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The Lord of the Rings (1955 radio series)

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{{disambig-more|The Lord of the Rings|[[The Lord of the Rings (disambiguation)]]}}In [[1955]], the [[BBC|BBC Radio Third Programme]] aired a treatment of ''[[The Fellowship of the Ring]]'' in six episodes. A [[1956|year later]], six episodes on ''[[The Two Towers]]'' and ''[[The Return of the King]]'' followed. Though only the latter six episodes were called thus, the entire series has become 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==
 +
;The Fellowship of the Ring
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* Episode 1: [[14 November|November 14]], [[1955]]<ref name="CaG"/>
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* Episode 2: ?
 +
* Episode 3: "Aragorn", [[29 November|November 29]], [[1955]]<ref name="RT1672">Radio Times, Volume 129, No. 1672, [[25 November|November 25]], [[1955]]</ref>
 +
* Episode 4: "Many Meetings", [[4 December|December 4]], [[1955]]<ref name="RT1673">Radio Times, Volume 129, No. 1673, [[2 December|December 2]], [[1955]]</ref>
 +
* Episode 5: "The Moria Gate", [[11 December|December 11]], [[1955]]<ref name="RT1674">Radio Times, Volume 129, No. 1674, [[9 December|December 9]], [[1955]]</ref>
 +
* Episode 6: "The Breaking of the Fellowship", [[18 December|December 18]], [[1955]]<ref name="RT1675">Radio Times, Volume 129, No. 1675, [[16 December|December 16]], [[1955]]</ref>
 +
;The Lord of the Rings
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* Episode 1: "Fangorn", [[19 November|November 19]], [[1956]]<ref name="RT1723">Radio Times, Volume 133, No. 1723, [[16 November|November 16]], [[1956]]</ref>
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* Episode 2: "Rohan and Isengard", [[26 November|November 26]], [[1956]]<ref name="RT1724">Radio Times, Volume 133, No. 1724, [[23 November|November 23]], [[1956]]</ref>
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* Episode 3: "Into the Dark", [[2 December|December 2]], [[1956]]<ref name="RT1725">Radio Times, Volume 133, No. 1725, [[30 November|November 30]], [[1956]]</ref>
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* Episode 4: "The Siege of Gondor", [[9 December|December 9]], [[1956]]<ref name="RT1726">Radio Times, Volume 133, No. 1726, [[7 December|December 7]], [[1956]]</ref>
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* Episode 5: "Minas Tirith and Mount Doom", [[16 December|December 16]], [[1956]]<ref name="RT1727">Radio Times, Volume 133, No. 1727, [[14 December|December 14]], [[1956]]</ref>
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* Episode 6: [[23 December|December 23]], [[1956]]<ref name="RT1727"/>
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==Cast==
 
==Cast==
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
|- bgcolor="#CCCCCC"
 
|- bgcolor="#CCCCCC"
! Role !! Actor
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! Actor !! Role
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Gandalf]] || [[Norman Shelley]]
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|[[John Baker]] || Orcs<ref name="RT1723"/>
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Tom Bombadil]] || Norman Shelley
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|[[Nicolette Bernard]] ||Unspecified (presumably [[Goldberry]]),<ref name="RT1672"/> [[Galadriel]]<ref name="RT1675"/>
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Frodo]] || [[Oliver Burt]]
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|[[Oliver Burt]] || [[Frodo Baggins|Frodo]]<ref name="RT1672"/>
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Samwise Gamgee|Sam]] || [[Victor Platt]]
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|[[Michael Collins]] || [[Meriadoc Brandybuck|Merry]]<ref name="RT1672"/>
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Pippin]] || [[Basil Jones]]
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|[[Frank Duncan]] || [[Legolas]],<ref name="RT1674"/> [[Halbarad]],<ref name="RT1726"/> Additional voices<ref name="RT1672"/><ref name="RT1673"/>
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Merry]] || [[Michael Collins]]
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|[[Valentine Dyall]] || [[Treebeard]],<ref name="RT1723"/> [[Théoden]],<ref name="RT1724"/> Orcs<ref name="RT1675"/>
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Aragorn]] || [[Godfrey Kenton]]
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|[[Robert Farquharson]] || [[Saruman]],<ref name="RT1724"/> [[Denethor]]<ref name="RT1726"/>
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Legolas]] || [[Frank Duncan]]
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|[[Felix Felton]] || [[Bilbo Baggins|Bilbo]],<ref name="RT1674"/> Voice of [[Sauron]],<ref name="RT1724"/> [[Witch-king|The Black Captain]],<ref name="RT1727"/> Orcs,<ref name="RT1723"/> Additional voices<ref name="RT1672"/><ref name="RT1673"/>
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Elrond]] || [[Garard Green]]
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|[[Garard Green]] || [[Elrond]],<ref name="RT1674"/> [[Celeborn]],<ref name="RT1675"/> Additional voices<ref name="RT1673"/>
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Gimli]] ||[[Eric Lugg]]
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| [[Olive Gregg]] || [[Éowyn]]<ref name="RT1727"/>
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Boromir (son of Denethor II)|Boromir]] || [[Derek Prentice]]
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|[[Derek Hart]] || Narrator<ref name="RT1672"/>
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Bilbo Baggins|Bilbo]] || [[Felix Felton]]
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|[[David Hemmings]] || [[Bergil]]<ref name="RT1726"/>
 
