Episodes

  • Join Mark and the Jons as they finish up the last of the Zs in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Zaphod Beeblebrox Zaphod Beeblebrox is – or was – President of the Imperial Galactic Government. His favourite mother is Alice Beeblebrox, of 108 Astral Cresent, Zoofroozelchester, Betelgeuse V. Zaphod’s great grandfather is Zaphod Beeblebrox the Fourth. He grew an extra arm for Trillian, which took him six months. Zarniwoop Hidden away in a pocket universe, and played by Jonathan Price, Zarniwoop is the guy who concocted the plan, with Zaphod, to steel the Heart of Gold, in order to find out who really rules the universe. Zarquon The second coming of the great prophet Zarquon is highly anticipated, and finally happens at Milliways, just before the universe goes down the plug hole. “Holy Zarquon’s singing fish!” is an expression of surprise and alarm Zaphod uses when he falls out of the giant cup on Brontitall. Zentalquabula On Zentalquabula are found ancient alabastrum quarries. An elegant terrace on one of the planets that was home to the Guide, was carved from this stone.

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  • Join Mark, Jon and Danny as they saunter into the Z section of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Wormhole Disco The place Zaphod and Roosta transport themselves to is the Wormhole Disco, which might as well have been called the Placeholder Club. In this disco there are nozels on the wall that spray the smell of hot sweat over everything, and the place is packed with dancing robots. Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged was – indeed, is – one of the Universe’s very small number of immortal beings. He’d had his immortality thrust upon him by an unfortunate accident with an irrational particle accelerator, a liquid lunch and a pair of rubber bands. The precise details of the accident are not important because no one has ever managed to duplicate the exact circumstances under which it happened, and many people have ended up looking very silly, or dead, or both, trying. He was played by Toby Longworth in the radio series, and he’s made it his mission to insult every little being in the universe, just for something to do. Xanthic Re-Structron Destabilised Zenon Emitters The Xanthic Re-Structron Destabilised Zenon Emitter is just one of those throwaway lines Adams tossed in to a conversation between two robots. But if you put that combination of words into the Internet, you get this interesting question, which I’m going to pose to Danny: If there was a drone in the sky directing some type of microwave energy into your house, would you report it to the officials or not? Ysllodins Ysllodins is the star around which most of the Galaxy’s major insurance underwriters live, or rather lived. As far as I can tell, this one isn’t real. Zamphuor Zamphuor is an unknown ingredient to add when mixing a pangalactic gargleblaster. Zansellquasure Flamarion Bridge Club from beyond the Vortvoid of Qvarne The Zansellquasure Flamarion Bridge Club from beyond the Vortvoid of Qvarne is a party that dines at Miliways, the restaurant at the end of the universe.

  • Join Mark, Jon and Danny as they traverse the W section of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Wave harmonic theory of historical perception Reason not withstanding, the universe continues unabated. Its history is terribly long and awfully difficult to understand, even in its simpler moments which are, roughly speaking, the beginning and the end. The wave harmonic theory of historical perception, in its simplest form, states that history is an illusion caused by the passage of time, and that time is an illusion caused by the passage of history. It also states that one’s perception of these illusions is conditioned by three important factors: who you are; where you are; and when you last had lunch with Zaphod Beeblebrox. Whales A short-lived sperm whale was brought about by the Improbability Drive on one of its first hops along the probability access. Where God Went Wrong and Who is this God Person Anyway? Where God Went Wrong is, presumably, Oolon Colluphid’s first blockbuster heretical hit, and part of a trilogy that comprises this, Some More of God’s Greatest Mistakes – which you can hear about us talk in season 4, episode 2 – and Who is this God Person Anyway?. William Franklyn William Franklyn played the Guide in the remaining three radio series, after the death of the original voice, Peter Jones. Wise Old Bird The Wise Old Bird was pllayed by John le Mesurier in the second radio series. Arthur meets him on Brontital where he explains the history of the bird people, who fled the shoe event horizon, shunning their shoes and taking to the skies, vowing never to set foot on the ground again.

