The Guide to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Some Basic H2G2 Terms: The Universe
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is exactly what it sounds like--a guide to everything you need to know about anything. The Guide is essential for anyone traveling through the Galaxy. Its easy-to-use interface and affordable price make it wildly popular. Ford Prefect logged his most recent update for The Guide under the entry for Earth. After 15 years of meticulous research, he was able to expand upon the entry from "Harmless" to "Mostly harmless."
HEART OF GOLD
Have you ever thought, "I can't be everywhere at once?" Well, with the Heart of Gold Spaceship, you can! Travel everywhere in the galaxy at once, and then decide where to get off. Sound impossible? It's not--just improbable. So improbable, that the ship is powered by an Infinite Improbability Drive. The Heart of Gold improbably picked up two hitchhikers, Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect--rescuing them from certain death in the cold regions of space.
Vogons are bad-tempered, bureaucratic, officious, and callous. They are also responsible for destroying Earth in order to make way for an interstellar highway. Vogons are notorious for their cruel and unusual form of punishment--poetry readings. Vogon poetry is well known to be the third worst in the Universe, and it is common for audience members to gnaw off their own limbs to escape.
The Universe is big, REALLY BIG! You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind bogglingly big it is.
Earth is a planet where it is not possible to be more than sixteen thousand miles from your birthplace which, in space terms, isn't very far at all. Earth was scheduled for demolition by a Vogon Constructor Fleet in order to build a hyperspatial express route. Populated by humans, mice and whales amongst other, less interesting species, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy describes Earth as "Harmless." Needless to say, Ford Prefect has been able to expand on this entry during his fifteen years on Earth, and although some sub-editing has taken place, his newer and more comprehensive entry will soon grace the pages of The Guide. The new entry reads as follows: "Mostly harmless."
Man has always assumed that he is more intelligent than dolphins because he has achieved so much--the wheel, New York, wars and so on--whilst all the dolphins have ever done is muck about in the water, having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man--for precisely the same reasons. Dolphins have long known of the impending destruction of the Planet Earth and have made many attempts to alert mankind of the danger; but most of their communications are misinterpreted. For instance, the last-ever dolphin message was misinterpreted as a surprisingly sophisticated attempt to do a double-backwards-somersault through a hoop whilst whistling "The Star Spangled Banner," but in fact the message was this: So long and thanks for all the fish.
A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly, it has great practical value, but more importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitchhiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet-weather gear, space suit, etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitchhiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitchhiker might accidentally have "lost." What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
The second greatest computer ever built took seven and a half million years to calculate the meaning of life and, in the end, announced that the answer was, in fact, 42. This made a lot of people very angry and was widely regarded as a bad move. The computer then explained that the problem was that nobody really understood what the question was in the first place. So another, even bigger, computer had to be built to find out what the actual question was.
POINT OF VIEW GUN
The Point of View Gun is a very unusual weapon--put simply, when you fire the gun at someone, they instantly see things from your point of view. It was invented by a group of housewives who had become utterly sick of ending every domestic argument with the words "you just don't get it, do you?" The gun was immediately in huge demand by marketing agencies, governments and religions, but was deemed to be too dangerous in the wrong hands and so was locked away in a secret location to prevent it from ever being used again.
PAN GALACTIC GARGLE BLASTER The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. It says that the effect of a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick. The Guide also tells you on which planets the best Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters are mixed, how much you can expect to pay for one and what voluntary organizations exist to help you rehabilitate afterwards. The Guide even tells you how you can mix one yourself, but for legal, health and safety reasons, we are unable to reproduce that information here.
INFINITE IMPROBABILITY DRIVE
The Infinite Improbability Drive is a wonderful new method of crossing vast interstellar distances in a mere nothing of a second, without all that tedious mucking about in hyperspace. Due to a sensational new breakthrough in Improbability Physics, as soon as a spaceship using this new propulsion technology reaches Infinite Improbability, it passes through every point in the Universe. Then you just choose which of these particular points you want to arrive at, and there you are. It's almost too easy.
The Encyclopedia Galactica describes 'Love' as being a debilitating psychosomatic illness that is caused by production of various hormones in the victim's body that they are either unaware of or simply unable to control, and goes on to list the various medical treatments available, how to deal with your friends' unwanted support, and which planets in the galaxy are the best for tearfully listening to poignant songs on.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has this to say on the subject of love: "Mostly painful."
About the Filmmakers
GARTH JENNINGS (Director) makes his directorial debut with THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY. Since 1999, Jennings has been partnered with producer Nick Goldsmith in the innovative music video production and television commercial company Hammer and Tongs. Thirteen years and a ton of videos later, Hammer and Tongs is still going strong.
They are best known for music videos that include "Coffee & TV" for Blur, "Right Here, Right Now" for Fatboy Slim, "Pumping on Your Stereo" for Supergrass and "Imitation of Life" for REM. Along the way, they've put Jarvis Cocker on a stairlift, Joan Collins in a bathtub and picked up countless awards. Since entering the television commercial world, they have been equally successful in that arena.
DOUGLAS ADAMS (Author, Screenplay, Executive Producer) was a complex and contradictory man. For example, he was best known for his books, even though writing books was one of his least favorite activities, because it usually involved him sitting alone in a room, bashing away at the keys, often with an impatient publisher sat literally in the next room. Douglas much preferred the involvement of a creative group activity, such as working on the "Hitchhiker" radio series for the BBC, even if some of the recording sessions did involve shutting a lot of the actors away in cupboards.
Douglas raised "being late" to an art form, once commenting that he loved the whooshing noise that deadlines make as they go by. He honed his writing (and lateness) skills while working on the "Hitchhiker" radio series with John Lloyd and then moved on to the Hitchhiker novels and BBC TV series. In an effort to break free of the pressure he felt to write yet another Hitchhiker novel, Douglas created the character of Dirk Gently, an unorthodox detective who appeared in two novels, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, and The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul. Douglas also pursued and nurtured his interest in nature, evolution and ecology while researching his non-fiction book, Last Chance to See, which, of all his books, he considered to be his personal favorite.
When he co-founded the company The Digital Village, it was partly to ensure that he could work on a variety of projects that interested him, that would whenever possible not involve him sitting on his own in a room tapping away on a computer keyboard. Many projects were researched and considered, including internet projects such as h2g2.com, video games, TV series, and of course, the film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which he had been trying to get made for more years than he cared to think about.
He had started work on a new book, provisionally titled The Salmon of Doubt, which he worked on for a number of years, the story and setting changing dramatically during this time. He felt that perhaps he had reacted too strongly to his dislike of the novel writing process and that maybe he should get back to writing books again. In April 2001, Douglas commented in an interview that because he had shied away from writing books, "the consequence of that is I have a huge backlog of story ideas, and now the sort of panic is, 'Can I do them all in the rest of my career, given the speed at which they're arriving at the moment?'" Douglas died just over a month later, on May 11th, 2001.
KAREY KIRKPATRICK (Screenplay) has writing credits that include "James and the Giant Peach," "The Rescuers Down Under," "Chicken Run," "Honey We Shrunk Ourselves," "The Little Vampire" and the soo-to-be-released "Charlotte's Web." He is currently writing and co-directing the computer-animated feature "Over the Hedge" for DreamWorks Animation, scheduled for release in May of 2006.