Marvin the Paranoid Android

From Academic Kids

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In the BBC TV series, the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation defines a robot [like Marvin] as "Your plastic pal who's fun to be with".
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A close-up of the Marvin costume from the 1981 TV series, from Episode Five.

Marvin the Paranoid Android is a fictional character in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams.

Marvin is the ship's robot aboard the starship Heart of Gold. Severely depressed, Marvin was built as a prototype of Sirius Cybernetics Corporation's "Genuine People Personalities" technology. He has a "brain the size of a planet", but seldom gets the chance to use it. Instead, he continually whines about his troubles, irritating his crewmembers.

Marvin's voice was performed by Stephen Moore on radio and television, but in the movie, Alan Rickman played this role. David Learner operated his body on television, having previously played and voiced the part for the stage version, and Warwick Davis wore the Marvin costume for the feature film. He is "probably... the most popular character to appear in the Guide", according to Geoffrey Perkins, producer of the radio series. Stephen Moore released two pop singles — "Marvin"/"Metal Man" and "Reasons to be Miserable"/"Marvin I Love You" (double B-side) — in the UK in 1981, though neither reached the top 40. Two of these were re-recorded and remixed to coincide with the 2005 Hitchhiker's movie release. Reasons to be Miserable and Marvin are now performed by Stephen Fry.

According to Douglas Adams, "Marvin came from Andrew Marshall. He's another comedy writer, and he's exactly like that." Indeed, in an early draft of Hitchhiker's, the robot was called Marshall. It was changed to "Marvin" partly to avoid causing offence, but also because it was pointed out to Adams that on radio the name would sound like "Martial", which would have undesirable connotations. However, Adams also admitted that Marvin is part of a long line of literary depressives, such as A. A. Milne's Eeyore or Jacques in Shakespeare's As You Like It, and even owes something to Adams's own periods of depression.

"Paranoid Android" is the name of a song by British rock band Radiohead, possibly named after Marvin, but without any other apparent explicit reference. The line "When I am king you will be first against the wall" might be a reference to Marvin's introduction, in which the marketing department of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation is described as "a bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes".

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Marvin from the 2005 film, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, is more spherical than he is described in the book series.

Marvin from the 2005 film is featured in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Exhibition running at the Science Museum in London from May 28, 2005. The costume from the BBC Television version of the story has a cameo role in the feature film, appearing in the Vogon office queue with various other life forms.

One passage from the book series demonstrates Marvin's absolute depressed state and outlook on life:

"I got very bored and depressed, so I went and plugged myself into [the ship]'s external computer feed. I talked to the computer at great length, and explained my view of the universe to it, " said Marvin.
"And what happened?" pressed Ford.
"It committed suicide," said Marvin.

Marvin appeared in the second-to-last chapter of So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish. Arthur, Fenchurch, and Ford find him on the planet where God's last message to Creation is found. He is barely functional, and they end up having to almost carry him to the viewing station, where they lift him up to see the words, blazing in the mountain "We apologise for the inconvenience." Astonishingly, Marvin's response to this was: "I think.... I feel good about it." His already worn-down circuits then completely stopped working, and Marvin was no more.

External links

Template:HitchhikerCharactersit:Marvin l'androide paranoico


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