The Idea of North is the second episode in the first series of the TV series. It was originally released on 10 November on BBC One in the UK and on 11 November on HBO in the US and was watched nearly 9 million times during the four weeks following the release in the UK.

The episode takes place mostly in London and establishes the relationship between Lyra Belacqua and Marisa Coulter. It is 58 minutes long.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Lyra Belacqua has travelled to London with Marisa Coulter to try and find out about her friend, Roger Parslow, trusting Marisa to locate him after the Gobblers took him. Marisa shows Lyra through her flat and shows Lyra her bedroom, allowing her to get settled in. Meanwhile, Roger is brought to one of the spaces the Gobblers occupy, meeting many other kidnapped children there too, including Billy Costa, a missing gyptian.

Lyra and Marisa begin to settle together, talking to each other, and once visit the Royal Arctic Institute Lyra finds out more about the North and meets various explorers. During that time, the gyptians search desperately for Billy and the other missing gyptians. Jack Verhoeven, Coram van Texel, John Faa and Benjamin de Ruyter discuss what they have found out and plan breaking into several buildings to see if they can find any clues. They decide to go the following day and see what they can find.

At Mrs Coulter's flat, Lyra talks to Marisa about her hairstyle which Lyra says she wouldn't mind having longer. Afterwards, Lyra and Pan discuss her, Pan not quite trusting Marisa but Lyra tells him that they deserve to have nice things. Upon going to sleep, Pan hears a sound coming from the vents inside her bedroom and wants to look at what is making it but Lyra refuses and goes back to sleep.

The next day, the gyptians break into one of the buildings they believe house the children however find that they have been moved, leaving behind a few belongings. Farder Coram, however, finds a jumper on the floor, one that belongs to Billy. At the place the children are being kept, Billy tells Lyra he missess Ma Costa, his ma. Roger reassures him that Lyra will be looking for them.

Dr Carne talking to Carlo Boreal

In the flat, Marisa tells Lyra about a party she is going to hold and has her fitted in a dress. After discovering that Stanislaus Grumman's head was shown in the Retiring Room at Jordan College, Carlo Boreal goes to Dr Carne to ask him about it although doesn't find out much and is denied the opportunity to look at the skull, which is what he wanted to look at.

Whilst talking about electrons, Lyra raises the word Dust to Marisa, who feigns surprise and pretends to not know about it. Lyra tells her what she heard in the Retiring Room but tells Marisa that she heard it from a visiting scholar from New Denmark. When asked if what she said was right, Marisa said Lyra knew more than she did.

On Ma Costa's boat, Coram shows Ma Billy's jumper, proving to her that's he's been taken and that he's in London. Tony Costa, after trying to comfort her, is taken away by Benjamin de Ruyter who asks him if he wants to help fight the Gobblers. Meanwhile, John soothes Ma.

Boreal in Will's Oxford

At the Magisterium, Cardinal Sturrock talks to Hugh MacPhail about the General Oblation Board and the gyptian raid. Sturrock tells Hugh to tell the Oblation Board to control what they're doing or risk losing everything.

Pan hears the noise in the vents again and Lyra decides it's moving and so looks to see if she can find what it is. She goes to Marisa's study, which she is told should be kept as Marisa's private space, and looks inside, seeing the golden monkey. After hearing Marisa's voice, she turns and sees her at the other end of the hallway, very far away from her dæmon. Lyra brings this up but Marisa tells her that the monkey is right next to her, saying she is sleepy. After taking her to her bed, she smacks the monkey on the head.

Carlo descends to the Jordan catacombs and finds the skull hes looking for. After feeling it, he decides it doesn't belong to Stanislaus and that Asriel was lying to the scholars. Carlo continues to a building where he travels through a window to Oxford, Will's world, where he gets in a car and messages someone.

Whilst examining the alethiometer, Marisa informs Lyra that she should stay in her room as there are guests coming. However, Lyra gets up and exits, walking to Marisa's study door and listening in. Father MacPhail tells Marisa that Sturrock has said, should the Oblation Board attract too much attention, the Magisterium will not help it. Upon listening in, the other guest, Father Garret, approaches Lyra outside the door and Mrs Coulter becomes aware of it. She sends Lyra to her bedroom and then the guests out.


Brutal dæmon battle between Lyra's Pan and Mrs Coulter's daemon His Dark Materials - BBC

The golden monkey and Pantalaimon fight

Lyra picks up the alethiometer and puts it in a shoulderbag, vowing to carry it around with her to make sure Marisa couldn't find it after Pan reminded her of what the Master told her to do. When talking to Marisa later, Lyra tells her she is still angry to which Marisa tells her to take off the shoulderbag. When Lyra refuses to abide, the golden monkey leaps at Pantalaimon and they begin fighting. After telling Marisa she'll take off the shoulderbag, the golden monkey leaves Pantalaimon alone and Lyra goes to her bedroom silently, throwing the alethiometer to the ground after it didn't answer her question..

In Will's world, Carlo meets a man called Thomas,asking him if he could look out for Grumman. Whilst eating with Marisa, Marisa tells Lyra that Roger could still be back at Jordan after all. Lyra tells her that she's lying.


EXCLUSIVE CLIP Brave Lyra makes a daring dash! - His Dark Materials BBC Trailers

Lyra making her way back to her room

When Marisa leaves, Lyra decides to find out what the Magisterium officials were doing their and sneaks into Marisa's office though the vents she discovers the golden monkey uses to get through the apartment, where she finds papers on the General Oblation Board and construction plans for The Station. Not knowing what that is, Lyra returns to her room just as Marisa re-enters the flat.

Whilst away, Marisa visits the children who had been kidnapped and invites them to write letters to the family or (in Roger's case) friends. Upon leaving, Marisa throws the letters, including Roger's, into the fireplace. Upon returning, Marisa finds Lyra studying a book. On the night, Lyra covers the vents with pillows and hides under her desk to talk to Pan about they had seen earlier that day.

Whilst Carlo travels back from Will's Oxford, the party arranged earlier begins to start and Lyra serves drinks to the guests. When she meets Adèle Starminster, they speak together. Adèle tells her she doesn't look happy there and invites her to sit. Not letting her say no for an answer, they talk and Adèle informs her that the General Oblation Board is the Gobblers and that Marisa is the head of the organisation. Adèle then asks for any information, as she is a journalist, but Lyra refuses.

Adèle Starminster

Immediately deciding to flee, she goes towards the open lift before realising her alethiometer is still in her bedroom. Going to her bedroom, she decides to flee through her bedroom window as Adèle is escorted by Carlo, who has recently arrived to some attention from Mrs Coulter, to his car outside. Carlo takes her dæmon into his hand and crushes him.

Lyra travels along a railing between two buildings, climbing down some stairs and running away to search for Roger. She curls up in a corner before Pan spies a fox-dæmon in the dark, going towards it. Meanwhile, the kidnapped children are told by the supervising nurse that they are to travel to the North, immediately.[1]

Release[edit | edit source]

"The Idea of North" comes from the title of the second chapter of Northern Lights. It was released on the 10 November on BBC One at 8pm GMT in the UK and on 11 November on HBO at 9pm ET in the US and was watched live in the UK by around 5.7 million people (a drop of under 2 million from the week before)[2] and 7.709 million in the week following the release and over 8.908 million times during the 28 days following its release.[3] In the US, it was watched by around 369 000 viewers live.[4]

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
Other Making His Dark Materials
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