The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1981): Season 1, Episode 1 - Episode #1.1 - full transcript

The story of The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy begins when a 6-foot ape descendant named Arthur Dent is saved from the destruction of planet Earth thanks to Ford Prefect, who is in fact from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betlegeuse, and not from Guildford as Arthur had first thought.

'This is the story

'of the Hitchhiker's Guide
To The Galaxy...

'perhaps the most remarkable,

'certainly the most successful book

'ever to come out of
the great publishers of Ursa Minor.

'More popular than
The Celestial Home Care Omnibus,

'better selling than Fifty-three
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?

'And in many
of the more relaxed civilisations

'on the Outer Eastern Rim
of the Galaxy,

'the Hitchhiker's Guide
has already supplanted

'the great Encyclopaedia Galactica

'as the standard repository
of all knowledge and wisdom,

'for though it has many omissions
and contains much that is apocryphal,

'it scores over
the older, more pedestrian work

'in two important respects.

'First, it is slightly cheaper
and, secondly, it has the words:

'inscribed in large,
friendly letters on the cover.

'To tell the story of the book,

'it is best to tell the story of some
of those whose lives it affected.

'A human from the planet Earth
was one of them,

'though, as our story opens,

'he 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 six-foot-tall ape descendant,

'and someone is trying to drive
a bypass through his home.'

Come off it, Mr Dent -
you can't win, you know.

You can't lie in front
of the bulldozers indefinitely.

I'm game. We'll see who rusts first!

You're going to have to accept it.
This bypass has got to be built.

Why's it got to be built?

What do you mean -
why's it got to be built?

It's a bypass!
You've got to build bypasses.

You were entitled to make suggestions
or protests at the appropriate time.

Appropriate time?!

The first I heard about it was
when a workman arrived yesterday.

I thought
he'd come to clean the windows.

He said
he'd come to demolish the house!

He didn't tell me straightaway,
of course.

He wiped a couple of windows
and charged me ?5! Then he told me!

But, Mr Dent,
the plans have been available

in the planning office
for the last nine months!

Yes, of course. As soon as I heard,
I went straight round to see them.

You hadn't exactly gone out of
your way to draw attention to them!

But the plans were on display!

On display? I eventually
had to go down to the cellar!

- That's the display department!
- With a torch!

- No lights.
- No stairs!

- But you did see the notice?
- Oh, yes.

It was on display in the bottom
of a locked filing cabinet,

in a disused lavatory with a sign
on the door, "Beware of the leopard!"

Ever thought of going
into advertising?

And you don't get me
like that either!

Mr Dent...

have you any idea how much damage
this bulldozer would suffer

if I were to let it run over you?

How much?

None at all!

'By a strange coincidence,
"None at all"

'is exactly how much suspicion
the ape descendant Arthur Dent 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.

'Arthur Dent's failure
to suspect this

'reflects the care with which his
friend blended into human society,

'after a fairly shaky start,
when he first arrived 15 years ago.

'The minimal research he had done
suggested to him

'that the name Ford Prefect
would be nicely inconspicuous.

'He will enter our story
in 30 seconds and say,

"'Hello, Arthur."

'The ape descendant
will greet him in return

'but, in deference to a million years
of human evolution,

'won't attempt to pick fleas off him.

'Earthmen are not proud
of their ancestors

'and never invite them to dinner.'

Hello, Arthur.

Ford, hi. How are you?


Look, are you busy?

Busy?! Well, I've just got
this bulldozer to lie in front of,

or it'll knock my house down, but
otherwise... no, not especially. Why?

- Good. Anywhere we can talk?
- What?

- We've got to talk.
- Fine! Talk.

And drink. It's vitally important
that we talk and drink. Now!

- We'll go to the pub.
- You don't understand.

He wants to knock my house down.

- He can do it whilst you're away.
- I don't want him to!

Ford? What's the matter?

Nothing... nothing's the matter.

I've got to tell you the most
important thing you've ever heard.

- I've got to tell you NOW in the pub.
- Why?

- Because you'll need a stiff drink!
- No! No! What about my house?

- He wants to knock your house down?
- Yes.

- But you're lying in the way?
- Exactly!

I think we can come
to some arrangement.

- Excuse me!
- Hello? Yes?

