The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy s01e04 Episode Script

Episode 4

'Arthur Dent, a perfectly ordinary Earthman, 'was rather surprised when his friend Ford Prefect 'suddenly revealed himself to be from a small planet 'in the vicinity of Betelgeuse 'and not from Guildford after all.
'He was even more surprised when, minutes later, 'Earth was unexpectedly demolished 'to make way for a new hyperspace by-pass.
'But this was as nothing to their joint surprise 'when they were rescued from certain death by a stolen spaceship 'manned by Ford's semi-cousin, the infamous Zaphod Beeblebrox, 'and by Trillian, a rather nice young astrophysicist 'Arthur once met at a party in Islington.
'However, all four of them are soon totally overwhelmed by surprise 'when they discover that the ancient world of Magrathea, 'a planet legendary for its trade in manufacturing other planets, 'is not as dead as it was supposed to be.
'For Zaphod, Ford and Trillian, 'surprise is pushed to its very limits when THIS happened' 'And when Arthur encounters Slartibartfast, 'the Magrathean coastline designer 'who won an award for his work on Norway 'and learns that the history of mankind 'was only being run for the benefit of a few white mice, 'surprise is no longer adequate 'and he is forced to resort to astonishment.
' Mice?! Mind your head.
E-Excuse the mess.
Most unfortunate-a diode blew in one of the life support computers.
When we came to revive our cleaning staff, we discovered they'd been dead for 30,000 years.
Who's going to clear away the bodies? That's what no one has an answer for.
Mice? Look, are we talking about the same things? Mice are white furry creatures with a cheese fixation, women standing screaming on tables in early '60s sitcoms.
Earthman, it is sometimes hard to follow your mode of speech.
I have been asleep inside this planet of Magrathea for um five million years and know little of these early '60s sitcoms of which you speak.
These creatures you call mice are not quite as they appear.
They are merely the protrusion into our dimension of vast hyper-intelligent, pan-dimensional beings.
This business with the cheese and the squeaking is just a front.
They have been experimenting on you.
Ahh! No, look, you've got it wrong! It was us! We experimented on THEM! Making them run down mazes, ring bells, eat bits of cheese! And, by analysing their behaviour, were learned all sorts of things about ourselves! - Such subtlety! - Well Well, how better to disguise their true natures, how better to guide your way of thinking, than to be right down there amongst you? Suddenly running down the maze the wrong way, eating the wrong bit of cheese, unexpectedly dropping dead of myxomatosis.
Finely calculated, the cumulative effect is enormous.
Just sit back back.
I must tell you that your planet and people have formed the matrix of an organic computer running a 10-million-year research programme into the ultimate question of Life, the Universe and Everything.
They are particularly clever, hyper-intelligent, pan-dimensional beings.
Attention! Slartibartfast and the visiting Earth creature report to the work's reception area immediately Repeat, immediately! However, in the field of management relations, they're shocking.
- Really? - Every time they give me an order, I want to jump on a table and scream.
Yes, I can see that would be a problem.
'There are many problems connected with life, 'of which some of the most pressing are 'Why are people born? 'Why do they die? 'And why do they spend so much of the intervening time 'wearing digital watches? 'Many millions of years ago, a race of hyper-intelligent beings 'became so fed-up with the bickering about the meaning of life 'that they decided to sit down and solve it once and for all.
'To this end, they built themselves 'a stupendous super-computer called Deep Thought 'that was so amazingly intelligent 'that even before its data banks had been connected up, 'it started from first principles with: 'And deduced the existence of rice pudding and income tax 'before anyone managed to turn it off.
' Do not be alarmed.
'Only after Deep Thought has been programmed 'with all the knowledge in the Universe, do two men, 'selected of all their race, approach it.
' What is this great task for which l, Deep Thought, the second greatest computer in the Universe of Time and Space, have been called into existence? - Your task, O computer - No, wait a minute! Did he say "second greatest"? O Deep Thought, are you not, as we designed you to be, the greatest, the most powerful computer of all time? I described myself as the second greatest and such I am! Can we just clear this up? O Deep Thought, are you not a greater computer than the Milliard Gargantubrain which can count all the atoms in a star? A Milliard Gargantubrain? A mere abacus! Mention it not! Are you not a greater analyst than the Googleplex Star Thinker in the 7th Galaxy of Light and Ingenuity? The Googleplex Star Thinker? Molest me not with this pocket calculator stuff! But are you not a more fiendish disputant than the Great Hyperlobic Omnicognate Neutron Wrangler on Ciceronicus 12?! The Great 0mnicognate Neutron Wrangler could talk all four legs off an Arcturan megadonkey, but only I could persuade it to go for a walk afterwards! Then what is the problem? There is no problem! I speak of none but the computer that is to come after me! I think this is getting needlessly messianic.
