Monday, 29 October 2012

My Amazon reviw of the 1968 BBC radio dramatisation of The Hobbit


The Hobbit
1968 BBC Radio Full-cast Dramatisation (BBC Radio Collection).

ISBN-10: 056352880X ; ISBN-13: 978-0563528807

Four out of five stars


This is well worth listening to, and extremely well adapted so that little seems to be omitted (of course, inevitably, it is - but not obviously so), yet the pace is never rushed.

It is pretty eccentric, however; and would probably be most enjoyed by those who already know and love the book and are interested in a slightly different 'take' on it.

The only real fault is that it is sometimes difficult to hear the dialogue, especially when the voices are electronically treated (e.g. the talking thrush).

The eccentricities begin with wholesale mispronunciations of proper names - with the second syllable emphasized in worlds like ganDALF and torEEN (i.e. Thorin).

Paul Daneman is very good as Bilbo but does a lot of ad libbing and nervous mumbling - however, he unfailingly rises to the big scenes.

Heron Carvic is a very unusual Gandalf - with a nasal and over-enunciated acTOR-ish voice and highly irritable affect - yet again he is very effective overall.

The Elf King is given a bizzare, rasping electronically treated voice rather like a robot!

[The excellent narrator, played by Anthony Jackson, has a style of speaking which sounds as if modelled on Tolkien's distinctive patterns.]

The instrumental music is superb, medieval Krumhorns, Recorders and the like [done by the late, great David Munrow] - but I wasn't so keen on the songs.

Still these are minor quibbles concerning a very sincere and enjoyable production which hits all the right spots.


[At present, the production is available on YouTube: ]


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