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Everything We Know About The 'His Dark Materials' TV Series

Updated September 23, 2021 2.1k views15 items

His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman’s beloved fantasy book series that explores morality, faith, and alternate dimensions is a trilogy that every fantasy nerd loves. The books are classified as young adult, but they transcend genre and tell a story that everyone can connect with, which likely is why filmmakers have tried to produce an adaptation for years. 

There is a film version of the first story in the book series, but it didn’t quite live up to the high standards many of Pullman’s fans have for his work. The film, The Golden Compass, only covers a small portion of the book. Now, a BBC-HBO joint production is on the horizon, and it promises to be the adaptation fans are hungry for.

Here’s everything we know about the television adaptation of His Dark Materials

  • The First Official Trailer Really Captures The Essence Of The Books

    Video: YouTube

    HBO released the first official trailer on May 17, 2019, and to a welcoming fan base. The highly anticipated show became even more coveted after the aesthetically focused teaser provided audiences with a glimpse into the dark and poignant narrative this series promises. 

  • BBC Is Keeping The Release Date Quiet

    Video: YouTube

    While the teaser trailer debuted in February 2019, there hasn't been a peep about when the series will actually premiere. The BBC may be leaving breadcrumbs for fans in order to hit them with a surprise premiere - the slick look of the trailer certainly makes it seem like that's what's going to happen. 

    They may be waiting until the series is absolutely perfect before rolling it out. The 2007 adaptation of The Northern Lights was a critical failure, and rather than put out something half-baked, it makes sense the BBC would want to wait until they have the best version of the story they can make. 

  • The TV Series Is Based On The Acclaimed Philip Pullman Book Trilogy 

    Photo: HBO

    His Dark Materials first appeared on bookshelves in 1995 as a series of young adult novels that centered on Lyra Belacqua, a young woman living in an alternate universe where magic is real. The initial trilogy follows the adventures of Lyra and a boy named Will, who is in possession of a knife that can split the fabric between worlds. 

    The books, written by Philip Pullman, explore the concepts of destiny, spirituality, and the fluctuation of morality. The novels are more than secular fiction, however, and have sparked controversy in specific sects of Christian book-review communities, in part because of Pullman's verbal disdain for organized religion. In addition, the books have won a few fiction awards. The trilogy is by no means the final word on Lyra, as Pullman has revisited the characters of His Dark Materials in Lyra's Oxford and Once Upon a Time in the North, a novella about the origin of Lee Scoresby. 

    In 2017, Pullman began a second trilogy set in the world of His Dark Materials, and it's entitled The Book of Dust, which further explores the themes in the original series while providing a history for the people and places with whom Lyra interacts.

  • Dafne Keen Stars As Lyra

    Photo: HBO

    Dafne Keen is known for her acclaimed role as the young wolverine, Laura, in 2017's Logan. Keen joins the cast of His Dark Materials as the series star, Lyra. Even though the two characters are vastly different in their approach to saving their respective worlds, each role calls for its fair share of physical and emotional strength.

    Throughout the initial His Dark Materials book, The Northern Lights, Lyra travels from Oxford to the Arctic via Zeppelin, then later a hot-air balloon. Fans of the series won't need to worry about whether or not Keen can pull off this kind of global crisscrossing adventure - it's sort of her thing.