A computer whose merest operational parameters I am not worthy to calculate, but which it will be my destiny eventually to design! Can we get on and ask the question? Oh, all right.
O Great Computer, the task we have designed you to perform is this.
We want you to tell us the answer.
The answer? - The answer to what? - Life! - The Universe! - Everything! Tricky.
But can you do it? Yes, I can do it.
You mean there IS an answer? - A simple answer? - Yes.
Life, the Universe and Everything.
There is an answer.
- There is an answer! At last! - But I'll have to think about it.
- We demand admission! - Now what? - You can't keep us out! - We demand you cannot keep us out! - Who are you? Get out of here! - I am Majkthise! And I demand that I am Vroomfondel! It's all right, you don't need to demand that! All right, I am Vroomfondel and that is not a demand, that is a solid fact! What we demand is solid facts! No, we don't! That is precisely what we DON'T demand! We don't demand solid facts! What we demand is a total absence of solid facts! I demand that I may, or may not, be Vroomfondel! - Who are you? - We are philosophers.
- Though we may not be! - Yes, we are! We are definitely here as representatives of the Amalgamated Union of Philosophers, Sages, and Luminaries, and we want the machine off now! We demand that you get rid of it! - What's the problem? - The problem is demarcation, mate! We demand that demarcation may or may not be the problem! Let the machines get on with the adding up and WE'LL take care of the eternal verities! By law, the quest for ultimate truth is the inalienable prerogative of your working thinkers! Any machine goes and finds 'em, we're out of a job! What's the use of our arguing half the night whether there may - Or may not! be a god if this machine gives you his phone number in the morning! That's right! We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty! Might I make an observation at this point? Keep out of this! We demand that that machine not be allowed to think about this problem! If I might make an observation! All I wanted to say was this.
My circuits are now irrevocably committed to calculating the answer to the ultimate question of Life, the Universe and Everything, but the program will take me a little while to run.
- How long? - Seven and a half - What, not till next week?! - million years! - How long?! - I said I'd have to think about it.
And it occurs to me that running a program like this is bound to create considerable interest in the whole area of popular philosophy.
- Yes? - Keep talking.
Everyone's going to have his own theory about what answer I'm eventually going to come up with and who better to capitalise on that media market than you yourselves? So long as you can keep violently disagreeing with each other and slagging each other off in the popular press, and so long as you have clever agents, you can keep yourselves on the gravy train for life! Bloody hell! Now, that's what I call thinking! 'Ere, Vroomfondel, how come we never think of things like that? Dunno.
I think our minds must be too highly trained, Majkthise.
Very salutary, but what about the Earth and mice? All will become clear to you.
Are you not anxious to hear what the computer said 7.
5 million years later? Erm yes quite.
The time is nearly upon us! 7.
5 million years we've waited.
75,000 generations since our ancestors set this program in motion and, in all that time, we shall be the first to hear the computer speak.
It's an awesome prospect.
Deep Thought is about to speak! Good evening.
G-Good evening.
O Deep Thought do you have Have you? An answer for you? Yes, I have.
- There really is one? - There really is one.
To everything? The secret of the Universe? The great questions of Life and Everything? - Yes.
- Are you ready to give it to us? - I am.
- Now?! Now! Wow! Though I don't think you're going to like it.
Doesn't matter! We must know it! - Now? - Yes now.
All right.
- Well? - You're really not going to like it.
Tell us! - The answer to the great question - Yes? of Life, the Universe and Everything - Yes? - is - Yes? - is - Yes?! - 42! It was a tough assignment.
42?! Is that all you've got to show for 7.
5 million years' work?! I think the problem is that you've never known what the question is.
But it was the GREAT question, the ultimate question of Life, the Universe and Everything! Yes, but what actually is it? Well just everything! You know everything! Exactly.
You have to know what the question actually is in order to know what the answer means.
Well, can you please tell us the question? - The Ultimate Question? - Yes! Of Life, the Universe and Everything? - Yes! - Tricky.
But can you do it? No.
But I'll tell you who can.
Tell us! I speak of none but the computer that is to come after me.
