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His Dark Materials - being adapted as a BBC One drama series

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-34711492

His Dark Materials set to become BBC One drama series

Philip Pullman has expressed delight that his trilogy, His Dark Materials, is to be made into a BBC One drama.

His epic fantasy novels, set in a parallel universe, have already been adapted for stage, radio and cinema.

The 2006 film The Golden Compass, based on the first novel, starred Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman.

"It's been a constant source of pleasure to me to see this story adapted to different forms," Pullman said.

"It's been a radio play, a stage play, a film, an audiobook, a graphic novel - and now comes this version for television.

"In recent years we've seen how long stories on television, whether adaptations [Game of Thrones] or original [The Sopranos, The Wire], can reach depths of characterisation and heights of suspense by taking the time for events to make their proper impact and for consequences to unravel.

"And the sheer talent now working in the world of long-form television is formidable. For all those reasons I'm delighted at the prospect of a television version of His Dark Materials."

'Huge influence'

His Dark Materials - which consists of the novels Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass - has been published in more than 40 languages and has sold nearly 17.5 million copies worldwide.

The story centres on Lyra, a girl who lives at an Oxford college, who embarks on a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust.

In the second book she is joined on her journey by Will, a boy who possesses a knife that can cut windows between alternative worlds.

The TV adaptation will be shot in Wales and is produced by Bad Wolf - a production company founded by former BBC executives Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner - and New Line Cinema, which is making its first move into TV production.

New Line had also produced The Golden Compass film, which featured Dakota Blue Richards as Lyra.

"Ever since they were first published these books have been a huge influence on so much of my thinking and imagination and it is enormously inspiring to be now working on them for television adaptation," said Tranter.

"The broad horizons of television suggests itself as the best of vehicles to capture the expansiveness of the story and worlds of Lyra and Will."

Hopefully this will fare better than the movie adaptations.

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Something like the brilliance of Strange & Norrell gives me nice fuzzy feelings about the possibilities of this actually working incredibly well. The Golden Compass was so disappointing, although I'd take Nicole Kidman as Mrs. Coulter again any day of the week.

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For all its flaws, I liked the film and I was disappointed that they didn't continue and complete the trilogy.

A TV series could be properly awesome. Fingers crossed.

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Something like the brilliance of Strange & Norrell gives me nice fuzzy feelings about the possibilities of this actually working incredibly well. The Golden Compass was so disappointing, although I'd take Nicole Kidman as Mrs. Coulter again any day of the week.

I did love Strange and Norrell adaptation, but that one was gear at adults and from what i remember didn't get high ratings one BBC One at the watershed 9pm slot. This will probably be more kids friendly, which makes sense, and looking at the team, be closer to Doctor Who.

I read the books as they came out back in school and haven't reread them since. I remember being disappointed by the Amber Spyglass but can't recall why.

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For all its flaws, I liked the film and I was disappointed that they didn't continue and complete the trilogy.

A TV series could be properly awesome. Fingers crossed.

the film is a very boring lord of the rings wannabe. dull as dish water.

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If this was as good as Strange & Norrell that would be amazing.

That's what I was going to say. Strange & Norrell was fantastic and with great production value. They need to do this exactly like that. Do around 6 or 7 episodes per book and over the course of 3 series.

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I did love Strange and Norrell adaptation, but that one was gear at adults and from what i remember didn't get high ratings one BBC One at the watershed 9pm slot. This will probably be more kids friendly, which makes sense, and looking at the team, be closer to Doctor Who.

I read the books as they came out back in school and haven't reread them since. I remember being disappointed by the Amber Spyglass but can't recall why.

The Amber Spyglass was a bit rubbish because Pullman gave up any attempt at subtlety (the first two books are kind of an atheist allegory for Christinanity - sort of the anti Narnia chronicles) and just went for the jugular (Eve, the serpant etc) and it was a bit too forced.

The first two books are great though and a TV series has potential

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I read them as a pre-teen (well, almost), then again as a teen, then once more at uni. And was blown away every time. I actually really liked the Amber Spyglass (although would probably agree with the above if I were to re-read now). Yeah it's not subtle. But a war in heaven and God as a tiny withered, powerless, dieing old man? Yeah I'll have some of that.

