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TV SHOW REVIEW - His Dark Materials: Season 1

These days it seems everything is getting the reboot treatment. Especially if the first attempt didn’t go so well. ‘The Golden Compass’, the first of the His Dark Materials books by Phillip Pullman was released in 2007. Dubbed a failure the series was left there. Then last year BBC and HBO teamed up to release a TV series of the same book collection.

The series tells the story of Lyra Belacqua, a young girl who lives in a world where peoples’ souls take of the form of an animal that lives with them. Growing up in an institute called Jordan College, Lyra yearns for more. And when she is adopted by a woman named Mrs Coulter, everything seems perfect. However, behind the scenes, a battle between Lord Asriel, her uncle, and a mysterious organization named the Magisterium is occurring. And Lyra may be the only one with the power to get to the bottom of it.

I have to say, although I had seen the film adaptation years ago, I find the world that this story exists in fascinating. The plot of the show was a little different, and the writers of the show said it was done to change the story up. I personally thought it’s a really good show with a storyline that keeps you hooked the entire season through. Very rarely were there any moments that bored me.

The casting was pretty decent too. With James McAvoy as Lord Asriel and Ruth Wilson as Mrs Coulter, the show definitely had the stars to back it up. Dafne Keen, who played X-23 in Logan, played the lead role as Lyra and I thought she did an excellent job. The overall acting was one of the highlights of this show for me.

With BBC and HBO producing the show, there was little doubt that the scenery for the show was going to be an issue, and some of the scenes were excellent. There was naturally a lot of CGI involved and there’s no point at which it feels unnatural or poorly done. The theme song is also extremely catchy. It’s a minor point but still.

Overall, I thought this was probably one of the better shows that I’ve seen in the last few years and it gives me a lot of hope for other book series which are being made into TV shows! Very excited for the future of this show!


  • Story: ★★★½

  • Acting: ★★★★

  • Filmography: ★★★★

  • Integral vs Filler Episodes: ★★★½

  • Enjoyability: ★★★½

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