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Finding Similarities between The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Sherlock Holmes, and Doctor Who

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy very stereo-typically British. There is tongue in cheek humor laced throughout the novel, condescending dialogue in nearly every conversation, and of course, a number of quips about tea. Because of these characteristics, American media, which tends to be more blatant and simple, does not relate strongly to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. However, when compared to other examples of British entertainment, there are striking similarities. Two examples are the stories of Sherlock Holmes, and the popular British science fiction show, Doctor Who.

Watson describes Sherlock Holmes as Bohemian. Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people, with few permanent ties, involving musical, artistic, or literary pursuits. In this context, Bohemians may be wanderers, adventurers, or vagabonds; The Bohemian characteristic trait of Sherlock is directly linked to Douglas Adams’ series. The premise of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is that since the Earth is destroyed, Arthur must go on a journey. This aspect alone categorizes Arthur as a vagabond or wanderer, as he has no home or wealth (or purpose really, for that matter). In addition, Arthur also leads an extremely unconventional lifestyle, as he is one of only two humans in the novel to travel the galaxy. By definition, Arthur can be described in the same way as Sherlock: Bohemian. On a smaller note, Sherlock;s relationship with Watson is similar to Arthur’s relation to Ford Prefect.

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While Sherlock does share a bohemian nature with Arthur, the similarities between them end there. However, Sherlock does share similarities with another character, the narrator. The narrator of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is extremely condescending, particularly to humans. In this way, the narrator is similar to Sherlock, who is portrayed sometimes portrayed as arrogant and condescending to the police, as he often performs better than they do.

Moving on, despite Doctor Who not being a conventional form of literature, it is extremely difficult to not include a comparison of it to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. These two examples of entertainment share so many similarities, it is all but a requirement to compare them. The most obvious similarity is that they are both staples in science fiction, albeit in different forms of media. The show has gone through a series of writers (as it was created in 1963 and is still ongoing), but there is always a lingering atmosphere of wry British humor, similar to Adams’ work. Like Sherlock and Watson, as well as Arthur and Ford, the main character(s) of Doctor Who always has a companion or two. Also, similarly to the narrator of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (and to a lesser extent, Sherlock), the main character of Doctor Who is extremely condescending towards the human race. The humor in both are so


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