Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy: Episode Five Review
Our heroes are about to die as the machine that they are hiding behind is just on the verge of exploding due to the over enthusiastic actions of the Galactic Police firing at them. Ford and Zaphod are singing a sort of death anthem and Arthur and Trillian look at each other blankly!
Arthur is such a plonker! He has seconds to live and all he can do is look at the lovely Trillian blankly. She was, after all, ‘the girl he’d been saving himself up for all these years’. He should have at least cuddled up to her and suggested that since Zaphod was busy singing, that they erm… get it on (or off erm…) since it was likely that there would be the opportunity later! I mean, what was there to loose huh? The worst he could have got would have been a slap across the face, and at best, he could have been happily bonking his way into oblivion!
The machine explodes and the four wake up in a restaurant (this is a crazy story!) I suppose it was lucky for Arthur that he didn’t pop the erm… question. A rather officious looking waiter welcomes them. Arthur points out that this place isn’t so much the afterlife as a sort of Apres vie. For a thick Earth dude, he can be quite witty sometimes.
The heroes and heroin are asked if they would like to order drinks before their meal and before the Universe explodes. Ford exclaims excitedly, “Wow! What sort o’ drinks do you serve in this place?”
They are, of course at Milliways, the restaurant at the end of the universe.
Milliways is a sort of vast time bubble that was projected in time, to the point at which the universe blew up. People can pay a very small amount of money (which is placed in a bank to gain interest over the millions of years) and they are able to eat a hearty meal and watch the spectacle of the end of the universe at the same time. There is even a compare to help them through it.
The four surprised and slightly hungry travellers are shown to their table. Ford notices his old pal, Hot Black Dessiatu, the lead singer of the biggest rock band in the universe, Disaster Area. He attempts to chat with the rock star but Hot Black seems to ignore him.
His bodyguard (who played Darth Vader in Star Wars (really!) beats Ford up explaining that Hot Black is spending a year ‘dead’ for tax reasons!
Disaster Area is the loudest rock band that has ever existed. Their speciality is to drive their space ship into a star.
Then suddenly, a wonderfully cheesy character introduces himself (as Max Quordlepleen, I think) and outlines the schedule to the evenings entertainment. He explains that he has just returned from a ‘show at the other end of time at the Big Bang Burger Bar (you just godda laugh!). He welcomes a few special guests and works the crowd up with,
“And we are all in for a fabulous evenings apocalypse!”
Meanwhile, Zaphod, Trillian, Arthur and Ford are asked by the waiter if they would like to be introduced to the “Dish of the day.” In one of the best sketches of the series, we see the Ameglian Major Cow. This creature introduces himself by saying, “Good evening ladies and gentlemen, I am the Dish of the Day. May I interest you in parts of my body?”
The whole idea of this scene makes you want to throw up as you laugh and was another classic example of the genius (or downright lunacy) of Douglas Adams.
Zaphod gets right into the idea and wonders over to ‘meet the meat’. The Dish offers his shoulder and suggests that his rump is very good because he has been exercising and eating plenty of grain. Trillian begins to look a little grey as the Ameglian Major Cow further suggests a casserole of himself!
Arthur is disgusted! The though of eating an animal that has just conversed with him is revolting. He requests a green salad. The Cow then reaches over and places his chubby three-pronged hoof on Arthur’s shoulder and attempts to change his mind, “May I urge you to try my liver, it must be very rich and tender by now, I have been force feeding it for months?”
Arthur, still disgusted asks, “Is there any reason why I shouldn’t have a green salad?“
The cow replies, “I know many vegetables who are very clear on that point sir, which was why it was decided to cut through that whole problem by breeding and animal that actually wanted to be eaten.”
Zaphod is hungry and exclaims, “Hey listen, we wanna eat, we don’t want to make a meal of the issues! We’ll have four rare stakes and hurry please!”
The cow seems satisfied, “A very wise choice, I’ll just nip off and shoot myself.” He glances over to Arthur and quips, “Don’t worry, I’ll be very humane.”
Max returns to the stage and delivers an eloquent and equally cheesy narrative to the beginning of the end (of the universe that is). This is a very slick presentation delivered menacingly by the actor Colin Jeavons (who is a heavyweight actor deserving of significant recognition in my humble opinion). He builds the audience up with a rendition of the finality of what they are about to witness.
“….Believe me, ladies and gentlemen, there is nothing penultimate about this one, this one, ladies and gentlemen, is the proverbial IT! After this there is Void, Emptiness…… Oblivion, Absolute….. n o t h i n g…….. except of course for the sweet trolley and our fine selection of Alderbran liqueurs…….”
He welcomes a few special parties including the devout believers from the Church of the Second Coming of the Prophet Zarquar. “….. Still waiting for the Second Coming huh? Well folks, lets hope he hurries, he’s got eight minutes left!”
Zaphods entertainment is interrupted by a phone call from Marvin! Our metal pal has been awaiting the fab fours return by acting as a car park attendant for the past few million years. Zaphod tells Marvin to stay there; he will be down in a moment. The paranoid android replies, “that makes two of us.”
Max explains the gradual boiling away of selected parts of the universe to the enthralled audience as Marvin and his pals meet up. Zaphod and Ford notice Hot Black’s spaceship and resolve to steel it. Marvin helps them break in by speaking the password, “abracadiodularservosystems”.
Max introduces the end of the Universe when suddenly a late visitor, the Great Prophet Zarquar, interrupts him. Max hands him the microphone, “Hello everybody, sorry I’m a bit late, I had a terrible time, all sorts of things cropping up at the last moment….. how are we for time?” Then the Universe explodes!
You might think that our palls and the hoopy robot were blown up too, but you would, of course, be wrong! There is still one more episode to see, see?
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The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy episode reviews are © 1999 – 2019 Tony Fawl. Not for reproduction without the authors express permission
The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy names, characters and everything else associated with the series are the property of The British Broadcasting Corporation & the Douglas Adams estate.