It’s THAT time. No, not Fall, but New York Comic Con! Con season is always exciting because we can expect a flood of new trailers to be released by studios. Today a trailer for HBO’s and BBC One’s highly anticipated show His Dark Materials was released.
In 2015 BBC One announced that they would be adapting Philip Pullman’s trilogy His Dark Materials into a television series. This adaptation is not the first or even second, adaptation of this work since it was initially published in 1995. After a radio play broadcasted on BBC Radio, a two-part play performed at London’s Royal National Theater, and a film based on the first book, the rights to the series reverted to Pullman. In 2018 HBO signed onto the production and became a co-producer and distributor for the first season.
His Dark Materials follows a young girl named Lyra (Dafne Keen) trying to save her best friend after he was kidnapped. Lyra gets pulled into a dark world full of sinister adults and an organization that seems to be controlling everything. With the help of her new allies, Lyra takes it upon herself to fix the wrongs of this overbearing organization and save her friend.
Pullman, allowing BBC One to make a television adaptation of his series, comes as no surprise. Pullman enjoys seeing his work in different forms, “It’s been a constant source of pleasure to me to see this story adapted to different forms and presented in different media.” Pullman will serve as an executive producer on the show, allowing fans to breathe a little easier. After the lackluster 2007 film, fans have a reason to be nervous about how this adaptation proceeds. Fans of the trilogy were critical of how the film censored the religious elements of the story. On the flip side, religious organizations boycotted the film for it’s ‘anti-religious’ themes.
The current production has made it a point to clarify that this series is not an attack on religion. At the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, executive producer Jane Tranter (Succession, Discovery of Witches, Torchwood) commented on the religious context of the show. “There’s many conversations about the religious… It’s better to have a conversation that’s on the table, rather than a lot of assumptions. Philip Pullman isn’t attacking belief or faith or the church per se, he’s attacking a particular form of control where there’s a deliberate attempt to withhold information and keep people in the dark and not allow ideas to be free.”
Most of the shows star-filled cast were present at the panel. The cast includes Dafne Keen (Logan), Lin Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), James McAvoy (X-Men), and Ruth Wilson (The Affair).
— His Dark Materials (@daemonsanddust) September 12, 2019
In early September, the series was announced to premiere in November. His Dark Materials will air on BBC One Nov. 3 and HBO Nov. 4. The show has already been renewed for a second season.