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Archive for the ‘Sylvester McCoy’ Category

Happy Birthday Sylvester McCoy!

Sylvester McCoy Birthday

Sylvester McCoy, Middle-earth wizard Radagast The Brown, celebrated his birthday August 20, turning 70 years old. He was born in Dunoon, Scotland to an Irish mother and English father, killed in action in World War II a month before his son was born, in 1943. McCoy was on stage and in children’s television and then was, most famously, chosen as the seventh incarnation of the title character in the television series “Doctor Who.”

He is known for his comedy roles and most recently as the slightly wacky wizard — whom Gandalf considers a very great one in his own way — in Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” He is believed to play an important role in the next two films as well, helping Gandalf in the film trailer for the second flick, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”

McCoy is scheduled to appear as part of the Tolkien Track at Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia, August 30 – September 2. He will appear twice as part of the Tolkien’s Middle-earth Track (click here for the full schedule) that includes Manu Bennett, William Kircher and Graham McTavish. will be on hand during all of Dragon Con along with a table to meet with fellow fans, sell t-shirts and deliver three panels about the films along with a good contingent of Tolkien fans. The programming features 28 Tolkien-themed panels, believed to be the largest in one place in North America in 2013.

Below is McCoy’s chat with Clifford Broadway, our own Quickbeam on TORn Tuesday. TheOneRing also hopes to publish an interview with McCoy from our embed on the set of The Hobbit in the near future.

Posted in Hobbit Movie, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Peter Jackson blogs final day of shooting on ‘The Hobbit,’ UPDATE: 771 days of Middle-earth shooting in the books

Peter Jackson with Dean O'Gorman and Aiden Turner on the final day of shooting The Hobbit.

Peter Jackson with Dean O’Gorman and Aiden Turner on the final day of shooting The Hobbit.

Peter Jackson has always been pretty open with fans about his process of making films. He answered 20 questions for anybody interested way back in 1998 on Aintitcoolnews back when film fans had just climbed out of the internet’s primordial ooze. He followed this up with a series of interactions with communities definitely including (highlighted by attending our Oscar parties and allowing founder Tehanu set access) and our sister site, where he posted twice-weekly production diaries while shooting that film. The behind-the-scenes effort was as demanding as shooting a many films — done  while his team was shooting a film. Think what you want of “King Kong,” but the innovative work to share it with fans may never be equaled. You can see the old diaries running down the right side of the KiKn page. We (the all-volunteer TORn staff) would have loved to host again but by the time the three movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” were shooting, social media provided Facebook for many millions around the globe and gave Jackson a direct link to fans.

He continued to release production diaries, and he was able to simply showcase them directly on his own Facebook account. With nearly a million likes, he found a way to self publish, directly to his audience, with or without the studio’s help — but likely with its blessing.

Peter Jackson and Graham McTavish on the final day of shooting The Hobbit.

Peter Jackson and Graham McTavish on the final day of shooting The Hobbit.

Today marks the final day of shooting the films in New Zealand. The day caps off a ten-week period planned from the beginning to shoot pickups for both remaining films and also capture the great Battle of Five Armies on film. For weeks now Twitter and some announcements have been signaling final shooting days for specific actors from the films. Jackson has now used Facebook again to publish many updates about how his day has progressed and what the two units are shooting as the final shots get ticked off the list in an almost Twitter-like fashion. (Except that his post are much more wordy!)

The first post is an early-morning announcement that he can’t sleep, is watching fight rehearsals and what he hopes to accomplish with the feed. view from his own house with another shot of his cat saying its goodbyes as he heads to the lot to shoot. He says,

“Ever since starting these blogs, there’s been something I thought I’d like to try one day (as well as answering the other 19 questions I owe you!) – blogging throughout a shoot day in real time. Try to give you all a feeling for what we deal with on an average day.

