Dennis Hutch had stepped up into the top seat when its founder had died of a lethal overdose of brick wall, taken while under the influence of a Ferrari and a bottle of tequila.
Ford gave him a three-Pan-Galactic-Gargle-Blaster look, in other words a rather unsteady one.
You come into the rehearsal room with no Douglas and a script that he hasn’t worked on, and no matter how good the person is who follows, Douglas was a one-off. The way Douglas came at things, the way he injected his creativity and just sheer brains…I mean, he was very, very bright, he was very clever and very literate, and wrote beautifully, and made things for you to say that were better than other people did.
Douglas was a freelance, he did extremely little work as far as I could tell. He got up in the morning, made some tea, a lot of tea he used to drink, and sat in the bath, all day, as far as I knew. And I was a young radio producer in Light Entertainment at the BBC andI used to come home at about 7, and Douglas would be in the bath, he’d jump out of the bath saying, “Right, Lloydie, let’s do some work now!”.
Arthur Dent was grappling with his consciousness the way one grapples with a lost bar of soap in the bath.
We live in strange times. We also live in strange places: each in a universe of our own. The people with whom we populate our universes are the shadows of whole other universes intersecting with our own. Being able to glance out into this bewildering complexity of infinite recursion and say things like, “Oh, hi, Ed! Nice tan. How’s Carol?” involves a great deal of filtering skill for which all conscious entities have eventually to develop a capacity in order to protect themselves from the contemplation of the chaos through which they seethe and tumble. So give your kid a break, okay?
Nowadays, because of the plethora of one-to-many communication we have, if a plane crashes in India we may get terribly anxious about it, but our anxiety doesn’t have any impact… We’ve all become twisted and disconnected and it’s not surprising that we feel very stressed and alienated in the world because the world impacts on us but we don’t impact the world.