that no ones really interested as the crew discover the purpose of the hijacked ship and hurriedly make plans of escape. After escaping, Ford and Arthur materialise in a very cold room full of dead telephone sanitisers, hairdressers and marketing executives and are promptly discovered and taken prisoner. A conversation with the captain reveals that the ship they have materialised on will soon be crashing into a small, prehistoric blue-green planet and a quick spot of adventuring leads Ford and Arthur to discover one of the biggest cock-ups in galactic history...
Everyone worries about what is going on in the ship they have stolen. They learn from Marvin that the ship, owned by rock band Disaster Area, is going to crash into a sun as part of their act. With no other course for them, Arthur, Ford, Zaphod and Trillian flee via an escape pod, leaving Marvin to survive on his own.
Arthur and Ford land on another spaceship, seperating from Zaphod and Trillian. This ship belongs to the Golgafrinchams. Meeting the captain in his bath, they claim the ship is one of three 'Arcs' sent to leave their doomed planet. Their arc contains all the 'middle men', whereas the others contain the workers and the rulers. In reality, the Golgafrinchams just wanted to get rid of a useless bunch of middle men. However, the plan backfired when the rest of the Golgafrinchams died of an illness caused by a dirty telephone.
The ship crash lands on their new home planet, which turns out to be Earth... two million years in the past. The Golgafrinchams arrival results in the experiment being carried out by the mice being voided. Arthur and Ford then attempt to find the Ultimate Question by drawing letters from a Scrabble bag. They come up with, "What do you get if you multiply six by nine."