The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy part 5

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  PhaseShift 8 years, 8 months ago.

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    Craig @craig

    In which our heroes find themselves not dead but in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

    I keep expecting them to bump into the Doctor trying, yet again, to impress a new companion. A lo and behold the Doctor does turn up, well, the fifth Doctor Peter Davison anyway, as the Dish of the Day that wants to be eaten. Ties in nicely with our Before Gap rewatch.

    Also has a cameo by the West Country Darth Vader himself, Dave Prowse, as the bodyguard.

    I saw Motorhead, Faith No More, Soundgarden and Black Sabbath yesterday in Hyde Park, it was brilliant. Now I’ve been deafened I think I could cope with Disaster Area.

    You guys are so unhip it’s a wonder your bums don’t fall off.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    An episode in which we learn many things, for instance, where our site colleague @arkleseizure got his name from. 🙂

    I quite like the guide flagging up that the Human race have a gullibility rating of 9 following this sudden and unexpected rescue from sudden death. Shortly followed by the waiter asking:

    “Do you have a reservation?”

    To which the obvious response would be

    “Yes – I’m not sure we should get away with an escape from a cliffhanger like that”

    The waiter is just like every maître d’ I have ever come across in a high class swanky restaurant. Apparently courteous and patient, but simultaneously radiating utter contempt for his clientele. Do these guys go to the same school?!

    “The Universe will explode for your entertainment later”
    “Wow – what sort of drink do you serve here?!”

    @craig s right – you do expect to see the Doctor mixing it in Miliways. Any one of them would have worked in their own way. Still Ford is our Doctor substitute, and it’s up to him to introduce the world to Hotblack Desiato and Disaster Area.

    Fun fact – the outrageous name Hotblack Desiato was picked by Adams because it was the name of a local estate agent in Islington. They still exist, so it looks like he has his own fan site . I wonder how many bogus enquiries they get?

    Oh, and it’s sci-fi royalty (in an odd way) as Hotblacks bodyguard. Dave Prowse, who played Darth Vader in body if not in voice. Why was that Dave? Oh – the voice. Let’s face it – it would have really diminished Vaders menace if he’d had that accent.

    Ah – Tax and the annoying habit of the rich avoiding paying theirs – some jokes will never go out of fashion, unfortunately.

    Another brilliant guest turn here from Colin Jeavons. Marvellous actor – his turn as the compare is great, swinging between the cheese of a gameshow host (70/80s Bob Monkhouse comes to mind), to creepy and then downright sinister. Wonderful stuff.

    Peter Davison you would hardly recognise as the dish of the day. Makes me laugh. It’s also a very interesting satire on the squeamishness regarding where our food comes in. Hell, I’d forgotten the contingent from the Halls of Asgard. It would have to be Eleven and River with them, wouldn’t it?

    Excellent to see that billions of years of hanging around haven’t dulled Marvin’s cutting sarcasm.

    “I’ll be down in a minute”
    “That’ll make two of us.”

    I can’t help but think, as they look for a new set of wheels to liberate, that Zaphod and Ford would be great for an interstellar version of Top Gear.

    “Looks like a fish, moves like a fish, steers like a cow.”

    Oh dear – They appear to have nicked a ship with Disaster Area stencilled on it. That can’t end well. They discover that – yes, you can have too much black.

    I love the fact that it looks like an awful lot of the guide involves sex, despite the voiceover. Sex always sells.

    Time to crash into the Sun! Hell if they can escape the last cliffhanger, this should be a doddle.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    I’m really enjoying watching these – especially now having the benefit of the instant pause button, to catch up on the bits in the guide which aren’t in the narration! (like the Human Gullibility factor of 9)

    It amazes me how familiar – and still relevant (taxes, food sources, privilege… and overloud extravagant rock bands!) – a lot of it is… and yes where’s our small green @arkleseizure these days?

    As well as every cheesy gameshow host you ever cringed at in the 70s, Max also reminded me of Emcee in Cabaret, with all the cynical darkness that entails. This is a man who watches the beginning and end of the universe on the same day on a regular basis.

    Peter Davison is great as the cow who wants to be eaten, great scene.

    But sorry @phaseshift, I have to completely disagree with –

    yes, you can have too much black.

    that’s just a conclusion too far! 🙂

    Arkleseizure @arkleseizure

    Hello @scaryb, @phaseshift and everyone else! I suppose you could say I’ve been hibernating. I’ll probably be back more when series 8 kicks off and I can play my favourite game of creating new links between the classic series and the revival. (This is of course impossible).

    You won’t be surprised to learn that I love this Hitchiker’s episode. Max is a superb creation, slimy and sinister, but brilliantly professional, keeping his head when Zarquon suddenly turns up. I wonder if the chief clown in The Greatest Show in the Galaxy wasn’t to some extent based on him. (This is of course impossible).

