Trapped aboard a stunt ship belonging to the rock group Disaster Area, locked into a collision course with a nearby sun, Zaphod and the others are ready to accept any escape route. And Arthur finds one – perhaps: a teleportation system with no automatic controls. Zaphod quickly sweet-talks Marvin into staying behind to help the others escape. Apparently, however, the teleport has no guidance control either – Ford and Arthur find themselves aboard another spacecraft a safe distance away, while Zaphod and Trillian are nowhere to be found. The two hitchhikers hide as they hear approaching footsteps, which turn out to belong to joggers who are just finishing up a few laps on their way back to a room honeycombed with cryogenic suspension capsules. Bewildered, Arthur and Ford make their way to the bridge of the ship, where the Captain – enjoying a bath – explains that they’ve arrived on the “B” Ark from Golgafrincham, currently evacuating one third of the planet’s population to escape a somewhat suspiciously unspecified disaster. As it happens, the “B” Ark is actually carrying the most useless third of the planet’s people – telephone sanitizers, marketing executives, middle management, hairdressers and the like – to their doom.
A time warp carries the “B” Ark into the prehistoric dawn of a small blue-green planet, where, to Arthur’s horror, he discovers that the Golgafrinchans are his ancestors…not the cavemen whose extinction from the face of the primitive Earth is assured by the arrival of a more advanced race.
written by Douglas Adams
directed by Alan J.W. Bell
music by Paddy Kingsland
Cast: Peter Jones (The Voice of the Book), Simon Jones (Arthur Dent), David Dixon (Ford Prefect), Mark Wing-Davey (Zaphod Beeblebrox), Sandra Dickinson (Trillian), Rayner Bourton (Newscaster), Aubrey Morris (Captain), Matthew Scurfield (Number One), David Neville (Number Two), Geoffrey Beevers (Number Three), Beth Porter (Marketing Girl), David Rowlands (Hairdresser), Jon Glover (Management Consultant), David Learner (Marvin), Stephen Moore (voice of Marvin)
Notes: Though a second season of the Hitchhiker’s Guide TV series was planned, Douglas Adams’ insistance on finding another producer for the show led the BBC To cancel the series, despite the fact that more money was budgeted for a further six episodes and the regular actors were booked to appear. Plans for a U.S. version of the series, to be aired on ABC, were cut short by Adams himself when he became disenchanted with the network’s insistence on turning the Hitchhiker’s Guide into “Star Wars with jokes.”
LogBook entry by Earl Green