His Dark Materials series is a trio of young adult fantasy books published between 1995 through 2007. Written by British author Philip Pullman, the series reached American shores as The Golden Compass (originally Northern Lights), The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. The books proved to be a hit worldwide with nearly 17.5 million copies have sold at the time of this writing. In 2007, a film based on the first book hit theaters. The trilogy has also been adapted to audio, a radio series, and even into a play.
His Dark Materials is now being adapted to the small screen. BBC has announced it is commissioning an eight-part series, primarily produced by Bad Wolf, a U.K./U.S. production company, and New Line Cinema, which backed the movie adaption. Pullman will also be an executive producer of the series.
No release date of the series has yet been released.
“It’s been a constant source of pleasure to me to see this story adapted to different forms and presented in different media,”
“It’s been a radio play, a stage play, a film, an audiobook, a graphic novel — and now comes this version for television.”
The His Dark Materials trilogy centers on the young girl Lyra Belacqua, her daemon Pan, and their quest through various parallel universes. Both technology and magic co-exist, but the setting has a very different feel from the popular Harry Potter series. Actress Dakota Blue Richards starred as the titular character in the movie, along with Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman, Sam Elliot, and Eva Green.
Both the books and the author has received numerous awards. The Golden Compass / Northern Lights won the Carnegie Medal in 1995 while The Amber Spyglass won the prestigious Whitbread Book of the Year in 2001. In 2005, Pullman received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award from Sweden. Named after the famed Swedish children’s writer, the award is worth nearly $594,000 and is considered second only to the Nobel prize in Sweden.
Not everyone is a fan though. In 2007 the Catholic League campaigned against The Golden Compass, claiming that it promoted atheism and attacked the Catholic church. In a later interview with the Guardian, Pullman partially confirmed this;
“In one way, I hope the wretched organisation will vanish entirely. In my view, belief in God seems to be a very good excuse, on the part of those who claim to believe, for doing many wicked things that they wouldn’t feel justified in doing without such a belief.”
Did you read the series or see the movie? If so, are you excited about the new series? Who do you hope will play Lyra and her various companions? As always, let us know in the comments below.
Images: New Line Cinema