|-
 
|-
| Narrator || [[Derek Hart]]
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|[[Noel Johnson]] || [[Éomer]]<ref name="RT1723"/>
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Goldberry]] || [[Nicolette Bernard]]
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|[[Basil Jones]] || [[Peregrin Took|Pippin]]<ref name="RT1672"/>
 +
|-
 +
|[[Godfrey Kenton]] || [[Aragorn]],<ref name="RT1672"/> [[Mablung (ranger of Ithilien)|Mablung]], <ref name="RT1675"/> Additional voices<ref name="RT1673"/>
 +
|-
 +
|[[Eric Lugg]] || [[Gimli]],<ref name="RT1674"/> Additional voices<ref name="RT1673"/>
 +
|-
 +
|[[Victor Platt]] || [[Samwise Gamgee|Sam]]<ref name="RT1672"/>
 +
|-
 +
|[[Derek Prentice]] || [[Boromir]],<ref name="RT1674"/> [[Faramir]],<ref name="RT1725"/> [[Beregond (soldier of Gondor)|Beregond]], <ref name="RT1726"/> Orcs, <ref name="RT1727"/> Additional voices<ref name="RT1672"/><ref name="RT1673"/>
 +
|-
 +
|[[Bernard Rebel]] || [[Gríma|Wormtongue]]<ref name="RT1724"/>
 +
|-
 +
|[[Prunella Scales]] || [[Ioreth]]<ref name="RT1727"/>
 +
|-
 +
|[[Gerik Schjelderup]] || [[Gollum]], <ref name="RT1723"/> Orcs<ref name="RT1723"/>
 +
|-
 +
| [[Norman Shelley]] || [[Gandalf]],<ref name="RT1674"/> [[Tom Bombadil]],<ref name="RT1672"/><ref name="L175">[[J.R.R. Tolkien]], [[Humphrey Carpenter]], [[Christopher Tolkien]] (eds.), ''[[The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien]]'', [[Letter 175]] (dated [[30 November|November 30]], [[1955]])</ref> An Old Man,<ref name="RT1723"/> Additional voices<ref name="RT1673"/>
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|-
 +
| [[Roger Snowdon]] || Orcs<ref name="RT1675"/><ref name="RT1723"/><ref name="RT1727"/>
 
|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
  
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 [[2 November|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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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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*'''[[Goldberry]]:''' She is for some reason portrayed as Bombadil's daughter.
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*'''[[Old Man Willow|Willowman]]:''' He is shown in league with [[Mordor]], rather than just an antagonist of the Hobbits.
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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.
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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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 +
==Differences from the book==
 +
*In the first six episodes, dialogue was preserved as much as possible, but in the last six, some liberty had to be taken.<ref name="CaG">[[Wayne G. Hammond]], [[Christina Scull]], ''[[The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide]] [[The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide:Reader's Guide|Reader's Guide]]'', "Adaptations", pp. 8-23</ref>
 +
* The second part of the series had to have a lot of cuts because executives at the [[BBC]] were not as fond of ''The Lord of the Rings'' as the listeners were.<ref name="CaG"/>
 +
*'''Tom Bombadil:''' Considered by Tolkien "dreadful", though it is left unexplained why.<ref name="L175"/>
 +
*'''[[Goldberry]]:''' She was portrayed as Bombadil's daughter.<ref name="L175"/> Tiller later apologized to Tolkien, stating he had thought the age difference between the two too large to portray them as a couple.<ref name="CaG"/>
 +
*'''[[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 given a German accent. 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 [[8 December|December 8]], [[1955]])</ref>
 +
*'''The [[Council of Elrond]]''': Severely trimmed, only the base actions and characters remained.<ref name="CaG"/>
 +
{{references}}
 +
{{title|italics}}
 
