Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy: Character Bios: Arthur Dent

This fine character is played (rather too convincingly for his own good) by Simon Jones.

Arthur is by no means cool, in fact he’s a bit of a plonker! If you were to meet Arthur in a pub, he would be quietly (and quite happily) sat on his own at the bar oblivious to the fact that the girl he was due to meet was never going to show up. The only reason she agreed to meet him in the first place, was to divert him from bugging her with his inane chatter.

Arthur listens to some Vogon PoetryWe never actually learn what he did for a living, but I would guess that he was a civil servant.

(UPDATE:  Even though it’s not mentioned in the series, the first book says Arthur worked for BBC radio and most of his friends (minus Ford, of course) worked in advertising. Thanks to Kevin Hayman and Chris Coles)

Arthur seemingly ‘trips’ through the series with such classic lines as ‘Is there any tea‘ or ‘What!‘ or ‘I don’t understand!‘ Personally I dislike him intensely because he is too much like me!

A wiry ArthurHaving said all that how would you behave if:

You find out that your best friend (Ford Prefect) is really an alien.

You wake up one morning to find your house being demolished.

That same morning your planet is demolished

You get thrown into space without a space-suite

You are picked up by a girl on a spaceship that you once tried to chat up at a party a few weeks ago

She is now the partner of a geezer with two heads and three arms! (talk about rejection!)

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You realise that the two headed, three armed geezer is cooler than you!

All on the same day!  

All things considered, maybe Arthur is the most together bloke in the whole show!   He also has a pretty hoopy dress sense. His attire is the same for the day as it is for the night! I don’t suppose he even considered exchanging his pyjamas for a pair of trousers and a shirt. But then again, the opportunity probably never arose.

As a fairly typical thirty-something Earth geezer, we find that his reactions are ‘stark’. Like the time he was introduced to the ‘Dish of the Day’ which suggested parts of itself that were the tastiest! Or the look of surprise when he found out that the designers and managers of Earth were non other than Mice!

Nope, it has to be said that Arthur, as a central character of the show, handled himself (metaphorically speaking of course ) pretty well!

The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy reviews are © 1999, 2000 Tony Fawl.  Not for reproduction without the authors express permission

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The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy names, characters and everything else associated with the series are the property of The British Broadcasting Corporation & Douglas Adams.

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