In the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books, there are only a few cases where it is specified which head Zaphod Beeblebrox talks out of (these are typically when one head is drunk or eating, as far as I can tell). In the movie version, on the other hand, it seems that Zaphod's "normal" head talks most of the time, while his second head, apparently attached by his neck, talks when Zaphod is acting less presidential.

Is there any material that explains which head Zaphod normally talks with in the books and/or radio series (the original head or the added one)? I noticed that his heads appear to be side-by-side; one is referred to as the "left head" and one as the "right head".

  • 12
    If memory serves, he normally talks out of his a*se.
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 16:59
  • 2
    In radio and book - where visual effects are not required - neither head is preeminent. On TV the heads were side-by-side, but the actor's actual head did almost all the talking.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 18:31
  • 3
    In the novels, the heads appear to speak about the same amount, probably with the right speaking slightly more. They both articulate his thoughts though, at times speaking in unison, implying that they're both his heads (somehow), rather than two distinct beings.
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 18:32
  • 1
    The books seem to imply that the heads are equal - that there is no main or secondary head. Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 17:28
  • 1
    @Randal'Thor Nope. I'm sorry, but there's nothing for it but the flamethrowers.
    – Tim
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 19:22

1 Answer 1


This answer is synthesized from the comments and from my memories of the various incarnations of Hitchhiker's. Other people can feel free to edit in information to make the answer more complete or make their own.

  • Original Radio Show: He's said to have two heads, but the actor makes no distinction between them for voicing, and it's not otherwise specified. I can't recall that the position of the heads relative to each other is even specified, although since Ford speaks of banging Zaphod's heads together we can probably assume they're side by side.
  • TV Show: The actor has a rather impressive for the time and budget, if somewhat awkward and uncanny, second head mounted over his right shoulder. He therefore speaks mostly with his left head, except on a few rare occasions. (On one occasion, he tells his second head to go back to sleep.)
  • Text Adventure: Zaphod has two heads, which are side by side since he hides one of them in a birdcage while on Earth. I don't think it's ever specified if either head is more dominant than the other.
  • Books 1-5: Neither head is preeminent, although which head is speaking is occasionally specified.
  • Movie: The second head pops up from below Zaphod's main head and, when it does, Zaphod acts particularly manic. The second head was apparently created to house his 'unpresidential' thoughts, and is rendered... not a problem early on in the movie. Zaphod thereafter only has a single head to worry about.
  • New Radio Show: Per Tim in the comments, both heads speak, occasionally to each other, but no distinction is made between them.
  • Additional stories: I still haven't read any of them, unfortunately. It's on my todo list.

TL;DR: In the TV show, the actor uses his normal head for reasons of practicality, so the left head is dominant. In the movie, the heads are created to house different thoughts and personalities (and then the one is, ah, temporarily removed), so the top head is dominant. In all other media that I am familiar with, neither head is more dominant than the other.

  • 1
    I can add that in the New Radio Show the heads aren't specified. There is occasionally a touch of overlap ("Why are my heads asking each other rhetorical questions?") but there's no distinction made.
    – Tim
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 19:20

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