Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Lord of the Rings: The Radio Play

I spent some of the money I got for Christmas on the 13 disc set of the BBC Radio version of Lord of the Rings and, I have to say, it's been quite excellent so far (Boromir has just died, Frodo and Sam have set off by themselves towards the Cracks of Doom and Pippin and Merry have just met Treebeard). The performances are consistently excellent, with Aragorn sounding considerably less kingly and more common than in the movies and John Le Messurier as Bilbo sounding exactly like sergeant Wilson from Dad's Army, down to the very slight pause before the last word in a sentence.

One interesting thing is that - just like Peter Jackson in the movies - this version completely ignores the entire early passage through the Old Forest and the meeting with Tom Bombaddil and the Barrow Wights. Now, I'm not terribly keen on that part of the book, and it doesn't have any impact on the rest of the story making it an obvious place to make a decent sized cut in the running time, but it does seem strange that - for a radio version which includes all the songs and poems sung in full - they felt the need to excise anything at all.

Still, it's very good and well worth buying, especially if you can pick a copy up cheap on eBay.

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