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The Lord of the Rings (1955 radio series)

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(just to stop the woo-hoo gushing over nobody else figuring this out. will source and cleanup tomorrow :).)
(still waiting for more Radio Times issues, but sufficuently cleaned up to get the claimed off.)
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In [[1955]], the [[BBC|BBC Radio Third Programme]] aired a treatment of ''[[The Fellowship of the Ring]]'' in six episodes. A year later, three episodes on ''[[The Two Towers]]'' and ''[[The Return of the King]]'' followed in [[1956]]. Together, they became known as the 1955 [[:Category:Radio adaptations|radio series]] of '''''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'''''.
'''The Lord of the Rings''' was a radio series broadcasted in [[1955]] and [[1956]] by the BBC, shortly after the release of ''[[The Return of the King]]''. No known recordings of this broadcast are known to have survived, unfortunately. Six episodes detailing the events of ''[[The Fellowship of the Ring]]'' were aired in 1955, and six episodes finishing the story in 1956.
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==Episodes==
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;The Fellowship of the Ring
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* Episode 1: ?
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* Episode 2: ?
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* Episode 3: "Aragorn", [[November 29]], [[1955]]<ref name="RT1672">Radio Times, Volume 129, No. 1672, [[November 25]], [[1958]]</ref>
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* Episode 4: [[December 4]], [[1955]]<ref name="RT1672"/>
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* Episode 5: "The Moria Gate", [[December 11]], [[1955]]<ref name="RT1674">Radio Times, Volume 129, No. 1674, [[December 9]], [[1958]]</ref>
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* Episode 6: [[December 18]], [[1955]]<ref name="RT1674"/>
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;The Two Towers
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* Episode 1: ?
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* Episode 2: ?
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* Episode 3: ?
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;The Return of the King
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* Episode 1: ?
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* Episode 2: ?
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* Episode 3: ?
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==Cast==
 
==Cast==
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
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! Role !! Actor
 
! Role !! Actor
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Gandalf]] || [[Norman Shelley]]
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| [[Gandalf]] || [[Norman Shelley]]<ref name="RT1674"/><ref name="L175">[[J.R.R. Tolkien]], [[Humphrey Carpenter]], [[Christopher Tolkien]] (eds.), ''[[The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien]]'', [[Letter 175]] (dated [[November 30]], [[1955]])</ref>
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Tom Bombadil]] || Norman Shelley
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| [[Tom Bombadil]] || Norman Shelley<ref name="RT1672"/><ref name="L175"/>
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Frodo]] || [[Oliver Burt]]
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| [[Frodo]] || [[Oliver Burt]]<ref name="RT1672"/>
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Samwise Gamgee|Sam]] || [[Victor Platt]]
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| [[Samwise Gamgee|Sam]] || [[Victor Platt]]<ref name="RT1672"/>
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Pippin]] || [[Basil Jones]]
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| [[Pippin]] || [[Basil Jones]]<ref name="RT1672"/>
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Merry]] || [[Michael Collins]]
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| [[Merry]] || [[Michael Collins]]<ref name="RT1672"/>
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Aragorn]] || [[Godfrey Kenton]]
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| [[Aragorn]] || [[Godfrey Kenton]]<ref name="RT1672"/>
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Legolas]] || [[Frank Duncan]]
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| [[Legolas]] || [[Frank Duncan]]<ref name="RT1674"/>
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Elrond]] || [[Garard Green]]
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| [[Elrond]] || [[Garard Green]]<ref name="RT1674"/>
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Gimli]] ||[[Eric Lugg]]
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| [[Gimli]] ||[[Eric Lugg]]<ref name="RT1674"/>
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Boromir (son of Denethor II)|Boromir]] || [[Derek Prentice]]
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| [[Boromir (son of Denethor II)|Boromir]] || [[Derek Prentice]]<ref name="RT1674"/>
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Bilbo Baggins|Bilbo]] || [[Felix Felton]]
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| [[Bilbo Baggins|Bilbo]] || [[Felix Felton]]<ref name="RT1674"/>
 
|-
 
|-
| Narrator || [[Derek Hart]]
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| Narrator || [[Derek Hart]]<ref name="RT1672"/>
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Goldberry]] || [[Nicolette Bernard]]
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| Unspecified, presumably [[Goldberry]] || [[Nicolette Bernard]]<ref name="RT1672"/>
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|-
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|Unspecified || Frank Duncan<ref name="RT1672"/>
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|-
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|Unspecified || Derek Prentice<ref name="RT1672"/>
 
|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
  
Adapted by [[Terence Tiller]]. Music by [[Anthony Smith-Masters]].
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Adapted by [[Terence Tiller]].<ref name="L193">[[J.R.R. Tolkien]], [[Humphrey Carpenter]], [[Christopher Tolkien]] (eds.), ''[[The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien]]'', [[Letter 193]] (dated [[November 2]], [[1956]]</ref> Music by [[Anthony Smith-Masters]].<ref name="RT1672"/>
 
