Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by MeikoElektra on Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:41 am

This is what I've got so far:

"The series has not been heard on the digital BBC archive station BBC Radio 4 Extra, despite frequent requests, reportedly because of copyright issues." -- Wikipedia, no citation

That's an interesting one, probably much like how unless our ABC buys rights to the BBC's cricket commentary (who buy rights from the ECB) I can't listen to the BBC cricket commentary, because I don't get access to Radio 5 Live online from Australia. So is it an internal copyrighting issue, by which the BBC don't let overseas listeners listen online to LotR? Or is it a copyrighting issue around the digital nature of the material (unlikely considering it's on CD anyway)? From that quote it seems that the radio play gets some replays on analog radio still. Or is this just entirely incorrect?

"In 2002, following the success of Jackson's movies, the BBC reissued the series in three sets corresponding to the three original volumes." -- Wikipedia

Another interesting one. Obviously they cashed in on the release of the films, and nobody objected. Is it because it's Auntie? Or because no one really saw much profit in chasing them? Or because they have separate rights in any case?

There is also a bit in the radio play that has Grima being met on the road by the Ringwraiths. That's from UT too, so another one where there's a question over the rights.

But perhaps these are just film rights? Because BBC produced their first dramatisation of LotR way back in 1955/6. Tolkien didn't much like it and they seem to have been a bit liberal with the canon (Goldberry being Tom's daughter, for example). So my guess would be that the BBC bought rights to dramatise LotR soon after the publication of FotR. However, once again this doesn't address the issue of UT, as that wasn't published til 1980...

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Eldorion on Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:06 am

The Tolkien Estate has not, to my knowledge, ever sold any rights pertaining to Unfinished Tales so I'm pretty sure that the BBC was in violation of copyright law (or at least, would be by modern interpretations of copyright law; I don't know what the situation was in the early '80s) by using that scene.

I assume that the BBC would have had to go through Saul Zaentz to get the adaptation rights just like Rankin/Bass, Ralph Bakshi, and Peter Jackson did/would do, but the history of the adaptation rights to Tolkien's works is hideously complicated and poorly understood even by people whose business it is to know, so I'm not certain who the BBC got permission from.
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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Eldorion on Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:10 am

Simul post with Meiko. Smile

I'm too tired to do much more digging tonight but I am 99% certain that the 1955 radio series was made without any rights purchasing at all. I've never come across a reference to Tolkien selling the rights that early, anyway. Shrugging
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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by David H on Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:52 am

I got curious so I read a little about UK copyright law. It seems that until the Act of 1956 there was no copyright possible on broadcast media, so presumably the 1955 version wouldn't have been a copyright violation at the time by virtue of not being copyrightable.

Could the 1981 adaptation have claimed to have been based on the '55 version, which was unprotected for having been aired before June 1957? An interesting possibility....

At any rate the law was further tightened in 1988. I doubt if any lawyer would suggest walking that close to the line now.

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by MeikoElektra on Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:27 am

Interesting stuff, David H!! I'd investigate further but I don't want to highlight the radio dramatisation's illegality (if so) and have it removed from all existence lol.

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:12 pm

Hi Meiko, good digging from you and Dave.
Id love to know for sure, as if there is even a possibility they could legaly make their own version that would be exciting news.
Hell they could base most of it on the script from the radio with some alterations for the media change (and the Beeb do love to save the pennies on programs so they can give themselves bigger bonuses).

Regards RotK Meiko, Ive pretty much grown used to it. Its hard to imagine how to do the Battle of Pelennor and such scenes on radio effectively- and I think the idea of having it sung as if by a minstrel recounting the battle afterwards is at least fitting with Tolkien, even if Im not entirely keen on its execution, similarly with the eagles voice as basically an opera singer.
I thought it worked particularly effective for portraying the Battle of Helms Deep.

Even given the flaws, compared to PJ's interpretation its a masterpiece.

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:03 pm

I flagged this up before- but now I have listened to all of fellowship and I am into TT I can recommend and commend them even more- an unabridged reading of LotR's, with wel placed sfx and music (but never overwhlemingly so- its very well done).
The readings get better and better as you go on. Yes there is the odd stumble, but nothing to worry about and the overall reading is one of the best I have heard and I include the Shipley readings in that.


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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Semiramis on Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:41 pm

Still sounds unfamiliar but good!
Thanks, Petty for the recommendation!