  • Join Mark, Jon and Danny as they traverse the V section of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Vogon constructor fleets Here is what to do if you want to get a lift from a Vogon: forget it. They are one of the most unpleasant races in the Galaxy – not actually evil, but bad tempered, bureaucratic, officious and callous. They wouldn’t even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal without orders signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat and recycled as firelighters. The best way to get a drink out of a Vogon is to stick your finger down his throat, and the best way to irritate him is to feed his grandmother to the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal. Vogon poetry Vogon poetry is the third worst poetry in the universe. Vogsphere Many, many light years from earth lies the grim and long abandoned planet, Vogsphere. Somewhere on a fetid, fog-bound mud bank on this planet there stands, surrounded by the dirty, broken and empty carapaces of the last few jeweled scuttling crabs, a small stone monument which marks the place, where it is thought, the species Vogon Vogonblurtus first arose. On the monument there is carved an arrow which points away into the fog, under which are inscribed in plain, simple letters the words “The buck stops there.” Volluing For the meaning of the word “vollue”, buy a copy of Squornshellous Swamptalk at any remaindered bookshop, or alternatively buy The Ultra-Complete Maximegalon Dictionary, as the University will be very glad to get it off their hands and regain some valuable parking lots. Vroomfondel Vroomfondel is a philosopher from Cruxwan University. In the radio series he was played by Jim Broadbent. Walkmen For some reason, Ford throws a bunch of Walkmens out to the crowds thronging around the ship that lands on Earth, in Mostly Harmless.

  • Join Mark and the Jons as they traverse the V section of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, with a quick final stop-off at U. Uncertain Areas “Wild horses thundered through the sky taking fresh supplies of reinforced railings to the Uncertain Areas”. That’s a line from the popular book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to teh Galaxy, and it describes a thing that happens aboard the starship Heart of Gold, when Ford andn Arthur are brought on-board. Ursa Minor Ursa Minor Beta is, some say, one of the most appalling places in the known Universe. Although it is excruciatingly rich, horrifyingly sunny and more full of won derfully exciting people than a pomegranate is of pips, it can hardly be insignificant that when a recent edition of Playbeing magazine headlined an article with the words “When you are tired of Ursa Minor Beta you are tired of life”, the suicide rate quadrupled overnight. The Most Gratuitous Use of the Word ‘Fuck’ in a Serious Screenplay is an award you can win at the Ursa Minor Alpha Recreational Illusions Institute Awards. The trophy is the silver bail from the Wikkit Key. Vann Harl Vann Harl is the Guide editor that took over from Stagyar-zil-Doggo, and a canonical nightmare. In the Quintessential Phase of the radio series, Vann Harl and Zarniwhoop – who we’ll cover later – are the same person, but to my recollection that was not the case in Quintessential Phase, the book the series was based on. Veet Voojagig Veet Voojagig was a quiet young student at the University of Maximegalon, who pursued a brilliant academic career studying ancient philology, transformational ethics and the wave harmonic theory of historical perception, and then, after a night of drinking Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters with Zaphod Beeblebrox, became increasingly obsessed with the problem of what had happened to all the biros he’d bought over the past few years. Vegan Rhino Cutlets of vegan rhino meat are served by the mice to the humans, on Magrathea. Viltvodle VI The Jatravartid people of Viltvodle VI believe that the entire Universe was sneezed out of the nose of a being called the Great Green Arkleseizure. In the film, we meet Humma Kavula, who appoints himself a priest of the Jatravartid religion. Viv Viv is a planet with vicious sea creatures. It appears in Mostly Harmless and that’s all we have to go on. Vl’hurgs The Vl’hurgs are mortal enemies of the G’Gugvuntts. Vod Vod is presumably the planet where Judiciary Pag is from. It has three suns, and I say “presumaby” because we see him relax in his chambers on Vod, but don’t actually know if that’s his home planet.

