It’s been over a month since the season finale of His Dark Materials, but I’m still not over it. I can’t move on. I need to talk to you about it. I want to connect, to see if you have similar feelings about the series.
First off, let me confess, I haven’t read the books. Which, I know, is a travesty. I have seen The Golden Compass, but that’s not something most people like to brag about. That adaptation is widely known as a failure, an insult to Phillip Pullman’s original novels. While I can’t comment on either the film or the series’ faithfulness to the source material, I can clearly see a difference between The Golden Compass and His Dark Materials. They’re nothing alike, with a few exceptions here and there. The two adaptations are practically night and day. The Golden Compass has so many gaps, so many pieces missing. There are things that don’t make sense. It’s extremely difficult to understand the characters’ motivation.
His Dark Materials is the opposite. It’s expansive in plot and character development, filling the gaps with purpose and knowledge. It is beautifully rich and decidedly dark; so heavy in theme and presentation, I had to look away at times. I couldn’t watch. There was too much sorrow, too much tension. Luckily, the lovely Lin Manuel-Miranda was there to lighten the mood as the infamous gun-for-hire, Lee Scorsby.
One of my favorite actors of all time was there too, but he might of scarred me for life. Seriously, I could not fathom a situation where I would dislike James McAvoy, but His Dark Materials made me loathe him in an instant. I know it’s only a television show and he’s playing a jackass character, but I’m finding it hard to forgive him. I almost feel betrayed. Watching him play an absolute a**hole was jarring. But despite his sour disposition, he made the show for me. I wanted to see him on-screen. Even though I knew it wasn’t going to happen, I hoped Asriel would make up with Lyra. I needed to see it.
His Dark Materials was one of those shows where I couldn’t wait to watch every week. It may have been tough to get through at times, but the anxiety was worth it. Despite its tragic themes, there was a layer of hope underneath. Each cliffhanger was a new possibility. I never knew where the series would take me. I have no idea where it’ll go in the future. With season two filming already underway, it won’t be long until we see His Dark Materials back on our screens again. I can’t wait.