The Lord of the Rings (1979 radio series)

National Public Radio broadcast a dramatization of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings in 1979. It was produced by The Mind's Eye and has since been made available by several different companies. It was produced by Bob Lewis and adapted for radio by Bernard Mayes.[1][2] The most widely circulated US edition comes in a wooden box,[3] whether on compact discs or cassette tapes.

The radio script of The Lord of the Rings was written by Bernard Mayes. It emphasized dialogue over description. The broadcasts totaled more than 11 hours. The budget was small and production time was limited. The cast were local theater players, and the production used stock music and homemade sound effects. The script of The Lord Of The Rings is notable for including the Tom Bombadil scenes, unlike most other adaptations of the book.

This production was popular at the time of its broadcast. It was later overshadowed by the BBC radio dramatization. The Mind's Eye also produced a six-hour adaptation of The Hobbit. The Mind's Eye adaptation has also been identified with Soundelux, and, most recently, with Highbridge. The name changes correspond to the companies which owned the rights at different times.

The newer editions of the drama on compact disc and MP3 have a somewhat shorter running time than the original cassettes, omitting or condensing a considerable amount of dialogue and narration.[citation needed]



  1. ^ "Mind's Eye The Lord of the Rings (1979)". SF Worlds. 31 August 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Lord of the Rings Radio Drama". Archived from the original on 8 February 2008.
  3. ^ "Lord of the Rings (Wood Gift Box Edition) by J.R.R. Tolkien - NPR Dramatization - HighBridge Audio". Retrieved 15 April 2020.
External audio
  The Lord of the Rings - Mind's Eye Theater Recording