Identification of toy guns in BBC Hitchhiker’s Guide (1981) prop

Tommy

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
In the 1981 BBC miniseries of Douglas Adams’s “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” officers on the Golgafrinchan B Ark (which crashes on prehistoric Earth with Arthur and Ford reluctantly aboard) carry a double-barreled weapon fashioned from two toy guns. In a show of creative thrift, the same prop was subsequently converted into a miniature to portray the Lazlar Lyricon ship belonging to Disaster Area front man Hotblack Desiato (seen parked outside Milliways and again as it passes alongside the sun-diving black stunt ship on which Arthur, Ford, Zaphod, Trillian and Marvin are trapped).

[I’ve confirmed all of this with crew member Kevin Jon Davies.]

Absent any sign of the original prop surviving, I’d love to construct a replica, but I’ve yet to identify the component toy guns.

Any ideas?
 

Attachments

  • golgafrincham guard gun 01.jpg
    golgafrincham guard gun 01.jpg
    211.5 KB · Views: 81
  • Lazlar lyricon ship 02.jpg
    Lazlar lyricon ship 02.jpg
    130.8 KB · Views: 76
  • Lazlar lyricon ship 01.jpg
    Lazlar lyricon ship 01.jpg
    130.2 KB · Views: 65
  • golgafrincham guard gun 06.jpg
    golgafrincham guard gun 06.jpg
    297.5 KB · Views: 69
  • golgafrincham guard gun 05.jpg
    golgafrincham guard gun 05.jpg
    275.8 KB · Views: 69
  • golgafrincham guard gun 04.jpg
    golgafrincham guard gun 04.jpg
    196.7 KB · Views: 71
  • golgafrincham guard gun 03.jpg
    golgafrincham guard gun 03.jpg
    184.1 KB · Views: 63
  • golgafrincham guard gun 02.jpg
    golgafrincham guard gun 02.jpg
    227.5 KB · Views: 83

PB Props

Active Member
I haven't looked too closely, but it does seem to resemble this:
Space Gun.jpg
Here it is on eBay: VINTAGE 70'S GALACTICA SPACE RAY GUN RIFLE BATTERY OPERATED ARGENTINA NIB | eBay

Pretty sure it is one of these, well, two of them (obviously) with bits added to it. It gives you somewhere to start.

EDIT: Strike that, it's this gun - a slightly different version of the above.
Space Gun 2.jpg

And here's the eBay link:
 
Last edited:

Tommy

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Pretty sure it is one of these, well, two of them (obviously) with bits added to it. It gives you somewhere to start.

EDIT: Strike that, it's this gun - a slightly different version of the above.

Thank you so much! I must admit I probably should’ve done a more thorough search of current eBay listings before posting, but I spent hours searching a few months ago with every term I could think of and found nothing remotely close.

So on super close inspection, the screen-used prop interestingly seems to have been a bit of a cross between the two. Definitely way closer to the second, but just a couple of minor details lean towards the first. Considering that the first is dated to the 1970s and the second is labeled in association with V (which didn’t come out until 1983), probably the screen-used prop was an iteration between these two. In fact I’ve now spotted another on the Argentinian site MercadoLibre with the body of the first but the scope of the second that’s dated 1980, so it may be reasonable to assume that the toys were pretty recent releases when the prop was assembled in late 1980.

MercadoLibre listing.jpg



Granted, that second one that you listed is 99% accurate, and who knows the chances of finding the precisely-right model, so that may very well be my best bet. Now I’ll have to check whether they have two…

Thanks again – I really appreciate the help.
 
Last edited:

PB Props

Active Member
It was often the case that the toolings were used over and over again, just with variations - it still happens today, so there may well be something in between the two that I found. The second one could just be a re-release (of an earlier model) as a V tie in.

Also, just as a thought, I guess it's the lack of screws in the handle and mag that caught your eye. I saw that too, but given that there's probably a block of wood slotted into both parts which were then screwed in to lock them together, that would certainly achieve the look of the screen used piece...

Either way, you have a starting point now to build on. Best of luck with it!
 
Last edited:

Tommy

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Also, just as a thought, I guess it's the lack of screws in the handle and mag that caught your eye. I saw that too, but given that there's probably a block of wood slotted into both parts which were then screwed in to lock them together, that would certainly achieve the look of the screen used piece...
Oh, that didn't occur to me; you could be right. I hadn't gotten to the stage of considering the build strategy, so I was just picturing them being glued together, but since those components are presumably hollow, it would make a lot more sense to joint them that way. Good call!
 

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.
Top