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Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

February 15, 2007

Tertiary Phase: Episode 3
BBC Radio 4

Fit the fifteenth
Slartibartfast provides a rather startling Informational Illusion to give Arthur and Ford the history of the Krikkit Wars, an intergalactic conflict of billions of years ago, where a seemingly innocuous and pleasant race of hominids journeyed beyond the black and opaque dust cloud surrounding their solitary planet with its solitary star and were appalled to discover they were not alone in the universe but surrounded by many other planets teeming with life. The Krikkitmen built lethal white robots wielding war clubs which were used to propel small red grenades over vast distances, to destroy everything in their path – in fact, to kill everything everywhere but their masters.

Eventually defeated, the People of Krikkit (along with robots and family pets) are sentenced to have their solar system with its Dust Cloud sealed in a Slo-Time envelope, locked by The Wikkit Gate, upon an asteroid which orbits it. When all of Creation has become extinct the gate will automatically open, allowing them to finish their existence in a dying universe, alone at last as they have so craved.

Unfortunately eleven Krikkit Robots were unaccounted for at the time the punishment was carried out, and these unpleasant machines are now re-uniting the disparate elements of The Key to that Wikkit Gate. Having collected the Wooden Pillar (The Ashes, now reconstituted into a Cricket stump), The Steel Pillar (The Artificial Leg Marvin was fitted with by a kindly scrap collector), they now board the Heart of Gold to steal the Gold Bail (the driving force behind its legendary Improbability Drive). Bad as this might be, worse is to come when the robots are caught in the act by Zaphod Beeblebrox, who discovers they are about to go to a Party, but not intending to take him with them. In fact they add injury to insult and shoot him instead.

Attempting to reach the same party Arthur, Ford and Slartibartfast use the – surprisingly clean – toilet transportation cubicles of the Starship Bistromath. But something goes wrong and Arthur finds himself diverted to a labyrinth wherein dwells a creature who appears to nurse a very deep and ancient grudge against him…

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