Douglas Noel Adams (11 March 1952-11 May 2001) wrote the Doctor Who television stories The Pirate Planet and Shada. He co-wrote City of Death with producer Graham Williams under the pseudonym David Agnew. He was also script editor for Season 17. Having started his career as a contributor (and occasional bit player) for Monty Python's Flying Circus, he is most famous for creating The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which he wrote as a radio play and book while script editing for Doctor Who.
Adams is one of the few classic Doctor Who authors whose serials were never adapted into Target Books novelisations; this is reportedly because Adams was unwilling to do so himself, but also didn't like the idea of someone else writing them. However, the third novel of Hitchhiker's Guide, Life, The Universe and Everything, was originally intended to be a Doctor Who story entitled The Krikkitmen. After the story was ultimately rejected he rewrote the story to better fit his Hitchhiker's series: The Doctor was replaced with Slartibartfast, a planet designer from Magrathea; his TARDIS by the Starship Bistromath (which boasted a perception filter); and the Daleks by the Krikkiters. His unproduced TV story, meanwhile, was later adapted as a novel by James Goss and released by BBC Books, as well as novelisations of City of Death, The Pirate Planet (also by Goss), and Shada (novelised by Gareth Roberts).
Adams was friends, coworkers, and flatmates with John Lloyd. While Adams was working on Doctor Who, he asked Lloyd to submit a script for Season 17, which became The Doomsday Contract. The story was never finished due to Lloyd's other obligations. In 2021, Big Finish released an audio adaptation of the story written by Nev Fountain. Big Finish also released a trailer titled Tom Baker stars in John Lloyd's lost Doctor Who adventure, The Doomsday Contract to promote the audio, which was styled as an homage to the Hitchhiker's TV series.
His writings and style of humour has left a lasting impression on other writers. It can still be seen in the revived series, which included a reference to his creation Arthur Dent in The Christmas Invasion. In The Rings of Akhaten, when the Doctor was pointing out species to Clara, one of the species was the Hooloovoo, a species from his book, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Adams himself also inserted a reference to one of his characters, Oolon Colluphid, in the Season 17 story Destiny of the Daleks. The Snowmen features a storyline in which the Doctor retires from time travelling but keeps getting drawn into investigating a mystery that ultimately leads to his becoming reinvigorated and returning to his travels, a storyline idea previously proposed by Adams. Additionally, the episode Voyage of the Damned shares its main story concept - that of a starship which shares its name with that of RMS Titanic crashing into Earth - with that of Adams' 1998 video game Starship Titanic.
Adams is implied to be a part of the Doctor Who universe when the Sixth Doctor said that "my old friend Douglas" once said the response to the question, "What's wrong with getting drunk?" was, "You ask the glass of water." (AUDIO: The Wormery) Though the Doctor never gave this Douglas a surname, the line is clearly drawn from episode one of Hitchhiker's Guide, indirectly confirming Douglas Adams as a part of the DWU. Additionally, in the novelisation of Shada, Professor Chronotis claimed to have replaced The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey with a copy of "an Earth classic by one of the greatest writers in that planet's history" titled "The Hitch-...", at which point he is interrupted.
Additionally, in Ghost Light, the Seventh Doctor remarked rhetorically "Who was it said Earthmen never invite their ancestors round to dinner?" That was also a reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the exact quote being, "Earthmen are not proud of their ancestors, and never invite them round to dinner."
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