The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a science fiction comedy radio series written by Douglas Adams (with some material in the first series provided by John Lloyd). It was originally broadcast in the United Kingdom by BBC Radio 4 in 1978, and afterwards the BBC World Service, National Public Radio in the U.S. and CBC Radio in Canada. The series was the first radio comedy programme to be produced in stereo, and was innovative in its use of music and sound effects, winning a number of awards.
The series follows the adventures of hapless Englishman Arthur Dent and his friend Ford Prefect, an alien who writes for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a pan-galactic encyclopedia and travel guide. After Earth is destroyed in the first episode, Arthur and Ford find themselves aboard a stolen spaceship piloted by a motley crew including Zaphod Beeblebrox (Ford's semi-cousin and Galactic President), the depressed robot Marvin and Trillian, the only other human survivor of Earth's destruction.
A pilot programme was commissioned in March 1977, and was recorded by the end of the following June. A second series was commissioned in 1979, transmitted in 1980. Episodes of the first series were specially re-recorded for release on LP records and audio cassettes and Adams adapted the first series into a best-selling novel in 1979. After the 1980 transmissions of the second radio series, a second novel was published and the first series was adapted for television. This was followed in turn by three further novels, a computer game, and various other media formats.
Adams had considered writing a third radio series to be based on his novel Life, the Universe and Everything in 1993, but the project did not begin for another ten years. Adams had died in May 2001. Dirk Maggs, with whom Adams had discussed the new series, eventually directed and co-produced radio series adaptations of that novel, as well as So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish and Mostly Harmless. These became the third, fourth and fifth radio series transmitted in 2004 and 2005.
Includes 12 Episodes!