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BBC Recordings- Thoughts after first few chapters

aruman
Rivendell


Apr 25 2013, 1:51am

Post #1 of 15 (277 views)
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BBC Recordings- Thoughts after first few chapters Can't Post

OK gang, here it is. I finally purchased the BBC LOTR radio dramatizations (of which I have hitherto only heard bits and pieces) and I must say, these recordings FREAKINí RULE. Iíve only listened up to right before Frodo sets out from Bag End, but so far the voices are perfecto, and they really capture the feel of the books. I love them already. One thing that I found particularly interesting- this is the first attempt Iíve ever seen to portray Gollumís capture by Sauron/Sauronís servants. In the book and films it is mentioned, and in the movie we get a brief glimpse of Gollumís torture at the hands of Sauronís Orcs, but we donít actually see his capture.
On the BBC recordings, a voice is heard questioning Gollum, saying something along the lines of, ďWho are you, what are you doing here? No one comes here without the Lord Sauronís leave! You will be brought before Sauron!Ē To which Gollum basically screams ďNO! Lemme go!Ē I may be wrong, but I got the feeling that this is supposed to be the person who first saw Gollum slithering among the rocks around Mordor (as opposed to Gollum being caught by Orcs then dragged back to a Lieutenant or something).
The voice doesnít really sound to me like that of an Orc; I believe it is supposed to be a man.
I find it fascinating to ponder this area which Tolkien seems to have left open to interpretation. Unless there is some letter somewhere I donít know about, Tolkien never went into much detail regarding Gollumís capture. I think the torture itself is only hinted at, and that too is portrayed in the BBC recordings (I think the voice interrogating Gollum is the same as the voice of the character who captured him).
It is implied in the books that Gollum has actually seen Sauron (commenting on his missing a finger) and I think it is implied that the torture had something to do with his hands, but we donít get a very vivid image on said torture.
Anyway, I just thought it was neat to hear that actually dramatized.

In the movies Elrond, Denethor, Haldir, Galadriel, and Celeborn stink.


demnation
Rohan


Apr 25 2013, 4:10am

Post #2 of 15 (157 views)
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The best adaptation of the book by far [In reply to] Can't Post

IMHO. There is just something about the way it "feels" that captures the book almost perfectly.

Use Well the Days


Patty
Immortal


Apr 25 2013, 5:54am

Post #3 of 15 (153 views)
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I love this version, too. [In reply to] Can't Post

All the voices are spot on to me, too. I've heard Robert Stephens' Aragorn criticized for sounding too posh, but I think he has the appropriate amount of "class" and highborn air to him. Michael Hordern's Gandalf voice is spot on sounding to me, although, the funny thing is that I read somewhere that, not ever having read the book, he didn't know or understand what he was talking about when he preformed it! Now, that's an actor!
I was glad to see Glorfindel make his rightful appearance, too. The voice of Sam is Bill Nighy. He sounds a bit "precious" (forgive the pun) but I got used to it.

Have you listened to the The Hobbit by the BBC? I prefer their version of "Far Over the Misty Mountains". The voices take a little more getting used to, but I enjoyed them, to.

Permanent address: Into the West






dormouse
Half-elven


Apr 25 2013, 7:30am

Post #4 of 15 (129 views)
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I love it too [In reply to] Can't Post

The handling of some of the songs sends chills down my spine; the boy treble singing 'Seek for the sword that was broken', and Sam's 'Gil-galad was an Elven King'. Wonderful stuff!

The only thing I about it that I would change if I could is the casting of Aragorn. Not that there's anything wrong with Robert Stephens; it's just unfortunate for me that he has such a distinctive voice. The image that comes to mind as soon as I hear him is the villain Abner Brown in the BBC adaptation of Masefield's 'The Box of Delights', in a particularly livid green dressing-gown, and that takes me straight out of the story. But I put up with that for the rest of the recording, which is sublime.


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Apr 25 2013, 10:21am

Post #5 of 15 (126 views)
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*geeky hand clapping* Awesome! :D [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm so glad you got it AND that you're enjoying it so much! It's wonderful when pockets and corners of Tolkien's stories are investigated in various versions. I'm listening to The Hobbit with Martin Shaw right now.

HAVE FUN! :D


3rd draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observation List - updated for DVD release!!!



sample

I'm SO HAPPY these new films take me back to that magical world!!



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Nightingale
Rohan


Apr 25 2013, 3:07pm

Post #6 of 15 (114 views)
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I love them too [In reply to] Can't Post

but I think I read in Tolkien's letters somewhere that the professor himself wasn't a fan. I don't have the letters with me I'm afraid. So taken straight from Wikipedia...


