His Dark Materials Episode 8 Promo, Release Date, Trailer, Cast, Plot, and News

HBO and the BBC teamed for a TV adaptation of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials Trilogy, from the former producers of Doctor Who.

BBC One has teamed with HBO, New Line and former Doctor Who producers Julie Gardner and Jane Tranter to make an initial 8-episode adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy, perhaps better known as The Golden Compass (Northern Lights, in the U.K.), The Subtle Knife and the Amber Spyglass.

The cast includes James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, as well as Logan‘s Dafne Keene starring in the central role of Lyra Belacqua. Production on Season 1 officially wrapped back in December, and production on Season 2 is underway.

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Read our review of the latest episode, “The Fight to the Death,” here.

Next up? The season finale, Episode 8: “Betrayal.” Check out the chilling promo…

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And here’s the synopsis:

As the Magisterium closes in, Lyra learns more about Asriel’s rebellion. But her assistance to him comes at great personal cost.

His Dark Materials Episode Guide

Click on the blue links to read our full reviews of already-aired episodes.

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His Dark Materials Episode 1: Lyra’s Oxford

His Dark Materials is one of the supreme works of imaginative fiction for both children and adults published in the 20th century. Northern Lights [The Golden Compass, in the U.S.]introduces Lyra, an orphan, who lives in a parallel universe in which science, theology and magic are entwined. Lyra’s search for a kidnapped friend uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children, and turns into a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust.

Original airdate: November 4th, 2019

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His Dark Materials Episode 2: The Idea of the North

Lyra arrives to her new life in London, determined to find Roger with Mrs. Coulter’s help; the Gyptians continue their search for the missing children and the elusive Gobblers.

Original airdate: November 11th, 2019

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read more: Who is Mrs. Coulter on His Dark Materials?

His Dark Materials Episode 3: The Spies

From the clutches of the Gobblers, Lyra finds help from an unlikely source, which helps her piece together more about her past and keep safe from the Magisterium.

Original airdate: November 18th, 2019

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Read our full review of “The Spies” here.

His Dark Materials Episode 4: Armour

Arriving North, Lyra seeks allies in the witches, an aeronaut and an armored bear.

Original airdate: November 25th, 2019

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Read our full review of “Armour” here.

His Dark Materials Episode 5: The Lost Boy

The alethiometer sends Lyra and Iorek on a new path, leading to a shocking but vital clue.

Original airdate: December 2nd, 2019

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Read our full review of “The Lost Boy.”

His Dark Materials Episode 6: Bolvangar

Lyra discovers the horrific truth behind the Gobblers’ activities in the North. She must use all her wits to help free those around her and avoid suffering a terrible fate.

Original airdate: December 9th, 2019

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Read our full review of “Bolvangar” here.

His Dark Materials Episode 7: The Fight to the Death

Lyra must use her methods of deception to outwit a formidable foe.

Original airdate: December 16th, 2019

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Read our full review of “The Fight to the Death” here.

His Dark Materials Episode 8: Betrayal

As the Magisterium closes in, Lyra learns more about Asriel’s rebellion. But her assistance to him comes at great personal cost.

Original airdate: December 23rd, 2019

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A Poster for the HBO/BBC TV Adaptation of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials

His Dark Materials TV Show Release Date

His Dark Materials arrived in the U.S. on HBO on Monday, November 4.

The show premiered a day earlier in the U.K. on BBC One, airing on Sunday, November 3.

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The series has already landed a renewal for Season 2, which was no big surprise, since Wales online had reported about a multi-season deal, shaping the series to comprehensively cover the entirety of Pullman’s story, explaining, “The deal will see forty episodes shot across five series.” Sounds great to us.

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His Dark Materials TV Show Trailer

The His Dark Materials TV show will see its first two episodes directed by Les Miserables’ Tom Hooper from scripts by The Cursed Child writer Jack Thorne. Also directing for Season 1 are Dawn Shadforth (Episode 3), Otto Bathhurst (Episodes 4 & 5), Euros Lyn (Episode 6) and Jamie Childs (Episodes 7 & 8).

Here’s the latest full trailer for His Dark Materials

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The previous trailer focuses on the destiny of Dafne Keen’s Lyra.

The first official trailer premiered at San Diego Comic-Con. Give it a look below!

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The intensely dramatic first teaser trailer for His Dark Materials has arrived.

Here’s a brief teaser from February, which provided the first look at the His Dark Materials TV show. Famous people galore!

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His Dark Materials TV Show Cast

James McAvoy plays Lord Asriel, the cutthroat explorer and uncle to Lyra, with The Affair‘s Ruth Wilson as Marisa Coulter, Asriel’s former lover and a glamorous adventurer who invites Lyra along on her adventures. The Wire‘s Clarke Peters has been cast as the master who raised Lyra at Oxford’s Jordan College.

Dafne Keen (Logan) stars as Lyra in the TV adaptation, with Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) cast as Texan aeronaut Lee Scoresby. 

