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Old 02-10-2008, 07:27 AM   #4
A Mere Boggart
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: under the bed
Posts: 4,804
Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
The odd thing about listening to a radio adaptation is how you get drawn in completely. At first you fidget, wondering where the pictures and/or words are, but after a few minutes you are absorbed in it. You have to concentrate. What this makes me think of is how blind readers who use reading software like Jaws remember details in books so well - all their powers of concentration are bent on one source or sense alone. In fact my old boss who is blind much prefers the radio version to the films as in his words, the films are "just a lot of noise" but the radio version is vivid and clear.

That's the first thing you notice, how clear it all is. If I say "see" when it ought to be "hear', just ignore that, I really do "see" it. The medium demands that speech is well-delivered, that characters have distinctive voices, that any extraneous nonsense is cut away. An odd thing, considering how lush and layered Tolkien's work is. In this format, it's really Northern, like a saga being read to you in front of the fire. Lovely.

Nothing is lost of the magic and grandeur though. In this episode you get to see something that was sorely missed from the films, when Saruman reveals himself as Saruman of Many Colours - it's great. Nor is a lot lost of the detail. You also find yourself listening to Sam cutting the garden in the background. And the clatter of the tobacco jar.

My only disappointment with the first episode is that there just isn't enough of the Long Expected Party. Although Frodo is much better - he isn't the permanently bewildered child he seemed to be in the films; he's clearly a bit impish, as Gandalf challenges him over not fiddling with the fireworks, but he's also the correct age and sounds it, too.

And how creepy does Gollum sound? And a little Welsh too?
Gordon's alive!
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