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BBC Releases His Dark Materials Teaser

Grow Talk by Sofy Robertson

Yesterday, the BBC gave us our first glimpse of its forthcoming eight-part adaptation of Sir Philip Pullman’s beloved fantasy trilogy, His Dark Materials.

The thirty-second teaser trailer afforded us fleeting glimpses of several main characters whilst setting a darkly stylised tone.

The trilogy on which the series is based was first published in 1995 and contains the books The Golden Compass (published as Northern Lights in the UK), Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.

The books follow the adventures of 12-year-old Lyra who lives in a fictional version of Oxford, England in the Victorian era. Lyra and the other characters have companion daemons; part of their spirit which resides outside of the body. Lyra and her daemon, Pantalaimon, uncover a sinister plot that sends her on a journey to find her father and expose the plot.

A feature film of the first book, The Golden Compass/Northern Lights was released in 2007 starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. Although the visual effects won the film an Oscar, critical reviews were mixed and the film did poorly at the US box office. Due to this, the planned sequels to complete the trilogy were permanently shelved.

This latest adaptation by the BBC in conjunction with New Line Cinema was announced in 2015 and was due for release in 2017. Very little is known about the upcoming series; we know there should be eight episodes and last year it was revealed that Dafne Keen, who played the mutant Laura Kinney/X-23 in Logan, would play Lyra.

The thirty-second glimpse of His Dark Materials appears to capture the dark yet stylised tone of Pullman’s novels but, as yet, we have not been given a glimpse of the magical elements of the series. Portholes and daemon companions are explicitly absent, but their presence is hinted to. The title at the end of the teaser has a glowing circular light behind it that gradually grows, perhaps a hint to a porthole opening. Near the end of a trailer we catch a glimpse of Lyra cowering from a bright light that quickly turns to a dusty blue scene, again a potential hint of a porthole.

Audiences and critics alike are still waiting on the much-anticipated air date but as filming finished in December 2018, there are high hopes for a 2019 release.

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