BBC Greenlights ‘His Dark Materials’ Series for TV Adaptation

By Cynthia Ayala

Wonderful news for fans of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. BBC is taking on the job of bringing to life the series for both existing fans and a new generation.

After the debacle that was the last film, it would be understandable if the author was nervous about the project. Instead he has given his blessing for the project to begin and is also helping, hoping to recruit a writer who will be faithful adaptation.

If you’re unfamiliar with the series (which I would highly recommend), the plot revolves around a young girl named Lyra, living in a parallel version of Oxford.

“Producers have promised to sound “every note” in the much-loved trilogy and stay true to the source material.” (The Guardian)

Pullman has expressed his joy at seeing many other works remarking that it has been “constant source of pleasure”. But what really impresses him are when shows, such as Game of Thrones and the Wire, show the capacity to “reach depths of characterization and heights of suspense by taking the time for events to make their proper impact and for consequences to unravel”.

The books are set in a series of parallel worlds, and the first installment, Northern Lights, known as The Golden Compass in the U.S., follows Lyra and her animal companion, Pantalaimon, as she discovers an evil plot, leading her to the North Pole where she begins her journey through parallel worlds. Each book in the series has garnered many awards, selling more that 17 million copies worldwide.

Back in 2007, a film was made based on the series, but it fell short, cutting out essential plots of the story, basically scarring the piece of work and literature. It starred Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman and Eva Green. While it was a success, financially at least (worldwide), it did not garner enough interested and suffered from the backlash of the audience and fans destroying any plans for the sequels.

There is no date set for the debut on BBC1 and pre-production and casting will not begin until next year.

Leading the project is Jane Tranter alongside fellow Bad Wolf founder and former Doctor Who producer, Julie Gardner said in a statement, “bringing the trilogy to TV provided an opportunity to give it the treatment it deserved”.

In an interview with The Guardian, Tranter said, “There are some pieces of literature that are wonderfully suited to film. There are some pieces of literature which are better suited to television. To my mind what is great about these trilogy of novels is we can adapt them as Philip wrote them.”

Personally I believe that these novels would make a wonderful television because there is so much material to work with, so much that happens that can control the television screen for years.

Source: The Guardian

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