How could they turn a normal sized book into three films, especially when The Hobbit’s producers originally planned it as one and later two instalments? Turns out director Peter Jackson re-discovered some forgotten appendices to Lord of the Rings that gave him enough material to make another Middle Earth trilogy.
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Rifling through old stuff can often be as productive as going to all that trouble of re-inventing the wheel. This week, for instance, we’ve learned that Natural History Museum boffins were sorting out the contents of a storeroom cupboard when they came across some fossils that are now thought to be from the oldest dinosaur yet unearthed.
But that palaeontological haul has nothing on my annual trip up to the attic to drag down the Christmas decorations.
Vital, missing football programmes appear through gaps in the beams; over by the water tank a cuddly toy dog – I think it was once my daughter’s favourite – contemplates a winter swim and, defying time and gravity, there’s the SIM card I lost the other week, right on top of an artefact that must be as old as the great dragon Smaug himself: the first Lord of the Rings film on something the ancients called video tape.