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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Buy the DVD  Barnes &
Buy the VHSBarnes &
Length:3h 10mins
Cast:Alan J.W. Bell

Gleefully verbal, intensely witty, and faux tech in the manner of all the great BBC space series, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy holds up remarkably well on DVD, even 20 years after its initial U.S. run on public television. The brainchild of Beeb writer Douglas Adams (Doctor Who), it concerns the intergalactic adventures of Ford Prefect and Arthur Dent: respectively, a humanoid alien researching an update for the titular tome and an Englishman plucked from Earth moments before it is blasted to bits to make way for an interstellar expressway. Prefect (David Dixon) and Dent (Simon Jones, in pajamas and robe throughout) wind up on a quest to find "the meaning of life, the universe, and everything," which turns out to be 42, and their tour includes dinner at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, amid other refreshingly absurd layovers. If you haven't stopped reading yet, you're a likely candidate for this three-hour journey into Mr. Adams' playfully wicked imagination, which is celebrated on the second DVD of this wonderful two-disc set. Greg Fagan

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