Philip Pullman's phenomenally popular epic fantasy novels, a trilogy known as His Dark Materials, is getting a TV adaptation!
The three books — Northern Lights (also known as The Golden Compass), The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass — will serve as the basis of an eight-part series for BBC's most prominent channel, BBC One. With its wide-reaching appeal and controversial take on religion, these eight episodes are just the start of what could become the next Game of Thrones.
The entire series is likely to span five seasons
According to Variety, a U.K./U.S. production company known as Bad Wolf has teamed up with HBO to bring an immersive and thorough version of the imaginative parallel world to the small screen.
The story covers a multiverse in which people have constant animal-shaped companions known as daemons, who are really the manifestation of an individual's inner-self. Within this world, 12-year-old Lyra Belacqua is forced to come of age when she leaves the insidious comfort of Jordan College, Oxford to embark on an adventure that pits her against a devious society that is way more than it seems.
His Dark Materials seamlessly combines Christian symbols, fantasy elements, and heavy concepts from philosophy and theology to produce one unforgettable tale.
Pullman thinks TV is the perfect platform for the story
It's always a good sign when the story's creator is completely behind an adaptation, and that seems to be the case with His Dark Materials. In an official statement, the author discussed the benefits of translating for TV:
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.
The first book of the series was previously adapted for film, but it didn't generate enough commercial or critical acclaim for the studio to warrant completing the entire trilogy. As a result, fans of the series are ecstatic to see the full story visualized with the kind of detail it deserves.
Could this end up on HBO?
As part of Bad Wolf's partnership with the prestigious cable network, HBO gets a first look at the series, meaning they will have the chance to choose whether or not to distribute it.
I, for one, certainly wouldn't mind having a weekly night of back-to-back TV fantasy, starting with Game of Thrones and ending with His Dark Materials, but the premiere is still a long way off.