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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
BBC Radio Adaptation Episode II The Black Riders: Crickhollow to Bree

ArathornJax
Lorien


Jun 12 2008, 12:57am

Post #1 of 10 (145 views)
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BBC Radio Adaptation Episode II The Black Riders: Crickhollow to Bree Can't Post

 
1. As has been mentioned, Tom Bombadil is absent from this adaptation as is Gildor and the elves in Woody End. Do you think that the way the Brian Sibley wrote around these scenes allows those who know the story to still think that they occurred, but were not dramatized in order to keep the story moving forward?

2. What do you like or dislike specifically about Farmer Maggot?

3. In the conspiracy unmasked scene at Crickhollow what do you think of Sir Ian Holm's performance as Frodo as Merry, Pippin and Sam reveal that they are going with him?

4. Sam shows in this episode how suspicious he is of others that he does not know? We see this with Farmer Maggot and with Strider. Why is Sam so suspicious and does William Nighey successfully carry this off? Why or why not?

5. I love Butterbur and I think he is more convincing then in any other adaption of the book. What are your initial impressions of Butterbur?

" . . . (we are ) too engrossed in thinking of everything as a preparation or training or making one fit -- for what? At any minute it is what we are and are doing, not what we plan to be and do that counts."

J.R.R. Tolkien in his 6 October 1940 letter to his son Michael Tolkien.




Huan71
Lorien

Jun 12 2008, 9:09am

Post #2 of 10 (72 views)
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Well played. [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought Farmer Maggot and Butterbur were both played very well. They had the right accent's, just as i'd imagined them ! (Very similar to a few people i know! lol..).

What i liked about this episode was the inclusion of Maggot helping them out to Crickhollow and meeting up with Merry. I feel it helped to fill out the story, and the environment, as they left the shire.
Also the crickhollow scene was very well done. It was well acted by Ian Holm...He showed just the right emotions.
I always thought the films missed this scene. The whole bumping into each other in a field then running away wasnt quite right to me....It allowed Frodo to talk of this secret he has, but really needing the help of others and being relieved to get it!

I've always been a bit sorry that the "Gildor scene" was missed out in the adaptations. I know it's not necessary but it added a sense of magic and mystery early in the story.....
That's a couple of pages i open up to and read on their own every now and then...
silly i know!Unsure

"Only the guilty dream"... oh dear, i'm DOOMED!!


sador
Half-elven

Jun 12 2008, 7:40pm

Post #3 of 10 (68 views)
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Never having heard the adaption, I can add very little [In reply to] Can't Post

But thanks to the link someone posted here, I can read the transacripts. They seem very interesting.
So I can answer only two questions.

1. As has been mentioned, Tom Bombadil is absent from this adaptation as is Gildor and the elves in Woody End. Do you think that the way the Brian Sibley wrote around these scenes allows those who know the story to still think that they occurred, but were not dramatized in order to keep the story moving forward?
Yes, I do like this very much. In fact, I think that was a flaw in the movies - and I would have preferred a few minor details to be omitted. Merry reminding Pippin about the Old Forest before entering Fangorn is a nice homage, but it shows Pippin has never been there. I don't half like it.

5. I love Butterbur and I think he is more convincing then in any other adaption of the book. What are your initial impressions of Butterbur?
The whole inn scene is given far more focus. Possibly because they're British.
But I guess in a radio adaption, a blustering character is an advantage, while on film he might be a liability.
And Gaffer Gamgee also gets a lot more lines - which might be because of either of the previous mentioned reasons, or both.

I probably won't have much to add in future discussions. But if I find the time, I'll try to follow them.

"The words of this wizard stand on their head" - Gimli


FarFromHome
Valinor


Jun 13 2008, 7:55am

Post #4 of 10 (108 views)
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Love Farmer Maggot! [In reply to] Can't Post

He's so gruff at the start, and yet so warm and kindly once you get to know him. He makes it quite believable that Frodo might have been afraid of him when he was a mushroom-stealing lad, and yet be a true friend to him now. I also like the way he tells the whole story of his meeting with the Black Rider, doing the Black Rider's voice as well as his own. The meeting with Merry is nicely done - you really do wonder for a minute who's there in the fog until Merry's light voice pipes up with his joke about the duck-pond!

