I caught a superb program this morning on the Ovation network that other readers of this site may want to know about. It was shown this morning from 8-9 am EST, and will be shown again this afternoon (1/10/01) from 3-4 EST, and tonight at 8 pm EST. Future showtimes are:
Tuesday, January 16, 2001 – 9:00:00 PM
Wednesday, January 17, 2001 – 1:00:00 AM
Thursday, January 18, 2001 – 1:00:00 PM
It was billed as part of a series called “Masters of Children’s Literature” so I didn’t have very high hopes for it. But it covered all the bases. Lots of interview footage of Tolkien himself, his son Christopher, Alan Lee, Humphrey Carpenter, Tolkien’s publisher George Unwin (among the very first to read “The Hobbit” — when he was 10, from Tolkien’s typed manuscript!), and many others. The movie wasn’t mentioned (this program was dated 1998), but it presents Tolkien’s life and all of his work (and not just “The Hobbit,” as I’d suspected) very fully. I’ve been following Tolkien since 1965, and I saw things here I hadn’t seen anywhere else. I particularly treasure one bit of footage: a close-up of Tolkien’s hand as he inscribed one of his books, in Elvish.