His Dark Materials (TV series)

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His Dark Materials
Based onHis Dark Materials
by Philip Pullman
Written byJack Thorne
Composer(s)Lorne Balfe
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)Laurie Borg
CinematographyJustin Brown
  • Niven Howie
  • Nick Arthurs
  • Dan Roberts
  • Chris Gill
  • David Fisher
Production company(s)
  • BBC (United Kingdom)
  • HBO (international)
Original network
External links
Production website

His Dark Materials is an upcoming British fantasy adventure series based on the novel series of the same name by Philip Pullman. It is being produced by New Line Cinema and Bad Wolf for BBC One and HBO, with the latter handling international distribution.

The series is set to premiere in 2019 on BBC One in the United Kingdom, and HBO in the United States.


His Dark Materials is set in an alternative world where all humans have animal companions called dæmons, which are the manifestation of the human soul. The series follows the life of young Lyra (Dafne Keen) who is an orphan living with the tutors at Jordan College, Oxford. As in Pullman's novel, Lyra discovers a dangerous secret that involves Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) and Marisa Coulter (Ruth Wilson).[1] In her search for her missing friend, Lyra also uncovers a slew of kidnappings and its link to the mysterious substance called Dust.

Director Otto Bathurst explained that some elements of the book and film had been changed to give the series a more modern feel, compared to the original's Victoriana fantasy.[2]




The three His Dark Materials novels, written by Philip Pullman from 1995 to 2000, achieved success in young adult fiction, leading to the development of a 2007 feature film, The Golden Compass. The film received criticism from fans of the trilogy for the dilution of elements of the story that were critical of religion, as well as from some religious organisations for the source material's perceived anti-religious themes. When the film was released, sequels that would have adapted the other two novels in the series became unlikely due to the backlash from religious groups and the film's disappointing reception, according to Pullman.[citation needed]

After several years in development hell, the rights reverted to Pullman. In November 2015, BBC One announced that it had commissioned a television adaptation of the trilogy, to be produced by Bad Wolf and New Line Cinema.[5] The eight-part adaptation had a planned premiere date in 2017: however, in April 2017 writer Jack Thorne told Radio Times that the series was still in pre-production. He said, "It's at an exciting point where we're just throwing things at the page and trying to work out what works and what doesn't," and that he wanted to ensure that they were being loyal to the books.[6]

On 12 September 2018, it was announced that HBO was boarding as co-producer and international distributor of the series.[7] On 10 October 2018, Miranda reported that he had wrapped up filming for his role.[8] On 14 December 2018, it was announced on Twitter that filming for the first series had wrapped.[9] On 24 February 2019, it was confirmed the show would "premiere later this year."[10]

Before airing, the show was renewed for a second series of eight episodes.[11]


On 8 March 2018 it was announced that Dafne Keen had signed on to star in the series to play Lyra with director Tom Hooper signed on to direct. Lin-Manuel Miranda would star as Lee Scoresby.[12] On 8 June 2018, it was reported that James McAvoy, Clarke Peters, and Ruth Wilson had joined the cast.[13][14]

On 27 July 2018, the BBC and Bad Wolf revealed the cast and crew for the series.[15]


On 24 July 2019, it was announced that the series will premiere in late 2019 in the United Kingdom, and the United States.[16][17][18]


  1. ^ Ellis, Philip (25 May 2019). "What You Need to Know About HBO's New Fantasy Show 'His Dark Materials'". Men's Health.
  2. ^ Lewis, Rebecca (8 November 2018). "His Dark Materials will be 'twisted and modernised' for BBC adaptation". Metro.
  3. ^ "His Dark Materials on Twitter". 20 September 2018. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  4. ^ "His Dark Materials on Twitter". 18 July 2019. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  5. ^ "BBC One commissions adaptation of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials". BBC Media Center. 3 November 2015.
  6. ^ Fullerton, Huw (18 April 2017). "Jack Thorne opens up about His Dark Materials TV Series". Radio Times. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  7. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; White, Peter (12 September 2018). "HBO Boards 'His Dark Materials' BBC Series Based On Philip Pullman's Books". Deadline Hollywood.
  8. ^ Miranda, Lin-Manuel [@Lin_Manuel] (10 October 2018). "Rachel, I JUST wrapped on His Dark Materials, I could have used you!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  9. ^ His Dark Materials [@darkmaterials] (14 December 2018). ""So Lyra and her daemon turned away from the world they were born in, and looked towards the sun, and walked into the sky."" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  10. ^ Davies, Megan (24 February 2019). "His Dark Materials drops a first-look teaser for epic new series". Digital Spy.
  11. ^ White, Peter (11 September 2018). "BBC Doubles Order Of Philip Pullman Fantasy Adaptation 'His Dark Materials'". Deadline Hollywood.
  12. ^ White, Peter; Wiseman, Andreas (8 March 2018). "'The King's Speech' Director Tom Hooper & 'Logan' Star Dafne Keen Sign Up For 'His Dark Materials' Adaptation". Deadline Hollywood.
  13. ^ White, Peter (8 June 2018). "James McAvoy & Clarke Peters Sign Up To BBC One Fantasy Drama 'His Dark Materials'". Deadline Hollywood.
  14. ^ White, Peter (8 June 2018). "'The Affair' Star Ruth Wilson Signs Up To BBC Fantasy Drama 'His Dark Materials'". Deadline Hollywood.
  15. ^ "BBC and Bad Wolf unveil cast and creative team of His Dark Materials". BBC Media Centre. 27 July 2018. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  16. ^ "His Dark Materials: Lyra's Nightmares Come to Life in Eerie New Teaser". TVLine. 17 May 2019.
  17. ^ "Video: "His Dark Materials" - San Diego Comic-Con Trailer - HBO". The Futon Critic. 18 July 2019.
  18. ^ "Drama Series "His Dark Materials" Debuts This Fall, Exclusively on HBO". The Futon Critic. 24 July 2019.

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