1. As has been mentioned, Tom Bombadil is absent from this adaptation as is Gildor and the elves in Woody End. Do you think that the way the Brian Sibley wrote around these scenes allows those who know the story to still think that they occurred, but were not dramatized in order to keep the story moving forward?

Yes, I think it's fairly easy to pass over these scenes without having to change much in the story. It's very linear at this point, so leaving out a couple of stops along the way doesn't make much difference to the flow. There is just one thing I miss from the Gildor episode - Sam's promise that he won't leave Frodo. The movie found a way to get this in, but the radio play passes right over it.

3. In the conspiracy unmasked scene at Crickhollow what do you think of Sir Ian Holm's performance as Frodo as Merry, Pippin and Sam reveal that they are going with him?

Nicely done. He goes from embarrassment to bluster to being quite moved by his friends' generosity.

4. Sam shows in this episode how suspicious he is of others that he does not know? We see this with Farmer Maggot and with Strider. Why is Sam so suspicious and does William Nighey successfully carry this off? Why or why not?

I think that in the book, Sam is mostly suspicious of Farmer Maggot because he's been told by his dad that the people of Buckland are "queer folk" (in fact, in this version, the Gaffer even tells the Black Rider that "they're queer folk down there"!) But in this adaptation, Frodo explains to Farmer Maggot that Sam is suspicious because he's heard how he beat Frodo as a lad. So they make it clear that Sam is feeling protective - which I think also carries over to his attitude to Strider. Bill Nighy really does make Sam sound like a country lad who may not know much but he knows where his loyalties lie.

5. I love Butterbur and I think he is more convincing then in any other adaption of the book. What are your initial impressions of Butterbur?

He's a great character! Exactly as I imagined him from the book. The actor who plays him (James Grout) is a great character actor who played Inspector Morse's boss for years - I think he'd have looked the part for Butterbur too, if this had been on video instead of radio. (By the way, listening this time I got the impression that when Butterbur opens the door of the Prancing Pony he doesn't notice the hobbits at first, and does a bit of a double-take - a bit like the visual joke in the movie where the gatekeeper opens the upper wicket first and sees no-one there, then opens the lower one. But I could have imagined it!)

...and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew,
and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth;
and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore
glimmered and was lost.


sador
Half-elven

Jun 13 2008, 10:47am

Post #5 of 10 (55 views)
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It's in the book as well [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
(in fact, in this version, the Gaffer even tells the Black Rider that "they're queer folk down there"!)


In 'Three is Company', Frodo overhears the Gaffer saying:

Quote

I've never been so far myself; they're queer folks in Buckland.



"The words of this wizard stand on their head" - Gimli


FarFromHome
Valinor


Jun 13 2008, 11:12am

Post #6 of 10 (57 views)
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Thanks for reminding me [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
In 'Three is Company', Frodo overhears the Gaffer saying: I've never been so far myself; they're queer folks in Buckland.



I didn't check the book, and I didn't remember we got the Gaffer's words - I just recalled that Frodo overheard him talking to the Black Rider. Another thing I misremembered from the book, but that suddenly dawned on me later: Sam's suspicion of Farmer Maggot is at least partly because of him having beaten Frodo, just as in the radio version:

Sam sipped his beer suspiciously. He had a natural mistrust of the inhabitants of other parts of the Shire; and also he was not disposed to be quick friends with anyone who had beaten his master, however long ago. (A Shortcut to Mushrooms)

I've listened to the BBC recording so many times that I can never remember what's in the book and what isn't! Wink But now I come to look at the text properly, the BBC recording is very faithful here, right up to Sam sipping his beer suspiciously - since we hear Pippin say how good the beer is and Sam replying "I suppose so" quite grudgingly!

...and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew,
and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth;
and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore
glimmered and was lost.


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jun 13 2008, 4:28pm

Post #7 of 10 (54 views)
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The voices that [In reply to] Can't Post

portray Maggot and Butterbur are spot-on, imho. I've jumped ahead of myself a bit on my previous posts about those two, but that doesn't stop me from singing their praises again. Holm's Frodo does an wonderful job of being nervous coming onto the farm and slowly easing as he befriends Maggot. Sam's very guarded and downright tight in his restraint. Even though we here him little, for Sam... that says a lot!

