Tertiary Phase: Episode 1
BBC Radio 4
Fit the thirteenth
Arthur Dent awakes to find that he has spent the last four years on prehistoric Earth, alone in all that time save for five minutes with an infuriating alien called Wowbagger who arrived, insulted him, and left. Reunited with Ford Prefect, Arthur discovers that the Hitchhikers Guide he threw in the river still works – and is being updated. Rescue appears in the form of a sofa caught in the Space-Time Continuum and Arthur and Ford disappear in a fashion which would cause stern looks from the Campaign For Real Time.
Aboard the Heart of Gold Zaphod Beeblebrox is nursing a large Pan Galactic Gargleblaster and two headaches. He believes that he survived the Total Perspective Vortex while pursuing a Hitchhikers Guide employee called Zarniwoop and that Arthur marooned him by stealing the Heart of Gold, which of course Zaphod himself stole (but then Zaphod thinks he alone has the right to indulge in excitement, adventure and really wild things).
His girlfriend Trillian (who, as Tricia McMillan, is the only human apart from Arthur to survive the Destruction of Earth by the Vogon Constructor Fleet) has no memory at all of these events and is therefore convinced that Zaphod has had a psychotic episode brought on by too many drinks. Tired of his selfishness she snaps and leaves him, having herself beamed by Eddie the shipboard computer in any direction but here.
Meanwhile in the swamps of Squornshellous Zeta, Marvin the Paranoid Android pivots helplessly in circles on an artificial leg, his only company a talkative mattress called Zem …