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Customer Review

187 of 202 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BBC Production is Superb!!!, March 26, 2002
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (BBC Dramatization) (Audio CD)
I'm writing this review because all of the reviews currently listed under this item refer to the books and not to the Radio Dramatisation. I'm assuming that anyone interested in this production is already familiar with either the books or the film of Fellowship of the Ring. Firstly, this is a superb production and is far superior to the Minds Eye production which you may have seen in a wooden presentation case. Although the presentation of this product could have been more attractive (and was in it's initial CD incarnation) it is still a "must have" item for any Tolkien fan. The cast is comprised of some of the BBC's finest actors including Ian Holm, John LeMesurier, Michael Hordern and Robert Stephenson. Ian Holm is particularly brilliant in his tortured and beautifully realised descent into despair. The production values are second to none and in some ways surpass the Peter Jackson film simply by allowing your imagination to fill in all the details. Peter Woodthorpe is stunning as Gollum\Smeagol and sets a very steep challenge for Andy Serkis to rise to in the forthcoming Two Towers movie.
Naturally, this is an adaptation and as such is abridged, but the only notable omissions are Bombadil, The Old Forest and the Barrow Wights. Some of the music may not be to all tastes (I personally dislike the Eagles proclamation of Saurons defeat) but all of it is beautifully orchestrated and delivered. Highlights for me would be William Nighy as Sam singing a part of the fall of Gil-Galad and his song in the tower of Minas Morgul. Gimli's recitation of "In Moria, In Khazad Dum" has wonderful emotion and resonance and Bilbo's last song is a beautiful and heartbreaking accompaniment to the scene at the Grey Havens.
Miranda Richardson's Galadriel has great power and she handles the temptation of the ring masterfully. Likewise Eowyn's challenge to the Lord of the Nazgul is amazingly powerful.
The main problem in a radio production is in finding a natural way to describe visual scenes without clumsy "Look Frodo, It's a big walking tree..." lines. This is handled very well for the most part particularly in the Battle of Helms Deep. Brian Sibley's decision to use the Minstrel of Gondor to tell the tale of the Battle of Pelennor Field is less successful but I found that after the first sitting I started to quite enjoy the effect.
I hope this short review has been enough to convince you that this is a very worthy addition to any collection and I hope that it appears in the correct section when you look for reviews of the Radio Play.
As a side note, although it is good, the BBC production of the Hobbit does not reach the heights that this production does, primarily due to poor choice of music style and a less than charismatic Gandalf.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 3, 2011 2:27:23 PM PST
counterrev says:
Thank you for this excellent review. I couldn't agree more.

Posted on Nov 27, 2012 12:15:44 PM PST
Melody Vito says:
Thanks, I was looking for a good version for a friend of mine who is blind, and as you say, I would be looking for an audio if I didn't know how superb the books are.

Posted on Nov 27, 2012 6:55:39 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 27, 2012 6:58:50 PM PST
T Howard says:
Thanks. I thought it strange that most were commenting on the book itself or the story itself rather than the quality of the audio book. Do you know of a better audio version?

Posted on Jul 11, 2015 7:27:27 AM PDT
Buying based on your review. You clearly have a deep appreciation for TLR.
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