Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen return for the final part of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, based on the fantasy novel by JRR Tolkien. Having liberated Lonely Mountain from Smaug the dragon, can our heroes protect it? The action opens in Laketown with the Master (Stephen Fry) trying to evacuate himself and all the gold before the awoken dragon Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) destroys the place. Clearly Smaug has got out of the wrong side of bed because total destruction is what follows and the Master’s obsession with gold does for him. Meanwhile, Bard (Luke Evans) escapes from prison, kills Smaug with a magic arrow and some sharp shooting and leads the dispossessed to Lonely Mountain for refuge. Cut to Lonely Mountain, where the leader of the Dwarves, Thorin (Richard Armitage), is looking pretty moody despite the apparent victory. Why? Well, he is beginning a struggle against what Tolkien termed ‘dragon-sickness’: the lure of the gold inside the mountain, the very thing that just did for the Master of Laketown. Will it consume him, destroying him as a leader? And, if so, who will protect Lonely Mountain and all those taking refuge within it from the rising armies of darkness? The ensemble cast features too many big names to mention, but some of the highlights include Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee and Orlando Bloom reprising their roles from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Aiden Turner, James Nesbitt and Ken Stott returning from the first two films. Sylvester McCoy and Billy Connolly are tucked away in there somewhere too.
The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies – Saturday 9pm on Channel 4