Too many eggs in the pudding


lotrThe absence of female characters does at least mean that the male ones have to do their own screaming.  But generally, I had issues.  Some are attributable to Tolkien’s over-egged prose and naïve moral schema.  Others were pure bad luck:  Robert Stephens’ distinctive voice should be an asset in radio drama, but unfortunately I know his work best in a later role, and had an inescapable impression throughout that Ancient Pistol had somehow got into Aragorn’s trousers.  Eeeuw.  I’m guessing that the interaction of Smeagol and Gollum must be a gift to a keen actor (far more than the high flown elocutions of the other characters) and Peter Woodthorpe certainly took them on, which is fortunate, as Gollum/Smeagol and Sam together constitute Everyman in this story.

Otherwise … no.  I tried from start to finish, but I couldn’t get in. Middle Earth is closed to me now, not by cruel Caradhras or the many-armed Watcher, but by the Great Turgid Swamp which lies before the gates.  I’m too old, and, sadly, I can’t be doing with it.


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