tek's rating:

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, on BBC Two (UK)
BBC; IMDb; Planet Claire; SadGeezers; TV Tropes; Wikia; Wikipedia
streaming sites: Amazon Prime; BritBox; Hulu; Vudu

Caution: some of the following things about which I ramble incoherently may be construed by some readers as potentially constituting spoilers. You have been warned.

This is a 6 episode series. Originally I placed the review in my "comedy shows" section, but said it could just as well be included in the "science fiction" or "weird" sections. Eventually I decided to move it to "weird," but later moved it to "limited series," upon my eventual creation of that section. (There very well could have been sequel series, but there weren't, so I guess it's safe to call it a limited series, even though I usually try not to do that with things, especially British serials, that could have gotten second series, but didn't.)

In any event, the show is based on a radio play, though I have a tendency to think of it as being based on books, because I read the books before ever hearing the radio thingamabob. In fact, I can't remember for sure, but I most likely saw this series before I ever read the books. I should also mention that there was, many years later, a movie. There are actually any number of other media into which the basic story (by Douglas Adams) has been adapted, over the years, each one a little different... and it's nearly always the most awesome and riotously clever thing in the world. Though honestly, the books will always be my favorite medium for the story. But I really like this series, too.

Anyway, it begins on Earth, but it doesn't stay there too long. The protagonist, more or less, is Arthur Dent, who finds out that his friend Ford Prefect is actually an alien, and that the Earth is about to be destroyed by the Vogon Constructor Fleet to make way for a new hyperspace bypass. So Ford and Arthur hitch a ride on a Vogon ship, until the Vogons catch them and toss them out the airlock, and like 29 seconds later they're picked up by the Heart of Gold, the new experimental starship using the new Infinite Improbability Drive, which has recently been stolen by the infamous Zaphod Beeblebrox, who was the President of the Galaxy (until stealing the ship made him a fugitive), and as luck would have it, is also an old friend of Ford's. Also on the Heart of Gold are an Earthwoman named Trillian (whom Zaphod had picked up some time earlier at a party, before the planet was destroyed), and of course Marvin the Paranoid Android.

They all go off and do all sorts of strange things, such as searching for the legendary planet of Magrathea, chatting with pandimensional mice (who had paid for the Earth's construction millions of years ago, which was actually a gigantic computer designed by another computer to provide the question to the Ultimate Answer of Life, the Universe, and Everything). Ooh, I should probably mention that Ford was a field researcher for that wholly remarkable book, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which no galactic hitchhiker should be without. It's more important than even a towel! Anyway, they all eventually end up at Milliways (the Restaurant at the End of the Universe), and later get blown back in time to primitive Earth... Listen, just watch the bloody thing, okay?! I'm ordering you to at least read the books. We can't possibly have any kind of meaningful discussion if you don't at least read the bloody books! Okay? Good.

limited series index
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
radio * books * TV * movie