  • Join Mark, Jon and Danny as they clear the T section of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Tri-D Tri-D is Adams’ allusion to some sort of 3D TV, and is distinct from Five-D, the sub-etha, the Sense-o-Tape, the Hall of Informational Illusions and whatever other technology he created to show things to characters. Triganic Pu The Triganic Pu is a form of galactic currency. Its exchange rate of eight Ningis to one Pu is simple enough, but since a Ningi is a triangular rubber coin six thousand eight hundred miles across each side, no one has ever collected enough to own one Pu. Ningis are not negotiable currency because the Galactibanks refuse to deal in fiddling small change. Trillian Trillian is a beautiful astrophysicist, with the real name Tricia McMillan. She’s played by Susan Sheridan in the radio series, and by Zooey Deschanel in the film. She manages to convince the masters of Krikkit not to destroy the universe, and she learned how to maneuver around Hyde Park Corner on a moped. On an Earth that was never destroyed by the Vogons, Tricia McMillan attempts to get a job with the NBS network in New York, as an anchor on the US/AM breakfast show. She regrets going back for her bag when first meeting Zaphod at that famous party in Islington. She failed the screen test for the network because she decided not to go back for her bag, thus not bringing her contact lenses which she needed to read the script and autocue. When taken to the planet Rupert by the Grebulons, she films the encounter and figures she must have faked it as part of an elabourate nervous breakdown or halicination. Trin Tragula “Have some sense of proportion” Trin Tragula’s wife would often say, so he built the Total Perspective Vortex, just to show her. And in one end he plugged the whole of reality, as extrapolated from a fairy cake, and in the other end he plugged his wife, where the shock annihilated her brain. Turlingdrome Turlingdrome. It’s a swear word. We don’t have a definition but it appears to be a derogatory term for a person, possibly a stupid person. There’s a creative design firm in Cincinnati who’ve chosen Turlingdrome as their name, which sounds like it might be a bit like calling your company Shithead.

  • Join Mark, Jon and Danny as they traverse the T section of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Tea and Douglas What JB said about kettles isn’t entirely inaccurate, according to an American friend of Mark’s, who also has a lovely story to tell about Douglas Adams. Thor Thor is a thunder god. Arthur picks a fight with him over Trillian at an airborne party. Time Traveller’s Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations One of the major problems encountered in time travel is not that of accidentally becoming your own father or mother, but is quite simply one of grammar, and the main work to consult in this matter is Dr Dan Streetmentioner’s Time Traveller’s Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations. Total Perspective Vortex When you are put into the Total Perspective Vortex you are given just one momentary glimpse of the entire unimaginable infinity of creation, and somewhere in it a tiny little marker, a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot, which says “You are here.” The man who invented it did so basically in order to annoy his wife who used to complain about him not having enough perspective. Towels You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal; you can wave it in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course you can dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough. Towel day events If you’re in the Cambridge on the 25th May, you can go on a Douglas Adams walk hear a talk by the two remaining members of Adams’ sketh cgroup See some Towel Day standup Find more info at http://towelday.org. Transtellar Cruise Lines Transtellar Cruise Lines ran a liner that kept a ship in stasis for 900 years while awaiting a compliment of lemon-soaked paper napkins. Fact-fans – or pedants, as they’re more commonly known – wil know that an alternative version of the company name is Trans-Stellar Space Lines.

  • Join Mark and the Jons as they traverse the [letter] section of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Sun dive Hotblack Deseato’s band has a completely black stunt ship that dives into the sun on Kakrafoon, as part of the climax of a gig. Susan Sheridan Susan Sheridan played Trillian in the radio series. She died in 2015, but had a good career as a voice actor with credits including Budgie the Little Helecopter and Jimbo (a personal favourite). We’re going to talk about Trillian in a few weeks, but for now, consider our caps doffed. Swut Swut is a swear word. Tea Tea is a substance that can be used to power a Finite Imrobability Generator, or for confusing a machine into giving you a substance that’s almost – but not quite – indistinguishable from it. It is now available in most megamarkets, in easy-to-swallow capsules. Teasers A teaser is usually a rich kid with nothing to do. They cruise around looking for planets which haven’t made interstellar contact yet and “buzz” them, which involves strutting back and forth with silly antenni on their heads and making “beep beep” noises. Tempophone The Tempophone is – presumably – a telephone that can make calls across various times. Ford advises Arthur never to call himself up from the future. Terry Jones Terry Jones played a parrot in the Starship Titanic video game, and wrote a book called Starship Titanic, based on a video game, but apparently in a different universe from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Seems like something we should address, really. Anyhow, he plays a parrot because Adams had discussed with Jones that most of the characters he played in Monty Python sketches and films sounded like parrots.

