When does His Dark Materials premiere?
Lyra Belacqua, Pantalaimon, and the infamous golden compass will command our viewing attention before the year is out. His Dark Materials will premiere on HBO on November 4, paired on Monday nights with the four-part Helen Mirren miniseries Catherine the Great.
What is the series about?
His Dark Materials seems to be a relatively faithful adaptation of Pullman's work, and judging by the latest trailer, the season will focus primarily on the first book in the series, known as The Golden Compass in North America and more widely as "Northern Lights." Per executive producer Jane Tranter, the series will also draw "a tiny bit" from Pullman’s His Dark Materials follow-up trilogy, titled The Book of Dust.
His Dark Materials takes place in a Victorian-esque world where every human is accompanied by an eternal companion known as a dæmon (pronounced "demon") who eventually takes on a permanent animal form that reflects their human. Prior to puberty, however, dæmons can shift their form based on emotion of situation. Additionally, they're always a different gender than their human, and it's physically painful for a human and dæmon to be too far away from each other. There's other differences from our world as well, notably the existence of talking, armored polar bears (yep!) and a variety of supernatural phenomena.
The series follows Lyra Belacqua (played by Logan's Dafne Keen in the HBO series), the adolescent niece of Lord Asriel, a scientist and adventurer in search of "dust," a mysterious particle that can provide glimpses into parallel universes. Lyra lives among the academics of Jordan College in Oxford, England, the entity that funds her uncle's risky research. Looming over everything is the threat of the Magisterium, a hegemonic religious body that's quick to crack down on anything it considers heresy.
After Asriel leaves to explore in the North, one of Lyra's friends disappears, presumably kidnapped by people referred to as "gobblers." A socialite named Mrs Coulter takes Lyra in, but not before the Master of Jordan College passes on a truth-telling device called an alethiometer. Lyra begins to unravel a conspiracy involving the church, her missing friend, and her uncle's research, eventually setting out on a quest to find him. Along the way, she teams up with a motley crew of characters including Lee Scoresby, an aeronaut from Texas, and Iorek Byrnison, an estranged prince and armored bear.