The Lord of the Rings: BBC Radio Production. – A review of the BBC dramatized radio version of LotR

by Apr 2, 2003Lord of the Rings (Movies)

What with all the fuss over the movies (not that I’m not one of the leading fussers, and that I don’t love the movies), the BBC radio production of LotR has been almost forgotten, so I’ve decided to put up a review about it.

First of all, I want to say that it is well worth your while to buy these tapes. The script is well written and though they did cut Tom Bombadil, by then you’re so caught up in the greatest story of all time that you don’t mind.

Of course, there are no visuals, so they had to do a bit of “Oh look, Gandalf threw a torch into the air and caught all the trees on fire and now the Wargs are running away”, but there’s only a bit of that, and it’s very well done.

Our very own Ian Holm, though quite a bit younger, plays Frodo. Peter Woodthorpe is Gollum, and yess, a very fine Gollum he makesss, yess preciouss! Gandalf has the perfect voice as well, almost the twin of Ian McKellen’s.

There are a few minor problems, such as Legolas has a rather deep and slightly growly voice, but overall it’s quite the best of any tapes that have been made.

They have an incredible score, coupled with great sound effects and almost perfect voices for characters. They have stayed almost totally to Tolkien, and have all the great and unforgettable lines, such as Gandalf’s ” Well, well. Bless my beard, it’s Sam Gamgee. What were you doing outside Mr. Frodo’s window?” and Eowyn’s ” Begone, foul dwimmerlake, Lord of carrion…. For living or dark undead, I will smite you if you touch him!”.

The Mirror of Galadriel, one of my favorite parts, is very well done, and the battle scenes, wich as you can imagine were probably very difficult, are incredible.

They have the small bits, too, such as Ted Sandyman and Sam arguing over the existence of Ents, the many replies to Bilbo’s party invitations, and Gildor Inglorion of the House of Finrod & co.

And Treebeard! Treebeard is all that an Ent should be. They included his song of the Ents and Entwives, and also the Isengard song. ( We go, we go, we go to war! To land of gloom, with tramp of doom, with roll of drum we com, we come…)

The production was done by Brian Sibley. There are thirteen tapes, and you can buy them at just about any bookstore for about $45 to $50. Also, your local library probably has them.

If you have questions, e-mail me at


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