Series 2 of His Dark Materials is the second series in the TV series. It was commissioned in 2018 by the BBC before Series 1 had aired. It contains 7 episodes and was broadcast in the UK by the BBC on 8 November and by HBO internationally on 16 November 2020, in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike Series 1, which contained 8 episodes, one standalone episode based on Lord Asriel did not get filmed before TV production was shut down due to the pandemic and thus will not air.
The second series follows the events of The Subtle Knife.
Series 2 began filming in June 2019 at various locations across the UK although filming officially began during the week of the 29 July with filming going on for five months until just before Christmas. However, they finished only seven episodes and were halfway through the eighth before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Post-production went on through the pandemic meaning the series was able to be broadcast in the Autumn.
Although, like the first series, eight episodes were originally commissioned, only seven episodes were broadcast. This is due to one standalone episode, based on Lord Asriel and what he does between Northern Lights and The Amber Spyglass as he does not appear in The Subtle Knife, not being completed before TV production was halted in the UK due to the COVID-19 pandemic (unlike the main seven episodes, which were filmed in 2019, this standalone episode began filming in March 2020), this news was announced at the San Diego Comic Con panel. This episode, written by Jack Thorne (with input from Philip Pullman), was due to be the fourth episode of the series.
Jack Thorne has not ruled out the possibility of it being returned to and aired in advance of a possible Series 3; he has said it is 'complicated' but would love to do it.
On 9 July 2020 (the 25th anniversary of the original publication of Northern Lights), it was announced that (like the previous year) His Dark Materials would host a panel at Comic Con's virtual event (due to the COVID-19 pandemic). This aired on 23 July and contained the first full trailer for the series along with an interview with cast and crew and a Twitter Q&A shortly afterwards.
On 28th August, two trailers were released simultaneously: one by the BBC (which announced it would be aired in November) and the other by HBO. On 15th October (the same day as Serpentine was released), a fourth 'official' trailer was published by HBO. On 24th October, the BBC published a fifth trailer and featurette.
Just after Betrayal, the final episode of Series 1, aired on BBC One, the continuity announcer stated the second series would be released in 2020. At the Comic Con panel, it was confirmed that the show would air in Autumn 2020. On the second, BBC-exclusive trailer, it was revealed that the show would be aired in November. A preview of the first episode will be shown at BFI Southbank on 2 November. On 12 October, it was confirmed that the release date would be 16 November in the US. On 24 October, it was announced that the UK release date would be 8 November (8 days before the US, unlike in Series 1 where it was merely 1 day).
|1||The City of Magpies||8 November 2020||Lyra and Will explore Cittàgazze after coming together and Lyra asks him to take her through the window to his Oxford|
|2||The Cave||15 November 2020||Lyra and Will head to Oxford for answers. The Magisterium is faced with a choice.|
|3||Theft||22 November 2020||Lyra ignores the alethiometer’s advice leading to dangerous consequences.|
|4||Tower of the Angels||29 November 2020||Will and Lyra make a plan, unaware of the dangers or the cost involved.|
|5||The Scholar||6 December 2020||Will and Lyra plan to steal the alethiometer from Boreal but are set back by an unforeseen guest. MacPhail takes decisive action, and Mary takes a leap of faith.|
|6||Malice||13 December 2020||Lyra and Will find allies who can help them in their search for Will’s father. The Magisterium learn something shocking, and Mrs Coulter meets a formidable foe.|
|7||Æsahættr||20 December 2020||As all paths converge on Cittàgazze, the mission to find Will’s father becomes more pressing.
Having survived the balloon crash, Jopari and Lee try to locate the knife bearer, but the Magisterium are in close pursuit.
Ruta updates Serafina on Asriel’s plans, but Serafina insists her duty is to Lyra. Mary consults the I Ching on her task after bidding goodbye to Angelica and Paola.