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Old 02-23-2001, 01:15 PM   #1
Odysseus819
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Has anyone else heard the 1981 BBC dramatization of Lord of the Rings? If so, what did you think of it?

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Old 02-23-2001, 02:28 PM   #2
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Re: BBC Dramatization of LotR

I must say no, I was only an embryo/newborn at the time. <img src=smile.gif ALT="">

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Old 02-23-2001, 02:48 PM   #3
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Re: BBC Dramatization of LotR

Well, I was a high school graduate that year (I could have sired KayQy! Except I'm sure his mother could've done better!)

But I've only heard portions when it was played on public radio down here.

I did not like what I heard, although other parts may have been better. It sounded like Aragorn was being read by an old man with a speech impediment.

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Old 02-23-2001, 04:07 PM   #4
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Re: BBC Dramatization of LotR

Well there are recordings of the perfomance, Kay Qy, but I will remember that slap at my age ! (Note: it's on napster, btw.)

Gilthalion: Aragorn does not really sound old, although he does have a slight (aristocratic) lisp.

Anyway, I really like the dramatization. Gandalf and Frodo are very good, and the screenplay (or whatever you call it) is excellent, IMHO. They added a few scenes not directly told by JRRT -- e.g. Gollum being tortured in Mordor, a Ringwraith meeting Grima on the road and learning from him the location of the Shire -- that are good additions, I think. I just wondered if anyone else had heard it and liked it as much as me.



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Old 02-23-2001, 05:33 PM   #5
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....

I hoped on Napster and tried to download it, but I saw each episode (13 of them in all) are all an hour long and would take me forever in a day to download them all with my DSL currently down.

But I did listen to a little bit of it, Gollum sounds funny <img src=smile.gif ALT="">

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Old 02-27-2001, 01:11 PM   #6
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Sorry, didn't mean to slap

Just remember that it'll be happening to me soon enough (and already is, in come cases!).

Is there any place to find this besides Napster? The computer lab has placed dire threats against using it...

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Old 02-27-2001, 01:14 PM   #7
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Re: BBC Dramatization of LotR

I just noticed how appropriate my sig looks there.

I'm a good little girl, really.<img src=devil.gif ALT=":evil">

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Old 02-27-2001, 05:07 PM   #8
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Re: BBC Dramatization of LotR

KayQy -- I'm not sure if the BBC dramatization is available anywhere else. I'm not suggesting that you find someone with napster access and DL/burn it -- ;o)

Since reading Gilthalion's and Imp's posts I listened to it again and I'm still convinced that it is very excellent. The actor who does Gollum is also very good I think and -- not to repeat myself too much -- the way the adapter whittled the 3 books down to a 13 hour radio drama was very well done, IMHO. But I seem to be in the minority.

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Old 02-27-2001, 06:47 PM   #9
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Re: BBC Dramatization of LotR

I have never heard it, but a friend of mine had to listen to it for his Junior High a while ago, and he loved it. Another way to get it, hmm, I could try downloading it and then uploading it onto my roomates site, then just give you the address, ooorrr you could use a something other than Napster, I think Scour is back up again but there are others, you just need to look. You could also probably order them, I am sure that there would be someplace that sells them. But I don't really know.

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Old 03-11-2001, 03:10 PM   #10
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Re: BBC Dramatization of LotR

The Radio series was more or less my first contact with LotR. I was 9, and I taped the whole thing. I still listen to the series regularly, I suppose I ought to buy a new copy, but I'm attached to this one (&quot;coming up next on radio 4, episode one in a new drama serial...&quot

Personally I loved the series. I think Aragorn was definitive - Robert Stephens has a perfect voice for the part. The hobbits are just right, and the music plays such a big part in the whole thing.

As a child I always used to skip episode 5, &quot;A Knife in the Dark&quot; because I was too scared by it!

It's nice to hear that someone else remembers and likes the series!



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Old 03-12-2001, 02:46 AM   #11
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Re: BBC Dramatization of LotR

I've always liked BBC radio/tv versions of books, so I'll have to try and get a copy. (A non-napster one, too. I only have a 28.8 modem and my ISP is down rather often.)

With all these comments about being in highschool when it came out, I feel so young! (I wasn't even concieved then!)