Has Mr Dent come to his senses yet?

Can we, for the moment,
assume he hasn't?


Can we also assume that he's going
to be staying there all day?


So all your men are going to be
standing around, doing nothing.

Could be, could be...

If you're resigned to that, you
don't actually need him to lie there?

Not as such. Not exactly "need"...

So pretend he's there. Then we could
go to the pub. How does that sound?

Er... that sounds
perfectly reasonable... I suppose.

And if you want to pop off
for a quick one yourself later on,

we'll always cover for you in return.

Yes, thank you very much.
That's very kind.

So if you'd just like to lie down...


It's very simple.

Mr Dent will stop lying in the mud

- On condition that you take over.
- What?


You want me...
to come and lie down there?

- Yes.
- In front of the bulldozer?

- Yes.
- Instead of Mr Dent?

- Yes.
- In the mud?

In, as you say, the mud.

In return for which, you will
take Mr Dent down to the pub?




- Get up and let the man lie down.
- Thank you.

And no sneaky knocking
Mr Dent's house down while he's away.

The slightest thought
hadn't even begun to speculate

about the merest possibility
of crossing my mind.

- But can we trust him?
- To the end of the Earth.

- Yes, but how far's that?
- About 12 minutes away.

Come on.
We've got to get some alcohol.

'Here's what the Encyclopaedia
Galactica has to say about alcohol.

'It says that alcohol
is a colourless volatile liquid

'formed by the fermentation of sugars,

'and also notes
its intoxicating effect

'on certain carbon-based lifeforms.

'The Hitchhiker's Guide
To The Galaxy also mentions alcohol.

'It says the:

'... the effect of which

'is like having your brain
smashed out with a slice of lemon...

'wrapped round a large gold brick.

'The Guide also tells you

'on which planets the best Pan
Galactic Gargle Blasters are mixed,

'how much
you can expect to pay for one

'and what voluntary organisations
exist to help you rehabilitate.

'The man who invented
this mind-pummelling drink

'also invented the wisest remark
ever made, which was this:

'His name is:

'and we shall learn
more of his wisdom later.'

Six pints of bitter. And quickly,
please. The world's about to end.

Oh, yes, sir? Nice weather for it.

- Going to the match today, sir?
- No. No point.

Foregone conclusion, then?

- Arsenal no chance?
- No, the world's about to end.

Oh, yes, sir. So you said.
Lucky escape for Arsenal if it did.

- No, not really.
- There you are, sir. Six pints.

Keep the change.

What? From a fiver? Thank you, sir!

You've got ten minutes to spend it!

What the hell's going on?
I'm losing my grip on the day.

- Drink up. Three pints to go!
- Three pints? At lunchtime?

Time is an illusion,
lunchtime doubly so.

Send that in to the Reader's Digest.
There's a page for people like you!

- Drink up.
- Why three pints?

Muscle relaxant.
You're going to need it.

Did I do something wrong this morning

or has the world
always been like this,

and I was too wrapped up
in myself to notice?

I'll try to explain.

- How long have we known each other?
- Er, five years, maybe six.

Most of it made some kind
of sense at the time.

How would you react if I told you
I'm not from Guildford after all,

but from a small planet somewhere
in the vicinity of Betelgeuse?

Why-do you think it's the sort
of thing you're likely to say?

Drink up. The world is about to end.

This must be Thursday. I never could
get the hang of Thursdays.

'On this particular Thursday,

'things were moving
through the ionosphere.

'Many miles
above the surface of the planet,

'several huge yellow slab-like

'huge as office blocks,
silent as birds,

'they hung in the air exactly
the same way that bricks don't.

'The planet was almost
totally oblivious of their presence.

'They went unnoticed at Goonhilly,

'they passed over Cape Canaveral
without a blip,

'and Woomera and Jodrell Bank
looked straight through them;

'a pity, because it was the sort
of thing they'd looked for for ages.

'Arthur Dent, too,
had other things on his mind.'

What's that?

- They haven't started yet.
- Good.

- Probably your house.
- What?

- Five minutes to go.
- Damn you and your fairy stories!

Stop, you vandals! You home wreckers!

- You half-crazed Visigoths, stop!
- Arthur! Stop! It's pointless!