  • Join Mark, Jon and Danny as they traverse the S section of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Strag A strag is a non-hitchhiker. Given that we’ve discussed the idea of the hitchhiker as a class of person, Strangulous Stilettans of Jajazikstak The Strangulous Stilettans of Jajazikstak are mortal enemies of the Silastic Armourfiends of Striterax. Strateej-o-Mat The Strateej-o-Mat is a strategy aparatus on the Grebulon ship, that will only follow the commnads of the Chief Strategic Officer. Strenuous Garfighters of Stug The Strenuous Garfighters of Stug are mortal enemies of the Silastic Armourfiends of Striterax. Sub-Cyclic Normality Assert-i-Tron A Sub-Cyclic Normality Assert-i-Tron is a marvellous device for counteracting the effects of the Infinite Improbability Drive. Sub-Etha Net The Sub-Etha Net is basically the galactic Internet. Given that the sub-eta radio band existed first, I think this is a pretty good name, considering ethernet is already a thing. Sub-Etha News-Matics The Sub-Etha News-Matic is a kind of space Twitter. Sub-Etha Sens-o-Matic The Sub-Etha Sens-o-Matic is a device that scans for signals from spacecraft. On prehistoric Earth, Ford detects eddies in the spacetime continuum and with Arthur, catches a lift through time on a Chesterfield sofa.

  • Join Mark, Jon and Danny as they traverse the S section of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. We dedicate this episode to Jeremy Hardy, who died last week. The Great Ventilation and Telephone Riots of SrDt 3454 These riots led to three important events, which we’ll go through in turn, but it’s basically all the fault of a ventilation system called the Breathe-o-Smart, which was absolutely guaranteed to never, ever, ever, go wrong; so much so that the company demanded all customers seal shut all the windows in buildings that used it. So, on that note… Every piece of technology of whatever stripe is required, on SrDt 3454, to carry the following legend, embossed somewhere on its surface, regardless of its size: The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong, is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong, it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair. The actual riots were caused by three things: a press release from the manufacturers of the Breathe-o-Smart ventilation system suggesting that best results are achieved in temperate climates a particularly hot day on SrDt, and the employees of a telephone company taking to the streets in a demonstration against their corporate overlords (which we’ll come to in a bit) Any employee of the aforesaid telephone company, called BS&S, is permitted to say, once an hour, “Use BS&S and die”, after dealing with so many idiotic customers over the phone drove them mad. This was a direct result of the protest they had, which clashed with the office workers using the faulty Breathe-o-Smart. Stagyar-zil-Doggo Stagyar-zil-Doggo is an editor of the Hitchhiker’s Guide. Starship Titanic Many speak of the legendary and gigantic Starship Titanic, a majestic and luxurious cruise-liner launched from the great shipbuilding asteroid complexes of Artifactovol some hundreds of years ago now, and with good reason. Very much in keeping with today’s episode, this spaceship was built in such a way to ensure that it would be infinitely improbable that anything would go wrong, so unsurprisingly when it attempted its first pre-launch radio transmission, it suffered a spontaneous total existence failure. Terry Jones, as we’ve discussed before, wrote the Starship Titanic book and played a parrot in the video game by the same name, produced by Adams’ Digital Village. Stavro Meuller - Beta Stavro Meuller is a Greek serial entrepreneur with a German father and two clubs – that we know about – to his mixed-heritage name. Both clubs share his name, but it’s only the second one – Stavro Meuller: Beta, or Stavromula Beta – that really matters for our purposes. It’s where Arthur was supposed to be assasinated, and where he, Ford, Random, Trillian and Tricia meet towards the end of Mostly Harmless, just before the Earth is finally destroyed again. The building number is 42. Stephen Fry Stephen Fry narrated the first audiobook, played the book in the film and cameoed as a journalist in the radio series. He was a friend of Adams and wrote about him in his second memoir. Stephen Moore Played - Marvin - the sperm whale - the man in the shack - Gag Halfrunt - a vogon guard in the radio series, and Marvin and the whale in the TV series