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Old 03-12-2001, 07:21 AM   #12
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Re: BBC Dramatization of LotR

Elanor -- I'm glad someone else out there likes this serial! I only first heard it recently but I really enjoy it. I especially like the actors who play Samwise, Gandalf and Theoden, in addition to Aragorn (and Frodo). I burned it onto 13 CDs and play them often.

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Old 03-12-2001, 11:40 AM   #13
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Re: BBC Dramatization of LotR

I can never decide who I like best, or who is the best actor, as they are all so good. I do have a soft spot for little Sam though. Bill Nighy has done some tv here recently, so it was nice to hear a voice I knew. He was only in a few episodes of a sitcom though, nothing special.

I was pleased to see that Ian Holm is going to be Bilbo in the films, it feels as if one of the &quot;real&quot; hobbits is there to help the young ones along.

Odysseus - can you imagine any other voice saying &quot;nasty little hobbitses&quot; other than Peter Woodthorpe? I just can't read the words without hearing his voice. Wonder what the film will be like...?



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Old 03-12-2001, 12:09 PM   #14
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Re: BBC Dramatization of LotR

Re: Peter Woodthorpe -- someone posted on this thread that they heard the BBC serial and &quot;Gollum sounded funny&quot;. I think he's GREAT as Gollum. E.g. the scene with the Slinker/Stinker debate. Ian Holm is Gandalf in the BBC Version, right? I don't know Robert Stevens from anything else, although the name definitely rings a bell from some old movie(s) -- I'll have to check the Net as to what other things I may have seen him in.

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Old 03-12-2001, 12:57 PM   #15
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Re: BBC Dramatization of LotR

Hi Odysseus. As far as I remember (and on some of the tapes the cast list didn't record) the cast included:

Frodo - Ian Holm
Sam - Bill Nighy
Gandalf - Michael Hordern
Aragorn - Robert Stephens
Gollum - Peter Woodthorpe
John LeMesurier - Bilbo

I don't know the others I'm afraid. Robert Stephens did a lot of stage acting, especially Shakespearian and other classical stuff. He was in the Kenneth Branagh Henry V film, but I can't remember any other film work, though I suppose he did that too.

Ian Holm has done quite a few small parts in TV and films, and Michael Hordern used to play officer-type roles in old films - a very typical upper-class English gent role. John Le Mesurier was in Dad's Army on TV.

As for Peter Woodthorpe (I agree, he's fantastic as Gollum) I have never seen or heard of him in anything else, I wonder what happened to him...?

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Old 03-12-2001, 01:23 PM   #16
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Re: BBC Dramatization of LotR

Well, I've just been doing a bit of research on the net, and Peter Woodthorpe has done a lot of TV work over the last few years, including a part in (taa daa!) The Adventures of Odysseus. He didn't play a big part though, as he's way down the cast list near the bottom. Interestingly, he was also Gollum in the animated film of LotR - which I never saw, but heard was not up to much.

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Old 03-12-2001, 01:31 PM   #17
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Re: BBC Dramatization of LotR

Peter Woodthorpe was in Merlin (199<img src=cool.gif ALT="8)"> , which I'm not familar with. He was also in The Blue Max (1966), which was about Luftwaffe pilots I think (bombses, yesss). Robert Stephens was in Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, I think that's what I remember him from. Anyway thanks much for the cast info, Daughter of Samwise.

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Old 03-12-2001, 01:54 PM   #18
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Re: BBC Dramatization of LotR

No problem Odysseus. If you're interested I can try to find out the others involved (good excuse to listen to the series again!)



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Old 03-12-2001, 02:42 PM   #19
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Re: BBC Dramatization of LotR

Thanks again ! On one or two of the CDs I have the narrator does state thd cast I think; I never paid that much attn because I hadn't heard of any of them (I'm not a Brit as you are, seemingly), although as I said Robt. Stephens rang a bell. Btw as cover art for my CDs (burned from napster) I (naturally) used art from www.barrowdowns .com (Naismith etc.) -- looks pretty good I must say.

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Old 03-13-2001, 04:30 PM   #20
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Re: BBC Dramatization of LotR

I like the idea for the covers! Very nice. My copies have very wobbly 9 year-old's handwriting on them, so maybe I should print out some illustrations.

