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Zaphod Beeblebrox The Fourth

Zaphod Beeblebrox's father's name was Zaphod Beeblebrox the Second, and Zaphod's grandfather was called Zaphod Beeblebrox the Third. This was due to an "accident with a contraceptive and a time machine".

The great-grandfather of Zaphod Beeblebrox, Zaphod Beeblebrox the Fourth is one of two active characters in books who are dead (see also: Hotblack Desiato). When Arthur Dent inadvertently freezes the systems on board Heart of Gold at the same moment Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz attacks, the younger Zaphod holds a séance to contact Zaphod the Fourth.

Zaphod the Fourth berates his great-grandchild for being generally self-absorbed and learns of the ship's imminent destruction. He stops time so he can continue deriding Zaphod, who tries (rather weakly) to defend his life. Zaphod the Fourth saves the ship and crew to keep his great-grandchild and his "modern friends" from joining him in the afterlife and thereby ruining the experience.

When he learns that the ship had seized up to solve the dilemma of either making tea (in the novel The Restaurant at the End of the Universe) or figuring out why Arthur would want dried leaves in water (fit the ninth of the radio series), he solves these problems before leaving by either leaving a pot of tea in the Nutri-Matic Drink Synthesizer or by explaining to Eddie that "he's an ignorant monkey who doesn't know better", respectively. In the book Z.B. the Fourth approves of the tying up of all computer resources to make tea - unlike everyone else present on the Heart Of Gold at the time, including Arthur who originally made the request of Eddie.

As a final note, Zaphod explains that his great-grandfather is "the Fourth" due to an accident with a contraceptive and a time machine. Zaphod the Fourth, therefore, bitterly refers to his great-grandson as "Zaphod Beeblebrox the Nothingth" (Zaphod tries to counter this by referring to himself as "the First").

Appears in:

  • fit the ninth of the radio series
  • the novel The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

He was voiced on radio by Richard Goolden.

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