A computer whose merest operational parameters I am not worthy to calculate! Yet I will design it for you! A computer which can calculate the Answer to the Ultimate Question, a computer of such infinite and subtle complexity that organic life itself shall form part of its operational matrix.
You yourselves shall take on new forms and go down into the computer to navigate its 10-million-year program! Yes, I shall design this computer for you and I shall name it also unto you and it shall be called the Earth! Oh, what a dull name.
So there you have it.
Deep Thought designed the Earth, we built it and you lived on it.
The Vogons destroyed it 5 minutes before the program was completed.
10 million years of planning and work gone.
Well, that's bureaucracy for you.
Do you know, this explains a lot, because all my life I've had this feeling in my bones something sinister was happening in the Universe.
No one would tell me what it was.
That's just perfectly normal paranoia.
- Everyone in the Universe has that.
- Everyone? Everyone.
Maybe that means something! That outside the Universe we know, some alien intelligence is Maybe.
Who cares? Perhaps I'm old, but the chances of finding out what really is going on are so absurdly remote the only thing to do is to say, "Hang the sense of it" and keep occupied.
Look at me.
I design coastlines.
I got an award for Norway.
Where's the sense in that? None that I can make out.
I've been doing fjords all my life.
For a fleeting moment, they become fashionable.
I get a major award.
In this replacement Earth, I've been given Africa to do.
I'm doing it with with fjords because I happen to like them.
I'm old-fashioned enough to think they give a lovely baroque feel to a continent.
They tell me it's not equatorial enough.
What does it matter? Science has achieved wonderful things, but I'd far rather be happy than right any day.
- And are you? - No.
That's where it all falls down.
Sounded like rather a good lifestyle otherwise.
Slartibartfast and the Earth creature report to the reception area.
Now? To meet mice? You want me to meet mice now? It won't be a great social occasion.
At once! I seem to be having difficulty with MY lifestyle.
- I beg your pardon? - What? Sorry.
- Fatuous thing to say, really.
- I thought so.
'It is, of course, well known that careless talk costs lives, 'but the full scale of the problem is not always appreciated.
'At the very moment Arthur said: I seem to be having difficulty with MY lifestyle.
'a freak wormhole opened up in the fabric of the space-time continuum 'and carried his words far back in time 'across almost infinite reaches of space to a distant galaxy 'where strange and warlike beings 'were poised on the brink of frightful interstellar battle.
'The two leaders were meeting for the last time.
'A silence fell across the conference table 'as the commander of the VI'hurgs, in his red jewelled battle shorts, 'gazed levelly at the G'Gugvunt leader squatting opposite him 'in a cloud of green, sweet-smelling steam 'and, with a million be-weaponed star cruisers 'poised to unleash electric death at his single word of command, 'challenged the vile creature to take back what it said 'about his mother.
'The creature stirred in its sickly broiling vapour 'and at that moment the words I seem to be having difficulty with MY lifestyle.
' drifted across the table.
'Unfortunately, in the VI'hurg tongue, 'this was the most dreadful insult imaginable 'and there was nothing for it but to fight terrible war!' 'Eventually, after their galaxy had been decimated 'over a few thousand years, it was realised 'the whole thing had been a ghastly mistake.
'So the two opposing battle fleets settled their differences 'in order to launch a joint attack on our galaxy, 'now positively identified as the source of the offending remark.
'For thousands more years, the mighty ships 'tore across the empty wastes of space 'and finally dived, streaming onto the planet Earth 'where, due to a terrible miscalculation of scale, 'the entire battle fleet was accidently swallowed by a small dog.
'Those who study the interplay of cause and effect 'in the history of the Universe say this goes on all the time, 'but that they are powerless to prevent it.
'Meanwhile, Arthur is about to be confronted 'with the terrible reality of all he has learnt.
' Arthur, you're safe! Am I? Oh, good.
- Hi.
Come in.
- What happened to you? Well, our hosts here have been gassing us and zapping our minds and being weird, and are now giving us this amazingly keen meal to make it up to us.
Have some Vegan rhino cutlet! It's exit! Hosts? I don't see any hosts! Ugh! There are mice on the table! Yes sorry.
I wasn't quite prepared for Let me introduce you.
- This is Benjy mouse.
- Hi, there! - And this is Frankie mouse.
- Pleased to meet you! - Aren't they - The mice I brought from Earth.
Well Try some grated Arcturan megadonkey.
Ahem! Excuse me! Yes, Slartibartfast, you may go! What? Oh, very well, I'll go and get on with some of my fjords, then.
They won't be necessary.
I don't think we'll be needing the new Earth.