Barman, quickly, can you just
give me four packets of peanuts?

I'm just serving this gentleman.

He's going to die shortly! Come on!

Just a minute, sir.

Do you mind, sir?

Pork scratchings...

- Peanuts! How much?
- What?

Have it.

Have it. Keep it!

Is the world really
going to end this afternoon?

in just over 3 minutes and 5 seconds.

- But isn't there anything we can do?
- No, nothing.

I thought we were meant to lie down
or put a paper bag over our head.

Yes, if you like.

- Oh, will that help?
- No. Excuse me. I've got to go.

Oh, well, then...

Last orders, please!

You pin-striped barbarians! I'll sue
the council for every penny it's got!

I'll have you hung, drawn, quartered,

and whipped and boiled... until...

until you've had enough!

Arthur, don't... There's no point.
There's only a minute or so left.

And then I'll do it some more!

I'll take all the little bits
and jump on them till I get blisters,

or I think of something worse...
What the hell's that?

Arthur, quick! Over here!

What the hell is it?

It's a fleet of flying saucers -
what do you think it is?

Hold this.

- What do you mean, flying saucers?
- A Vogon constructor fleet.

- What?
- A Vogon constructor fleet.

I picked up news of their arrival
a few hours ago on my sub-etha radio.

I can't cope with this.
I'm going to have to have a lie-down.

No, stay here. Stay calm.

Take hold of this...

People of Earth, attention, please!

People of Earth, attention, please!

This is Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz

of the Galactic
Hyperspace Planning Council.

As you are probably aware,

the plans for the outlying regions of
the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy

require a hyperspace express route
to be built through your star system,

and, 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.

- Get out of it!
- No! No! No! Go away!

All the planning charts
and demolition orders

have been on display in your local
planning department in Alpha Centauri

for 50 Earth years,

and so you've had plenty of time
to lodge any complaints...

It's far too late to make a fuss now!

What do you mean
you've never been to Alpha Centauri?

Oh, for heaven's sake, mankind!
It's only four light years away!

Sorry, but if you can't be bothered
to take an interest in local affairs,

that's your own lookout!
Energise the demolition beam!

God, I don't know! Apathetic bloody
planet, I've no sympathy at all!

- I bought some peanuts.
- Uh...?

We've just been through
a matter-transference beam.

You've lost some salt and protein.

The beer should have helped.

- How do you feel?
- Like a military academy.

Bits of me keep passing out!

Ford, if I asked you where
the hell we were, would I regret it?

We're safe.

Ah, good.

We're in a cabin of one of the ships
of the Vogon constructor fleet.

Ah, this is obviously
some strange usage of the word "safe"

I wasn't previously aware of.
What are you doing?

Looking for the light.

- How did we get here?
- We hitched a lift.

Excuse me! Are you telling me
we just stuck our thumbs out

and some green bug-eyed monster said,

"Hop in! I can take you
as far as Basingstoke roundabout"?

Well, the thumb's a sub-etha device,

and the roundabout's at Barnard's
Star, but that's more or less right.

- And the bug-eyed monster?
- Is green!


- When can I go home?
- You can't. Ah!

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

Yes. What do you think?

It's a bit squalid, isn't it?

- What the hell is it, Ford?
- Come on! Let's get out of here!

It's going to attack us.

No, no, no, it just wants us
to turn the lights out.

Come on.

Shh! Sleeping quarters.
We woke them up.

Ford, they were...




But, Ford...

What's going on?

- Here, have a look at this.
- What is it?

The Hitchhiker's Guide
To The Galaxy, an electronic book.

- It'll tell you everything.
- I like the cover. "Don't panic"!

- First helpful thing anyone's said!
- That's why it sells so well. Shh!


"Don't panic"!


Fast wind index... V.

Vogon Constructor Fleets.
Enter that code and see what it says.

I'll keep watch.

Vogon Constructor Fleets:

What an extraordinary book!

- How did we get on board, then?
- The Dentrassi let us on board.

- You said Bogons.
- Vogons.

- Not Dentrassi?
- No.

Dentrassi are
the in-flight caterers.

Hey, Hagra biscuit! The greatest!

You'll love these guys! They cook the
hoopiest frood food in the West Galaxy!

Here, have a bite.

