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(Credit: Frazio Dalla Casa)

Film

The "lost" scripts for a BBC drama by Tolkien have been discovered

J.R.R. Tolkien is still regarded as one of the major pioneers of the fantasy genre, known for his wonderful creations – especially The Lord of the Rings. While the most famous adaptation of the books was undertaken by Peter Jackson, Tolkien had discussed the idea for adapting them to different mediums during his own lifetime.

According to the latest reports that have surfaced, Tolkien had planned a radio adaptation with the BBC. His works had been dramatised by produced Terence Tiller and the scripts had been edited by Tolkien himself. Oxford University’s Stuart Lee has discovered these “lost” scripts while researching about the BBC archives.

“They said the scripts had been lost, but they have survived – the only professional dramatisation of The Lord of the Rings made during his [Tolkien’s] lifetime. It was not seen as important by the BBC then,” Lee said. This discovery will also be explored at depth in a new book titled The Great Tales Never End: Essays in Memory of Christopher Tolkien.

With The Lord of the Rings television series set to come out, this discovery has been hailed as an important one by many Tolkien fans and scholars. Tolkien archivist Catherine McIlwaine claimed that fans can see how Tolkien engaged with an adaptation of his own work while they are waiting for the new Amazon Prime series to be released.

McIlwaine added: “Not only did he agree to the adaptation of his book soon after publication, but he was willing to work with the scriptwriters, to abridge the text and adjust the balance of narration and dialogue, so that it fitted the requirements of radio and the limited time available. It’s a very exciting and timely discovery.”

Watch the trailer for the new The Lord of the Rings series below.