  • Join Mark, Jon and Danny as they continue with the S section of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Slim’s Throat Emporium Slim’s Throat Emporium is a bar Ford and Hotblack Desiato used to crash, pretending to be health inspectors. Slo-Time The planet of Krikkit was to be enclosed for perpetuity in an envelope of Slo-Time, inside which life would continue almost infinitely slowly. All light would be deflected round the envelope so that it would remain invisible and impenetrable. Escape from the envelope would be utterly impossible unless it were locked from the outside. When the rest of the Universe came to its final end and life and matter ceased to exist, then the planet of Krikkit and its sun would emerge from the envelope and continue a solitary existence, such as it craved, in the twilight of the Universal void. Somebody Else’s Problem field The Somebody Else’s Problem field is simple and effective, and can be run for over a hundred years on a single torch battery. This is because it relies on people’s natural disposition not to see anything they don’t want to, weren’t expecting, or can’t explain. If Effrafax the magician had painted the mountain pink and erected a cheap and simple SEP field on it instead of trying to make it disappear, then people would have walked past it, round it, even over it, and simply never have noticed that the thing was there. Some More of God’s Greatest Mistakes Oolon Colluphid’s book Some More of God’s Greatest Mistakes is the second in his trilogy of heretical works. Southend “When I was young I used to have this nightmare about dying”, says Arthur aboard the starship Heart of Gold. “I used to lie awake at night screaming. All my friends went to either Heaven or Hell and I was sent to Southend!” Sqornshellous Sqornshellous Beta is where cushions come from. Sqornshellous Zeta where matresses cine from. Marvin ends up stranded here after the Disaster Area stunt ship our heroes hijacked smashes into the heart of a sun. There are other planets in the Sqornshellous, but they aren’t cannon.

  • Mark and the Jons are back off their Christmas break and ready to continue through the S section of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Silastic Armorfiends of Striterax The best way to pick a fight with a Silastic Armorfiends of Striterax was just to be born. They didn’t like it, they got resentful. And when an Armorfiend got resentful, someone got hurt. They were the first race who ever managed to shock a computer. The computer in question was Hactar, and they commissioned him to build an ultimate weapon, which almost led to the destruction of the galaxy, again. Simon Brett Simon Brett produced the pilot of the radio show, and has produced episodes of other radio classics like I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue and Just a Minute. He now writes detective fiction and had a book made into a film starring Michael Caine. Simon Jones Simon Jones played Arthur in the radio and TV series, and the Magrathean security hologram in the film. He’s appeared in lots of little bits of telly over the years, and was a dear friend of Douglas. Sirius B Max Quordlepleen welcomes a group of young conservatives from Sirius B, to Milliways on the night our heroes turn up. Sirius Cybernetics Corporation The Sirius Cybernetics Corporation were bunch of mindless jerks who were the first against the wall when the revolution came. Slartibartfast Slartibartfast is a planetary architect, who won an award for his wrk on Norway. Played by Richard Vernon in the first two radio series and the TV series, and by Richard Griffiths in the third radio series. On Earth, Ford and Arthur find his signature on a glacier. He picks Ford and Arthur up in his Somebody Else’s Problem shielded ship so they can join his mission with the Campaign for Real Time, and he has a name that sounds a bit like a swearword.

  • Join Mark, Danny and the Jons as they ring in 2019 with a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy pub quiz, in which every single round – every single one – is completely and 100% to do with the Douglas Adams sci-fi universe.

  • Join Mark, Jon and Danny as they continue traversing the S section of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Sens-o-Tape Sens-o-Tape is another piece of VR equipment. In the first book, Arthur gets strapped into a machine that shows him how the Magratheans discovered the Ultimate Answer. Sesefras Magna Sesefras Magna is a planet around which Ford is orbiting when he hooks up a ship to the Speaking Clock on Earth, and where Xaxisians dock their battle fleet. Its sun is Zondostina, known to Sesefrasians as Pleiades Zeta. Orbiting the planet are Epum, its small and blue moon, and the space port, Port Sesefron, from which Zaphod once bought a pair of spray-on pants. Share and Enjoy “Share and Enjoy” is the company motto of the hugely successful Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Complaints division, which now covers the major land masses of three medium sized planets and is the only part of the Corporation to have shown a consistent profit in recent years. Shoe Event Horizon Many years ago Brontitall – or Frogstar World B, delete as appropriate – was a thriving, happy planet. Except that on the high streets of these cities there were slightly more shoe shops than one might have thought necessary. And slowly the numbers of these shops increased, until it became no longer economically possible to build anything other than shoe shops, resulting collapse, ruin and famine. Shorbut Sweet Shorbut Sweet – AKA Succ-U-Bus – is a robot that dispenses post on the Starship Titanic, played by Douglas Adams, who basically just had to cough into a microphone. Siderial Daily Mentioner Arthur and his friends pick up a journalist from the Siderial Daily Mentioner, who was “half-mad” after witnessing Prak do his “whole truth” bit. One of the Trillians also worked for the Mentioner.

