Production 9
Direction 9
Characterisation 10
Storyline 10
Acting 9
Fun/Sexy/Cool 10

The Mice tell the story of how Earth is, in fact, a giant organic computer and Arthur is the only one left with the answer…. the answer to life the universe and evrything!

Summary 9.5 awesome
Production 10
Direction 10
Characterisation 8
Storyline 9
Acting 8
Fun/Sexy/Cool 9
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Summary 9.0 awesome

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Arthur is still astonished to find that the Mice are the ones that controlled the Earth. The story is told of how the Mice commissioned the Magratheans to develop and build the large organic computer (next generation Pentium I reckon) called Earth.

We learn of Deep Thought, the original supercomputer. This arrogant git of a computer was asked ‘what is the answer to the question of Life the Universe and everything?’ The computer took ages to come up with the answer, which is ‘42’ (you knew that didn’t you). Deep Thought was indeed full of crap, if it weren’t for the fact that computers can’t lie we’d have thought the big heap of junk was extracting the Michael!

The poor multidimensional-pleura-whatsit-bighead-intelligent-race-thingies that designed it were not too impressed with the answer. Deep Thought simply explained that it was working with a bloody stupid question! I mean, ‘what is the answer to life the universe and everything?’ Not exactly specific is it. Deep Thought was then asked if it could come up with a more specific question to the answer..

‘No.’ It said. Very clever that! The computer has been running a program for 7 million years and comes out with the answer 42 for which they don’t know the question! Deep Thought does however suggest a new computer to calculate the answer:

‘I speak of the computer that is to come after me, a computer hose merest operational parameters I am not worthy to calculate. Yet, I will design it for you (???!!! – Now that’s clever!). A computer that can calculate the answer to the ultimate question, a computer with infinite and subtle complexity that life itself will form part of it’s operational matrix! You yourselves shall take on new forms and go down to the computer to navigate it’’ ten million year program. I shall design such a computer and I shall call it Earth!’

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Then the show the goes into a protracted and complicated story about the Vl’hurds and the G’gugvunts. I have no idea why!

Startibardfast discusses the new Earth that is being build to replace the old one that was blow up by the Vogons. He hears a message over the public address system requesting his and the Earthmans presence in a sort of banqueting hall. He meets up with the gang and then notices two mice on the table. He jumps onto a chair and then realises that THEY are the hosts!

Apparently the hosts are Trillians pet mice that she took from Earth all those months ago. They look friendly enough now and are currently being very gracious hosts to the group! Startibardfast interrupts the introductions but is surreptitiously dismissed by the Mice. He is told that there will be no need for the new Earth after all! (Which is a great shame since he was just about to let loose a thousand glaciers across Africa).

The Mice explain to our heroes that Arthur was there right at the end – just before the Earth was blown to kingdom come. The mice feel that since the answer to Life the Universe and Everything was just about to be output as the Earth ended, and that Arthur was a small yet significant part of the Earth Computer Programme, that he may have the answer hiding in the deepest recesses of his brain.

The Mice offer to by it, not the question, Arthur’s Brain! Arthur quite rightly declines and the group, fearing the Mice taking no for an answer, decide to make a hasty retreat. Bunch of coward if you ask me! I mean, what harm can a couple of white mice do!? It’s hardly as if they would beat them up or anything!

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Just as they leave, a siren sounds and the PA makes an announcement “Emergency, Emergency, hostile Alien Police in Section 8A – Defence Stations – Defence Stations!Zaphod leads the retreat; he realises that the police are after him for the theft of the Infinite Improbability Drive. They run for their lives and end up in a sort of computer room. There they find the police (just lucky I suppose!). They try to escape but are fired at.
It turns out that the two policemen are really just caring, intelligent, sensitive, feeling and slightly effeminate pair of bastards! one of them tries to explain why they are gratuitously shooting at the fugitives.

…. You’re not dealing with any dumb trigger pumping morons with low hairlines little piggy eyes and no conversation! We’re a couple of caring intelligent guys that you’d probably like if you met us socially. I don’t go around gratuitously shooting people and then brag about it afterwards in seedy space rangers bars. I go around gratuitously shooting people and then I agonise about it later to my girlfriend.

The other one chips in, “And I write novels“.

The one with the piggy eyes and receding hairline continues….. “Yeah, he writes them in crayon.

Then the trigger-pumping moron concludes… “But I haven’t had any published yet. So I’d better warn you, I’m in a mean mood!

Trillian mentions that she thinks she preferred it when they were shooting. The sensitive, piggy morons open fire and the machine that they are hiding behind begins to heat up. Zaphod and Ford sing the Betelgeuse Death Anthem (“Things Can only Get Better”). And the machine that they were hiding behinds blows up!

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Do our heroes die? Is the story over?
– You will just have to wait until next weeks episode! –

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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, images and everything else associated with the series are the property of The British Broadcasting Corporation & Douglas Adams. All rights reserved.

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