The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a television series that was originally broadcast in six episodes on the BBC in 1981. It is based on the original radio series of the same name and was broadcast on a weekly basis on BBC 2, starting on 5th January, 1981.
The series features much of the same cast as the radio series, with Simon Jones, Mark Wing-Davey and Stephen Moore reprising their roles as Arthur Dent, Zaphod Beeblebrox and Marvin respectively. Two notable casting changes were David Dixon replacing Geoffrey McGivern as Ford Prefect, and Sandra Dickinson replacing Susan Sheridan as Trillian. The voice of the Guide was provided by Peter Jones, who had also been the narrator of the radio series. The series saw a number of notable cameo roles, including Douglas Adams himself on several occasions.
- There were plans for a second television series, with a storyline, according to Alan Bell and Mark Wing-Davey, that would have been adapted from Adams' abandoned Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen project. This would have been instead of a TV version of the Secondary Phase of the radio series. However, Adams got into disputes with the BBC, and the second series was never made. The elements of the Doctor Who and the Krikketmen project instead became the third novel, Life, the Universe and Everything.
- In the book, Zaphod, Trillian, Ford and Arthur get to the Restaurant at the End of the Universe from Frogstar World B, teleported by the computer of the Heart of Gold, while in the TV series, they are somehow teleported there from Magrathea.
- The television series is the fifth iteration of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, following the original radio series, the first novel and double LP, and the stage shows.
- Similar to how the original radio series was praised for its sound effects, the TV series featured impressive graphics and went on to win a Royal Television Society Award as Most Original Programme of 1981, as well as several British Academy Television Awards for its graphics and editing.