BBC One has given a green light to an ambitious series based on the rich universe of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy.
The series follow the young orphan Lyra Belacqua, who exists in a parallel world to our own where each person’s inner self, called a daemon, has physical form outside their bodies in the form of a sentient animal. Their form can vary when the person is young but eventually take a single form as they grow older. Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon (who has not yet fixed form) discover Dust, a strange particle that was being researched by her uncle, Lord Asriel, and may hold the key to travel around the multiverse.
The first book of the series, Northern Lights (a.k.a. The Golden Compass in the U.S.) was turned into a feature film in 2007 starring Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman. However, the film suffered from starting in a world that needed a lot of exposition while trying to move the story forward at a rapid pace in limited time, as well as calls to boycott the film over the portrayal of parallel versions of the Catholic Church in the books (which was altered for the film to be less specific). It was a box office disappointment in the U.S. although internationally fared well, but it was decided not to press on with a sequel.
Production will take place in Wales for BBC One. Executive producers are Pullman, Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner for Bad Wolf; Toby Emmerich and Carolyn Blackwood for New Line; Bethan Jones for BBC One and Deborah Forte for Scholastic.