What?! I've got a thousand glaciers poised and ready to roll over Africa! Thank you, Slartibartfast, that will be all! Yes, sir.
Thank you very much.
Well goodbye, Earthman.
Sorry about your planet.
Hope the lifestyle comes together! - Now to business! - Oh, yeah.
To business! - To business! - I beg your pardon?! I'm sorry, I thought you were proposing a toast! Earth creature, we've been running your planet for 10 million years in order to find the Ultimate Question.
As we were about to see the fruit of millions of years of work, you let your planet get blown up! - The best-laid plans of mice.
- And men.
- What? - Best-laid plans of mice and men.
What have men got to do with it? We've got to have that Question! I'm sorry I can't help you.
Shall we be off? Get this, you are a last generation product of that computer matrix.
You were there before your planet got the finger.
Your brain was a part of the configuration of the program.
Of the whatty? - Drink? - I will.
The mice seem to think the Question might be buried in your brain.
- Is that what they think? - Yes.
They wanna buy it.
- What, the Question? - No, no, your brain! - What? - What? What? - That's all right.
Who'd miss it? - Thank you! I thought you said you could read his brain electronically.
Yes, but we'd have to get it out first.
- It's got to be prepared, diced.
- Thank you! It could be replaced if it's important.
Yes, an electronic brain.
- A simple one should suffice.
- Simple? Program it to say "What?" and "Where's the tea?" Who'd know the difference? - What? - See? - I'd notice! - You'd be programmed not to! Let's get out! - Sorry, mice, old mates, no deal.
- Let's not be hasty! Emergency! Hostile alien police in Section 8A! - Defence stations! - Galactic police! Hell and bats' dos, we gotta go whoosh! - Creatures, where are you going? - Out, out, out! But the Question! Think of the issues at stake! - Which way? - Any way! - This way! - Don't you understand? Don't you understand how much money we can make appearing on chat shows? All this fuss about an Earthling brain! - Let's go, let's go! - Where are we gonna go?! Over there! Which way? - At a wild guess, I'd say - This way.
OK, Beeblebrox, hold it right there, we got you covered! - Cops! - Anyone else want a guess? Yeah this way! We don't wanna shoot you, Beeblebrox.
Suits me fine! - Back to the lift? - Back to the lift! Hey, I thought they said they didn't want to shoot at us! - I thought so! - You said you didn't wanna shoot us! It isn't easy being a cop! - What did he say? - It isn't easy being a cop.
- That's his problem! - I think so! Listen, we've enough problems of our own having you there shooting at us! If you'd like to avoid laying your personal problems on us, I think we'd all find it easier to cope! Now, look, buddy, you're not dealing with any dumb, two-bit, trigger-pumping morons with low hairlines, little piggy eyes and no conversation! We're a couple of caring, intelligent guys you'd probably really like if you met us socially.
I don't go around gratuitously shooting people and then brag about it in seedy space rangers bars.
I go around gratuitously shooting people, then I agonise about it afterwards to my girlfriend! - And I write novels! - Yeah, he writes them in crayon.
Though I haven't had any published yet so I'd better warn ya, I'm in a mean mood! - Who are these guys? - I preferred them shooting.
So are you gonna come quietly or you gonna let us blast ya out? Which would you prefer? You still there? Yeah! We didn't enjoy that at all.
- We could tell! - Now, listen to this, Beeblebrox.
- And you'd better listen good! - Why? Er because it's gonna be very intelligent and quite interesting and humane.
OK, shoot.
I mean, fire away! No, no, I mean! Sorry, misunderstanding there.
Beeblebrox, either you all give yourselves up and let us beat you up a little, though not too much because we are firmly opposed to needless violence, or er or we blow up this entire planet! And one or two others we noticed on the way over! That's crazy! You wouldn't do that! Yes, we would! - I think we would, wouldn't we? - Yes, we'd have to.
No question.
- But why? - Tell her.
- You tell her! - You tell her! - You tell her! - You tell her! Will one of you tell her! It isn't easy being a cop! (Listen if we keep them talking, maybe their brains will seize up.
) Shall we shoot them up again for a while? - Why not? - Yeah.
Wait Well, that just about wraps it up for this lifetime, I guess.
Well it's really been nice running into you again, Zaphod.
# Zaglabor astragard # Hootrimansion Bambriar # - What the hell are you doing?! - A Betelgeuse death anthem.
It means, "After this, things can only get better.
" # Zaglabor astragard! # Hootrimansion Bambriar #