Sunday, 30 May 2021

FORTY YEARS ON... Eric Fraser's LORD OF THE RINGS radio art: Week 13


Forty years ago this Sunday, the BBC radio's epic 1981 dramatisation of The Lord of the Rings reached its half-way point with Episode 13, 'The King of the Golden Hall', in which Gandalf, Aragon, Legolas and Gimli arrive at Meduseld and present themselves before King Théoden of the Mark.

Elsewhere in Middle-earth, Frodo, Sam and Gollum struggle on towards Mordor, traversing the dread-filled Dead Marshes, depicted here in Eric Fraser's original art for the accompanying programme-billing in Radio Times.

1 comment:

David Westerby said...

I've just discovered your blog Brian, and I am fascinated by these illustrations which I have never seen before. I have seen some of Eric Fraser's illustrations, as I bought a copy of the boxed set of cassette tapes of 'The Lord Of The Rings', 13 hour long tapes, after I heard the series when it was re-broadcast in the 1980s on BBC radio. I hadn't heard the original 26-part broadcast: I had read 'The Lord Of The Rings' for the first time while on holiday in Italy in 1980 as one of my companions had brought it with him but I am ashamed to say that I didn't read it properly and wasn't impressed. Several years later though a work colleague who was a big Tolkien fan persuaded me to go and see a staging of 'The Hobbit' at Sunderland Empire, and he mentioned the radio serial and that it was being repeated: so I listened to the broadcast, was impressed, and began taping it so I could play it to my son Jonathan (who was only about 7 or 8 at the time) and he loved it too. I then re-read the book, properly this time, so that began my love of it and I have re-read it several times and have listened to the radio serial many times: still love it, as does Jonathan. With the box set of tapes came a guide to the series with illustrations by Mr Fraser so I had seen his Tolkien work but these Radio Times illustrations are completely new to me, so many thanks for posting them.