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His Dark Materials TV Series |OT| UK - BBC One, Sundays; RoW - HBO, Mondays [See spoiler guide in OP]

Oct 27, 2017
6,723
I'm only about half way through, but wow the production values are fantastic; way above what I typically expect from the Beeb. I guess that's the HBO influence?
 
Oct 27, 2017
6,723
Apparently it's the most expensive show BBC has ever done, so that certainly plays a part lol
Well, it shows. You can really see yhr money up on screen. The animals in particular look outstanding.

Edit - it's not just the CGI that looks good. Colours are really pretty, cinematography is great and I love the interiors and the huge university campus.

I think the production value on a few of the beeb’s recent-ish shows has been really excellent.
Les Mis was especially good.
I didn't even know they'd done an adaptation of Les Mis. How long ago was that? Seems the kind of thing my wife would enjoy.
 
Oct 27, 2017
6,723
Man, I love Ruth Wilson. She has the demeanour where she just seems deliciously wicked. The trailer at the end for the rest of the series looked brilliant, so I'm really looking forward to the rest. Very good first episode with an excellent cast, and the girl playing Lyra is great.
 

Octodad

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,622
Man, I love Ruth Wilson. She has the demeanour where she just seems deliciously wicked. The trailer at the end for the rest of the series looked brilliant, so I'm really looking forward to the rest. Very good first episode with an excellent cast, and the girl playing Lyra is great.
i agree. She’s the perfect mix of potentially evil and alluring.
 

Yabberwocky

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,100
I'm pretty pleased thus far! I thought it was a really solid first episode, with some great performances and cinematography. The opening titles felt like they captured the tone of the books perfectly, with some nice little easter eggs for the plot going forward. (The main musical theme is more of an earworm than I was expecting!)

The cast is great thus far, with Keen's Lyra and Wilson's Mrs Coulter being particular standouts. I think Wilson's already outdone Nicole Kidman's Coulter, and Kidman's Coulter was great. Wilson's Coulter is so sharp and charismatic, and there are already some fascinating layers to Wilson's performance, like her reaction in the scene where Lyra impulsively hugs her.

One surprise regarding both the cast and writing was Lewin Lloyd's Roger, who wasn't a character I'd ever been particularly that invested in with either the books or the film adaptation. He always felt kind of forgettable, poor Roger. The combination of his dialogue, his dynamic with Lyra, and Lloyd's performance made him much more memorable. I loved the scene of poor Roger trying to talk to Lyra at breakfast, but she's not even registering that he's there because she's too fascinated with Mrs Coulter.

It was fun to see some Game of Thrones alumni, like James Cosmo (Joer Mormont), Lucian Msamati (Salladhor Saan), and Ian Gelder (Kevan Lannister). Cosmo and Msamati should have some fun scenes going forward.

The only character thus far I don't quite know what to make of is McAvoy's Asriel. It's a great performance, but he feels far more obsessive and manic than his more restrained and imposing book counterpart. Asriel bellowing, "Everyone is special!" to Roger was a bit narmy, I can't remember if it happened in the books. That being said, a different take on Asriel could pay off in some interesting ways down the line.

Seeing the daemons come to life, particularly Pan, was an absolute thrill. (Pan in his white ermine form is too damn adorable.) I can understand the complaints that there weren't always a lot of daemons on screen, which did feel quite jarring at times, especially when Mrs Coulter and Lyra were on their airship. I can also understand that the daemons probably take up a fair portion of the budget, and as Philip Pullman said in his tweet, they could also make the screen really cluttered.

It's interesting to read some viewers say the pacing was too slow, and for others to say it was too quick. I wish we'd gotten to spend more time in Oxford, as it felt like such a vivid and real place in the books, but Lyra leaving at the end of episode seemed pretty fair in terms of pacing, because there is still a lot of material to get through.

The only real negative that stood out to me with the first episode was that some scenes had fantastic dialogue (particularly Lyra with Asriel, and later Lyra with Mrs Coulter), but there were also some scenes that were also quite clunky (e.g. the Master and the Librarian conversing in private, some of the Gyptian scenes). Hopefully the dialogue quality becomes more even after this.

