Trillian (character)

Trillian (character)

Infobox character
colour = #FFFFFF
name = Trillian (Tricia Marie McMillan)

caption = Sandra Dickinson as Trillian from the TV adaptation.
first = Fit the Second (radio)
last =
cause =
nickname =
alias =
species = Human
gender = Female
age =
born =
death =
occupation =
title =
family =
spouse =
children = Random Dent
relatives =
episode =
portrayer = Sandra Dickinson Zooey Deschanel Susan Sheridan Cindy Oswin
creator = Douglas Adams
Tricia McMillan aka Trillian is a fictional character from Douglas Adams' series "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". According to the movie version, her middle name is Marie. Physically, she is described as "a slim, darkish humanoid, with long waves of black hair, a full mouth, and odd little knob of a nose and ridiculously brown eyes." ["The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" Chapter 4.]


Trillian is a brilliant mathematician and astrophysicist whom Arthur Dent attempted to chat up at a party at a flat (possibly above an Estate Agent's) in Islington. The trilogy later reveals that Trillian eventually left the party with Zaphod Beeblebrox, who (according to the Quintessential Phase) is directly responsible for her nickname. The next time she and Arthur meet is on a spaceship in deep space, six months after the aforementioned party and shortly after the Earth has been destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass.

In the radio series, she is carried off and forcibly married to the President of the Algolian Chapter of the Galactic Rotary Club, and consequently does not appear in the second radio series at all. The later radio series (the Tertiary Phase and beyond) reveal this (probably) occurred only in the artificial universe within the Guide offices. In the books, which the third, fourth and fifth series follow, she saves the universe from the Krikketers, and later becomes a Sub-Etha Radio reporter under the name Trillian Astra.

Some drafts of the movie's screenplay, and Robbie Stamp's "making of" book covering the movie, state that Trillian was to be revealed as half-human, an acknowledged divergence from Douglas Adams' original storyline. This would have been done in order to underline the loneliness of Arthur Dent, the only 100% Homo sapiens remaining in the universe, after Earth's demolition. This idea was scrapped after the "making of" book was written, and the scene revealing Trillian's heritage (by the mice, to Arthur, on the Earth Mark II) was re-written. An interview with actress Zooey Deschanel, included on the DVD version, has her mention that Trillian is half-human, suggesting the interview was recorded prior to the change of plan.


The movie puts a different spin on the character. The main emotional arc of the movie is a love triangle between Trillian, Zaphod and Arthur. Trillian is initially attracted to Arthur when she meets him on Earth, but she's disappointed by his apparent lack of spontaneity. During their travels, Trillian discovers that Zaphod may be the more superficially exciting choice, but Arthur is the man who truly cares about her. In the fifth book, Trillian is revealed as the mother of Random Dent.


Trillian was played on radio by Susan Sheridan, on television by Sandra Dickinson (who also reprised an alternate-universe version of the role in the fifth and final radio series), on the Original Records LP version by Cindy Oswin, and in the recent film by Zooey Deschanel. In "The Illustrated Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", she is portrayed by Tali, a model.

In the original radio series she is portrayed with an English accent — in both the TV series and movie she is played as an American. The "Quintessential Phase" of the radio series features Sandra Dickinson in the role of the alternate version of Tricia McMillan as a "blonder and more American" Trillian — the radio series indicates that the character is identical to the first Trillian and was born in the United Kingdom. In the book "Mostly Harmless", it is said that both the alternate Tricia McMillan and Trillian have an English accent. In "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" novel, she is described as "darkish".


She appears in the books " The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"; "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe"; "Life, the Universe and Everything"; and "Mostly Harmless". The alternate Tricia McMillan also makes a brief appearance in the adaptation of "So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish", the Quandary Phase.


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