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His Dark Materials is a British television series commissioned by the BBC as an adaptation of the eponymous trilogy of novels of the same name by Philip Pullman. Series 1, written by Jack Thorne and spanning 8 episodes, was announced in 2015 with filming starting in 2018.

Series 1 first aired on 3 November 2019 on BBC One and was released internationally from 4 November by HBO. Series 2 was commissioned before Series 1 had begun airing and, despite COVID-19, will air in 2020. Further series have not yet been announced

His Dark Materials is a drama series and is set in a parallel world, following the story of Lyra Belacqua, her dæmon Pantalaimon, and also of William Parry. It has been rated as TV-14 in the US.[5]

BackgroundEdit

Series 1 is based upon the events of Northern Lights and follows the story of Lyra Belacqua on her quest in search of her missing friend, Roger Parslow, where she meets witches, Panserbjørne, gyptians, and aëronauts whilst finding out about Dust.

CastEdit

Lead rolesEdit

ChildrenEdit

DæmonsEdit

GyptiansEdit

Jordan College staffEdit

MagisteriumEdit

PanserbjørneEdit

WitchesEdit

OtherEdit

ProductionEdit

Film adaptationEdit

Main article: The Golden Compass (film)

After successes of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, the His Dark Materials books, which were published between 1995 and 2000, were optioned. This led to the development of the 2007 film, The Golden Compass. However, the film removed some of the key areas of the book, like references to religion and the Holy Church, which Chris Weitz (director of the film) blamed for the shortcomings. The Catholic Church called for a boycott, and New Line got spooked. Sam Elliott blamed the Church for forcing the cancellations of the sequels, while some believed poor reviews may have been the reason.

DevelopmentEdit

Philip Pullman, in his 2012 Mother Jones interview, was interested in giving His Dark Materials another shot, this time as a television series. The BBC, in November 2015, publicly announced plans to adapt the book series into a television series in association with Bad Wolf and HBO. Pullman was named the series' executive producer along with Deborah Forte.[2]

Pre-productionEdit

Pre-production was originally planned for autumn 2016, with the project announced in 2015, but casting was only in the process of finalisation in early 2018.[7]

FilmingEdit

BBC-Shooting

S1 clapperboard

BBC S2 shooting

S2 clapperboard

The first series was filmed in mainly in the UK (Cardiff and Oxford) and the Arctic (although the cast never filmed there).[7] On 14 December 2018, it was announced via Twitter that filming for the first series had wrapped.[8]

Cittàgazze set

Cittàgazze being built at Bad Wolf Studios

Series 2 began filming in June at various locations across the UK[9] although filming officially began during the week of the 29th July with filming going on for five months.[10]

A further series covering the adaptation of The Amber Spyglass has not been approved as of yet. The show was originally said to cover 5 series but it has since been stated that each book will only have one series.[11] Jane Tranter has said that a third series covering The Amber Spyglass might need more than eight episodes[12] and added in April 2020 that theyare 'about to start developing' the scripts for Series 3.[13]

ReleaseEdit

BroadcastEdit

On 18 July, 2019, the show hosted a panel at San Diego Comic Con where an Autumn 2019 release date was announced and an extended trailer revealed.[14] A preview of the show in London was premiered by the BFI on October 15.[15]

The first two series are split into episodes of 8 each an hour long. The first episode, Lyra's Jordan, aired on 3 November 2019 in the UK and 4 November internationally; however Dafne Keen's mother revealed in August 2019 on Instagram (since deleted) that the release would be on 3 November. The series aired (in the UK) exactly four years after the production for the show was planned.[16] The day/a few days before each episode was aired, a teaser clip was released on the BBC website.

The show aired normally at 8pm GMT in the UK and 9pm ET in the US. The earlier UK slot, rather than the typical 9pm slot for Sunday-night dramas, allowed younger children the chance to watch it live.[17] The only exception to this was the seventh episode (The Fight to the Death) which had a 70-minute later start in the UK due to the live event 'BBC Sports Personality of the Year'.

