His Dark Materials – TV Series
The Golden Compass was an utter failure because a movie company bought the rights to a book that explored and commented upon (primarily) the Catholic religion, and then decided it didn’t want the movie to explore or comment upon the Catholic religion. This is all the more ridiculous when you consider Pullman says that the His Dark Materials books were inspired by Milton’s Paradise Lost, Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience and the Bible. I’m not an expert in Hollywood, but I’d certainly not advise a movie company nervous about commenting upon / offending a religion to buy rights to a book that lists those titles as its source material.
Anyway, we’ve all slated The Golden Compass movie for its failures many times before, so I won’t start all that up again… Instead I’ll move onto today’s news: someone else has decided to adapt His Dark Materials and they are promising to do a better job of it. Here’s what we know so far:
- BBC One will be working with New Line and former Doctor Who producers, Julie Gardner and Jane Tranter, to make this series happen.
- 8 Episodes will make up the first series and will be filmed in Wales. The producers are planning multiple ‘seasons’, obviously their fruition depending on the first going down well.
- The BBC has described the series as ‘one of the supreme works of imaginative fiction for both children and adults’ and applauded its entwining of ‘science, theology and magic’.
- Executive Producer Jane Tranter has said that the books mean a great deal to her personally and that “the broad horizons of television suggests itself as the best of vehicles to capture the expansiveness of the story and worlds of Lyra and Will”. She also promised that: “we will give everything that we have to rise to the challenge of doing justice to these great works and to the responsibility that Philip and the incomparable BBC have bestowed on us.”
Phillip Pullman wrote on his Twitter this morning that he is “delighted with the BBC’s announcement” and that now news is out “work begins”. Pullman who will be serving as an executive producer on the new show was also quoted in the Press Release as saying: “In recent years we’ve seen the way that long stories on television, whether adaptations (Game Of Thrones) or original (The Sopranos, The Wire), can reach depths of characterisationand heights of suspense by taking the time for events to make their proper impact and for consequences to unravel. 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.”
We here at Fantasy-Faction HQ are excited to see how this turns out… what about you guys?