Yes, I'm a Brit - was I that obvious?! <img src=redface.gif ALT=":O">

I'll check out the rest of the cast when I get some spare time in the next few days.

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Old 03-15-2001, 01:33 AM   #21
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Re: BBC Dramatization of LotR

My mother in law just got the cd's, because she was curious about what the
heck I'm talking about all the time. I didn't get the time to get beyond
episode 4, but I really, really liked it so far.

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Old 03-15-2001, 05:59 AM   #22
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Re: BBC Dramatization of LotR

I do not have Napster, but you volk encourage me to see if I can't otherwise find, or better yet purchase the series.

Perhaps my memory of two decades ago has failed!

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Old 03-15-2001, 06:40 PM   #23
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Re: BBC Dramatization of LotR

Gil -- unfortunately it doesn't seem to be available anywhere, which is why I resorted to napster. I wd gladly e-mail it to you but I tried that with someone else; the files are too big to e-mail. You gotta find someone with napster (if it's still extant) and have them burn it for you. Meanwhile, Elanor and I will continue to spread the good word!

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Old 03-27-2001, 07:26 PM   #24
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Re: BBC Dramatization of LotR

I checked my local (Orchard Park NY) library, and they have the CDs! Thank God for libraries.

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Old 03-28-2001, 02:39 AM   #25
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Re: BBC Dramatization of LotR

I found a copy of it in a science fiction/fantasy specialty book shop, but being a specialty-type shop, it cost $167. A biiiiit much for me! <img src=wink.gif ALT="">

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Old 03-28-2001, 09:06 AM   #26
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Re: BBC Dramatization of LotR

I love the BBC version but I wouldn't pay $167 unless it included JRRT returning from the dead to answer all your questions [&lt;OF COURSE balrogs don't have wings, my child&gt;].

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Old 05-06-2002, 04:06 PM   #27
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Someone told me once that Ian Holm did Frodo, that is cool. He makes a very nice Bilbo in the movie.
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Old 05-07-2002, 08:00 AM   #28
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i haven't seen it but am reluctant to. I am afraid it will be a mind destroying entity or something. I saw a glipse of the time they did The Chro. of Narnia and changed the chanel before it was too late. blaahhhh but i loved the movie is it like the movie in any way??
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Old 05-07-2002, 02:26 PM   #29
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Is that the one on Radio, with Ian Holm as Frodo? If yes then yes! I borrowed it from the Library, The Hobbit was also there. It was kind of wierd, but it was O.K., and better then nothing. It is very long, but I listened to it on a long car trip. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 05-19-2002, 06:45 PM   #30
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You can buy it; my mum bought the recording on 13 CDs at Coles. (She bought them for my little brother to listen to. But, he only got the chance to listen to the first four before I borrowed it from him. [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]) It's quite good. And I agree, Peter Woodthorpe is an excellent Gollum, he was also the voice of Gollum in the Bakshi film. *gags*

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Old 05-30-2002, 10:19 PM   #31
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I have them as a set of thirteen tapes; both the cassette and CD sets are available at my local bookstore.

I adored them from the moment I first heard them. Even after everything else, those voices are still the voices of the characters, and the music is still the music.

I just found it such a nice little touch that Ian Holm, who played Frodo on the tapes, did Bilbo in the movies. And he did a wonderful job of Frodo, too.
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Old 05-31-2002, 03:03 AM   #32
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I have the cassette tape set. I didn't like Aragorn's voice though. It sounded very American and out of place compared to all the others.
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Old 05-31-2002, 01:38 PM   #33
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I think Borders carries the 13 CD and Tape set. I found it at one store here in Ohio for $40, brand new. I can't remember the name of it, though. It might have been Walden Books (?)

I think Borders only wants $40 for it, as well. Haven't been there for a while.... And I recorded my copy off of the library cds..... (Shame on me)

I like Faramir and Eomer's voices.... I dunno why, they just strike me as more for their character than anyone elses (With exceptions being Bilbo, Gandalf and Gollum) I know Andrew Seear played Faramir, but i can't remember who did Eomer.

My favorite song on there is on tape/cd 13, Bilbo's Last Song ('Guided by the lonely star, beyond the utmost harbour bar, I'll find the Havens fair and free, and beaches of a star-lit sea. Ship, my ship! I seek the West, and fields and mountains ever blest. Farewell to Middle-Earth at last. I see the star above my mast!)

