Doctor Who and The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy


Doctor Who (2005-    )
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy
Type: Minor Mention
Group: 27

   I figured this warranted a mention but I'm not sure exactly how to quantify it. Here's the problem. There are a couple links to indicate that the Doctor Who and The Hitchhiker's Guide universes are connected. The problem is that while there is only one Doctor Who universe There are a multitude of versions of The Hitchhiker's Guide with each version having its own unique continuity. So while Doctor Who is connected to "a" Hitchhiker's Guide universe it's hard to know which one (or ones) it is specifically linked to.

   Backing up a bit, Doctor Who started out as British sci-fi show about the adventures of a time traveling Time Lord named The Doctor who, when faced with death, had the ability to regenerate himself, reviving as a new person, a new version of "The Doctor". For our purposes it is of specific interest that working on the show for a time was a writer by the name of Douglas Adams who would go on to create a comic sci-fi phenomenon in the form of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. The Hitchhiker's Guide followed the adventures of Earthman Arthur Dent and his alien friend Ford Prefect. It started out as a radio drama but after that also became a series of books, a TV show, a series of records, a text based video game and eventually a movie. The events of the story vary from version to version but they all start at the same point: Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect both narrowly escape the destruction of Earth by a fleet of Vogon ships, zipping out so suddenly that Arthur Dent is still wearing his dressing gown and ends up wearing it for some time as his travels continue.

   Now despite both these series both having long runs into the 80s it wouldn't be until the 21st century until they would be linked. In 2005 a new Doctor Who series premiered. At the end of the first season the current Doctor was fatally injured requiring him to regenerate. Now The Doctor's regeneration process never works the same way twice but almost always while the process is underway he is temporarily incapacitated. Unfortunately this time around his regeneration came at the same time as an alien invasion of the Earth. I hate it when that happens! So aliens are causing trouble and The Doctor is laid up in bed almost comatose, leaving the British government and The Doctor's companions to try and deal with the situation on their own. Eventually things get so bad that, for better or worse, The Doctor has to be awoken to deal with it. And what happens? Even in his weakened state The Doctor is easily able to handle and diffuse a situation that overwhelms everyone else. And he does it without even getting out of his dressing gown, leading The Doctor to quip that he rather feels like Arthur Dent. Now at that point he could just be referencing Arthur as a character from a book. But with his very next breath The Doctor speaks of meeting Arthur Dent and what a great guy he is. Boom. A solid connection. But again, to which version of the Guide series? Hard to say for sure but the safest bets would be to the book series or the theatrical film. Why? Well because the starting point for the Guide story is always the Earth getting blown into itty bitty pieces. That's at odds with the Doctor Who universe where Earth is fine and dandy. But both the book series and the theatrical film feature the Earth being restored to normal making it possible that those versions of The Guide could possibly be the same as the one occupied by The Doctor. Then again in at least one instance The Doctor has traveled to a parallel universe so it's possible he could have met Arthur Dent in a parallel universe. But my head is spinning already so for sanity's sake lets skip that possibility. Now since the link is likely with versions of The Guide other than the TV series that also technically puts it out of the normal bounds of what I track here but, screw it, we're in this far already so what the hell.

   There is an additional crossover nugget that would hint further that Doctor Who is linked to the film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. At one point in the film, Arthur Dent is taken on a tour of Magrathea, a planet that builds other planets. While zipping through the "show room" in the background a number of planets being built can be seen. Among these planets is a little place called Shada. Shada was the prison planet of the Time Lords in a plot from the original Doctor Who series that was written by Douglas Adams but that never made it to air. Weird connection but it is a connection. Now given that in the new Doctor Who all the other Time Lords except for The Doctor have been killed… well I guess that would mean that planet is all his! Seriously, he should go pick that baby up and take it for a spin. Well, then again, if he's the last of the Time Lords and they only put a down payment on the place he should stay farrrr away from Magrathea in case they come looking for him to complete payment. I mean the final price on a whole planet cannot be cheap. If he's not careful he could end up with nothing left except for his dressing gown.

Other Doctor Who Crossover Links
Doctor Who and Doctor Who
Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures
Doctor Who and Torchwood


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