This Butterbur is delightful! He's the best of all the stories and adaptations out there, imho. Flustered, talks fast, emotions, YELLS like a pub-owner on the run... yeah, he's a delight!

sample

"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."



TORn's Observations Lists


Jazmine
Tol Eressea


Jun 13 2008, 6:10pm

Post #8 of 10 (50 views)
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Love the inclusion of Crickhollow [In reply to] Can't Post

and the Conspiracy Unmasked. Ian Holm's Frodo is great, though it's taken me til this scene to stop associating his voice with Bilbo!

Farmer Maggot is great, exactly how I always imagined him. Frodo's fear of Maggot and his dogs, and Mrs Maggot giving him a basket of mushrooms, I feel it was important to include these bits as it added a little light-heartedness to the situation. As the story progresses further, there becomes no room for such moments so it's good to get them in while still possible.

Butterbur's voice and mannerisms are spot on. The best Butterbur from any adaptation by far.

I did miss Gildor at Woody End. It's a wonderful scene, gives you a little taste of the Elves before arriving at Rivendell. But I understand why it was left out, as we couldn't be tarrying in the Shire forever. The same with Bombadil, it would've been nice to include him but when you're working with time restraints, some things need to be left out!

Giving the Fox a cameo might've been nice though! Tongue


*Jazminatar the Brown*


Patty
Immortal


Jun 14 2008, 12:50am

Post #9 of 10 (50 views)
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I'm able to get back at last... [In reply to] Can't Post

the grandkids are visiting, and they keep stealing the computer!

Anyway, I do want to comment on your statement about James Grout's Butterbur. I agree, this is the best "Butterbur" by far. Mr. Grout plays Inspector Morse's boss, and with a little more hair he would even look the part. As a very talented character actor, he brings his wonderful voice skills to this role, being full of disdain for and suspicious of "Strider", and properly contrite for forgetting to deliver the letter from Gandalf. I think this is also the adaptation where he actually has more to say, so we can get a more proper "view" of him. The Butterbur in the movie wasn't bad (although I do wish his name had been mentioned, just once!), but he didn't have much to say.

I'd say Sam was just suspicious of Maggot for Frodo's sake, as Maggot had, in his opinion, mistreated him in the little matter of the mushrooms in the past. But he genuinely was suspicious of Strider for his unsavory looks only, and Nighy did a great job of lowering his voice (in response to Maggot) and in what he said to Frodo (" take care, and I say let's begin with him!). I think he is already beginning to show more assertiveness.

Hanging out with the Lonely Isle elves.


Idril Celebrindal
Tol Eressea


Jun 14 2008, 1:05am

Post #10 of 10 (61 views)
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Barliman's the name ... [In reply to] Can't Post

1. As has been mentioned, Tom Bombadil is absent from this adaptation as is Gildor and the elves in Woody End. Do you think that the way the Brian Sibley wrote around these scenes allows those who know the story to still think that they occurred, but were not dramatized in order to keep the story moving forward?

Since Sibley went back later and dramatized the Tom Bombadil chapters, what we sometimes do is stop the CD when the hobbits enter the Old Forest, play the Tom Bombadil radio play, and then return to the LOTR radio play! It's a bit jarring, though, because the actors are different.

2. What do you like or dislike specifically about Farmer Maggot?

Farmer Maggot is very gruff and down-to-earth. I like how he fearlessly tells off the Black Rider. He's one of the "major" minor characters who are portrayed so well here.

4. Sam shows in this episode how suspicious he is of others that he does not know? We see this with Farmer Maggot and with Strider. Why is Sam so suspicious and does William Nighey successfully carry this off? Why or why not?

Sam is still pretty naive at this point, and is carried away by his loyalty to Frodo. It's funny how Maggot echoes the Hobbiton hobbits' suspiciousness of outsiders -- even down to using the same words to describe them!

5. I love Butterbur and I think he is more convincing then in any other adaption of the book. What are your initial impressions of Butterbur?

Well, Butterbur is exactly what I expected: bustling about trying to do six different things at once, bossing around his hobbit employees -- a quintessential innkeeper! The actor who played Butterbur in Peter Jackson's Fellowship of the Ring sounds eerily like James Grout, too!



We're discussing the BBC Lotrd of the Rings Radio Play on the Movie Discussion - LOTR board.

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