The Daemon-Cages is the sixth episode in the first series of the TV series. It was released on 8 December on BBC One and on 9 December on HBO. It was watched nearly 8 million times during the fours weeks following its release in the UK.

This episode takes place mainly in Bolvangar and follows Lyra Belacqua, and also Roger Parslow, during their time at the Station.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Having already arrived at Bolvangar, Lyra Belacqua is taken to the dining hall where she sees Roger Parslow although decides not to talk to him directly and instead lets her dæmon speak to Salcilia. When Dr Cooper and a nurse enter, Bridget McGinn is summoned and taken to the intercision machine.

Lyra is then taken to be studied by Dr Rendal with Sister Clara present. During their experiments, Lyra asks him if he's measuring Dust although, when he asks her where she found out about it, Lyra lies, pretending she doesn't know about it. After Lyra asks him if they were going to cut her dæmon away, the firebell rings to his annoyance, who thinks that this happens every time a child is taken away.

The children are called outside where a register is taken. Here, Lyra meets Roger and talks to him properly. She starts a snowball fight, aiming at some of the children before, finally, hitting one of the nurses, which leads to a full breakout. Lyra and Roger go through Bolvangar and look at the place no one is allowed to visit. They find some cages holding the dæmons of the missing children before moving to another door and seeing the severed dæmons themselves through the window. As the normal children walk back to their dorms, Lyra and Roger join at the back and Lyra tells him to warn the children to escape when she rings the firebell.

Meanwhile, Dr Cooper and Dr Rendal talk about the arrival of Marisa Coulter, fearing it, and discussing what to tell her whilst drinking. In Will's world, at his house, Will Parry listens to an interview with John Parry, his father, and BBC News. The house is being watched, however, by two agents for Carlo Boreal. Thomas asks the other when they will go into the house.

The zeppelin arriving at Bolvangar

At Bolvangar, the zeppelin carrying Marisa arrives and the girls get ready for her in their dorm. Lyra pleads with Annie, asking for her and the other girls to hide her as Marisa is her mother. At last, Annie agrees and tells her to get under the bed. When Marisa enters, Annie covers for Lyra as she hides under the bed. Marisa congratulates the children whilst her monkey-dæmon sneaks around the floor, looking under the beds. However, he doesn't see Lyra as she pulls herself up and presses herself close to the frame.

The blade of the machine

The gyptians travel through the North and struggle to move a sledge between to mountains until Lee Scoresby helps them. In the dining hall at the Station, Lizzie (Lyra) is called by the nurse and taken to the intercision machine, despite her struggling. Pantalaimon is held by Dr Rendal and she is dragged into the machine where she begs them to let her out. As the blade begins to fall, she says the name 'Mrs Coulter' and Dr Rendal falters.

Mrs Coulter reaching for Lyra

As he hasn't closed the door, Dr Cooper can't operate the machine. When Marisa enters, Lyra calls out, shouting 'mother' and Marisa immediately shuts off the machine (as the blade is coming down) and grabs Lyra, taking her away to her quarters where she talks to her and gives her a drink. She then asks for Lyra to give her the alethiometer. Lyra, lying and going with what Marisa says to her, takes out the spy-fly box and hands it to the woman. As the monkey opens the box and the spy-fly shoots out, Lyra takes the chance to run away, smashing the keypad for the door before running down the corridor and sounding the fire alarm.

Lyra speaks to Roger as the children get on their furs and tells him to go and get the severed children. Lyra runs to get her own furs which she took off previously however Sister Clara enters the room and stops her. Lyra talks to her, asking about her dæmon, and making the Sister stop to think at which point Lyra flees. Meanwhile, Roger talks to the severed children and encourages them to walk with him for the sake of their dæmons.

Lyra runs to the intercision machine and, inspired by what Dr Cooper had said, operates the machine whilst leaving one of the doors open. This causes a large disruption in the circuit, dramatically destroying the equipment whilst Lyra escapes. Marisa escapes the room Lyra locked her in by climbing through the vents and fleeing out of a hole in the roof.

Lyra cornered by Tartars

As the children flee, the gyptians arrive and begin fighting the Tartars guarding the Station. When the witches, including Serafina Pekkala, as well as Iorek Byrnison arrive and kill many of the guards, the gyptians clearly win and the children are rescued. As they get ready to leave Ma Costa speaks to Lyra and tells her she has a place to go, to Lord Asriel. Lyra, alongside Roger and Iorek, get into Lee's balloon and travel towards Svalbard.

Partway through the journey, Serafina gets on the balloon and talks to Lee, telling him he has a lot more to do for the child as she needs him and he needs her. After talking a bit more, Serafina leaves and Lee continues on his flight. The gyptians, on the ground, sort out the severed children as they continue on their way back to Brytain and talk about what they are going to do with the children when they return. Ma tells John Faa the severed children who are not wanted should become gyptians too.

A cliff-ghast on Lee's balloon

As the flight goes on, the balloon is attacked by cliff-ghasts. Lee repeatedly shoots with his gun but they keep coming back. When Lyra is flung to one side, part of the basket falls and she is left clinging on. Lee tells her not to let go but Lyra is unable and falls to the ground.[1]

Release[edit | edit source]

"The Daemon-Cages" comes from the title of the fifteenth chapter of Northern Lights however it is slightly altered as dæmon is not spelt with the ligature.

The episode was first shown to the public at the Royal Television Society in Mayfair Theatre, the RTS headquarters, on 5 December, the Thursday before its broadcast on the BBC, at 6:30pm. A Q&A was held with various members of the crew and creative team behind the show including Joel Collins and Jane Tranter.[2] The screening was announced in late November and tickets went on sale from, at the latest, the 27th.

The original release was on 8 December on BBC One at 8pm GMT in the UK[3] and on 9 December on HBO at 9pm ET in the US.[4] In the UK, it was watched over 6.358 times during the week following its release and over 7.714 during the 28 days afterwards.[5] In the US, it was watched by 393 000 viewers live.[6]

Cast[edit | edit source]

Main article: His Dark Materials (TV series)#Cast

Videos[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

His Dark Materials TV episodes
Series 1 Lyra's JordanThe Idea of NorthThe SpiesArmourThe Lost BoyThe Daemon-CagesThe Fight to the DeathBetrayal
Series 2 The City of MagpiesThe CaveTheftTower of the AngelsThe ScholarMaliceÆsahættr
Other Making His Dark Materials
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