  • Join Mark, Jon and Danny as they traverse the S section of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Saquo-Pilia Hensha King Antwelm made a famous assumption that what everybody wanted, all other things being equal, was to be happy and enjoy themselves and have the best possible time together. On his death he had willed his entire personal fortune to financing an annual festival to remind everyone of this, with lots of good food and dancing and very silly games like Hunt the Wocket. His Assumption had been such a brilliantly good one that he was made into a saint for it. Now, the people of Saquo-Pilia Hensha hold an annual feast of the Assumption of St Antwelm. Sass Sass means “to know, meet, have sex with”. Science “Let’s be straight here”, says an earth scientist, at a press conference discussings Rob Mckenna. “If we find something we can’t understand we like to call it something you can’t understand, or indeed pronounce. I mean if we just let you go around calling him a Rain God, then that suggests that you know something we don’t, and I’m afraid we couldn’t have that. No, first we have to call it something which says it’s ours, not yours, then we set about finding some way of proving it’s not what you said it is, but something we say it is.” Scrabble Arthur tries to get the indigenous people of Earth to play Scrabble, and then discovers he can pull letters out of his homemade Scrabble bag to find the answer to the Ultimate Question. He pulls out the question “What do you get if you multiply six by nine?” Séance Zaphod, Ford and Arthur hold a séance – you see? – to speak to Zaphod’s great-grandfather. One of the great gags you get in the radio series is an actual dial tone followed by a bunch of bleeps as the call connects. Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha is, as its name suggests, a plural zone. It’s also where the Earth lives – sometimes – and anyone born here is advised not to travel via hyperspace. It’s also the name of a big Hitchhiker’s fan club.

  • Join Mark and the Jons as they finish up the R section of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and make a move on the Ss. Rula Lenska Rula Lenska plays Lintilla and her clones, and the Guide in bird form in the radio series. Russell Russell is Fenchurch’s brother. To Arthur’s mind, the name Russell always suggested burly men with blond moustaches and blow-dried hair, who would at the slightest provocation start wearing velvet tuxedos and frilly shirtfronts and would then have to be forcibly restrained from commentating on snooker matches. RW6 The RW6 is a sexy and beautiful ship, and the sort of thing you only saw in the sort of magazines that were designed to provoke civil unrest. Jon Bounds, what sort of magazine is that? Rymplon™ Rymplon™ is a new synthetic fabric which was terrific for space travel because it looked its absolute best when it was all creased and sweaty. Sandwiches There is a feeling which persists in England that making a sandwich interesting, attractive, or in any way pleasant to eat is something sinful that only foreigners do. “Make ’em dry” is the instruction buried somewhere in the collective national consciousness, “make ’em rubbery. If you have to keep the buggers fresh, do it by washing ’em once a week.” Santraginus V Santraginus V is a marble-beached planet where you get seawater for a pangalactic gargleblaster, and where the fish never seem to care whatever the heck kind of direction they swim in. “Oh, that Santraginean seawater” says the Guide. “Oh, those Santraginean fish!” The drummer for Disaster Area went mad and made friends with a rock there.