"I think the book quite unsuitable for 'dramatization', and have not enjoyed the broadcasts - though they have improved. I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful - but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!)." (The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, Letter 175, 30 November 1955)

"I think poorly of the broadcast adaptations. Except for a few details I think they are not well done, even granted the script and the legitimacy of the enterprise (which I do not grant). But they took some trouble with the names. I thought that the dwarf (Glůin not Gimli [..]) was not too bad, if a bit exaggerated." (The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, Letter 176, 8 December 1955)

[To Terence Tiller, concerning accents]: "I paid great attention to such linguistic differentiation as was possible: in diction, idiom and so on; and I doubt if much more can be imported, except in so far as the individual actor represents his feeling for the character in tone and style." (The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, Letter 193, 2 November 1956)

[To Terence Tiller, concerning scripts for three of the episodes]: "Here is a book very unsuitable for dramatic or semi-dramatic representation. If that is attempted, it needs more space, a lot of space. [..] Personally, I think it requires rather the older art of the reading 'mime', than the more nearly dramatic, which results in too great an emphasis on dialogue (mostly with its setting removed). [..] I feel you have had a very hard task." (The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, Letter 194, 6 November 1956)

[Replying to his publisher concerning an enquiry about the possibility of making a cartoon of The Lord of the Rings]: "I think I should find vulgarization less painful than the sillification achieved by the B.B.C." (The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, Letter 198, 19 June 1957)


(Also, for all the tech geeks out there, the first copy I listened to was from my Dad's minidisk collection - blimey, that was a while ago..., and is the only reason we still have a portable minidisk player...)


"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me" - C. S. Lewis

"That line between the earth and sky came beckoning to me..." - Laurie's Song


demnation
Rohan


Apr 25 2013, 3:20pm

Post #7 of 15 (105 views)
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I think the letters you cite are about the old version [In reply to] Can't Post

produced in the mid- 50's, which was aired once and all recordings of which (I believe) have since been lost. The one aruman refers to were made in 1980 (or 81) and are ones I think Tolkien would have enjoyed.Smile

Use Well the Days


Nightingale
Rohan


Apr 25 2013, 3:39pm

Post #8 of 15 (103 views)
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aah I see [In reply to] Can't Post

I've only ever listened to the 80s version. Didn't know there was another... Evil


"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me" - C. S. Lewis

"That line between the earth and sky came beckoning to me..." - Laurie's Song


geordie
Tol Eressea

Apr 25 2013, 5:16pm

Post #9 of 15 (94 views)
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That's right - [In reply to] Can't Post

I joined the Tolkien Society in 1981, after hearing about the radio series. There was a publication called 'Microphones in Middle-earth', which included interviews with the cast, and Hordern said he hadn't a clue what was going on - he just did the job. Brian Sibley later recalled that Hordern came up to him and said his agent had told him he was wanted for all 26 episodes, but what's this about Gandalf falling off a bridge? Sibley explained that Gandalf comes back from the dead. Hordern said, 'Splendid! Splendid!' as only he can, and went away satisfied.

Smile


sherlock
Gondor


Apr 25 2013, 5:36pm

Post #10 of 15 (86 views)
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You know, I've never listened to the BBC's [In reply to] Can't Post

version of The Hobbit. My granddaughter who's nine saw the first Hobbit movie with me and she's started to read the book but I think it's a little too difficult for her. I offered to read it aloud but she didn't want me to. I think I'll buy the radio version and we can listen to it together. I kind of don't want to spoil the next two movies for her, though. She loved the movie!


Hamfast Gamgee
Gondor

Apr 27 2013, 8:50am

Post #11 of 15 (80 views)
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Radio production [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, there were some good things about it, it was a fairly faithful adaptation, though even they cut out Tom Bombadil! But at least they kept in bits like the letter in the Prancing Pony and had Butterbur done properly! The Nazgul were done quite well in the series as well. The only issue I had was with the prologue at all. I never see the need for a prologue in any of these adaptations. I would love to see an adaptation which started of the way it is in a book with just a Hobbit party!


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Apr 27 2013, 6:43pm

Post #12 of 15 (54 views)
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This is why I actually prefer the Mind's Eye version. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Yes, there were some good things about it, it was a fairly faithful adaptation, though even they cut out Tom Bombadil! But at least they kept in bits like the letter in the Prancing Pony and had Butterbur done properly! The Nazgul were done quite well in the series as well. The only issue I had was with the prologue at all. I never see the need for a prologue in any of these adaptations. I would love to see an adaptation which started of the way it is in a book with just a Hobbit party!



The dramatization that aired on NPR does include Bombadil and does not add a prologue. I don't have a serious problem with most of the pronunciation/accent issues--probably because I'm American and I am just not sensitive on the topic.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


geordie
Tol Eressea

Apr 27 2013, 8:33pm

Post #13 of 15 (48 views)
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Butterbur was brilliant [In reply to] Can't Post

- James Grout's performance was terrific. On the question of Bombadil - the adapters left him out because of time restraints (only 26 hours you see). But Brian Sibley brought the Bombadil chapters to the airwaves some ten years later, in a series called 'Tales from the Perilous Realm'. Nigel Planer played the part of Frodo. Look here -

http://audiodrama.wikia.com/wiki/Tales_from_the_Perilous_Realm

Bombadil comes over perfectly on the radio.
.


aruman
Rivendell


Apr 28 2013, 1:54am

Post #14 of 15 (36 views)
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Mind's Eye sounds really good... [In reply to] Can't Post

I look forward to listening to the Mind's Eye adaptation once I finish BBC...So far I've heard a little bit of them and they sound great, I especially liked the narrator!

In the movies Elrond, Denethor, Haldir, Galadriel, and Celeborn stink.


aruman
Rivendell


Apr 28 2013, 1:59am

Post #15 of 15 (33 views)
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THat was my first thought... [In reply to] Can't Post

I can totally see where the critics of Stephens are coming from, at first I was like what the heck? This can't be Aragorn! But before they had reached Weathertop the voice had grown on me and I was a fan of Stephens' Aragorn!

In the movies Elrond, Denethor, Haldir, Galadriel, and Celeborn stink.

 
 

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