I'll look into the matter!Very Happy 

Just a few questions left:
Have you been able to find all chapters without much difficulty?
And if you say music - at the beginning of the chapters or is it there more often? I'd find that kinda distracting...Neutral 

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:52 pm

The music is rather subtly done, as with sound effects- I never found it too much or too intrusive. At some points its almost like a word perfect radio play.

If you have doubts try listening to Chapter 12 Flight to the Ford- as its one of the heavier ones in terms of music form the film in the background.

Heres the playlist page-

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE137F361D68B836E

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Semiramis on Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:04 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:The music is rather subtly done, as with sound effects- I never found it too much or too intrusive. At some points its almost like a word perfect radio play.

If you have doubts try listening to Chapter 12 Flight to the Ford- as its one of the heavier ones in terms of music form the film in the background.

Heres the playlist page-

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE137F361D68B836E
OMG Shocked  that guy reads brilliantly (most of the time - not always. As far as I can tell after listening to chapter 12)!!!

No, I'm sorry, but even music this subtle (especially as it's from the films!) is too distracting for me! I mean, I could listen to this recording pretenting it were an audioplay - but I don't like audioplays as much as audiobooks [ok, except for Neverwhere] - As I said: too much distraction.

But if I miss the films very very much and I have no opportunity to watch them - this is going to be the alternative Very Happy

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Norc on Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:24 pm

Semiramis wrote:but I don't like audioplays as much as audiobooks [ok, except for Neverwhere] 
the one with Benedict (and James McAvoy)? because that one is awesome Very Happy
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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by chris63 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:31 am


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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Norc on Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:29 am

omg... whaat?? Very Happy
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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Semiramis on Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:29 pm

Norc wrote:
Semiramis wrote:but I don't like audioplays as much as audiobooks [ok, except for Neverwhere] 
the one with Benedict (and James McAvoy)? because that one is awesome Very Happy
YES OF COURSE that one!  Laughing


And I agree: Whaaat?

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Norc on Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:50 pm

that one is just plain brilliant Very Happy
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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:13 am

Really enjoyed the reading of Council of Elrond- jump to 23 minutes for the Gandalf /Saruman scene- as he seems to base his voices on approximations of the films actors you get a glimpse of how great this scene could have been on film.


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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:09 pm

I think the voices are a wee bit hammy

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:12 pm

Yeah but even so it doesnt take a great stretch of imagination to see how fantastic those lines of dialogue could have been delivered by Lee and McKellan instead of a stick fight. Evil or Very Mad 

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:14 pm

meh

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:18 pm

That is you realise a 'meh' to Tolkiens dialogue. Suspect 

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:49 pm

No. hammy interpretations

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Ringdrotten on Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:52 pm

Hm, I liked it a lot. Maybe it helps that it is my favourite chapter, and that's one of my favourite parts Nod Is this an "official" reading, or is it just some guy having fun (not saying that he isn't doing a good job!)?

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:57 pm

Just some guy- its all there the complete LotR's- its a hell of a big editing job, with all the sound fx and music and echo effects on voices and whatever he does too.

Ive really been enjoying them.

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:15 pm

Uploaded a selection of scenes from the BBC radio play, these all from FotR (which is over 5 hours long).
It may well get pulled quickly.



00.00 Sam Gets Caught
03.30 The Green Dragon
04.49 Gandalf and saruman
08.23 The Road Goes Ever On
10.02 Farmer Maggot
12.21 At the Sign of the Prancing Pony
14.35 Strider
18.35 Council of Elrond (end)
22.45 Halls of Stone (Moria)
27.56 Lorien
34.08 Rest
35.49 The Mirror of Galadriel
45.43 Boromir succumbs

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Re: Alternative adaptations of LoTR and TH

Post by halfwise on Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:48 pm

I can't see much point in listening to something that's precisely what I'd read unless I'm driving (or something similar but can't think of any equivalent). I make an exception for Tolkien himself doing the reading, but otherwise I'd rather listen to the copious voices inside my own head.  Laughing  Tolkien ain't a radio play.

I think the only book that ever bore listening to rather than reading was Winnie the Pooh, but I don't remember who was reading it. Totally outclassed the voices in my head.

Just tried to find an example, but none of the audios are the same guy. Drat, I miss that voice.

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