The year was 1991. The ice cracked violently and the Soviet Union, the dreaded empire that until recently occupied half of Europe, collapsed completely. The atmosphere of relaxation was used by enthusiasts on Russian television, who presented the film Protectors based on JRR Tolkien’s novel The Lord of the Rings. In the chaos of 1991, the film fell into disrepair and was long considered lost. It was not until March 2021 that it penetrated the Internet.
The film is reminiscent of socialist television productions that were made in our country in the 1980s. Cheap background, almost no tricks, weird costumes. It’s a curious spectacle, but it depended even more on the word and the acting performance at the time.
The work exists only in the Russian version, but those who know the original well can understand the story anyway. The names of the main characters are the same, only they pronounce them with an accent. The soundtrack may surprise you, as it was recorded by the Russian rock band Akvarium.
Tolkien stopped bothering for perestroika
In the mid-1980s, in the era of President Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika, the degree of freedom in the Soviet Union increased and the Russian Hobbit was also broadcast. It featured a narrator representing Tolkien and even a ballet ensemble.
The most famous version of both classic works was later shot with astronomical budgets by director Peter Jackson. But that is not the end of the history of Tolkien’s adaptations. Amazon has purchased the rights to the Lord of the Rings series and is already filming it in New Zealand. The budget is supposed to be around a billion dollars, and the story takes place in the second age, thousands of years before the events of The Lord of the Rings. So it has nothing to do with the novel. Some fans have already indicated that they do not like such use of the Tolkien brand at all.