The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was a play that Romana II once chose to attend over A Midsummer Night's Dream. She called it a comparatively "much more useful play, and much funnier too". (PROSE: A Midsummer's Nightmare)

Professor Chronotis seemingly once replaced The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey in the Panopticon Archives with a book, "an Earth classic by one of the greatest writers in that planet's history". Chronotis then went on to say "... terribly funny, terribly thoughtful, wish I could remember the name of it, something about thumbing a lift, and there were towels in it ... oh yes, of course, it's called The Hitch—" before being interrupted. (PROSE: Shada)

In the TARDIS library, Chris Cwej found a twentieth-century paperback that used the phrase "Mostly Harmless". This struck him as a good summation of how the Seventh Doctor and Roz Forrester had thought of him early in their travels, before they got to know him. Cwej was unsure whether the book had been fiction or non-fiction. (PROSE: Damaged Goods)

Behind the scenes[]

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Origins of the Universe in a promo shot for Silence in the Library.[1]

Lines and characters from Hitchhiker's have appeared in Doctor Who, often with the intent that the two franchises share a universe.

Real world connections[]

Hitchhiker's creator Douglas Adams wrote a number of Doctor Who serials and served as its script editor for Season 17. Consequently, lines from Hitchhiker's Guide (including the famous instruction "DON'T PANIC") found their way into TV: The Pirate Planet, while Hitchhiker's character Oolon Coluphid and Betelgeuse gets a mention in TV: Destiny of the Daleks, which Adams script-edited (the Doctor is seen reading one of Coluphid's books, Origins of the Universe). Another possible reference is the name of the planet Bandraginus V whose name closely resembles Santraginus V, a planet from Hitchhiker's. (TV:The Pirate Planet) The storyline of Adams' Life, the Universe, and Everything, the third book in the " Hitchhiker's series, was based on a rejected Doctor Who script called Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen. (This was later novelised by James Goss.) Adams later reused the character of Professor Chronotis in his novel Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.

Because Paddy Kingsland did special sounds for both the Hitchhiker's Guide radio programme, and for The Sun Makers, there are sounds which are common to both productions. Notably, the sound of the Fourth Doctor fiddling with a combination lock in part 4 is the same as the sound heard in Hitchhiker's whenever the Guide itself was being consulted. (DCOM: The Sun Makers)

Just prior to becoming the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison made a cameo appearance in the BBC's 1981 adaptation of the first book as the "Dish of the Day". His wife, Sandra Dickinson, played Trillian in the miniseries.

After Douglas Adams' death, Eoin Colfer was given permission by Adams' widow to write an additional novel in the series. This became And Another Thing.... Colfer later wrote PROSE: A Big Hand for the Doctor for the Puffin E-books range.

In 2021, Big Finish released an audio adaptation of The Doomsday Contract, an unproduced story by Adams' friend John Lloyd. 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, styled as an homage to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy TV series due to Adams' involvement in the story's production.

Metafictional parallels and references[]

  • The plot of TV: Voyage of the Damned is similar (but not identical) to that of "Starship Titanic", a video game authored by Adams which was published in 1998. Both feature a large luxury spaceship/cruiseliner named "Titanic" which goes out of control and whose computers must be manipulated to fix the ship. The video game was based on a brief mention of the ship in the first Guide book, which was unable to send out its first and only message - an S.O.S. - during its launch before suffering a "total existence failure".
  • TV: 42 shares its title with the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything, as revealed in Adams' Hitchhiker's series. As with the spaceship stolen by Arthur Dent and friends in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, the ship in 42 is on its way to crashing into a star, leaving its passengers with no escape.
  • The reference to Oolon Coluphid has raised speculation as to whether the Doctor Who universe and that of the Hitchhiker's Guide are one and the same. Another matter blurring the lines between the Hitchhiker's universe and the Whoniverse is Arthur Dent, who appeared in WC: Shada as a background character, and in TV: The Christmas Invasion, where the Tenth Doctor references Arthur, with the seemng intent that the Tenth Doctor personally knows Arthur. Also, it is mentioned in Doctor Who (though not proven or brought up further in any later episode) that humans may have evolved from an extraterrestrial species. (TV: Image of the Fendahl) This might have some relation to the idea of humans being descended from Golgafrinchans in Hitchhiker's Guide.
  • Perhaps by a coincidence, the scene in the third book of the quintilogy (later adapted into a radio script of the same name) Life, the Universe, and Everything, in which Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect, materialise in Lord's Cricket Ground, is similar to a scene in The Daleks' Master Plan in which the First Doctor materialised his TARDIS at the Oval.
  • On the second DVD disc of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy TV series, a TARDIS in policebox form can be seen tracking the ship upon which Arthur is getting a lift, during the opening credits of the 'The Making of...' documentary. The ship is the Liberator from 'Blakes 7', a BBC TV programme made between 1978 - 1981 and sharing many cast and crew with 'Doctor Who'.
  • As highlighted by the BBC official Doctor Who website, there is a copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in the Library as seen in Silence in the Library.
  • When Adams' unfinished television story Shada was remade by Big Finish Productions, writer/producer Gary Russell introduced a few references to the Hitchhiker's series as a tribute. These included making the car which Skagra steals into a Ford Prefect (and its owner the treasurer of the Ford Prefect Appreciation Society).
  • The sixth book in the Hitchhiker's series, And Another Thing... (written by Eoin Colfer with permission from Adams' widow Jane Belson), features Arthur Dent being reminded of watching the special effects of early Doctor Who as he watches the Earth being destroyed from a porthole on the Heart of Gold.

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