[[Category:Radio adaptations]]
 
[[Category:Radio adaptations]]

Revision as of 20:55, 1 November 2012

The name The Lord of the Rings refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see The Lord of the Rings (disambiguation).

In 1955, the BBC Radio Third Programme aired a treatment of The Fellowship of the Ring in six episodes. A year later, six episodes on The Two Towers and The Return of the King followed. Though only the latter six episodes were called thus, the entire series has become known as the 1955 radio series of The Lord of the Rings.

Contents

Episodes

The Fellowship of the Ring
The Lord of the Rings

Cast

Actor Role
John Baker Orcs[6]
Nicolette Bernard Unspecified (presumably Goldberry),[2] Galadriel[5]
Oliver Burt Frodo[2]
Michael Collins Merry[2]
Frank Duncan Legolas,[4] Halbarad,[9] Additional voices[2][3]
Valentine Dyall Treebeard,[6] Théoden,[7] Orcs[5]
Robert Farquharson Saruman,[7] Denethor[9]
Felix Felton Bilbo,[4] Voice of Sauron,[7] The Black Captain,[10] Orcs,[6] Additional voices[2][3]
Garard Green Elrond,[4] Celeborn,[5] Additional voices[3]
Olive Gregg Éowyn[10]
Derek Hart Narrator[2]
David Hemmings Bergil[9]
Noel Johnson Éomer[6]
Basil Jones Pippin[2]
Godfrey Kenton Aragorn,[2] Mablung, [5] Additional voices[3]
Eric Lugg Gimli,[4] Additional voices[3]
Victor Platt Sam[2]
Derek Prentice Boromir,[4] Faramir,[8] Beregond, [9] Orcs, [10] Additional voices[2][3]
Bernard Rebel Wormtongue[7]
Prunella Scales Ioreth[10]
Gerik Schjelderup Gollum, [6] Orcs[6]
Norman Shelley Gandalf,[4] Tom Bombadil,[2][11] An Old Man,[6] Additional voices[3]
Roger Snowdon Orcs[5][6][10]

Adapted by Terence Tiller.[12] Music by Anthony Smith-Masters.[2]

Differences from the book

  • In the first six episodes, dialogue was preserved as much as possible, but in the last six, some liberty had to be taken.[1]
  • The second part of the series had to have a lot of cuts because executives at the BBC were not as fond of The Lord of the Rings as the listeners were.[1]
  • Tom Bombadil: Considered by Tolkien "dreadful", though it is left unexplained why.[11]
  • Goldberry: She was portrayed as Bombadil's daughter.[11] Tiller later apologized to Tolkien, stating he had thought the age difference between the two too large to portray them as a couple.[1]
  • Willowman: He is shown in league with Mordor, rather than just an antagonist of the Hobbits.[11]
  • Glóin: He was given a German accent. Tolkien thought he was not too bad, though a bit exaggerated.[13]
  • The Council of Elrond: Severely trimmed, only the base actions and characters remained.[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Wayne G. Hammond, Christina Scull, The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide Reader's Guide, "Adaptations", pp. 8-23
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 Radio Times, Volume 129, No. 1672, November 25, 1955
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Radio Times, Volume 129, No. 1673, December 2, 1955
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Radio Times, Volume 129, No. 1674, December 9, 1955
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Radio Times, Volume 129, No. 1675, December 16, 1955
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 Radio Times, Volume 133, No. 1723, November 16, 1956
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Radio Times, Volume 133, No. 1724, November 23, 1956
  8. 8.0 8.1 Radio Times, Volume 133, No. 1725, November 30, 1956
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Radio Times, Volume 133, No. 1726, December 7, 1956
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 Radio Times, Volume 133, No. 1727, December 14, 1956
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 175 (dated November 30, 1955)
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 193 (dated November 2, 1956)
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 176 (dated December 8, 1955)