His Dark Materials adaptation on the Beeb

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  • His Dark Materials adaptation on the Beeb
  • Premier Icon DezB
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    I’ll be honest I havent got a clue what was going on. I really havent.
    Was the girl the prophet? Why are the pets known as Daemons?

    Maybe you shoulda red the words on the telly at the beginning 😂

    Premier Icon DezB
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    Oh, i haven’t read any books ever

    Spin
    Member

    Was the girl the prophet? Why are the pets known as Daemons? Who were the people on the canal boats?
    Too much going on for me to get it.

    I think that’s fair comment. The Daemon is meant to be an externalised portion of their soul or personality. Pullman has said he knew he was onto something with it as a plot device because it meant there could be dialogue even when characters were ‘alone’.

    DickBarton
    Member

    Haven’t read the books – wasn’t aware of there being any books. Really enjoyed the Golden Compass and was gutted when part 2 didn’t happen, so rather happy to see this. I enjoyed it a lot and looking forward to part 2 next week. My daughter watched it – having no recollection of the Golden Compass film (she watched it about 6 years ago, so understandably forget it), but was a bit annoyed that she’d have to wait a whole week for episode 2 – Netflix has spoiled her!

    I’m happy to have not read the books, that way I’m not going to pick holes in it and just enjoy it for what it is.

    I’m also looking forward to War of the Worlds when that comes on.

    Premier Icon peajay
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    Wife has read the book so I had to ask her what the hell was going on, don’t think I can be arsed putting in the effort to try and enjoy it.

    Spin
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    Haven’t read the books. Really enjoyed the Golden Compass

    The former is probably essential for the latter. The film basically left out the whole central theme of the books (and it’s a big, meaty, important theme) in part because the studio was worried about angering christian groups in the states and therefore losing audience numbers.

    I’m happy to have not read the books, that way I’m not going to pick holes in it and just enjoy it for what it is.

    I heartily recommend reading them once you’ve watched the series, they are superb. Page turning action but unsentimental and hard hitting too.

    mashr
    Member

    I’m with dez and thought the Golden compass was ace, especially n Kidman as mrs Coulter.

    Nope, she ruined the movie (along with Serafina) by having the wrong hair colour – according to the wife

    Premier Icon DezB
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    Watched it now.. It was alright – bloody right rip-off of the Golden Compass though!

    Spin
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    enjoyed the Golden Compass and was gutted when part 2 didn’t happen

    Part 2 is unlikely to happen as a mainstream Hollywood film any time soon because it contains some even more controversial and (for some audiences) unpalatable stuff.

    Be interesting to see what the Beeb does with that.

    Premier Icon nickc
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    Caught up with last night. thought it was a pretty good adaption. Are they doing ust the Northern Lights or the whole trilogy?

    Premier Icon rossburton
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    They’ve said they’re adapting the second book, so fingers crossed they get to do all three.

    Ro5ey
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    This series is the Northern Lights, think they are already making The Subtle Knife with Amber Spyglass yet to be commissioned.

    HBO/BBC already green-lit the whole trilogy of His Dark Materials, of which this, The Northern Lights, is the first. The very beginning of the first episode was close to the end of the first prequel books.

    lambchop
    Member

    I think some of the casting in the movie was perfect, Sam Elliott as Lee Scoresby particularly. Daniel Craig also was well cast.

    Premier Icon GavinB
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    Q: Is it a pre-requisite to have read the book, in order to understand what is going on with the TV series?

    MrsB and I tried to watch it last night, and after about 20 mins eventually admitted to each other that neither of us had the slightest idea what was going on. Visually stunning, but I struggled to piece together the plot lines.

    Is it worth re-watching?

    tomparkin
    Member

    I can absolutely imagine you’d struggle a bit with what was going on if you’d not read the books.

    I did read the books, albeit 15-odd years ago, and I have quite a poor memory. I found myself alternating between saying “Oh, yes, I remember that”, being gripped by bits of the storyline, and borderline nodding off during some of the plodding sections. Which was quite a strange combination.