    It’s fortunate that Peter Davison was married to Sandra Dickenson at the time this was made, which is what made him accept such a small part. He’s brilliant here, with his yokel accent, begging to be eaten. I would certainly consider his liver, although presumably he wouldn’t know any onions willing to join in. (This is of course impossible).

    Just wonderful stuff. Roll on August 23rd: I will be eagerly tuning in! (This is of course impossible).

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    I too think the animated guide sequences add a lot to the TV version. I particularly like the zeroes blowing a quick raspberry at the viewer. Colin Jeavons also gives a lovely visual performance for his emcee, as does Jack May, simply dripping contempt.

    Of the Doctors, Seven’s probably in the car-park sabotaging some villains’ spaceship, the Tennant Doctor is nursing a lonely drink, and both Four and the Smith Doctor have a nice table for two. Not with each other – they’ve brought Romana and River on a date. They’re just about to realise that they booked the table next to each other. 🙂

    Anonymous @

    @scaryb – you beat me to it. I was going to comment on the Max / MC similarities.

    Another brilliant guest turn here from Colin Jeavons. Marvellous actor –

    @phaseshift – Can’t argue with that. And a fellow Black Country lad as well (from West Bromwich I think). He gave, in my opinion, possibly the best performance of Moriarty ever in The Baker Street Boys and the UFO obsessed Jim Piper in the sci-fi sitcom Kinvig stealing not just every scene he was in but the whole series! Shame he’s retired, he’d have been great in Doctor Who.

    Whisht @whisht

    Completely agree as to Colin Jeavons and Jack May – wonderful turns.

    I’m also reminded of a book I got (either at xmas or birthday) when I was ~12 in the early ’80’s called “The Meaning of Liff” written by John Lloyd and Douglas Adams.
    Its essentially a dictionary of real but odd-sounding place names in the UK, to which they give amusing definitions.
    The fun they obviously had in the nature of reference books and the sound of words runs all through it, as much as the Hitchiker’s Guide.

    Now, I was going to say something unremarkable about how John Lloyd’s humour tends to be around ‘interesting facts’, as seen in QI (for which he’s also responsible). Obviously his love of words is all through Blackadder as well.

    To do that I took a look at his wikipedia page (to make sure I wasn’t misremembering stuff) and I discovered he and Douglas Adams also wrote two episodes of the awful cartoon Dr. Snuggles.

    I say awful – I remember watching it as a kid and thinking “this isn’t very good” which is a bad sign from a kid.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Yes – good point re the MC in Cabaret. Though the “I mean that most sincerely folks” was pure Monkhouse in full cheese mode. 🙂

    As an ex-Goth I think I side with Ford on this one. Looks great stylistically, but trying to do anything in that ship with all the black would make your brain bleed (I think that’s why Zaphod is impervious to his criticism).


    Good to see you back and well await more impossible links later. I debated whether to link to your name or not, but in the end I thought “what the hell”.


    Four and the Smith Doctor have a nice table for two. Not with each other – they’ve brought Romana and River on a date. They’re just about to realise that they booked the table next to each other.

    Imagine – Double dating with another incarnation of yourself with another partner. The ultimate toe curling experience.


    Yep – small article in that Galaxy spanning news organ “The Black Country Bugle” here on his origins. I think he’s been brilliant in virtually everything he’s been in. I’ll add Tory MP Stamper, in House of Cards/To Play the King. He’s been in loads though. Check out The Avengers A Touch of Brimstone and his later stuff and he hardly seems to age in most regards.

    It’s a shame about modern who. He does have one BG credit though, and must have winced when a previously missing episode of The Underwater Menace came to light a few years ago. It’s not a great story anyway, but the returned episode features him and Patrick Troughton both fluffing a scene (which had some atrocious dialogue to contend with). Pic showing his great eyebrows in the ep.


    I still have The Meaning of Liff and the follow up. Great books.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    I never realised that was Peter Davison. Knowing, and watching, I can see it- ish- have decided to put my ignorance down to his skill as an actor. It made me think how he would have been as Author Dent, and I decided: too sympathetic.

    Always loved this episode and wondered: how does the space work? are these alternative versions of the end of the world when different people attended? Or is it only as many people as would fill the venue that book a table, and how would they make sure of it? (I was a fun child.)

    Wasn’t the west country Darth Vader also the green cross man?

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Another Piggy-Doctor:


    z recording button moon


    @miapatrick – You’re right!


    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    @miapatrick @wolfweed

    You know, I meant to say last week that Davison and Dickinson appearing in this was pretty apt, because they actually met on the set of another Sci-fi show, The Tomorrow People.

    I’ll post a clip because it’s hilarious. The Tomorrow People made the cheapest episodes of Doctor Who look like Star Wars in comparison.

    Just for anyone abroad, if you’ve no idea what @wolfweed s mention of Button Moon was all about, it was a young childrens show that the two did the theme tune for. Here them sing it here:

    Entertainingly, you’ll note the visual effects in Button Moon were better than Tomorrow People as well. 😀

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