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Ariyon Bakare (Life, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) will play Lord Boreal, the character who serves as an antagonist in the novels. In his claim to infamy, Boreal inveigles Lyra (Dafne Keen) with the illusion of safety from pursuers, subsequently stealing her alethiometer (a compass-type device used to discern the truth). Tellingly, his daemon is a lavishly decorated serpent with an emerald head and black eyes surrounded by gold rims.

read more: A Guide to His Dark Materials’ Daemons

Georgina Campbell will play journalist Adele Starminster. Campbell, who co-stars on Syfy’s renewed DC prequel TV series Krypton as Lyta-Zod, has also notably appeared on Netflix’s Black Mirror in the episode, “Hang the DJ,” and on the third and final season of ITV’s Broadchurch. She was also recently seen on the big screen in director Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

Ian Gelder will play Librarian Scholar Charles. Gelder is best known for his role on HBO Game of Thrones as Kevan Lannister, having also banked a recent run on Crackle’s Snatch TV series, as well as EastEnders and Ripper Street. He also fielded a notable run back in 2009 on Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood, as well as a film role in the 2009 Vatican drama, Pope Joan. Ruta Gedmintas has been cast (The Strain) as Serafina Pekkala.

read more: His Dark Materials Creator Discusses Religion in TV Show

Rounding out the cast are actors set to play the nomadic boat-dwelling Gyptians, who take Lyra (Ruth Wilson) into the North…

Anne-Marie Duff (Shameless) as Ma Costa.

James Cosmo (Game of Thrones – Jeor f***ing Mormont!) as Farder Coram.

Lucien Msamati (Game of Thrones – Salladhor Saan) as John Faa.

Geoff Bell (Kingsman: The Secret Service) as Jack Verhoeven.

Simon Manyonda (Neil Gaiman’s Likely Stories) as Benjamin de Ruyter.

Mat Fraser (American Horror Story) as Raymond van Geritt.

The voice cast for the series is just as impressive as the rest of the crew. 

Helen McCrory (Harry Potter) will voice Stelmaria, Lord Asriel’s daemon. David Suchet (Poirot) is Kaisa, gyrfalcon daemon to the witch Serafina Pekkala. American comedian Cristela Alonzo will voice arctic hare Hester, aka Lee Scoresby’s daemon. Lyra’s daemon, Pan, will be voiced by Kit Connor (Rocketman). Joe Tandberg (The Innocents) will be voicing main character Iorek Byrnison, a bear or panserbjørne Lyra meets on her journey. 

read more: Which Book is His Dark Materials Based On?

Mrs Coulter’s Golden Monkey daemon doesn’t speak, but his animal noises and vocal characteristics will be created by Brian Fisher (Detective Pikachu). Fisher is also serving as the lead puppeteer and CFX Coordinator on the series.

His Dark Materials Plot

Here’s the official His Dark Materialssynopsis from the BBC…

His Dark Materials is one of the supreme works of imaginative fiction for both children and adults published in the 20th century. Northern Lights [The Golden Compass, in the U.S.]introduces Lyra, an orphan, who lives in a parallel universe in which science, theology and magic are entwined. Lyra’s search for a kidnapped friend uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children, and turns into a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust.

In The Subtle Knife she is joined on her journey by Will, a boy who possesses a knife that can cut windows between worlds. As Lyra learns the truth about her parents and her prophesied destiny, the two young people are caught up in a war against celestial powers that ranges across many worlds and leads to a thrilling conclusion in The Amber Spyglass.

His Dark Materials writer Jack Thorne spoke to Radio Times in April 2017 about whether or not there will be major changes from the book, saying this is “not something I can tell you about yet.” The narrative room a TV show gives the story as compared to the feature film would allow more of the source material to be presented. (Notably, the feature film changed the ending of the first book. It was a terrible decision, completely gutting the thematic power of the book.) 

Thorne elaborated:

“I mean, the most important thing is being loyal to the books, and trying to tell those books as well as we possibly can,” he said … The advantage of television is we can slow down. In the film and on stage they had so much plot to get through, so much plot to churn through, whereas we’ve got the luxury of having time to get to know [lead character] Lyra, and spend time in her world.”

— Philip Pullman (@PhilipPullman) October 3, 2016

Thorne released a statement on what drew him to the adaptation that certainly gives fans of the book hope that the trilogy will be adapted in a way that capture the imagination and darkness of the stories better than the 2007 New Line effort did:

It is such an honor and a privilege to be given this opportunity to delve into Philip Pullman’s world. What I always loved about Bad Wolf’s intentions with this project was the notion of sounding every note. The His Dark Materials trilogy are vast and glorious books full of beautiful characters and I’m going to work as hard as I can to try and do justice to them.”

Pullman’s trilogy, comprising The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass, takes place in a universe of “daemons,” polar-bear warriors, witches, magical instruments, and theological philosophy. It’s previously been adapted for film, radio and theatre, but this will be the first TV version of the world of its singular hero, Lyra Belacqua.

Philip Pullman had this to say:

“In recent years we’ve seen how long stories on television, whether adaptations (Game of Thrones) or original (The Sopranos, The Wire), can reach depths of characterization and heights of suspense by taking the time for events to make their proper impact and for consequences to unravel. And the sheer talent now working in the world of long-form television is formidable.

For all those reasons I’m delighted at the prospect of a television version of His Dark Materials. I’m especially pleased at the involvement of Jane Tranter, whose experience, imagination, and drive are second to none. As for the BBC, it has no stronger supporter than me. I couldn’t be more pleased with this news.”

Joseph Baxter is a contributor for Den of Geek and Syfy Wire. You can find his work here. Follow him on Twitter @josbaxter.