His Dark Materials Review: Episode One is a Gorgeous Fantasy

Carla Harmon
November 6, 2019

Based on the epic trilogy of novels by Philip Pullman (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass), His Dark Materials hits HBO tonight.

The series also stars James McAvoy as Lord Asriel, Ruth Wilson as Marisa Coulter, Lin-Manuel Miranda as Lee Scoresby, James Cosmo as Farder Coram, Clarke Peters as The Master, and Ruta Gedmintas as Serafina Pekkala.

The series is an adaptation of Philip Pullman's acclaimed trilogy His Dark Materials, which is considered a modern masterpiece of imaginative fiction.

The plot of the series is fascinating as it brings a world in front of us where the animals are blessed with a magnificent ability as they carry the souls of their beloved human counterparts. Lyra is a child, inquisitive and athletic, but a child nonetheless and there isn't a moment in which she doesn't feel like one.


When her best friend Roger (Lewin Lloyd) was abducted, her life changed forever.

For now, watch a first trailer of His Dark Materials below.

In a promo video that has been released by HBO, Keen said that the story about her character Lyra is about her ability to do great things, even though she is told repeatedly by multiple people that she can't do certain things.

There are eight episodes in total of His Dark Materials on BBC. More than that, this discovery provokes an attack on Asriel by one of his own allies, quickly establishing that trust is in short supply in this world. It's clear that she's a force to be reckoned with, her sweet demeanor unquestionably hiding darker motives. Lyra is clearly enamored with the idea of having a female role model after having been raised nearly entirely by men.


Involvement of James McAvoy and his ex-wife Anne-Marie has also created a buzz around this fantasy series.

Additionally, the setting of the series is, as the opening explains, a world like ours, but not like ours. You'll see Pantalaimon, Lyra's Dæmon, notice something out a window, only to have Lyra herself notice it moments later, with no words passed between the two.

From the confirmed United Kingdom air date to the cast and first look trailer, here's your guide to the new show. Benefiting from an unflinching respect for the source material, strong visual effects, and a talented cast, the show establishes itself as an engrossing fantasy for both children and adults. But it's Keen's performance as Lyra that is magical, naïve, and so very smart.


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