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His Dark Materials

His Dark Materials

  • Premiered: 
    November 3, 2019
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: BBC1
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Drama
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Based on the book trilogy (His Dark Materials) by Philip Pullman 
  • Subject Matter: Fantasy
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  • Season 1
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  • Season 1 [Blu-ray]
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  • Season 2
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  • Season 2 [Blu-ray]
    • Amazon
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Plot Synopsis

Based on Philip Pullman's book trilogy of the same name, HIS DARK MATERIALS is a fantasy drama that tells the story of orphan Lyra Belacqua, the young protagonist who lives in Jordan College, Oxford. Placed there at the request of her Uncle, Lord Asriel, she lives a sheltered life amongst the scholars and college staff while under the watchful protection of The Master and Librarian Scholar Charles. When the glamorous and mesmeric Mrs. Coulter enters Lyra's life, she embarks upon a dangerous journey of discovery from Oxford to London. Here she meets Father Macphail, Lord Boreal and journalist Adele Starminster at a glittering society party where she first hears about the sinister General Oblation Board. Lyra is subsequently thrown into the nomadic world of the boat dwelling Gyptians -- Ma Costa, Farder Coram, John Faa, Raymond Van Geritt, Jack Verhoeven and Benjamin de Ruyter who take her North in her quest. Once in the North she meets charismatic aeronaut and adventurer Lee Scoresby, who joins them on their epic journey and who becomes one of Lyra's closest allies.

Adapted by Jack Thorne, HIS DARK MATERIALS, based on the first book, "Northern Lights," had its U.S. premiere on Monday, November 4, 2019 at 9pm ET/PT on HBO -- one day after its world premiere on BBC. A second season based on "The Subtle Knife" book has been commissioned.

Lyra is an adventurous 13-year old from a world that is both like and unlike our own. The story opens with Lyra as an orphan, having been raised in the sanctuary of Oxford's illustrious Jordan College. Lyra is desperate to explore the North with her brilliant Uncle Asriel, until the fates intervene and she ends up on a thrilling and perilous journey of her own. A natural and adept liar, Lyra learns the value of honesty and lies when she becomes the owner of an extraordinary instrument that can tell the truth.

Lord Asriel Belacqua is a brilliant scholar and a fearless explorer. Asriel is one of few who dares to undermine the powerful forces of Lyra's world. His ambition is limitless, and he will stop at nothing to achieve his ends.

Mrs. Coulter is an enigmatic woman whose origins hold many secrets and who has risen to power in a patriarchal society against the odds. Intelligent and manipulative, Mrs Coulter always needs to be in control but her motivations are rarely as they seem.

The Master of Jordan College and Lyra's guardian as she grows up in Oxford until the politics of the outside world begin to threaten her idyllic childhood.

Lee Scoresby is an aeronaut-for-hire, who can keep his head in a crisis -- although he is often getting himself embroiled in trouble.

Roger Parslow is 12-year-old kitchen boy of Jordan College and Lyra's best friend. Where Lyra is a natural liar, Roger is naturally honest and kind. Roger often acts as Lyra's moral compass

Ma Costa, a fiercely maternal, high-ranking Gyptian. The disappearance of her youngest son Billy is the latest of an increasing number of missing children, and acts as a call to action for the Gyptian people to find and rescue them.

The second season of HIS DARK MATERIALS had its U.S. premiere on Monday, November 16, 2020 at 9pm ET/PT on HBO. In Season 2, Lyra, distraught over the death of her best friend, embarks upon a journey in a strange and mysterious abandoned city. There she meets Will, a boy from our world who is also running from a troubled past. Lyra and Will learn their destinies are tied to reuniting Will with his father but find their path is constantly thwarted as a war begins to brew around them. Meanwhile, Mrs. Coulter searches for Lyra, determined to bring her home by any means necessary.

HIS DARK MATERIALS returned for its eight-episode third and final season on Monday, December 5, 2022 from 9-11pm ET/PT, as HBO debuted back-to-back episodes. Two episodes premiere each Monday through December 26. Based on "The Amber Spyglass," the final novel in Philip Pullman's trilogy, in the final chapter of this epic fantasy series, Lyra, the prophesied child, and Will, the bearer of The Subtle Knife, must journey to a dark place from which no one has ever returned. As her father's great war against the Authority edges closer, they will learn that saving the worlds comes at a terrible price.
On Monday, December 26, 2022 from 9-11pm ET/PT, HBO premiered the series finale of HIS DARK MATERIALS, debuting back-to-back new episodes to end the series:

"The Clouded Mountain" (9pm): As war rages, Will and Lyra search for their daemons amidst the battlefield. Mrs. Coulter and Asriel challenge the ultimate enemy.

"The Botanic Garden" (10pm): Lyra and Will reunite with Mary and hear a story that changes everything. But there is one last sacrifice they must make.


Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Bad Wolf Productions
  • Produced by New Line Cinema