His Dark Materials was one of the book series I was obsessed with when I was young, and after the frustrating The Golden Compass film, it's exciting to see a worthy and more faithful adaption to such rich source material. Lyra meant a lot to me as a kid, and It's nice to think of both younger and older viewers going on Lyra's journey with her (and what a journey it is), along with potentially being introduced to the books as well. I'm definitely looking forward to the rest of the season!
 

falcondoc

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,763
Just watched with no experience with the books and never having seen the golden compass film

Overall liked it quite a bit, excited to see where it goes. Wasn't really a fan of McAvoy's performance though, thought he was really overacting.
 

Vire

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,054
I like the script and story so I guess I should just read the books. I thought the directing was pretty poor and unnecessarily claustrophobic.

Acting was hit or miss but I’ll stick with this one, it definitely shows promise.
 

Octodad

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,622
HBO should ban all dark scenes from their content until they up their bitrate.
This is the truth. Although the if you subscribe to HBO through Amazon the bitrate is somewhat better. I'm hoping HBO Max changes that. Someone on here worked for the HBO streaming service and said they were aware it sucks and is on a list of priorities.
 

Burt

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,858
Wasn't really a fan of McAvoy's performance though, thought he was really overacting.
I thought he was borderline, which can often be chalked up to a character already going at 100 miles per hour when the story's just starting from zero. Clarke Peters on the other hand, who I love to death now and forever, was deep into hammy territory.
 

DangerMouse

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,668
Man, I love Ruth Wilson. She has the demeanour where she just seems deliciously wicked. The trailer at the end for the rest of the series looked brilliant, so I'm really looking forward to the rest. Very good first episode with an excellent cast, and the girl playing Lyra is great.
Yeah, really good start.
It was also an interesting experience having certain scenes feel relatively familiar having seen the movie a long time ago.

They did an amazing job with the daemon CGI. They look incredible.

Also, Dafne Keen as Lyra is pitch perfect.
Agreed, thought she was really good so far and most of the ep and CG looked gorgeous. Everything felt nice and big in scale too, as did the trailer for the season at the end.
 

Ortix

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,193
I once read these books as a kid, but that was like 15 years ago, and I remembered next to nothing. Only vaguely that
her uncle wants to fight god or something, the lady is a baddie (is she Lyra's mom or is that something weird my brain invented?) and her little friend dies.

I decided to reread them for this occasion, and what struck me most as being different is Asriel. I didn't really mind McAvoy's performance, but in the show he seems like a cool and caring dad. In the book on the other hand he comes across as an asshole, and not a particularly sensitive dad.
 

Burt

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,858
I once read these books as a kid, but that was like 15 years ago, and I remembered next to nothing. Only vaguely that
her uncle wants to fight god or something, the lady is a baddie (is she Lyra's mom or is that something weird my brain invented?) and her little friend dies.

I decided to reread them for this occasion, and what struck me most as being different is Asriel. I didn't really mind McAvoy's performance, but in the show he seems like a cool and caring dad. In the book on the other hand he comes across as an asshole, and not a particularly sensitive dad.
bruh his last words to her were "I don't have time for you"
 

Burt

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,858
But sort of apologetic. His tone is always much harsher in the book (for now, at least). There's mention of him scaring Lyra, something that wasn't evident to me in the première.
Eh, to each his own. Between him explicitly leaving her on her own while she was spying, his total lack of affection putting her in bed, and him bailing with the aforementioned "no time for you", I feel like the point is pretty well made.

Also, on a completely different note, I went and read the Wikipedia summaries for the books because whatever, and this series sounds like an insane anime made in the west.
 

Rassilon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,465
UK
Well, it shows. You can really see yhr money up on screen. The animals in particular look outstanding.

Edit - it's not just the CGI that looks good. Colours are really pretty, cinematography is great and I love the interiors and the huge university campus.



I didn't even know they'd done an adaptation of Les Mis. How long ago was that? Seems the kind of thing my wife would enjoy.
It was an adaptation of the book earlier in the year, good fun.
 

rude

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,502
Watched and enjoyed. I read the entire trilogy in middle school and I remember HATING the third book, but I don’t really remember why.
 

Geoff

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,452
Watched and enjoyed. I read the entire trilogy in middle school and I remember HATING the third book, but I don’t really remember why.
I didn't like it either

Loads of extremely hamfisted and on the nose stuff about god. God actually being a character sitting around on his arse or whatever was a bit much for me. Also a whole bunch of stuff about will being trapped in a weird dimension with strange wheeled alien creatures for fucking ages

Must be twenty years since I read them mind so the above could be wrong
 

Tunichtgut

Member
Oct 27, 2017
880
Germany
Haven't read the book, or seen the movie, but the first episode was fine. I found some scenes kinda weird shot, and the girl is not really good at acting, isn't she? i wished the boy (Roger?) was the protagonist.
 

