His Dark Materials: Season 1 (2019)


Season 1
His Dark Materials

Critics Consensus

The daemon is in the details and while His Dark Materials visual splendor and exceptional performances deftly capture the essence of Philip Pullman's seminal novels, it could use a little more magic.

81%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 69

89%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 183
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Episodes

1
Air date: Nov 4, 2019
2
Air date: Nov 11, 2019
3
Air date: Nov 18, 2019
4
Air date: Nov 25, 2019
5
Air date: Dec 2, 2019
6
Air date: Dec 9, 2019
7
Air date: Dec 16, 2019
8
Air date: Dec 23, 2019

His Dark Materials: Season 1 Videos

Tv Season Info

An adaptation of Philip Pullman's acclaimed trilogy "His Dark Materials," considered a modern masterpiece of imaginative fiction. The first series follows Lyra Belacqua (Dafne Keen), a seemingly ordinary but brave young woman from another world. Lyra's 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 a determined and courageous boy called Will. Together they encounter extraordinary beings and dangerous secrets, with the fate of both the living?and the dead?in their hands. A star-studded cast consists of James McAvoy as Lord Asriel Belacqua, Ruth Wilson as Mrs. Coulter, Lin-Manuel Miranda as Lee Scoresby and Clarke Peters as The Master of Jordan College.

Cast

Dafne Keen
as Lyra Belacqua
James McAvoy
as Lord Asriel Belacqua
Ruth Wilson
as Mrs. Coulter
Lin-Manuel Miranda
as Lee Scoresby
Anne-Marie Duff
as Ma Costa
Clarke Peters
as The Master of Jordan College
Ariyon Bakare
as Carlo Boreal
Will Keen
as Father MacPhail
Ian Gelder
as Charles the Librarian
Georgina Campbell
as Adèle Starminster
Lewin Lloyd
as Roger Parslow
James Cosmo
as Farder Coram
Daniel Frogson
as Tony Costa
Tyler Howitt
as Billy Costa
Ruta Gedmintas
as Serafina Pekkala
Mat Fraser
as Raymond van Gerrit
Geoff Bell
as Jack Verhoeven
Simon Manyonda
as Benjamin de Ruyter
Kit Connor
as Pantalaimon
Joe Tandberg
as Iorek Byrnison
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for His Dark Materials: Season 1

Critic Reviews for His Dark Materials Season 1

All Critics (69) | Top Critics (21)

It's a series that's not perfect and it isn't the adaptation of the books that we deserve, but it's good, and that's a start.

Nov 5, 2019 | Rating: B | Full Review…
Top Critic

Dafne Keen is a find, perfectly portraying that tricky period on the cusp of adolescence when you're desperate to grow up but a tiny bit afraid of it too. Lyra is a wonderful character, rule-breaking and brave, unaware that a great destiny awaits.

Nov 4, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Visually, it's Art Deco meets steampunk, with the airships and canal barges feeling a little less fresh than when this world first tumbled from Pullman's rich imagination; but his themes are ever-pertinent.

Nov 1, 2019 | Rating: 4/10 | Full Review…

Proof that TV is now the best medium for bringing epic literary fantasy to the screen.

Nov 1, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

While His Dark Materials is not, on the basis of the first episode, an all-out extravaganza, it is a fine piece of drama, capturing the strangeness and childlike wonder of the books, but also their rigour and bite. This is intelligent populism writ large.

Oct 16, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

His Dark Materials remains a world worth exploring, but whether you're comparing it to the source material or coming to it fresh, this series is weak tea.

Nov 4, 2019 | Full Review…

It's far more promising than the 2007 film version, The Golden Compass, that starred Nicole Kidman.

Nov 6, 2019 | Full Review…

Being not-bad isn't the same as being great. His Dark Materials is faithful, yet it fails to be as artful or innovative in its adaptation as Pullman was in his invention.

Nov 7, 2019 | Full Review…

The show does not disappoint.

Nov 7, 2019 | Full Review…

The worldbuilding is lush and deep and expansive. You get a sense of the magic, the steampunk technology, but also the culture. There's a lot of darkness and twisty corners. This [show] does a good job...I can't wait to see where it goes.

Nov 6, 2019 | Full Review…

Flat and uninspired, weighed down by stiff dialogue and constant exposition of the quirks of this multiverse.

Nov 6, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

As a His Dark Materials stan, I am one of the masses who awaited this new adaptation with baited breath. But honestly? It failed to deliver.

Nov 7, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for His Dark Materials: Season 1

  • 7h ago
    Been waiting on this for a long time ! I know HBO will do the series justice !!!
  • 8h ago
    Pretty good first episode, being a huge Philip Pullman fan, I'm excited to see how BBC/HBO will interpret his characters. Sets and locations are excellent, but actors aren't exactly on point with the well thought out vision by Pullman.
  • 9h ago
    Pretty good so far. It's a better adaptation of the book than the movie (of course). Great story, very good performances, beautiful cinematography, great pacing... I'm excited for the next episodes!
  • 10h ago
    Better than the film, but that's not saying much. The acting is embarrassing. The dialogue is too. Found myself cringing too many times. Reminded me of the acting at the national theatre, it never rings true for me. My theory is the actors come from too narrow a pool, from middle England. When they write or act anything other than privileged southern English people, it just doesn't work. It's a great story, I'll probably stick with it a bit longer, haven't quite given up yet. But I'm disappointed.
  • 13h ago
    The music is bad, the dialogue is bad and Cheesy, It's as if they were so afraid that the material wouldn't grab the audience that they used every trick in the book to hit you over the head with what they seemed important. It is B movie quality at best. I am truly shocked at the good reviews.
  • 14h ago
    Casting is basically perfect
  • 14h ago
    very creative and great casting.
  • 15h ago
    This series of books is brilliant and the series seems to capture a good deal of the spirit and intelligence of the novels -- I can't wait to see how they continue to spin the tale.
  • 16h ago
    Ruth Wilson is sublime as Mrs. Coulter. The visual effects are top tier. This is a show the whole family can enjoy. Waiting for the next episode is the hard part.
  • 17h ago
    Excellent start. Good writing, acting, direction, and production design. Some minor issues with CGI animals but nothing too distracting.

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