Where did the idea or concept of the Point of View gun originate in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy film?

I've checked the books, and couldn't find it.

  • 1
    Probably by looking at the idea for a different type of gun from someone else's perspective. :P
    – krillgar
    Nov 27, 2014 at 2:44

2 Answers 2


In 2005, Slashdot conducted an interview with Robbie Stamp, executive producer of the movie, where he answers this question:

All the substantive new ideas in the movie, Humma, the Point of View Gun and the "paddle slapping sequence" on Vogsphere are brand new Douglas [Adams] ideas written especially for the movie by him.

Although I can't say for sure where he got the idea, the POV gun was a bona fide Douglas Adams invention.

As I mention in a comment to Joe L's answer, the POV gun has some non-trivial similarities to the Total Perspective Vortex. From Chapter 11 of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe:

The man who invented the Total Perspective Vortex did so basically in order to annoy his wife.

Trin Tragula — for that was his name — was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher or, as his wife would have it, an idiot. And she would nag him incessantly about the utterly inordinate amount of time he spent staring out into space, or mulling over the mechanics of safety pins, or doing spectrographic analyses of pieces of fairy cake.

"Have some sense of proportion!" she would say, sometimes as often as thirty-eight times in a single day.

And so he built the Total Perspective Vortex — just to show her.

This is just speculation, but it's possible that Adams thought the idea of a person inventing a reality-warping device just to spite their nagging spouse was too good of a joke to pass up. Hence, he re-worked it into the POV gun.

  • 5
    Its probably worth noting that Adams specifically wrote new things for all adaptations of the series, including the radio shows etc. He meant for them to be different, so you always got something new from each one when you read, saw or listened to it.
    – Moo
    Nov 27, 2014 at 9:17
  • So I guess that means it's in unpublished notes from Adams?
    – Wildcard
    Apr 28, 2017 at 4:22
  • 1
    @Wildcard It came from a draft script Adams co-wrote specifically for this project. I'm not sure if I should answer you with a "yes" or a "no" Apr 28, 2017 at 13:07
  • I was wondering if his draft script is available somewhere to read.
    – Wildcard
    Apr 28, 2017 at 19:37

This exchange from the first book shows that the basic idea for the POV gun had already been in Adams' mind:

HHGTTG, Ch. 34:

“That ship?” said Ford in sudden excitement. “What happened to it? Do you know?”

“It hated me because I talked to it.”

“You talked to it?” exclaimed Ford. “What do you mean you talked to it?”

“Simple. I got very bored and depressed, so I went and plugged myself in to its 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, and stalked off back to the Heart of Gold.

  • 2
    It also has some similarities to the Total Perspective Vortex; they even have similar origin stories Nov 27, 2014 at 2:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.