FaceHugger

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,299
That first episode was very much like the first act of the Golden Compass film, only more grounded, with a better realized, more lived-in world. Far better acting.

I wish I had never seen the film because now I know the ultimate destination of the season, but it's really good.
 

Cubo

Member
May 14, 2018
186
That first episode was very much like the first act of the Golden Compass film, only more grounded, with a better realized, more lived-in world. Far better acting.

I wish I had never seen the film because now I know the ultimate destination of the season, but it's really good.
You actually don't, the movie cut the real ending from the book (even though they shot it, one of the many baffling decisions they made in the movie) so you still have some things to look forward to.
 

tekomandor

Member
Oct 27, 2017
122
That first episode was very much like the first act of the Golden Compass film, only more grounded, with a better realized, more lived-in world. Far better acting.

I wish I had never seen the film because now I know the ultimate destination of the season, but it's really good.
They cut the film a little early compared to the book. I think you’ll find at least a few surprises in the end.
 

Rouk'

Member
Jan 10, 2018
1,046
France
Gonna watch the episode tonight, I've only seen the opening and the various trailers so far, but I am sooooo hyped for this. I hope it does well enough to adapt the entire trilogy, and more if possible
 

FaceHugger

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,299

electricblue

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
1,203
I never read the books or watched the movie and I had no idea what they were talking about for maybe 40% of this episode. Feels like I should read a primer first, these professors gibbering on about prophecy and egyptians(?) and dust and gibbers or goblers or some shit. Frustrating
 

Octodad

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,622
I never read the books or watched the movie and I had no idea what they were talking about for maybe 40% of this episode. Feels like I should read a primer first, these professors gibbering on about prophecy and egyptians(?) and dust and gibbers or goblers or some shit. Frustrating
Nah. It kind of works like that in the books. It’ll get revealed.

That said, I thought it made plenty sense. The Gobblers are just a rumor but are the people stealing kids - they don’t know why at this point.

There’s a prophecy - you shouldn’t know more at this point.

It’s Gyptians. It’s the boat people. They are a spin on Gypsies.
 

Fevaweva

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,149
That 3 minute trailer for "next time on His Dark Materials" was weird as fuck. Did the trailer guy not get the memo that it was only for the next episode and not the whole series?
 

Complicated

Member
Oct 29, 2017
2,544
For those asking where the daemons are:
According to someone on the Digital Spy forums, Pullman said this on a podcast.

> "The daemons should only be visible when they say or do something. I Told the BBC designers that they needed to be restrained because too much emphasis on the daemons would have got in the way of the story telling."
I definitely agree with this too. Having the effects team work overtime to fill every shot with Daemons would have been a Star Wars remaster/prequel kind of mistake that distracts from what's important.
 

RDreamer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,618
That 3 minute trailer for "next time on His Dark Materials" was weird as fuck. Did the trailer guy not get the memo that it was only for the next episode and not the whole series?
This happens a good deal after first episodes. Episode 1 can be a lot of setup and it’s also where people just check it out so it’s a good spot to say “hey, here’s where we’re going with this.”
 

Raybunzy

Member
Oct 26, 2017
195
Love the books. In my top10. Happy that something is being done visually. ( Ignore the movie for the first book, it was as disastrous adaptation).
 

Coxy

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,258
This happens a good deal after first episodes. Episode 1 can be a lot of setup and it’s also where people just check it out so it’s a good spot to say “hey, here’s where we’re going with this.”
Indeed, however the point the guy was making who you quoted - was that maybe they shouldn't say 'next time' when it is clearly not 'next time' but instead 'coming over the series'
 

Octodad

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,622
Indeed, however the point the guy was making who you quoted - was that maybe they shouldn't say 'next time' when it is clearly not 'next time' but instead 'coming over the series'
I guess I casually don't mind that much, because book 1 is largely a setup for the insanity of book 2 and book 3. I don't feel like book one is that much of a spoiler at all (barring a few ending moments).
 

Burt

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,858
Indeed, however the point the guy was making who you quoted - was that maybe they shouldn't say 'next time' when it is clearly not 'next time' but instead 'coming over the series'
I cant speak to what might’ve been on the BBC broadcast but on HBO it definitely said “This Season On His Dark Materials”