An early preview of the sixth episode, The Daemon-Cages, took place at Mayfair Theatre with the Royal Television Society, three days prior to its broadcast on the BBC.

Following the full series broadcast, a rewatch of the first episode was staged on 26 April 2020 where various members of the cast and crew posted details about the series. Just after the rewatch, the programme Making His Dark Materials was released onto BBC iPlayer and showed the making of the series.

Home mediaEdit

Series Release date
DVD Blu-ray
Region 2 Region 1 Region B Region B (steelbook) Region A
1 27 January 2020 4 August 2020 27 January 2020 27 January 2020 4 August 2020

Region 2 DVD, Blu-ray, and steelbook editions of the first series were posted on Amazon UK in late 2019 and were then published on 27 January, 2020.[18][19] All three copies included all eight episodes, four art cards, and several non-exclusive bonus features about the making of the series: Introducing His Dark Materials, The Daemons: His Dark Materials, Building His Dark Materials, Dressing His Dark Materials, and Adapting His Dark Materials. There were three discs in total.

A Region 1 DVD and blu-ray were announced on 14 May 2020 for a release date on 4 August 2020 by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Split over two discs, there will be: the eight episodes, interviews with the cast and four of the Region 2 bonus features as well as the exclusive Making His Dark Materials programme.[20]

Merchandise and book tie-insEdit

Scholastic published Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass TV tie-in books on 3 October 2019 in the UK[21][22][23] and 1 October in the US.[24]

Jane Tranter stated on Twitter that any merchandising would have to come from BBC Studios and HBO.[25]

SoundtracksEdit

The first soundtrack for the series, The Musical Anthology of His Dark Materials, was released on 3 November 2019[26] with the second, His Dark Materials Original Television Soundtrack, was released on 20 December 2019.[27]

EpisodesEdit

Series 1Edit

# Episode name Directed by Written by Original airdate (UK) Original airdate (US)
1 Lyra's Jordan Tom Hooper Jack Thorne 3rd November 2019 4th November 2019
2 The Idea of North Tom Hooper Jack Thorne 10th November 2019 11th November 2019
3 The Spies Dawn Shadforth Jack Thorne 17th November 2019 18th November 2019
4 Armour Otto Bathurst Jack Thorne 24th November 2019 25th November 2019
5 The Lost Boy Otto Bathurst Jack Thorne 1st December 2019 2nd December 2019
6 The Daemon-Cages Euros Lyn Jack Thorne 8th December 2019 9th December 2019
7 The Fight to the Death Jamie Childs Jack Thorne 15th December 2019 16th December 2019
8 Betrayal Jamie Childs Jack Thorne 22nd December 2019 23rd December 2019

Series 2Edit

# Episode name Directed by Written by Original airdate (UK) Original airdate (US)
1 TBA Jamie Childs TBA TBA TBA
2 TBA Jamie Childs TBA TBA TBA
3 TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
4 TBA Leanne Welham TBA TBA TBA
5 TBA William McGregor

& Anthony Byrne

TBA TBA TBA
6 TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
7 TBA Jamie Childs TBA TBA TBA
8 TBA Jamie Childs TBA TBA TBA

MediaEdit

Main article: His Dark Materials (TV series)/gallery

TrailersEdit

External linksEdit

Nl 02
HDM Wiki has 182 images from His Dark Materials (TV series).

Notes and referencesEdit

His Dark Materials TV episodes
Series 1 Lyra's JordanThe Idea of NorthThe SpiesArmourThe Lost BoyThe Daemon-CagesThe Fight to the DeathBetrayal


His Dark Materials adaptations
Adaptations His Dark Materials radio playHis Dark Materials stage playHis Dark Materials TV seriesLa Belle Sauvage stage playThe Golden Compass filmNorthern Lights - The Graphic Novel
Music His Dark Materials Original Television SoundtrackLyraThe Golden Compass soundtrackThe Musical Anthology of His Dark Materials
Games The Golden Compass board gameThe Golden Compass video game
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