  • Join Mark, Jon and Danny as they traverse the R section of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Reverse temporal engineering Reverse temporal engineering is a new technology of “unfiltered perception”, which is a marvellous way of making anything you want to have happen, happen, without all that tedious mucking about with probability drives or Italian waiters. Danny, is there a name for the kind of thing you add to a sci-fi or fantasy universe that can just solve any problem? Is it a deus ex machina or is that something else? [I know it’s something else, but I’m assuming you know what I mean! I also wanted to not give this one to Jon for a change] Richard Vernon Richard Vernon played Slarti in the radio and TV series. He was born on the same day I was, and if he were still alive, he’d be celebrating his 94th birthday. But he died 21 years ago. River Moth The river Moth is, well, a river. It is, as previously described, slow and heavy, and if you make a raft to sail down it, you can use a towel as a, well, sail. And that’s about all we know of the River Moth. Satire The panel discusses the Hitchhiker’s Guide’s place in the pantheon of sature. Rob McKenna Rob McKenna is a rain god, with 231 different categorisations of rain documented in his little book. All he knew was that his working days were miserable and he had a succession of lousy holidays. All the clouds knew was that they loved him and wanted to be near him, to cherish him, and to water him. He’s played by Bill Paterson in the radio series, and he’s a rather dreary chap. Room of Informational Illusions The Room of Informational Illusions is a deck on the Starship Bistromath that basically equates to another version of VR, like the Sense-o-Tapes from the original book. Roosta Roosta rescued Zaphod from Ursa Minor Beta during the bombing of Megadodo Publications. He’s played by Alan Ford in the radio series, which probably makes him the galaxy’s resident wideboy. He has a towel which contains a number of flavourings, chemicals and other substances that you can ingest by sucking a particular end.

  • Mark and Jon Hickman welcome Danny back to the Leopard with an episode in which we pull out random letters from the Scrabble bag. Warning: your mother would not approve of you listening to this episode. We discuss feedback from Twitter and email, educate Danny on the Baby Shark phenomenon, learn more about the Mandela effect, and Jon continues to make fun of Mark for liking heavily-detailed Swedish crime-fiction. We also look into staffing and casting a hypothetical Random Dent TV series, Jon reads some spam and Mark talks about being scared by VR.

  • Join Mark and the Jons as they continue through the R section of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Radiophonic Workshop The Radiopohinc Workshop was a BBC department that mae music and noises for BBC programmes, originally for radio and then for TV too. Arguably their most famous contribution is the Doctor Who theme. They were formed in 1958 and carried on for another 40 years until John Birt, the then Director General shut them down as they weren’t profitable enough. Random Dent Random Dent is Arthur’s daughter, mothered by Trillian from sperm donated by Arthur in order to travel around the Galaxy. She’d been born in a spaceship that had been going from somewhere to somewhere else, and when it had got to somewhere else, somewhere else had only turned out to be another somewhere that you had to get to somewhere else again from, and so on. Ratchet screwdriver fruit Once picked, ratchet screwdriver fruit needs a dark dusty drawer in which it can lie undisturbed for years. Then one night it suddenly hatches, discards its outer skin which crumbles into dust, and emerges as a totally unidentifiable little metal object with flanges at both ends and a sort of ridge and a sort of hole for a screw. This, when found, will get thrown away. No one knows what it is supposed to gain from this. Nature, in her infinite wisdom, is presumably working on it. Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal The ravenous bugblatter beast of Traal is a mind-bogglingly stupid animal with a gaping mass of slavering fangs. You can easily fool it by putting your hands over your eyes, because it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you. The Reason One night, a spaceship appeared in the sky of the planet Dalforsas, which had never seen one before. The tribesmen who saw it swore that they’d seen a sign from their gods which meant that they must now arise and slay the evil Princes of the Plains, who likewise had seen the sign and assumed it to be an order to kill the tribesmen. This sort of thing happened a lot, as pretty much eeryone on the planet took everything that happened as some sort of sign. This was mainly a problem for the forest dwellers who lived where the battle would inevitably and repeatedly take place. Whenever the forest dwellers complained and asked why their forest needed to be destroyed yet again, someone from either side would tell them the Reason, in very calm and rational tones. The forest messenger would nod dumbly and walk back to his tribe, where he’d try to explain this very sensible Reason, only to have completely forgotten it. Reg Nullify Reg Nullify leads the Cataclysmic Combo band at Milliways. He can be a little proactive on the drums, if Max Quordlepleen is any judge.