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Old 02-10-2008, 08:40 AM   #6
Illustrious Ulair
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
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davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
If its easier for anybody, for quotes & help in remembering what happened, a transcript of the entire episode is here:

I did like the way we were first taken into the Ivy Bush to meet the Hobbits over beer & pipes. We first encounter 'typical' Hobbits, rather than the atypical ones - Bilbo & Frodo. When we do meet them, in the next scene (which, as I noted, has been invented in part in order to introduce Sam into the story, but mainly so that Bilbo & Frodo will have a scene together at the start), things have been set up well - the atmosphere is quiet & domesticated, but the underlying mystery about Bilbo has been captured perfectly.

I think most listeners who are familiar with the book will also have noticed that John Le Mesurier get's Bilbo's 'half as well as you deserve' line wrong!

I think what i liked most about this production was the way they used so much of Tolkien's words - both dialogue & description in the narration. It roots the adaptation so much more deeply in Tolkien's world. And even a little thing - like having Gandalf & Frodo discussing the Ring on a fine, bright morning (as opposed to the movie, where it happens at night) - makes you feel you're in the right Middle-earth. Of course, this the other advantage of a production that is so dependent on words - you can convey so much more information to the listener:

Gandalf: He doesn't grow, or obtain more life, he merely continues, until at last every minute is a weariness. And if he often uses the Ring to make himself invisible, he fades: he becomes in the end permanently invisible, and walks in twilight under the eye of the dark power that rules the Rings.
Explains far better & much more clearly the effect of the Ring on a bearer than all the rushing about & histrionics we saw in the movie. All in all, its a very good effort at setting up the story, the listener will know far more about the world of Middle-earth than they would at this point in the movie - even though it takes about the same amount of time to get to the same point - & this is something else I've heard - that Jackson didn't have as much time to tell the story as the adaptors of this production did. That's simply not the case - this is a thirteen hour production, & if you take the SEE editions of the Jackson trilogy they total about the same amount of time.
Finally the climax is a perfect cliff-hanger - we get to see the capture & imprisonment of Gandalf as it happened, rather than in flashback at the Council. Once again, the advantage of an adaptation dependent on words rather than images means that we learn much more about the characters of both Gandalf & Saruman. It may not be clear as yet, but Peter Howell's Saruman is a very accomplished piece of acting - the way he flips between the charming, solicitous counsellor & the vicious, self-righteous traitor in the Voice of Saruman episode is perfect.
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