Russian Lord Of The Rings TV Adaptation Surfaces On YouTube After 30 Years

If you can believe it, it's also said to be more faithful to the original than Peter Jackson's trilogy.


A Soviet-era TV adaptation of The Lord of the Rings has suddenly, and quite delightfully, popped up on YouTube thanks to Russia's Channel 5. Titled Keepers, this version of the famous Lord of the Rings saga was filmed at a Leningrad television studio 30 years ago, and then believed to have only been broadcast once before disappearing until recently.

Keepers is perhaps best viewed with an understanding that it will vary considerably from Peter Jackson's polished version with incredible production values and effects. Newsweek, translating Russian fantasy and sci-fi website World of Fantasy, is indicating that this version was based on a Russian translation of the original text by Vladimir Muravyov and Andrey Kistyakovsky. It also starred Viktor Kostetsky as the wizard Gandalf, Georgy Shtil as Bilbo Baggins, and Valery Dyachenko as Frodo--World of Fantasy also notes that this adaptation, unlike Jackson's, features the enigmatic and memorable Tom Bombadil. Thankfully, it is watchable with YouTube auto-translating subtitles.

As a franchise, Lord of the Rings is still very much alive and well. Amazon is producing a TV series, which has reportedly finished filming recently. Despite that, there are still some twists and turns with the show--actor Tom Budge recently announced on Instagram that he has left the series over creative differences. To get up to speed on all the latest, check out our rundown of everything we know so far about the fantasy series.

Also on the horizon is a newly announced illustrated edition of The Lord of the Rings, featuring drawings by J.R.R. Tolkien himself, set to release on October 19.

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