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Geek Trivia: What other sci-fi franchise unofficially 'shares' a universe with Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

Douglas Adams wrote several early drafts of the Hitchhiker's Guide movie script -- and made a special effort to secretly tie the movie universe into another well-known science-fiction franchise.
According to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie, it's entirely possible that a certain Gallifreyan Time Lord could someday find himself at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, as Hitchhiker's shares a universe with Doctor Who.

Warning, very mild spoilers ahead.

When Arthur Dent is touring the Magrathean planet assembly line in the Hitchhiker's Guide film, the prison planet Shada is visible on the factory floor. "Shada" was the title of a 1979 Doctor Who serial that was never aired due to a BBC strike. The series was written by Douglas Adams. The BBC eventually released the incomplete Shada storyline on video, with the "ending" performed via narration by Tom Baker, who portrayed the Fourth Doctor.

(Yes, Douglas Adams wrote for Doctor Who. He also wrote for Monty Python and played guitar with Pink Floyd. It's entirely possible his untimely demise was due to an overdose of self-generated awesome.)

To double down on the time-space crossover, characters and settings from another Adams-cowritten Doctor Who serial, "City of Death," appear in Adams's other famous comedy novel series, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. It seems wherever Douglas Adams's fiction went, the Doctor was sure to secretly follow.

That's not just some Time Lord-entangling text twisting; it's a fandom-friendly flash of Geek Trivia.

About

Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger -- amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

6 comments
tbenson2468
tbenson2468

Just happened to see it yesterday. The Doctor spends much of the episode in his pajamas and briefly comments that this is Arthur Dent-ish. Calls him a nice man, as if he knew Arthur personally. See the "Cultural References" section of the Wikipedia entry for Arthur Dent.

kpdriver
kpdriver

Those two just seem to jibe with each other. The fact that Adams wrote for DR. Who explains why. And he played guitar for Pink Floyd, WOW!

iheatseekeri
iheatseekeri

If I remember correctly, the first episode of Dr. Who where Douglas Adams was the listed writer or script editor (one from the Tom Baker years), there's a scene where the Doctor was sitting down reading a book from Oolon Colluphid (he of the trilogy of philosophical blockbusters) and says "he got it wrong on the first line". Oh, and 7 year old spoiler alert if you haven't seen the movie... Boomchuck1, there were three times in the movie where Douglas Adams' face (or part of it) were seen. One was one of the planets on the factory floor of Magrathea, second was at the very end of the movie when the Heart of Gold was firing up the improbability drive (just before the credits and right after Marvin says that Milliways is at the other end of the universe), and the third - well, it was part of his face. Adams' nose was modeled and used in the temple on Viltvodle VI. It can be seen at the end of the stairwell bannister.

boomchuck1
boomchuck1

Just went back and read the first novel (5 books in the trilogy!) again and still love it. Back in the days of dual floppy disk computers and Infocom (makers of the Zork games) I played the Infocomm text based HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy game. Had a great time immersing myself in that universe and solving puzzles, including the problem of how you can have tea and no tea at the same time. BTW, did you notice in the movie that Douglas Adam's face showed up as one of the planets?

Charles Bundy
Charles Bundy

But I had an advantage as my son and I just finished watching [i]The Pirate Planet[/i] with Tom Baker as Dr. Who... :)