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More on the Lord of the Rings TV series

Just as an update to this entry I posted last week, The Guardian reports that the new TV series based in Tolkien's Middle Earth has been confirmed and will be set before the events of Lord of the Rings, but after the Hobbit. That is, it's not going to be a retelling of either story. They say it will be based on Tolkien's work, but as far as I know, he didn't write much about that period - not enough to flesh out a multi-season television series, that's for sure - so it looks to me like the writers will be making their own stories up.

I still feel quite strongly against that idea. Tolkien's work is Tolkien's work: it should not be meddled with or added to. I've loved those stories ever since dad started reading them to me and my brothers when I was about eight or nine. They are now set to be tampered with by some American hack who I doubt would know what they are doing. No doubt they would write some sort of romance into it; they would also force their American, nationalistic interpretation onto it, with power and combat always shown to be the right way. They would have looked at Jackson's adaptations, seen all the epic battles, and thought that that was what Middle Earth is all about. Forgive my gross pessimism, but I can't see this turning out to be anything but a total mess and a betrayal of Tolkien's work.

Comments

Game of Thrones is produced by Americans and is pretty good. The popularity of this programme has no doubt influenced the decision makers for LOTR. In fact the best television series of the past 15 or so years are American made. They tend to be intelligent, layered and thought provoking (Wire, Sopranos, Breaking Bad). They also make utter shite as well (Star Trek, Star Trek TNG, Star Trek DS9), but when they are at their best, they are the best. I'd be keeping an eye out for wmthe network that are making it and the show runner.

If I were a LOTR fan (personally I would rather be bummed by a wookie) I would prefer the Americans to be behind the tv show rather than us.

I suppose the issue you are likely and understandably going to have is the creating of new materiel, which would essentially be fan fiction. But if they keep with the themes of the original source material (shit and boring) you might be in for a treat.

Ignoring your obvious attempts to wind me up, Steve, you're essentially right: this show will basically be a form of fanfic, and fanfic can be hit and miss. I suppose there's a chance it could be superb, yet I'd prefer them not to risk it. These stories are fine as they are (not shit or boring); what's wrong with letting them stand as they are rather than trying to get yet more money out of them?

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