There is a theory which states that if anyone discovers exactly what the universe is and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
—Douglas Adams[src]

Douglas Noël Adams (11 March 1952 - 11 May 2001) was a celebrated British author, comic radio dramatist, and musician. He is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, adapted from his radio series of the same name.


Early Career[]

Douglas Adams wrote for radio, television, and theater, and worked at various times as a hospital porter, barn builder, chicken-shed cleaner, bodyguard, and radio producer. He worked as a contributor and bit player for Monty Python's Flying Circus, but first gained recognition for his work as a writer and script editor for Doctor Who at the BBC, for which he wrote the serials "The Pirate Planet", "City of Death", and "Shada", the latter of which was not completed at the time due to industry disputes.

Creating Hitchhiker's Guide[]

While working at the BBC, Adams found great success and praise for his work writing the satirical sci-fi radio series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in 1978, which he later turned into two celebrated novels, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. He later reworked one of his rejected Doctor Who storylines, "The Krikkitmen", into his third Hitchhiker's Guide novel, Life, the Universe and Everything, which was also celebrated, though not as widely known as the first two.

Hitchhiker's Guide was turned into a TV series and video game, both under Adams' supervision. He also penned two further Hitchhiker's Guide novels, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish and Mostly Harmless, and eventually authorised the first three Hitchhiker's Guide novels to be adapted to comic form by writer John Carnell and artists Steve Leialoha and Neil Vokes at DC Comics in the 1990s. In 1998, Adams wrote and designed the computer game Starship Titanic, a novel adaptation of which was released the same year, written by Monty Python alum and cast member of the game, Terry Jones.

Other Works[]

Adams also wrote the comedic detective novels Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. He also wrote the humorous false dictionary The Meaning of Liff with John Lloyd, as well as the non-fiction radio series and novel Last Chance to See in 1989. One of his final projects was the TV programme Hyperland, a documentary about computers presented by Doctor Who's Tom Baker and himself. Toward the end of his life, he was a sought-after lecturer on topics including technology and the environment.

Death and Legacy[]


One of the late Douglas Adams's famous quotes

In 2001, Douglas Adams tragically passed away from a heart attack at the age of 49, leaving his third Dirk Gently novel, The Salmon of Doubt, to be published unfinished posthumously, along with some notes and short stories he'd written. On May 25, two weeks after his death, Towel Day was created in his honour. In order to join in with this event, all you need to do is carry a towel and love Douglas Adams.

In the years following his death, Hitchhiker's Guide was turned into a a feature film, the radio series continued based on his remaining three books, author Eoin Colfer wrote a sixth novel, titled And Another Thing..., with the permission of Adams' widow, and Dirk Gently was adapted to television twice. In 2017, "Shada" was finally completed with animated segments for the portions not filmed and broadcast, and a year later, "The Krikkitmen" was given a direct novelisation by author James Gross. Adams is still one of the most widely revered science fiction authors in history.


Adams had several cameo appearances in the TV series, and his voice was used for the character Agrajag in the radio series, taken from his audiobook reading.



A young Douglas Adams.

As one of the drinkers in the background of the pub.

As the businessman who withdraws large sums of money from a bank,and then walks naked into the sea (the original actor for the part either called in sick, or was moving house that day); and one of the Sirius Cybernetic Marketing Division members.

As himself in a guide entry on "an important and popular fact".

He also appeared as himself in the Making of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy documentary.


As Agrajag

Tertiary Phase[]

Quintessential Phase[]


Behind the scenes[]

External links[]