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==Episodes==
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"The Fellowship of the Ring"
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* Episode 1: ?
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* Episode 2: ?
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* Episode 3: "Aragorn", [[November 29]], [[1955]]
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* Episode 4: [[December 4]], [[1955]]
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* Episode 5: "The Moria Gate", [[December 11]], [[1955]]
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* Episode 6: [[December 18]], [[1955]]  
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==Response==
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==Differences from the book==
This adaptation was made while [[J.R.R. Tolkien]] was still alive, and he expressed his criticism about the radio series in letters [[Letter 175|175]] ([[November 30]], [[1955]]), [[Letter 176|176]] ([[December 8]], [[1955]]) and [[Letter 177|177]] (same date). At this time, the episodes describing the chapter ''[[Many Meetings]]'' was apparently the most recently aired.
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*'''Tom Bombadil:''' Considered by Tolkien "dreadful".
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*'''Tom Bombadil:''' Considered by Tolkien "dreadful", though it is left unexplained why.<ref name="L175"/>
*'''[[Goldberry]]:''' She is for some reason portrayed as Bombadil's daughter.
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*'''[[Goldberry]]:''' She is for some reason portrayed as Bombadil's daughter.<ref name="L175"/>
*'''[[Old Man Willow|Willowman]]:''' He is shown in league with [[Mordor]], rather than just an antagonist of the Hobbits.
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*'''[[Old Man Willow|Willowman]]:''' He is shown in league with [[Mordor]], rather than just an antagonist of the Hobbits.<ref name="L175"/>
*'''[[Glóin son of Gróin|Glóin]]:''' He was "someone's idea of a German". Tolkien thought he was not too bad, though a bit exaggerated.
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*'''[[Glóin son of Gróin|Glóin]]:''' He was "someone's idea of a German". Tolkien thought he was not too bad, though a bit exaggerated.<ref name="L176">[[J.R.R. Tolkien]], [[Humphrey Carpenter]], [[Christopher Tolkien]] (eds.), ''[[The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien]]'', [[Letter 176]] (dated [[December 8]], [[1955]]</ref>
  
After Tolkien's criticism of the series, adapter Terence Tiller corresponded briefly with him. [[Letter 193]] deals primarily on accents, while [[letter 194]] shows more of Tolkien's criticism of changes made to the story.
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{{references}}
  
 
[[Category:Radio adaptations]]
 
[[Category:Radio adaptations]]

Revision as of 11:13, 22 March 2009

In 1955, the BBC Radio Third Programme aired a treatment of The Fellowship of the Ring in six episodes. A year later, three episodes on The Two Towers and The Return of the King followed in 1956. Together, they became known as the 1955 radio series of The Lord of the Rings.

Contents

Episodes

The Fellowship of the Ring
The Two Towers
  • Episode 1: ?
  • Episode 2: ?
  • Episode 3: ?
The Return of the King
  • Episode 1: ?
  • Episode 2: ?
  • Episode 3: ?

Cast

Role Actor
Gandalf Norman Shelley[2][3]
Tom Bombadil Norman Shelley[1][3]
Frodo Oliver Burt[1]
Sam Victor Platt[1]
Pippin Basil Jones[1]
Merry Michael Collins[1]
Aragorn Godfrey Kenton[1]
Legolas Frank Duncan[2]
Elrond Garard Green[2]
Gimli Eric Lugg[2]
Boromir Derek Prentice[2]
Bilbo Felix Felton[2]
Narrator Derek Hart[1]
Unspecified, presumably Goldberry Nicolette Bernard[1]
Unspecified Frank Duncan[1]
Unspecified Derek Prentice[1]

Adapted by Terence Tiller.[4] Music by Anthony Smith-Masters.[1]

Differences from the book

  • Tom Bombadil: Considered by Tolkien "dreadful", though it is left unexplained why.[3]
  • Goldberry: She is for some reason portrayed as Bombadil's daughter.[3]
  • Willowman: He is shown in league with Mordor, rather than just an antagonist of the Hobbits.[3]
  • Glóin: He was "someone's idea of a German". Tolkien thought he was not too bad, though a bit exaggerated.[5]

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Radio Times, Volume 129, No. 1672, November 25, 1958
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Radio Times, Volume 129, No. 1674, December 9, 1958
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 175 (dated November 30, 1955)
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 193 (dated November 2, 1956
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 176 (dated December 8, 1955