The Lord of the Rings (1979 radio series)


The Lord of the Rings (1979 radio series)

In 1979 the US National Public Radio broadcast a radio dramatisation of J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings". It was produced by The Mind's Eye and has since been made available by several different companies.

It is sometimes confused with the later BBC production in 1981, but is distinguished by the fact that the most widely circulated US edition comes in a wooden box, whether on compact discs or cassette tapes. Because the Mind's Eye cast recorded their tracks separately (unlike the BBC production which, like most British radio serials, assembled the cast to record their dialogue together) this adaptation is often criticised as being inferior to the BBC version in areas such as pronunciation and voice types.

The cast includes Ray Reinhardt (Bilbo), James Arrington (Frodo), Pat Franklyn (Merry), Mac McCaddon (Pippin), Lou Bliss (Sam), Bernard Mayes (Gandalf), Gail Chugg (Narrator), Bernard Mayes (Tom Bombadil), and Tom Luce (Strider/Aragorn). Additionally, Franklyn, McCaddon, Chugg , Reinhardt, Bob Lewis, John Vickery, Erik Bauersfeld and Carl Hague were credited for "additional voices".

The radio script, written by Bernard Mayes, was an abridged version of the book, and emphasised dialogue over description. The broadcasts totaled more than 11 hours. The budget was small and production time was limited. The cast were local theatre players, and the effects were homemade. The script is notable for including the Tom Bombadil scenes, unlike most other adaptations of the book.

Radio drama was a rarity in the United States at that time, and this production was popular at the time of its broadcast. It was later overshadowed by the BBC radio dramatisation. The Mind's Eye also produced a six-hour adaptation of "The Hobbit".

The Mind's Eye adaptation has also been identified with Soundelux, and, most recently, with Highbridge. The name changes correspond to the companies which owned the rights at different times.

External links

* [http://www.sf-worlds.com/lord-of-the-rings/the-lord-of-the-rings-minds-eye-1979.html www.sf-worlds.com article on the Mind's Eye radio adaptation]
* [http://www.audiotheater.com/lotr.html The different versions available]


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