Arthur and Ford are trapped on prehistoric Earth, watching the ship of Golgafrincham middle-men lay the groundwork for what will, depressingly enough, eventually become humanity. Evolution turns out to be a saving grace for Zaphod Beeblebrox, however, as he was eaten by a rapidly evolving life form which handily turned into an escape pod. Zaphod makes his way to Ursa Minor Beta, where the home offices of the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy are located. It seems Zaphod received a message from himself, instructing him to come here and seek out a man named Zarniwoop. But when Zaphod arrives at the Guide offices, his luck begins to run out quickly – he meets up with Marvin yet again, is stuck in the building when Frogstar fighters begin to bomb it to smithereens, and is still stuck in the building when it’s carved right out of the surface of the planet to be whisked away to the Frogstar itself.
Cast: Peter Jones (The Voice of the Book), Simon Jones (Arthur Dent), Geoffrey McGivern (Ford Prefect / Frogstar Robot), Stephen Moore (Marvin), Mark Wing-Davey (Zaphod Beeblebrox), Bill Patterson (Assistant Arcturan pilot), David Tate (Arcturan Captain / Receptionist / Lift), Alan Ford (Roosta)
Notes: Aired as a Christmas special near the end of 1978 – over a year before the five episodes that make up the second series proper – the seventh episode of Hitchhiker’s Guide is still considered a part of the second series by many. It was originally intended to tie into the story of the birth of Jesus, with a spaceborne Marvin burning up in Earth’s atmosphere to provide the “star” followed by the three wise men. Despite coming up with the idea, Douglas Adams later said he felt it would have been in poor taste, and devised a story with clearer links to what he had planned for the second series. The second series didn’t air until January 1980.