CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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The Lord of the Rings (BBC Dramatization, Consumer Edition) Audio CD – Box set, Audiobook
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Top Customer Reviews
The music used in this production has received mixed reviews. Those who dislike it, influenced perhaps by bits of the soundtrack from Peter Jackson's films, may have been hoping for something more "Celtic," Enya-like. Forget it. What we get is firmly in the English tradition of Vaughan Williams and others: lush strings with churchy vocals supplied by boy sopranos, countertenors, and other former choristers. Indeed the songs, which had always struck me as one of the weaknesses of the books, are one of the strengths of this adaptation. Making a virtue of a necessity, the radio production has fully exploited portions of the books all but ignored by the filmmakers, and the supplemental music CD, which at first seemed to me superfluous, proved to be a welcome bonus in the end.
Several reviewers have objected to the casting of Robert Stephens as Aragorn. I confess that my initial reaction was unfavorable as well: I kept picturing him as the aged, dissolute, and thoroughly "cudgeled" figure of Pistol at the end of Kenneth Branagh's "Henry V." But just as Sam gets used to the uncouth Strider, I got used to Robert Stephens, even as I got used to Ian Holm as Frodo instead of as Bilbo, whom he portrayed in the films.Read more ›
As far as I can tell, this edition (The Lord of the Rings (BBC Dramatization, Consumer Edition) - black box, 12 CDs) is *almost* the same as the originally-released 13-episode version, which I have on cassette tapes and have listened to often. According to a wiki website, BBC released this first as 26 half-hour episodes, then as 13 hourlong episodes (adding and removing small pieces to make this work). This version is the 13 episode version. In addition it has opening and closing narration for each of the 3 books in LOTR, written by Brian Sibley and spoken by Iam Holm as Frodo (he plays Frodo in the episodes as well) in which Frodo thinks about writing down the story. Also, the episode divisions have been removed - which explains why the 13 episodes now fit on 12 CDs.
Overall I am very happy with this edition of my beloved BBC LOTR. I'm sure I will grow accustomed to the narrative framing - it's not very long or intrusive, and it's good; it's just a change. I will miss the music from the episode divisions, but I won't miss the interruptions to the narrative. I am thrilled to replace my worn-out cassette tapes with more durable CDs of the same performance.
In the radio version, Sam's love of the elves comes out more than in the movies. Merry and Pippin are cast in a different light, with Merry given a wiser role than in the movies, and one grows to love them and their commitment to Frodo in a way that the movies were unable to portray. In the radio version, Gimli's admiration and kinship with the long-passed rulers of Moria is meaningful and deep, and the camaraderie of Gimli, Legolas, and Aragorn really rings true. Overall, the books go into the rich detail of the world, while the movies add visual elements, music, and action scenes. The BBC theatrical radio version draws additional depth of feeling from the characters and focuses less on action but more on story. If you enjoyed Tolkien's poetry from the books, you'll be quite pleased at how the radio version uses many of the poems most pertinent for character development--including Frodo singing the "Walking Song" and a delightfully hobbit-like tune at the Prancing Pony in Bree. Then there is Sam singing of Gil Galad, Gimli quoting the tale of Durin, and many others.Read more ›
Many purists claim that this is the most faithful of the Lord of the Rings adaptations, and they are right. Don't let that discourage you, though; this series is not just for Tolkien scholars. It is extremely accessible, and has aged very little since its original airing in 1981. The production values are high, the stereo sound is rich and clear, the music is ageless, and - best of all - the cast has risen to the occasion in a way that perhaps no other cast ever will. If you are listening to the series after having listened to the BBC's 1968 Hobbit production, you will find the technical and artistic improvements made in the 13 year interval to be striking.
The cast is almost uniformly excellent, but I want to draw particular attention to (who else?) Frodo and Sam.
Ian Holm is known to many Tolkien fans as Bilbo in Peter Jackson's movies, and he brings playfulness and gravitas in equal measure to Frodo here. His deeply conflicted portrayal is much closer to Tolkien's intent than Elijah Wood's young and naive take in the movies. Aside from these stodgy academic concerns of textual accuracy, though, Holm's portrayal is simply more enjoyable because it has so much more depth. Frodo does not set out on this journey as a wide-eyed teenager; he is a man, a master, a scholar, and a friend.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good dramatization! Only voice that seemed out of character was that of Aragorn/Strider, whose actor spoke with almost a lisp. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Jennifer Cline
This is the original BBC radio dramatization from the 1980's. I remember getting this off the radio onto cassette tapes, and listening while driving to school. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Rosiel
This has been my favorite since I first heard it broadcast decades ago. It is an abbreviated version that leaves out Tom Bombadil, but it was a rare pleasure when it was first... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Liam Sauer-wooden
This is a fantastic dramatization & so faithful to the book! love it !!Published 23 months ago by Beth R