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

In the Early days …. brave people dared to do brave deeds and go where no man had gone before. Pickings were rich and people got very rich indeed…. The saga moves to Magrathea

Summary 9.2 awesome
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Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy: Episode Three Review

In the Early days of the Galactic Empire things woz tough! Brave people dared to do brave deeds and go where no man had gone before. Pickings were rich and people got very rich indeed. In fact some were so rich that it seemed that there was nothing they couldn’t afford. Some were even rich enough to buy their own planet!

The opening scenes of this show involve a graphic representation of the above, and I’m hoping that you can forgive my waffling a little so that I can put as many illustrations of how lucky some of these rich geezers were. This particular lucky ugly fat rich geezer didn’t particularly like his planet (the sea was the wrong shade of pink!) – so he decided to buy another!

The Hitch Hikers Guide then tells us about the planet Magrathea, a planet which was able to make such items of luxury. As the galaxy eventually went into depression, Magrathea ceased trading and disappeared, it’s memory soon passed into legend, or as Ford put it, “A story hopeful parents tell their children when they want the to grow up to be economists.” I wouldn’t want my children to be economists! I’ve met some, they’re always broke!

On the ship the supercool Zaphod is trying to persuade Ford that he has found the ancient planet of Magrathea. Ford is unimpressed, but wrong! Zaphod orders the ship to land on the planet. Arthur is talking to Trillian, who is herself talking to her pet mice.

As the ship approaches, a rather cheap and old fashioned fanfare sounds and a holographic image of an old geezer appears in the middle of the Bridge. This scene is Great!

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The wobbly holographic old geezer says, “Greetings to you, this is a recorded announcement as I’m afraid we’re all out at the moment. The commercial council of Magrathea thanks you for your esteemed visit but regrets that the entire planet is temporarily closed for business. Please leave your name and the address of a planet where you can be contacted, kindly speak when you hear the tone…. {beep}”

Zaphod insists on them continuing towards the planets surface and almost immediately, the old rich hologeezer returns (a little more sarcastic than before), “It is most gratifying that your enthusiasm for our planet continues unabated, and so we would like to assure you that the guided missiles currently converging with your ship are part of a special service we extend to all of our most enthusiastic clients. The fully armed nuclear warheads are of course merely a courtesy of detail. We look forward to your custom in future lives. Thank you!

Much confusion is caused by the crew desperately trying to escape the missiles, the ships computer is jammed by Magrathea and it looks bad. In the end, after a whale and bowl of petunias die and Arthur sustains a bruise on his right arm (it’s a long story… get the video), the missiles become harmless and the ship eventually lands on the planets surface.

In all the confusion though, the mouse cage falls to the ground and we see a mouse eye view of Trillian discovering that her pets have escaped!

The lovely Trillian, cool Zaphod and Ford leave Arthur and Marvin on the surface while they go into an opening to investigate. The Magratheans lived underground, not because of pollution or bad weather conditions on the surface. Apparently they just liked living underground. And another thing! Don’t get any silly ideas that the only reason Zaphod wanted to go to the planet in the first place was because he believes that there are huge vaults of money just waiting to be liberated! He’s cool remember!?

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In fact even his sunglasses are cool! He puts then on as they enter the dark and spooky opening. “They are the wondrous DuoGenta, Superchromatic, Pyro-sensitive sunglasses which help you develop a relaxed attitude to danger! At the first hint of trouble they turn totally black and thus prevent you from seeing anything that might alarm you!” Sure enough, as they get to the end of the corridor the cool shades go Black.

Meanwhile, on the surface, Arthur and Marvin are watching the sunset – but not for long! Arthur just can’t stand talking to the maniacally depressed robot and wonders off. Soon after, he meets a tall white haired old geezer who looks almost exactly like the hohogeezer we saw earlier – In fact I reckon it WAS! (Not that it matters you understand).

Anyway, the old geezer encourages Arthur to go with him and they climb into a really hoopy looking bubble shaped transport and head underground. on their journey Arthur is shown a planet which looks very similar indeed to the Earth (he also learns that the white haired old geezer is called Slartibartfast!)

This was nothing to the revelation which was about to follow! Arthur learned that the Earth (that was) was commissioned to be built by…. (are you sat down) … by…… (I can’t say it)….. by…. The MICE!!!

Yep mice! A race of multi dimensional beings who constructed the earth as a sort of organic computer and observed it’s programme output by pretending to be lab animals. The Earth was destroyed five minutes before the completion of the purpose for which it was built. The Magratheans have therefore been woken up to build another one.

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What a revelation! Arthur is more than a little surprised.

Discuss this episode in the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy Forum

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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