The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a BBC television adaptation of Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy which was broadcast in January and February 1981 on UK television station BBC Two. The adaptation follows the original radio series in 1978 and 1980, the first novel and double LP, in 1979, and the stage shows, in 1979 and 1980, making it the fifth iteration of the guide.
The series stars Simon Jones as Arthur Dent, David Dixon as Ford Prefect, Mark Wing-Davey as Zaphod Beeblebrox, Sandra Dickinson as Trillian and Stephen Moore as the voice of Marvin. The voice of the guide is by Peter Jones. Simon Jones, Peter Jones, Stephen Moore and Mark Wing-Davey had already provided the voices for their characters in the original radio series in 1978/80. In addition, the series features a number of notable cameo roles, including Adams himself on several occasions.
Although initially thought by BBC executives to be unfilmable, the series was successfully produced and directed by Alan J. W. Bell 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.