Arthur Dent is still on the planet Hawalius, trying to find some good advice. He is directed by one prophet to visit the Old Woman in the Cave. When he goes to see her, she is standing in the cave, defending a dead goat from some outsized flies with a table-tennis bat. She is extremely smelly.
He asks her for advice, and she brings a photocopier out of her cave, with which she photocopies her life story, with all the major decisions she ever made underlined in red and cross-referenced. She then advises Arthur to do the complete opposite of everything she's ever done.
He then visits the Old Man on the Pole, who Arthur finds very confusing and only marginally more helpful than the woman in the cave. Arthur leaves the planet, but his spaceship has a major malfunction as they jump into hyperspace. It crashes.
On Earth, Tricia McMillan agrees to go with the Grebulons to Rupert and work out how to get astrology to work for them there, as all the angles will be different and they have forgotten, along with the rest of their memories, how to do trigonometry. In return, she gets to write a news story about them.
In the Guide offices, Zarniwoop askes Ford Prefect to be the Guide's new restaurant critic. He explains that there is a new Guide aimed at the people who can actually afford it - in other words, not hitchhikers. They plan to make one copy, and then sell it billions and billions of times.
Colin the Security Robot knocks Zarniwoop out, and then Ford steals his Ident-I-Eze card from him. He hacks into the accountancy system, which is a virtual world, using the Ident-I-Eze to pass the robot guards. He discovers Zaphod Beeblebrox in there, claiming he has been there for a month. He says that the events of the Tertiary Phase were just a distraction, and they have shrunk the Total Perspective Vortex and given it the voice of Lintilla to make the Guide Mark II.
Ford returns to Zarniwoop's office, but Zarniwoop has woken up and there are armed guards there. Ford and Colin jump out of the 23rd floor window in order to escape. Ford realises that Zarniwoop is in fact a Vogon.
Cast and charactersEdit
- The Book and narrator - William Franklyn
- Guide Mk. II Construct - Rula Lenska
- Arthur Dent - Simon Jones
- Ford Prefect - Geoffrey McGivern
- Zaphod Beeblebrox - Mark Wing-Davey
- Tricia McMillan - Sandra Dickinson
- Zarniwoop - Jonathan Pryce
- Colin the Security Robot - Andrew Secombe
- Old Man on the Pole - Saeed Jaffrey
- Old Woman in the Cave - Miriam Margolyes
- Stewardess - Lorelei King
- Grebulon Underling - Philip Pope
- Grebulon Lieutenant and Accountancy Bird - Michael Fenton Stevens
- Accountancy Bird - Danny Flint
- Accountancy Bird and elevator - Roger Gregg
- Announcer - John Marsh