Never watched the films, guess I was afraid of being disappointed. Maybe the ship has already sailed, but I think there's still potential for it to get big with kids and adults alike with a decent adaption. Always was a bit bitter towards Harry Potter for being the explosive success it was when I thought HDM was more deserving. It's got a great message (imo). Deamons are basically pokemon. It's got armored bears. It's got two excellent young characters, one male, one female. It's got everything.

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I suspect the Christian Right in America may have had some influence in them not making more films. It's hardly the message they'd want going out to a mainstream audience.

I too didn't enjoy the third book as much as the first two. The first book in particular is outstanding. If they can capture the multi-level narrative that appeals to adults and children then it should be a winner.

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Fantastic casting!

 

but this is worrying; “(hdm) is written by National Treasure and Wonder writer Jack Thorne.”

 

Edit: wait, wait.  Not the national treasure cage movie, something else.  His past work looks great. Eg. This is England.  Phew!

 

im so excited!

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Good casting but as always with BBC stuff thesedays, the production values will be 2nd rate compared to the best US made stuff on the streaming services.

 

 

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Oh I don't know...Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell match anything the US has produced in terms of production. And while it may be branded as 'BBC', I'm sure it will have plenty of foreign cash behind it as well.

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BBC has made a press release with description of the cast:

 

 

Quote

Dafne Keen takes on the lead role of Lyra, the young protagonist of the story who lives in Jordan College, Oxford. Placed there at the request of her Uncle, Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) she lives a sheltered life amongst the scholars and college staff while under the watchful protection of The Master (Clarke Peters) and Librarian Scholar Charles (Ian Gelder).

When the glamorous and mesmeric Mrs Coulter (Ruth Wilson) enters Lyra’s life she embarks upon a dangerous journey of discovery from Oxford to London. Here she meets Father MacPhail (Will Keen), Lord Boreal (Ariyon Bakare) and journalist Adele Starminster (Georgina Campbell) at a glittering society party where she first hears about the sinister General Oblation Board.

Lyra is subsequently thrown into the nomadic world of the boat dwelling Gyptians - Ma Costa (Anne-Marie Duff), Farder Coram (James Cosmo), John Faa (Lucien Msamati), Raymond Van Geritt (Mat Fraser), Jack Verhoeven (Geoff Bell) and Benjamin de Ruyter (Simon Manyonda) who take her North in her quest.

Once in the North she meets charismatic aeronaut and adventurer Lee Scoresby (Lin-Manuel Miranda) who joins them on their epic journey and who becomes one of Lyra’s closest allies.

Talented young actors joining the cast include Lewin Lloyd as Roger Parslow, Daniel Frogson as Tony Costa, Tyler Howitt as Billy Costa and Archie Barnes as Pantalaimon.

 

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2018/his-dark-materials

 

Also bits about directors and production design:

 

Quote

 

Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables) will lead as director and helm the first two episodes with Dawn Shadforth (Danny Boyle’s Trust, Kylie Minogue’s Can’t Get You Out of My Head) directing episode three and Otto Bathurst (Robin Hood [2018], Peaky Blinders) directing four and five, with other directors to be announced.

Production Designer Joel Collins (Black Mirror) says: "I wanted to be part of a show that would challenge every bone in my body. I was looking for something that would be a true test of my mettle. The hardest thing in fantasy is trying to show a mass group of people what they’ve only previously seen in their minds.”

 

 

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So looking forward to this. I do wonder how they are going to pull off the Daemons' though. Personally, I'd go the practical puppet route rather than CGI. Certainly in close-up and use CGI sparingly for distance work. Puppets just age so much better imo. Rewatched the BBC adaptation of the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe over Christmas. Aslan is still impressive to this day and in the context of the series works wonderfully.

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1 hour ago, gizmo1990 said:

So looking forward to this. I do wonder how they are going to pull off the Daemons' though. Personally, I'd go the practical puppet route rather than CGI. Certainly in close-up and use CGI sparingly for distance work. Puppets just age so much better imo. Rewatched the BBC adaptation of the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe over Christmas. Aslan is still impressive to this day and in the context of the series works wonderfully.

 

Dunno man. The monkey in The Umbrella Academy is astonishingly well done.

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3 hours ago, Goose said:

 

That’s a really shit trailer. Tells you absolutely nothing about the drama itself, it’s literally just some shots of different actors.

 

i think the BBC has been on a decent run for drama so fingers crossed but fuck that’s poor.

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It's a teaser, not a proper trailer. Teasers tend not to show much of anything. Some even come along before any footage has been shot and there is nothing to show.

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