The termsPrimary PhaseandSecondary Phasedescribe the first two, first broadcast in 1978. These were the first incarnations of thefranchise. Both were written byand consist of six episodes each.
The series followed the aimless wanderings of Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect and his book, the eponymousGuide. It introduced unfamiliar music,mind stretching concepts and the newest science mixed together with out of context parodies, unfeasibly rude names, “semantic and philosophical jokes”,compressed prose and “groundbreaking deployment of sound effects and voice techniques”.By the time the sixth episode was broadcast, the show had a cult following.A Christmas special would follow, many repeats and a second series. The two original series were followed byin 2004 and 2005 and a final, sixth series in 2018.