Perhaps this unfortunate creature could serve as a warning against trying to amass too much information!

His creator, Douglas Adams (1952-2001) said that he was based on the comedy writer Andrew Marshall and in early drafts he was, indeed, called Marshall, but this name was abandoned due to the unfortunate homophone - "martial".

Marvin is doomed to suffer from boredom and a sense of unfulfilment as he has a brain the size of a planet (presumably Jupiter!) and is at least 50,000 times more intelligent than a human.

The name itself, if one wished to be pedantic on mental health terminology, is inaccurate, as he displays few signs of paranoia or mania, and in fact, throughout the eons of his existence and his many incarnations, be it in the original radio series, or its adaptations for novels and the large and small screen, he displays a degree of almost preternatural if somewhat gloomy stoicism which has led to him being described as akin to Milne's downbeat donkey Eeyore.

He has been portrayed and voiced by a host of famous actors, including Stephen Moore, Jim Broadbent, David Learner, Warwick Davis and Alan Rickman, and also inspired musical works of varied quality and success, the best probably being by Radiohead.

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