The Lord of The Rings on Radio New Zealand.

A few months ago RNZ journalist Camilla Maling set out to make a couple of quick documentaries about the LOTR phenomenon in NZ. Within weeks it became obvious that the subject led down stranger roads and further afield than she had imagined. The programme expanded to fill two in depth 40-minute documentaries and they promise to be outstanding.

Outside of NZ people should be able to hear the broadcasts directly online on We are also seeing if the interviews can be posted up in a more permanent format.

“So who hasn’t heard of The Lord of The Rings, come on be honest… with a film crew well into the thousands, a book considered second to the Bible, creatures of all shapes and sizes, a medieval world with it’s own language, texts and genealogies, a setting in our own backyard and tales of bravery, tolerance and renunciation, how could you not? It’s almost fifty years since an Oxford don published stories of a fantasy world that would capture the imaginations of people all over the world, now it’s good old kiwi ingenuity that’s bringing Middle Earth to life! But there are stories and experiences that go far beyond the screen for those who have ever read that one line, “In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit.”…”

Part One: A Long- Expected Party Creating the World of the Lord of The Rings; prosthetic feet, helicopters, drunken dates, stunt men, waiters, harps and sex.

Part One airs on Sunday 9 December 4.04pm & Tuesday 11 December 12.06am, National Radio
[Saturday 8 December 10:04pm EST and Monday 11 December 6:06am EST]

Part Two
For twenty five years Bill has flown over the mountainous regions of New Zealand, but early one morning he came across a site that took his breath away. Within a month Peter Jackson was flying in the port-a-loos. She was in the back garden hanging out her washing when he leans over the fence, “hey babe fancy a ticket to the Lord of The Rings Wrap Party?” Before she knew it she was stepping from a limo into a glittering mass of photographers and walking the red carpet to the biggest party she’d ever been to. Watching her clock the chief medic counts out the seconds before she signals to ‘Cut’ and her team rushes to relieve Orc’s of their enormous heads, pour water down their rubber suits and check the vital signs of all on set.

Part Two: A Short Cut to Mushrooms What Middle Earth means to us and the rest of the world; fanaticism, theology, economics, imaginations and privacy. Tuesday 11 December 8.06pm & Tuesday 18 December 12.06am, National Radio [Tuesday 10 December 2:06am EST and Monday 17th Dec. 6:06am EST]

Three years ago, mother and daughter duo Kate and Karen packed their life’s possessions into a caravan, left their home in Timaru and began an epic journey of their own in search of adventure and magic, with a little LOTR location spotting along the way. In Tolkien’s novels Karen found a sense of belonging, a purpose to her life that had eluded her for so long. Back in the fifties, Douglas used to attend Tolkien’s lectures, “He wasn’t the worlds most exhilarating lecturer but he was a very impressive figure at the lectern in his gown, looking rather like a bard or a wizard, he seemed to know the derivation of every word in the English language.” Every morning Erica gets up, makes a cup of coffee and checks her emails which come in from Iran, Japan, London – her Ringer Spies are hard at work…”Good morning, look I just heard that Merry and Pippin steal carrots and not mushrooms in the film- I can’t believe they would change that!”

NB: Programmes produced by Camilla Maling for Radio New Zealand.