Lyra must use her methods of deception to outwit a formidable foe.
Episode title: “The Fight to the Death”
Release date: December 16, 2019 @ 9pm EST
Cast: Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson, James McAvoy, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Clarke Peters, James Cosmo, Anne-Marie Duff, Will Keen, Ariyon Bakare
His Dark Materials stars Dafne Keen, James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Adapting Philip Pullman’s award-winning trilogy of the same name, which is considered a modern masterpiece of imaginative fiction, the first season follows Lyra, a seemingly ordinary but brave young woman from another world.
Her search for a kidnapped friend uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children, and becomes a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust. As she journeys through the worlds, including our own, Lyra meets Will, a determined and courageous boy. Together, they encounter extraordinary beings and dangerous secrets, with the fate of both the living — and the dead — in their hands.
His Dark Materials is an epic trilogy of fantasy novels by Philip Pullman consisting of Northern Lights (1995) (published as The Golden Compass in North America), The Subtle Knife (1997), and The Amber Spyglass (2000). It follows the coming of age of two children, Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry, as they wander through a series of parallel universes. The novels have won a number of awards, including the Carnegie Medal in 1995 for Northern Lights and the 2001 Whitbread Book of the Year for The Amber Spyglass. In 2003, the trilogy was ranked third on the BBC’s The Big Read poll.
His Dark Materials has been marketed to young adults, though Pullman wrote with no target audience in mind. The fantasy elements include witches and armoured polar bears; the trilogy also alludes to concepts from physics, philosophy, and theology. It functions in part as a retelling and inversion of John Milton’s epic Paradise Lost, with Pullman commending humanity for what Milton saw as its most tragic failing, original sin. The series has attracted controversy for its criticism of religion.
The London Royal National Theatre staged a two-part adaptation of the series in 2003–2004. New Line Cinema released a film adaptation of Northern Lights, The Golden Compass, in 2007. A BBC television series based on the novels commenced broadcast in November 2019.
Pullman followed the trilogy with two shorter books set in the same universe, Lyra’s Oxford (2003) and Once Upon a Time in the North (2008). La Belle Sauvage, the first book in a new trilogy, The Book of Dust, also set in the same universe, was published on 19 October 2017, followed by The Secret Commonwealth in October 2019.
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