In 1978, he turned an idea he had while seeing the Austrian country-side into a massive collection of radio programs, novels, records, computer games, a television series and a film. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy first exploded as a radio program on the BBC. The adventures of a human Arthur Dent and his alien buddy Ford Prefect as they travel on the spaceship Heart of Gold with Galaxy president Zaphod Beeblebrox and his human girlfriend Trillian captured the imagination of thousands and eventually millions.
Some of the lines from the books and show:
- “Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the drug store but that’s just peanuts to space.”
- “The knack of flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss.”
- “This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays.”
Our favorite character is Marvin, the depressed robot who kept saying “Life, don’t talk to me about life.”
Douglas wrote five books in the trilogy along with two novels about detective Dirk Gently. in May 2001,a he went on his own hitchhiking tour of the cosmos in another form. His wit and humor are missed.
Here you can see “Out of the Trees,” a 1975 comedy written by Adams, Monty Python’s Graham Chapman, and some guy called Bernard McKenna whom I’ve never heard of before. Watch closely and you’ll spot the original Arthur Dent.