You think you've got problems? What are you supposed to do if you are a manically depressed robot? No, don't try to answer that. I'm fifty thousand times more intelligent than you and even I don't know the answer. It gives me a headache just trying to think down to your level.
—Marvin to Arthur Dent[src]

Marvin was an incredibly intelligent but overwhelmingly depressed robot manufactured by the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation and unwilling ally of the crew of the Heart of Gold, traveling with them across the galaxy through many crises for years, and traveling through time on more than one occasion.



Marvin was manufactured by the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, built with a blinding intelligence and a prototype version of the Genuine People Personality software, which allowed him the capacity for complex thought and feelings.[1]

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Final Days[]

Your plastic pal who's fun to be with!

By the end of So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish, Marvin ends up on planet Preliumtarn, where he meets Arthur and Fenchurch for the last time. Multiple instances of time travel shenanigans have left Marvin no less than thirty-seven times older than the universe itself. His various body parts, now rusted and barely functional, have been replaced at least fifty times each (except, ironically, all the diodes down his left side). With Arthur and Fenchurch's help, Marvin arrives at the mountain where God's final message to the universe was written: "We Apologise for the Inconvenience." After reading this, Marvin remarks "I think I feel good about it," and finally dies.


Marvin the robot has a prototype version of the Genuine People Personality (GPP) software from SCC, allowing him sentience and the ability to feel emotions and develop a personality. He's also incredibly smart, having a "brain the size of a planet" capable of computing extremely complex mathematics, as well as solving difficult problems and operating high-tech devices.

However, despite being so smart, Marvin is typically made to perform menial tasks and labour such as escorting people, opening doors, picking up pieces of paper, and other tasks well beneath his skills. Even extremely hard tasks, such as computing for the vast Krikkit robot army, are trivial for Marvin. All this leaves him extremely bored, frustrated, and overwhelmingly depressed. Because of this, all modern GPP-capable machines, such as Eddie the computer and the Heart of Gold's automatic doors, are programmed to be extremely cheerful and happy, much to Marvin's disgust.


Arthur Dent and Marvin on Magrathea, as seen in the 1981 TV series.

Marvin hates everyone and everything he comes into contact with, having no respect for anybody and will criticise and insult others at any opportunity, or otherwise rant and complain for hours on end about his own problems, such as the terrible pain he suffers in all the diodes down his left side. His contempt for everyone is often justified, as almost every person he comes across, even those who consider him a friend, (such as Arthur and Trillian, who treat him more kindly than Ford and Zaphod) treat Marvin as an expendable servant, even sending him to his death more than once (such as when Zaphod ordered Marvin to fight the gigantic, heavy-duty Frogstar Scout Robot Class D so he could escape). Being a robot, he still does what he's told (he won't enjoy it, nor will he let you forget it, but he'll do it anyway), though he'd much rather sulk in a corner by himself.

Several times in the series Marvin ends up alone and isolated for extremely long periods of time, sometimes spanning millions of years, either by sheer bad luck (such as the explosion that propelled everyone but Marvin to Milliways in the far-off future) or because his unpleasantly depressing personality drives them away or, in more than one case, makes them commit suicide. In his spare time (which he has a lot of), Marvin will attempt to occupy himself by composing songs and writing poetry. Of course, none of them are particularly cheerful, or even that good.


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  • Marvin continually states that his brain is the size of a planet. And that he has a terrible pain in all the diodes down his left side.
  • The crew of the Heart of Gold are trying to discover the question to life the universe and everything, that was being calculated by a computer the size of a planet. Marvin is trying to hint that he is able to tell them the question, or at least calculate the question, but they never ask.
  • Marvin wrote a lullaby called "How I Hate the Night", described as "a short dolorous ditty of no tone, or indeed tune."[2]
Now the world has gone to bed,
Darkness won't engulf my head,
I can see by infra-red,
How I hate the night,
Now I lay me down to sleep,
Try to count electric sheep,
Sweet dream wishes you can keep,
How I hate the night.


  • Stephen Moore also recorded four single songs as the Marvin character, release on two 45 rpm records. These were "Marvin" and "Metal Man," followed by "Marvin, I Love You" and "Reasons To Be Miserable." The female vocals for "Marvin, I Love You" were provided by Kimi Wong.
  • Douglas Adams told that Marvin was intended to be a minor joke, but after the robot's voice actor was hired he eventually had to write some script for him from time to time.
  • During early production of the TV version, Douglas Adams envisaged Marvin as a man painted silver. This idea was vetoed by producer Alan Bell.
  • During the scene in the film where Arthur is making his way through the queue to get Trillian released, he passes by a robot and does a double-take. The robot is the TV version of Marvin.