As far as Aragorn sounding old.... Bear in mind, Tolkien has him as being 78 when he is crowned. I think that's just a tad bit..... um, I'll stop digging that hole as I don't know if there are any 78 year olds on the boards.... [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]

[ May 31, 2002: Message edited by: BoromirTheBold ]
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Old 05-31-2002, 05:52 PM   #34
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Saruman's voice bugged me. It sounded too young for the character. I did like Gandalf though. He was really good!
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Old 06-08-2002, 12:22 PM   #35
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The BBC repeated the radio series during the winter this year and have re-released the tapes/CD (WHSmith have them in the UK) I'm not a big fan but they're ok and a good way to get someone interested who's not into reading. Robert Stephens and John Le Mesurier are of course dead as is the great (Paddington Bear) Micheal Horden. Bill Nighy has just played the baddie 'Grainger' in Auf Wiedersehen Pet. Hope that's useful, I'd better get back to novices and newcomers before someone starts picking faults with my information.
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Old 06-15-2002, 05:06 PM   #36
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I didn't bother reading what everyone else wrote, but I do know that you can buy the dramatization. I've seen it in Media Play before.
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Old 07-13-2004, 11:15 AM   #37
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Just dredging this up to add a link for anyone one who's interested. Brian Sibley, one of the adaptors of the series, has added an article to his site about the series & how it came about.
http://www.briansibley.com/Broadcast...GoesEverOn.htm
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Old 07-18-2004, 11:56 AM   #38
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Thanks for this link ...... I have loved this version since I heard it's second broadcast just after I first read LOTR - I managed to buy it a couple of years ago having worn out my tape of the music!!! Bilbo's last song and A Elbereth Gilthoniel I love especially .... Only thing that grates is Aragorn particularly in the early scenes - I think Viggo is much better at showing that Aragorn could be perceived as a dangerous outlaw......

However the main strength is surely the Frodo / Sam combination which I think is superb and so much better than in the film... Ian Holm is surely a latter day hobbit... and Bill Nighy who is having a amazing surge in his career at the moment (Bafta for Love Actually,I capture the castle, Shaun of the Dead, just about everything on Britiush T V) seems much more resourceful and feisty and closer to the book.....

Sir Michael Hordern (Gandalf) as well as Shakespeare was probnably best known for being the voice of Paddington Bear.

Peter Woodthorpe was a police pathologist in the early "Inspector Morse"

Peter Vaughn "Denethor" seemed to specialise in sinister characters "Bleak House" and "Porridge"

Richard O'Callaghan made 2 Carry On films - strange but true...

David Collings (Legolas) had a few, usually minor film roles Delius, 39 Steps, and is seen occasionally on TV but is still heard frequently on Radio 4 drama,,,his voice is so distinctive...... However he has acheived cult fame as the voice of "Monkey"

Several of the surviving minor chars / regular extras also crop up on Radio 4 on a regular basis.

The non-cast singers have all had successful carreers - David James (counter tenor) as a member of the Hilliard Ensemble who collaborated with Jan Gaberek of Officium (Amazing stuff)

The treble Matthew Vine is now coming to the fore as a tenor .....adult voices not maturiong till mid thirties!) whereeas Oz Clarke the baritone is now best known as a TV wine expert....!!!!

Sadly the composer Stephen Oliver died from AIDS in 1990 - Oz Clarke sang at his funeral.
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Old 07-18-2004, 12:36 PM   #39
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Thanks for that info. I've probably listened to the series as many times as I've read LotR - 15??. I still have a soft spot for it - it captures the mood of LotR in a way that the movies just don't for me.

I also like what Sibley did with the adaptation of Adventures of TB, which shows that it can be dramatised! I would really like to get some (period) pictures of the LotR cast - I printed a couple off the Beeb w/s (now sadly removed), which are now tucked away with my LotR CDs.

(Have to say, I'm also a fan of the Hobbit series, which I know a lot of people don't like).
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Old 07-18-2004, 12:41 PM   #40
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Well they had the luxury of 13 hours and didn't waste time say on a 20 minute troll battle that takes a short paragraph int he book....... I think they used music well to move on action ie the battle scenes or to heighten emotion..... and the imagined monsters were more scary than the CG ones for me.......
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