First Aired: 19-01-1981
Episode 3 of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy begins with Zaphod and Ford discussing the mythical planet of Magrathea. Zaphod claims he’s found the planet, but Ford insists that it doesn’t exist and is nothing but a fairy story.
Meanwhile, Trillian is busy tending to her pet mice, Arthur is wondering if there is any tea on the spaceship, and Marvin is somewhere feeling depressed.
Ford might not believe in Magrathea, but the simple fact that the ship is presently orbiting the planet gives more than a little credence to Zaphod’s claim.
Then when the planet’s automated defence systems launches a few missiles at the intrepid travellers the whole debate about the existence of Magrathea become suddenly unimportant and, if it wasn’t for Trillian’s evasive manoeuvring, they would have been toast.
Evading the missiles is one thing, but they are still locked on target and following the ship. Worse still, they are gaining. Then Arthur has a brainwave. He operates the ships improbability drive, causing the missiles to be turned into a bowl of petunias and a surprised-looking whale.
And although no comment is made about it Trillian’s rather sexy-looking red dress is suddenly turned in a red pair of pants and a matching red top.
Despite their near escape, Zaphod and the gang decide to land on Magrathea anyway and soon discover the planet is not deserted after all when they encounter a rather unique individual called Slartybartfast, who has just woken up.
Apparently the whole planet has been sleeping for five million years. The Magratheans build planets and, when the economic recession came, they decided to sleep through it and save themselves a lot of bother.
Slarty explains to Arthur that it was the Magratheans who build the Earth and that it was he, Slarty, who built Norway. Arthur is rather surprised to hear this, but not as surprised as he is when he finds out that it was the mice that commissioned, paid for and ran the planet. All Arthur can say is “Mice?” and who can blame him for being surprised?
|Voice of the Hitch Hikers Guide||~~~||Peter Jones|
|Arthur Dent||~~~||Simon Jones|
|Ford Prefect||~~~||David Dixon|
|Zaphod Beeblebrox||~~~||Mark Wing-Davey|
|Marvin the Paranoid Android||~~~||David Learner|
|Voice of Marvin||~~~||Stephen Moore|
|Voice of Eddie (the computer)||~~~||David Tate|
|Voice of the whale||~~~||Stephen Moore|