Today is not exactly “average”, given it’s our last day of shooting, but if I don’t do it today, I never will!”

penguinsWe go on to see a view from his home, a view from his cat into the lens and then on to work, arriving at the security gate at the studio. He continues with updates much of the day, appropriately sharing those final hours on set. There is a lot of work to be done but there is something that resonates even with fans about the moment when the cameras turn off. Film crews can work only work certain numbers of hours with a lunch and then overtime kicks in. This means everybody must be fed as the hours reach over 12 worked for the day. This seems likely on the final day and at last posting, only two set ups (getting the lights and sets and everything else ready to shoot) were left for Jackson’s unit while something close to the same number remained for the action unit. As Jackson said,

9.21pm. Getting very near the end …

Jackson also gives great insight into his own personal film process and has a great shot from his director’s tent. I have spent time in that tent and not only is the shot great, but the explanation of his tent crew are as well. They will never be recognized as widely as they deserve but they are excellent, each in their own way.

Peter Jackson's "Tent Crew," who help him make movies.

Peter Jackson’s “Tent Crew,” who help him make movies.

When the final shot ends, after several takes where he says something like, “That was great, lets do one more,” Jackson will call “cut” and despite being digital, he will tell the camera people to “check the gate,” a term for film cameras to make sure everything was captured. “Clear” will come the traditional response, “gate is clean.” After that, expect hugs and tears and cheering and probably bubbly beverages. If I don’t miss my guess, a lot of party-time too.

A lot of work will remain of course, but that will end the work of many, many hundreds of people who helped made the illusions that we see as Middle-earth on film. Sets will no longer be built, costumes and makeup and prosthetics and hair and set dressers and lighting and camera departments will all be done working on a live set.

And, for the present and perhaps long into the future, the rights for further Middle-earth stories aren’t available. That ends the process of shooting the adaptation of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Fans world wide, many of whom feel part of these efforts or at least connected to them, will also celebrate and feel sad.

Those of us attending Dragon Con in Atlanta over Labor Day will be pleased to welcome Hobbit actors William Kirtcher, Graham McTavish and the Doctor / Wizard Sylvester McCoy. TheOneRing will have a fan table there and the Tolkien Track will have daily panels with parts or all three of the trio for four days of the convention.

Jackson will continue to update as the cast and crew shoot long into the New Zealand night, perhaps for the final time in Middle-earth.


UPDATE: The shooting did finish. Jackson went home to daughter Katie throwing a party at home. Jackson ended things like this:


Back with Mr Smudge.

A long day. A great day. Thank you all for being part of it! Now for some sleep!

Posted in Crew News, Director news, Fans, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Peter Jackson, Production, Studios, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, Tolkien, William Kircher

Dwarvercise! New ‘Hobbit’ video blog arrives

DwarverciseFor those attending Comic-Con, Peter Jackson announced that he will not be sending actors or a sizzle reel to the giant popular culture show this year. However, does have a panel to talk about “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” on Thursday, July 18 at 5:30 to 6:30 in room 6A with a seating capacity of around 1,000. We will present our unofficial look at the film and we hope to spring a surprise guest or two at the affair as well. Be warned, there is always a line and never enough seats for TORn’s annual panel so plan ahead with many getting turned away every year. (We will also be selling shirts to keep our website alive financially at the Badali Jewelry booth and the Weta Workshop booth, come see us at both!)

For the rest of the world that doesn’t get to attend the San Diego even anyway, the team behind the scenes on the production presents a brand new production diary complete with what will surely be a new fitness fashion Dwarvercise! It also has some really good looks at the seldom seen storage facilities with the Art Department’s Ra Vincent, a glimpse of Evangeline Lily and Orlando Bloom riding a green creature and plenty of the crew getting the production back into the swing of pick up shooting, currently happening as you read.

The ten-minute diary is below. Enjoy!

Posted in Adam Brown, ComicCon, Conventions, Dean O'Gorman, Director news, Evangeline Lilly, Events, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Movie, Jed Brophy, John Bell, John Callen, Lee Pace, Locations Sets, Luke Evans, Mark Hadlow, Orlando Bloom, Peter Jackson, Ra Vincent, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, William Kircher

Sylvester McCoy ‘Hobbit’ podcast available from Empire

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEYSeveral good Tolkienites have written in to tell us about a podcast involving Sylvester McCoy (Radagast – of course) and Aaron Eckhart (Harvey Dent). McCoy discusses his involvement in further “Hobbit” installments. Hedgehogs also come up. Give it a listen right about here.

