Why the series “His Dark Materials” is the most promising fantasy of the year

This project is not like the Game of Thrones. But it is he, according to critics, who will become its main replacement.

At the BBC and HBO, a new adaptation of Philip Pullman’s book series “His Dark Materials” was launched.

This event is important for several reasons at once. First, the book original is a true legend. In the list of 200 best books according to the BBC, the 200 best novels according to the BBC, the Pulman trilogy takes third place. The author amazingly combined the magical story in the spirit of “Harry Potter” with a criticism of religion and a careful study of the unusual world.

Secondly, the serial version should correct the mistakes made during the filming of the Golden Compass film, which is based on the first part of the trilogy. Then the authors invested a huge budget, made good special effects and hired great actors. But they tried to fit too many events into one picture, and even removed all sharp and controversial topics from the plot. As a result, the film failed and finally ruined New Line Cinema.

Even by the first episode of Dark Beginnings one can judge good prospects. On British television, the premiere has already become the largest in five years. The project captivates from the first series, although the main events the audience will need to wait.

“His Dark Materials” is a fairy tale for children and adults

The action takes place in a world where a part of the soul of each person exists separately in the form of a talking animal – daemon, and science and technology are adjacent to magic. The plot focuses on the young orphan Lira Belakva (Daphne Keane, known for the movie “Logan”), who lives in Jordan College in Oxford. Once, Lira was brought there by her uncle, Lord Azriel (James McAvoy), leaving the local master to be brought up.

Azriel himself regularly goes on expeditions to the far north, where he discovers mysterious particles called “dust”. They provide an opportunity to see other worlds or even get into them.

The discovery of Azriel causes an ambiguous reaction, because the power in this world belongs to the Magisterium, a religious organization that denies the existence of these particles. Jordan College remains the only place to discuss such topics.

It is better not to retell the further plot: those who read books already know it, and the rest should personally immerse themselves in a new world. In the first episode, they did not show very many events – this is just an acquaintance with the characters.

Because of this, at first the series may seem too slow, but only because it avoids the mistakes of the first film adaptation.

The world of Pullman’s books is very complex, so for sure one or two more episodes will look like a setback to the main action. But then the dynamics will begin to increase, and unexpected plot twists will fall one after another. Lira embarks on a long and dangerous journey, meets an armored bear, witches, the king of gypsies and many other interesting characters.

It is equally important that in this fantasy story there is serious criticism of the authoritarian orders of the church, which seized absolute power. Therefore, the world in the series looks very interesting: there are cars and airships, but the inquisitorial orders and talk about heresy are preserved.

“His Dark Materials” sets several directions for the development of the plot at once, and the viewer will be able to choose what is more to his liking. Here and classic fantasy with magical creatures and the style of retro-futurism, and many political intrigues, and even a teenage drama: Lyra’s relationship with Azriel and her new guardian Miss Colter (Ruth Wilson) is very ambiguous.

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