Go on, try it. Your mouth will love
you for the rest of your life.

It's revolting!

Oh, come on!
This stuff is the greatest.


I think those guys
must really hate the Vogons.

Now, remember this -
Dentrassi hate Vogons.

That's why they let us on board.
Let's go!

But if they let us on board,
why doesn't the Guide mention them?

Oh, it's not very accurate.


I'm researching the new edition.

Ah, storeroom.

Where are we going?

Who knows?
Off this ship, that's for sure!

We've only just arrived. Shouldn't we
say hello and thank you and things?

Listen, this is a Vogon spaceship.

We just pick up what we need
and get off it! Right?


- Stun guns.
- Any good?


Ford, who are you?

I told you -
I'm a field researcher for the Guide.

Telecom systems.

I got stuck on Earth
longer than I meant.

Went for a week,
got stuck for 15 years.

Telepsychic helmets.


How did you get here
in the first place?

Easy. I got a lift with a teaser...
Hypno rays?


Rich kids with nothing to do.

They cruise around the Galaxy

Iooking for planets that no one's
made contact with yet and buzz them.

- Buzz them?
- Yeah. They find some isolated spot,

land right by some unsuspecting soul
that no one's ever going to believe,

and strut up and down in front
of them, making beep-beep noises.

Rather childish, really.


A towel! Keep this.

- Guard it with your life.
- Huh?

Listen, it's a tough universe.

All sorts of people trying to
kill you, rip you off, everything...

If you're going to survive out there,

you've really got to know
where your towel is.

Now, fish.


Fish. Over here, I think.



- Very nice.
- Very, very useful.

- What do I do with it?
- Stick it in your ear.

It's only little!

- What?
- The Vogon captain.

- But I can't speak Vogon.
- Put this in your ear!

... should have a good time.
Message repeat.

This is your captain speaking,
so pay attention.

First of all,
I see from our instruments

that we have a couple of hitchhiker's
on board. Hello, wherever you are!

I just want to make it totally clear
that you are not at all welcome.

I worked hard to get where I am today

and I didn't become captain
of a Vogon ship

simply to turn it into a taxi service
for a lot of degenerate freeloaders.

I have sent out a search party

and, as soon as they find you,
I shall turn you off the ship.

If you're very lucky, I might read
you some of my poetry first.

we are about to jump into hyperspace

for the journey to Barnard's Star.

We will stay in dock for 72 hours
and all planet leave is cancelled.

I've just had an unhappy love affair,

so I don't see why anybody else
should have a good time.

- Message ends.
- Poetry?

What are you doing?

Preparing for hyperspace.
It's unpleasantly like being drunk.

- What's so wrong about being drunk?
- Ask a glass of water. Lie down.

- Grip the towel between your ankles.
- What?

Just do it!

Like this?


Now wait...

What exactly am I doing
with this fish in my ear?

It's translating for you.
Look in the book under Babel Fish.

What's happening?

We're going into hyperspace.

I'll never be cruel
to a gin and tonic again!

Hey, this towel's moved!

Yes. That's a six-light-year jump.

We must be near Barnard's Star.

- We can jump a ship there.
- Can we?

Ford, I hate to ask this,
but what am I doing here?

Simple. I rescued you from the Earth.

- What happened to the Earth?
- It's been disintegrated.

- Has it?
- Yes. Just boiled away into space.

Listen, I'm a bit upset about that...

Oh, well...

All gone? Nothing left?

What about the book?
Maybe the book's got something!

It doesn't seem to have an entry.

Yes, it does-at the bottom.

Under Eccentrica Gullumbits, the
triple-breasted whore of Eroticon 6.

Oh, yes. What does it say?

- Harmless.
One word? Harmless?
- Well, it's the old edition.

There are 100 billion stars
in the Galaxy.

- No one knew much about Earth then!
- I hope you managed to rectify that!

- I sent a new entry to the editor.
- What does it say now?

- Mostly harmless.
- Mostly harmless?

I think that's pretty good coverage
for a disintegrated pile of rubble!

That's meant to make me feel better?

Come on! Let's get to the teleport.

What's the hell's that?

If we're lucky, it's a Vogon
come to throw us out into space.

And if we're unlucky?

The Vogon captain might want
to read us some of his poetry first.