BBC One has commissioned a TV adaptation of His Dark Materials, Phillip Pullman’s epic fantasy trilogy, which will be produced in Wales by Bad Wolf and New Line Cinema. Philip Pullman, Jane Tranter, Julie Gardner, Toby Emmerich, Carolyn Blackwood, Bethan Jones and Deborah Forte will executive produce. I think that’s about all we know about it at this point.
I’ve never heard of this series. Should I fix that?
It definitely… goes to places…
If you are going to read them I’d advise about being very, very careful with spoilers. I’d need to read them again to see how well the writing holds, but in terms of plotting and (specially) themes it’s certainly a very unusual young adult fantasy series.
The trilogy is a quick read. If you love fantasy, science fiction and/or young adult, there’s zero question and you should read all three books right away.
But Juian is right about spoilers. Just read the books and then come back to discussions about them. They are very quick reads.
Of course, I’m saying that in response to the “should I fix that [not having heard of the series]?” question. I don’t know that reading the books will do anything for viewing the upcoming new TV series.
Becoming: I’ll add to what’s been stated: It is a quick read. And it is superb. Go read, then come back.
This is great news! Looking forward to seeing this.
The Chris Weitz trilogy died due to the first movie costing so much. Now the actress who played Lyra is in her mid 20s. I’m totally game for this.
Poor reviews, too. It wasn’t very memorable. There was a talking polar bear, right?
I’m pretty sure I saw that movie. But if so, it failed to make the tiniest impact on me.
The book was really quite good though.
Good books, pretty boring movie. BBC has a solid history of making well made mini-series that don’t shy away from controversial source material. I’m cautiously looking forward to this now.
Well, the reviews were middling. It also didn’t help that the religious right went on a jihad against the film, decrying it as anti-christian. And the movie went waaaay over budget at a time that New Line was really struggling, post-LOTR.
The imagery was gorgeous and the script was terrible. However, it would be nearly impossible to tell the story of The Golden Compass in 2 hours - there are just way too many key events and the world is so different than ours that it takes awhile to settle in.
…and that was my favorite thing about the books. You get tossed into this world and there is very little exposition to lay out the rules - you figure it out as the story progresses.
I would think that anyone outside of an evangelical Christian would enjoy the books and even they might like the first one.
I’ll have to add those to “the list”. Thanks!
I literally just revisited these books (not quite finished with the last one actually) when I heard the news. I read them in elementary school, so I had forgotten basically everything. The Subtle Knife is a bit slow, but the first & third books are both quite good, especially thematically.
Worth reading for the world building alone, much like Schismatrix.
I’m in the “loved the worldbuilding and sense of imagination, hated the heavy-handed allegories that ground away any enjoyment I was finding in them” camp on the books.
I dunno, it strikes me less as heavy-handed allegory & more as surreal historical fiction akin to Inglourious Basterds or Man in the High Castle. It’s irreverent, sure, but that’s not the point.
The talking bear was in the books as well and was an important character with his own story.
Yeah, the books were pretty good. However, they were downright vicious in their views of religion. It’s one of those “if you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen” bits of literature, so be forewarned. I do agree that a 2-hour movie format was a terrible restriction on the screenwriter. It needed a lot more time to develop the characters and plot lines, imho. I think the small screen treatment will be a much better environment for it.
If I remember correctly (and it’s been 15 years plus since I read these books) the first two were relatively straightforward adventure books, then the third went full-bore on the anti-religion angle. I remember it reminding me slightly of Clive Barker’s Imajica, which I had been reading around the same time. Also, didn’t the last book have that kind of uh, controversial ending with the two young protagonists?
They’re all pretty anti-religion, but you are right that it ramps up in the third, and it does have that ending you refer to.
I felt like the first two were more anti-dogma. The third was a different story.