Posted in Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit

Hobbit film’s stars discuss their love of New Zealand

hobbit-anunexpectedjourney04 The stars of The Hobbit have taken part in a promotional visit for Tourism New Zealand speaking about why they love the country where the J.R.R. Tolkien movies are filmed.

The short film, which appears on the DVD as an extra, features New Zealand director Peter Jackson as well as British stars Sir Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage and James Nesbitt, discussing their experiences filming on location and love of the country’s dramatic landscape.

In the six-minute video, Jackson introduces key areas where The Hobbit was filmed, including Hobbiton in Matamata, on the North Island and Twizel, an alpine village, and Central Otago, a dramatic dry landscape, both on the South Island. (more…)

Posted in Graham McTavish, Hobbit Movie, Peter Jackson, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit

Stephen Hunter heading to Supanova in April

Stephen Hunter as Bombur the Dwarf in The Hobbit Movie There’s not a huge amount of detail in this short piece about Stephen Hunter’s impending visit to Australia’s Gold Coast for the Supanova Pop Culture Expo, but maybe you didn’t know that he actually auditioned very early on for The Lord of the Rings? (more…)

Posted in Conventions, Dean O'Gorman, Events, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Movie, Stephen Hunter, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit

Hobbity guests coming to Supanova in April!

Supanova Australian Hobbit fans will finally get a little bit of love in April. A team from Weta, and several folks from the cast of The Hobbit are making the trip across the Tasman to make an appearance at the Supanova Pop Culture Expo in Melbourne and on the Gold Coast, joining Karl Urban (Eomer) and Supanova MC Mark Ferguson (Gil-galad).

Supanova attendees will get the chance to see and listen to:

Graham McTavish as Dwalin the Dwarf Graham McTavish – Dwalin. Graham McTavish (born in 1961) is a Scottish actor who has played an impressive array of characters in a slew of Pop cultural franchises. He played the character Warden Ackerman in Red Dwarf in five episodes of series 8. McTavish has also had many supporting roles in British dramas and films such as Casualty, Jekyll, The Bill, Taggart and Sisterhood. Recently, McTavish appeared in the 2011 film The Wicker Tree, Robin Hardy’s sequel to his 1973 film, The Wicker Man. He has had an “Unexpected Journey” to International stardom playing Dwalin (Brother of Balin) the Dwarf in Sir Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit films.

Stephen Hunter as Bombur the Dwarf in The Hobbit Movie Stephen Hunter – Bombur. Stephen is a New Zealand actor and voice over artist, currently based in Sydney, Australia. His film and Television career started with Ladies Night in 1995 and has continued to include stints on All Saints, Love My Way, Spirited and Rescue: Special Ops. It was announced in 2011 that Stephen was to play the role of Bombur: brother of Bofur and one of the company of 13 dwarves who retake the Lonely Mountain in Sir Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy. He has since filmed Field Punishment No.1 in the Role of Aussie Bill which will be released in 2013.

Dean O'Gorman as Fili Dean O’Gorman – Fili. Dean O’Gorman is a photographer and artist based in New Zealand. He got his start in the television movie, The Rogue Stallion at the age of fourteen, and Raider of the South Seas, both of which were released in 1990. He then won the role of Nurse Harry Martin in the New Zealand soap opera, Shortland Street and has appeared in both Hercules and Xena multiple times. In April 2011 he was cast as Fili the Dwarf in Sir Peter Jackson’s three-part film adaptation of The Hobbit. Kili and his Brother Fili are the youngest dwarves of the 13 and are Thorin Oakenshield’s nephews!

