The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Sylvester McCoy
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Wizard Radagast The Brown (Sylvester McCoy) ©2012 Warner Bros
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Sylvester McCoy
The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey – Wizard Radagast the brown (Sylvester McCoy) ©2012 Warner Bros

Sylvester McCoy plays one of the wizards, Radagast the Brown, in The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey

Sylvester is best known as the seventh Doctor in Doctor Who between 1987 and 1989. He also appeared in the American made Doctor Who tv movie in 1996 to hand over to Paul McGann. He has had a variety of roles on stage, television and film (see below).

The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey opened this weekend and early figures of $84.8 million look very promising. This is the top three-day opening of all time for a December release. Previous record was held by I Am Legend, (starring Will Smith) which also opened on the same weekend in 2007 with $77.2 million.

Overseas the movie took $138.2 million making a total of $223 million! Avatar beat this figure back in 2009 earning $242.5 million worldwide.

The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey – Exclusive Video, Sylvester McCoy

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The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey – Radagast’s story

An old colleague of Gandalf’s, the Wizard Radagast the Brown, is played by stage actor and one-time Doctor Who, Sylvester McCoy.

Eccentric, a little forgetful and easily distracted, Radagast is one of the Istari, or Wizards of Middle-earth, a group of five that also includes Gandalf the Grey and Saruman the White. But, unlike the others, Radagast long ago withdrew from society to live quietly in the Southwestern fringes of Greenwood in his tumbledown house, Rhosgobel. Radagast’s friends are the wild animals and birds of the forest, and he moves about in a sleigh pulled by large rabbits. McCoy sees the character as emblematic of the known concerns Tolkien had for the preservation of the Earth. “I think Radagast is similar to St Francis of Assisi in many ways,” McCoy offers.

Boyens offers, “Radagast is not so interested in the affairs of the people of Middle-earth, Elves or Dwarves or Hobbits. He’s much more concerned with the welfare of the animals, the trees, and the natural world. And, because of his connection, he is the first to discover a growing evil within Greenwood, which is coming to be known as Mirkwood. He comes to believe that after years of peace and prosperity through Middle-earth, an ancient horror may have returned to the world.”

In the film, Radagast’s sleigh is dragged across a bumpy woodland floor by large CGI rabbits. An elegant creation the art department crafted from tree branches, the sleigh was ridden by stunt man Tim Wong, in place of actor Sylvester McCoy, for the high-octane chase. Under Serkis’s direction, the second unit shoot saw the sleigh being pulled by a wire attached to a special effects winch, reaching speeds of 25 mph. Fortunately for McCoy, when he rode it, the stunt team became his “rabbits,” pulling at a slightly more moderate pace.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Sylvester McCoy
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Radagast (Sylvester McCoy) ©2012 Warner Bros

The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey – Sylvester McCoy, Press Notes

Sylvester McCoy (Radagast) was born in Dunoon, Scotland, where he was also made honorary High Chieftain in 2010. He is best known for playing the seventh incarnation of the Doctor in the hugely popular television series “Doctor Who” between 1987 and 1989 and later revived the role in a 1993 charity special, “Dimensions in Time,” and again in 1996, appearing in the “Doctor Who” television movie with Paul McGann as the eighth Doctor.

Since playing the Doctor, McCoy has appeared in many television and theatre roles, as well as recording audio books. His television credits include guest appearances in the comedy pilot “The Academy,” with Ian McKellen; “Al Murray’s Multiple Personality Disorder”; BBC Scotland’s “Still Game”; BBC’s “Casualty,” Talkback Thames’ “The Bill,” “Gil Mayo Mysteries,” “Rab C Nesbitt” and “See It Saw It”; Mersey TV’s “Hollyoaks”; and the BBC adaptation of Henry Fielding’s novel “The History Of Tom Jones, a Foundling.” McCoy also guest starred in an episode of BBC’s “Doctors,” playing an actor who once played the time-traveling hero of a children’s television series called “The Amazing Lollipop Man,” a role especially written for McCoy as a nod to his portrayal of Doctor Who.

On stage, McCoy played the Fool in Trevor Nunn’s acclaimed production of “King Lear,” alongside Ian McKellen in an RSC International Tour and the New London Theatre, and has recently finished playing Grimes in a highly acclaimed production of Evelyn Waugh’s “Decline & Fall” at the Old Red Lion Theatre.

His other recent theatre credits include the original staging and UK tours of “Little Shop Of Horrors” at the Menier Chocolate Factory; the title role in “The Mikado” for Carl Rosa Opera Company at the Sheffield Lyceum; “Me And My Girl”; “The Pocket Orchestra”; and “Arsenic & Old Lace.” Other theatre credits include “Pride And Prejudice”; “Noises Off” in the West End; “Twelfth Night” at the Leicester Haymarket; “Antony And Cleopatra” and “The Taming Of The Shrew,” both for the Theatre Royal, Haymarket; “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” at the RSC in Stratford; “The Dead Move Fast” at the Gilded Balloon in Edinburgh; “As You Like It” at the Ludlow Festival; “The Hypochondriac” at the Lyceum in Edinburgh; “Life is a Dream” at the Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh, Barbican Theatre and Brooklyn Academy of Music and New York

National Theatre; and the title role in The National Theatre’s production of “The Pied Piper” and Puck in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Welsh National Opera.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Ian McKellen and Sylvester McCoy
Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and Radagast (Sylvester McCoy) ©2012 Warner Bros