Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy began as a 1978 BBC radio series by Douglas Adams, who adapted the material into a bestselling novel in 1979. This six-part BBC television miniseries - a witty and farcical science-fiction send-up -- stars Simon Jones as gormless Arthur Dent, who wakes up one morning to discover that a demolition crew is preparing to destroy his house and put in a new highway bypass. Saddened by this news, Arthur accepts the offer of his buddy Ford Prefect to head down to the local pub for a drink, but is soon greeted by Ford's wild revelation that he is in fact not a human but a space alien from a small planet just outside of Betelgeuse, who has spent many years on the planet Earth in the guise of a human actor, doing background research for a book called 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.' Before Arthur can fully digest this news, a Vogon spaceship appears in the sky and blasts out the message that the entire Earth will soon be destroyed to put in an intergalactic superhighway. At the last moment, Arthur and Ford manage to board the spaceship to escape obliteration themselves. Arthur is soon ensconced in a strange space vessel festooned with all manner of confusing hardware, and jets through a series of increasingly off-the-wall adventures, where he meets such wild characters as three-armed galaxy president Zaphod Beeblebrox; Trillian, the latter's girlfriend; neurotic robot Marvin; and Veet Voojagig, a graduate student with a ballpoint pen fixation. Like Dr. Who and other BBC productions, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy took its US bow on PBS affiliate stations.