1_Radagastjpg Sylvester McCoy – Radagast (as a Gold Coast exclusive guest). McCoy was starring at the National Theatre in “The Pied Piper”, a musical play written especially for him, when he learned that the BBC was looking for a new lead actor to replace Colin Baker in “Doctor Who” (1963). He later won the role as the seventh Doctor. Following “Doctor Who,” McCoy continues to work extensively in theatre, radio, opera, television and films. McCoy can be seen in the latest blockbuster film The Hobbit (as Radagast the Brown) and can still be heard playing the Doctor in the Big Finish audio productions of Doctor Who.

The dates for Supanova are:

  • Melbourne – April 12-14 at Melbourne Showgrounds
  • Gold Coast – April 19-21 at Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre

You can find out more and buy tickets here.

Posted in Conventions, Dean O'Gorman, Events, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Movie, Karl Urban, Stephen Hunter, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop

Watch Sylvester McCoy in IGN’s Google Hangout

Radagast the Brown communes with a bird Earlier today, IGN and a bunch of Hobbit and Doctor Who fans hosted Sylvester McCoy in a 30-minute Google Hangout hook-up and asked him all sorts of questions. If you missed the livecast (like I did — I was asleep), you can still catch the video replay. Just click the link below! (more…)

Posted in Characters, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit

Collecting The Precious – The Bridge Direct Previews Radagast and Yazneg 6″ Figures

Hobbit_RADAGAST_6_TheBridgeDirectTonight, The Bridge Direct sent us a couple of really great images of two figures you will see this fall in their line of 6″ figures for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The two figures we get the special look at are Radagast the Brown and Yazneg. Radagast the Brown comes looking spot on to what we saw in the film mis-matched shoes and all. The other figure is Yazneg who previously had only been released in Europe as an exclusive. Both figures will be priced at $14.99 and are due to arrive in the fall of 2013.

Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Shop, Sylvester McCoy, The Bridge Direct, The Hobbit, Toys

Radagast’s Racing Rhosgobel Rabbits: A Recreational Musher Looks at the Realities of Bunny Sledding

Radagasts Bunny SledProbably one of the most controversial inclusions to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was Radagast the Browns bunny sled.  Fans are pretty divided over whether they  love its fantastical portrayal or absolutely hate it.  One of our Message Board members, swordwhale, who’s a Recreational Musher, shares her views on Radagast’s Rhosgobel Rabbits Sled.

Radagast’s Racing Rhosgobel Rabbits:

A Recreational Musher Looks at the Realities of Bunny Sledding

A TORn Library Feature by Teanne Byerts aka swordwhale
Recreational Musher and Member of TORns Message Boards

Posted in Characters, Green Books, Hobbit Movie, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, Community

A Wee review of ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’

The danger will ramp up once the Company enters Mirkwood.

Another review from a staffer of TORN long ago, Wee Tanya brings her thoughts to you now.

Warning before you begin: Spoilers abound in this review.  Read it or not, it’s up to you.

Tonight I had the extreme pleasure of watching a press screening of The Hobbit on behalf of  Not only was I ushered into the screening like an honored guest, but’s name is still renown, and I was even introduced by the night’s host to the whole crowd as “Wee from TORn”.  Then he grilled me on Tolkien trivia, but don’t worry, I did us proud.

Much like Arathorn I’ve been keeping a low, spoiler-free profile for the past ten years.  Life happened, and I managed to drift far enough away from the ride that when I caught up with Peter Jackson’s video diaries, I spent an entire evening watching every one.  Fine, maybe I’m not totally unspoiled. But there I sat as the theater darkened, not knowing what to expect at all except for two things:  first, that suddenly there were three movies instead of two; and second, that someone actually called the movie boring!

I’d like you all to know that it was not boring, not a jot.  The pace is beautiful, lyrical even, and in the middle of Rivendell it slows to the stately walk of Cate Blanchett’s Galadriel.  But it might seem slow at first because there is a LOT of tale to tell.  Bilbo begins even before “Concerning Hobbits,” back in the dark days of the Silmarillion, and establishes the sacking of Erebor and Dale before we even know what a Hobbit is!  In my opinion this was necessary, because it opens up a wider world to stare at (in awe) before the camera pulls back to the familiarity of Bag End.  I wanted the camera to pause at every detail of Erebor, because it was stunning. It echoes the designs of Moria from the first movies, but amplified, because it is a Dwarven city at the height of its glory instead of one abandoned.

