The TV show based on "The Lord of the Rings", created at the end of the USSR and shown only once, is available on YouTube. Russian fans of JRR Tolkien's work searched for him for years and feared he was lost forever.
The performance was called "The Watchmen" (Russian: "Chranitieli") and was based on the first of the three parts of the famous novel. It was shot in the Leningrad television studio in 1991. The director was Natalia Sieriebriakowa, and the songs for the performance were recorded by Andrei Romanov, a musician from one of the leading rock bands, Akwarium.
The show is available from the end of March this year. on the channel of Russian TV Channel Five on YouTube. According to the magazine "Świat Fantastyki", for many years Tolkien fans in Russia searched the archives for the spectacle, but were unable to find it.
Now they can see him again. Comments on YouTube show that the Russian translation of the novel from the 1980s, which was used in the play, is remembered by some internet users as their first reading of The Lord of the Rings.
Tolkien's works gained wide popularity in Russia in the 1990s, when the economic and social chaos after the collapse of the USSR made the Russians flee into the imaginary world of his novels. In Moscow, the place where Tolkien fans muster is Nieskucznyj Sad, called by them Eglador, the oldest park in Moscow, a picturesque area with hills and a gorge.
"The Guardians" was not the only spectacle in the USSR based on Tolkien's works. A few years earlier, a television studio in Leningrad prepared a film based on the novel "The Hobbit, or There and Back". It was entitled "The Magic Journey of Mr. Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit". The Leningrad TV studio was considered one of the best equipped in the country. For the first time in the USSR, it used the rear projection film technique, i.e. combining the action in the foreground with the previously filmed background.