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Subject: Plot question ( 1 of 5 )
Posted by RAFisher

I do have a question which has been bothering me for many years, but first let me congratulate you, Mr. Adams, for taking the time to address your fans in these forums. I've never been, nor do I have any plans to be, a celebrity. I imagine it must be very tiring having so many people requesting information, attention, opinions, fingernail clippings, or any other imaginable thing on a constant basis. Judging from the previous messages, most people who post to this forum, given the opportunity, would likely dismember your corpse, distribute the pieces to bookstores, and worship them as holy relics.

Bearing this in mind, I saved my question until after your vacation period had elapsed, especially because I doubt there are many other people who could answer it. I've thoroughly thumbed my copy of the original radio transcripts, read all the FAQs on the subject, and visited most of the newsgroups, but have still come up short. You're my last resort.

Horrifying as it may seem, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy played a disturbingly large role in my upbringing. I listened to the entire original broadcast at the age of five and, in fact, still have the poorly-made and aged recordings of the show originally done on a handheld tape recorder. THHGTTG was one of the first books I read and the game was one of my earliest exposures to computers. My friends and I even made our own role-playing game out of the story.

Even though I've loved this haphazardly philosophical and extraordinarily funny work for many years, there is one thing that's always bothered me about the radio series. Mind you, despite my intimate connection with the story, this isn't something I consistently ruminate over. I can't think of a single sleepless night in the past twenty years that I attributed to the matter; and I'm sure that I've now built it up so much that it's going to seem disappointingly anticlimactic. So, without further ado:

Why was Trillian written out so abruptly in the seventh episode of the original broadcasts?

Trillian was the major female character and, while she certainly didn't receive the majority of the lines, considerable attention seemed to be (or could have been) placed on her role. In fact, considerable attention was placed on her role in the subsequent novels. I do note a weak attempt to replace her with Lintilla and her clones in the tenth episode, but this character received far less development than Trillian. Mind you, this is not an accusation of misogyny. I imagine the answer is something as mundane as Susan Sheridan being employed elsewhere at the time of recording. It just seemed odd to me that you would rid the plot of its main female element so suddenly.

In any other book (that is, any other book with a Ravenous Bug-Blatter Beast of Traal), I would understand the difficulty of reuniting the main characters after such a...uhmm...shall we say "unfortuitous" separation. However, considering that "poetic license" and suspension of disbelief is half, nay, most of the fun in these works (not to mention that Marvin was just as abruptly written back in), I'm perplexed as to why Trillian was excluded from the remaining episodes.

If there is an answer, I would be most pleased if you could post it or forward it to me. I would be surprised if I was the only one with this question, but (and I say this with dubious pride) I doubt there are many who have wondered over it for so long :)

Thanks for your feedback,


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