I admit that my eyes started leaking the second I saw Bilbo put pen to paper, and I have to applaud the larger-story continuity of the first scene.  It begins on the very same day as Fellowship of the Ring, and shows Bilbo writing in the Red Book, expanding upon his story (which we all know he finishes up in retirement in Rivendell, so it’s even more touching to see this flow).  Ian Holm is the first Bilbo that we see, and he’s perfect, of course. Elijah Wood’s Frodo wanders through, giving the scene even more continuity as we see Bilbo watch him leave — little does Bilbo know, Frodo is off to his own adventure.  And then Gandalf shows up, and after that come dwarves and more dwarves, and the story is up and running.

But whose story? I’d like to posit that this movie is actually Gandalf’s story.  Ian McKellen’s expressive eyes hold the heart of the plot, which for this movie boils down to, “Did Gandalf do well in choosing this particular burglar for the company?” McKellen must have some kind of meticulous timeline of Gandalf’s life in his head, because he can step back into the role of a younger, less secure, less shiny Gandalf with exquisite ease. Gandalf’s growth as a wizard is what’s tested here, and that stately-walking scene in Rivendel (which might be slow to some) is a fine moment in which we see Gandalf squirming in his seat, while his peers probe him: is this decision to help the dwarves really a good one?  Can he back Radagast’s claim that the Necromancer is back, against the (slightly less Palantir-addled) Saruman?  We’re not sure, and neither is he.

There are a few set pieces in this movie that all true fans expected, and all of them deliver.  I was pleased to hear many songs meandering through Bilbo’s larder (That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates!), and while the cut was more like a fan’s extended version than Hollywood might want, in short: F*** ‘em.  Peter Jackson gave me the story that I would’ve bought and watched in an extended version anyway, and I’m overjoyed that a third movie gave him the space to spread out and tell the tale as it was told in the books. Did the set piece with the trolls feel the way it did in the book?  Of course.  And I even squinted at them to make sure they were in the same position that Frodo finds them in, in Fellowship of the Ring. (SEE, Peter Jackson?  You knew we’d keep track.)

As for Smaug, we saw some beautifully filmed teasing, but the Big Bad (ok, Medium Bad; the Big Bad is the Necromancer) is being saved for the final film.  In a nice visual paeon to a certain Dark Lord, the movie ends with a thinly-slit reptilian eye.  Symbolism, I get it!  Other beautiful moments for Tolkien fans abound.  Watch for:  That Moment when Bilbo stays his hand instead of slaying Gollum. Watch for: The intricately designed beauty of each and every domain, including the goblin kingdom above Gollum’s layer. Watch for: FIGWIT.

I won’t discuss Riddles in the Dark, because it’s perfectly done.

What did I dislike?  Well.  Radagast was saved from being cute by his Peter Jackson-grossness (is that BIRD POO ON HIS FACE? Oh God of course it is), his plot explicated neatly from the Silmarillion. Radagast was necessary for getting information about Mirkwood over to the rest of the world.  It’s a fan’s retelling of how it happened, and I’ll pretend that Fran and Phillipa heard it from local lore, the kind of stories that might appear at the Prancing Pony.

In short, I loved this movie, and I want more.  Two more.  Fine, take my money, and show me as many movies as you want!

Posted in Andy Serkis, Christopher Lee, Hobbit Movie, Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Peter Jackson, Richard Armitage, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, Community

TORn staffer Arwen reviews The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Continuing our series of reviews of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, TORn staffer Arwen chimes in with this SPOILER-HEAVY review of the action. I suggest that if you don’t want to know about how the story plays out, what the key plot points are, and what happens at the end of the movie, then this review is probably not for you! On the other hand, if you’re not afraid of reading all those things, dive on in! (more…)

Posted in Andy Serkis, Christopher Lee, Hobbit Movie, Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Peter Jackson, Richard Armitage, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, Community