    Also: I really struggled with the music. It sort of felt as though it was aiming for grand, sweeping adventure, but ended up being distracting and annoying.

    Music aside though, Episode 1 for this would always be a bit of a challenge: there’s loads of stuff to explain, and the setting is close enough to this world as to make it easy to confuse folk (in some respects out-and-out fantasy has an easier job since you’re suspending disbelief and taking things at face value from the off). I’ll certainly watch the next one to see how it goes on.

    If people are struggling to follow the first episode, how will they cope with gay angels and  elephants on wheels?

    It looked good but the entry to the world was a bit bewildering. The initial text scroll was immediately forgotten. What was with the great flood? If it needed the exposition couldn’t they have had Lyra getting some history lessons and built it into the story?

    Something about the script/acting was off as well – None of the ‘Gyptian’ scenes convinced me. There was obviously meant to be a fair bit of jeopardy but I didn’t feel it.

    Haven’t read the books, coming to it cold (but the preview of the whole series at the end suggests they know this first episode is weak and were trying to stop audience falling off a cliff for episode 2.)

    Now, Watchemen on the other hand, is really shaping up well.

    Premier Icon tthew
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    Interesting review from what sounds like a fairly fundamentalist Christian. In RT too. I don’t think he’s a fan

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    “Why are the pets known as Daemons?”

    They aren’t pets- they’re a part of the person. You could say, a part of their soul/self. It starts off just seeming kind of cute, but it gets to be absolutely central later. Including one of the saddest/best bits in the series when <spoiler>

    Premier Icon mikejd
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    Bit disappointed by changes to the plot line from the book. Nobody in the first book goes through a window to another world, it’s not Mrs Coulter who reveals to Lyra about Asriel. Good production and I’ll carry on watching but don’t see why it needs to be changed.

    Nobody in the first book goes through a window to another world,

    I read an article that said With 8 hours of TV to play with they’ve got room to add bits that are not in the books but “inferred”. I’d have to read them all again to work out if it fitted in. Mind you, I’m sure I saw that Magesterium bloke on a train the other day…

    it’s not Mrs Coulter who reveals to Lyra about Asriel.

    I think they’re trying to make sure you don’t just see her as a one dimensional baddie. One of the themes I remember from the books is that there a re no “good” or “evil” people – just good or evil actions that people do. They are trying to show she has her own past and is a damaged person – I don’t think hitting her own daemon is the book, but its there to show she is really screwed up in her head.

    Premier Icon brassneck
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    I’m not sure anyone who hasn’t read the books will find it massively accessible, but to that I’d say go and read them, its worth it.

    Good so far, but agree about the Gyptians leaders they seem cast the wrong way round. I’m mainly concerned as to how The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass turn out as they are considerably harder to express in film than the first.

    On the floods – I thought they had receded / been receding when Lyra made it to Jordan, but maybe I remember that wrong. The Secret Commonwealth is on somebody’s Christmas pile so I have to wait a bit to read that.

    Nobody in the first book goes through a window to another world,

    This confused me too, didn’t know if I’d recalled it wrong – Boreal heading into ‘our’ Oxford is part of Subtle Knife, isn’t it?

    I’m ignoring any plot changes and trying to enjoy it as it is. Must say, Alice is absolutely spot-on as Mrs Coulter.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
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    Superb so far.

    Don’t mind the changes, they add to, rather than subtract from the story.

    Shaping up to be one of the best things on TV for ages.

    And at least we know it won’t have a disappointing ending like Killing Eve.

    alcolepone
    Member

    i’ve not read the books and after 2 episodes have no idea whats going on.

    does it make more sense later? i don’t know who anyone is, or their motives, other than the parents trying to get their kids back. (must have missed the bit where they knew where to look for them).

    production values are great, story telling bad 😀

    Premier Icon DezB
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    Kindle version of the set of books is £3.99 at the mo.

    Categorised as “Teen & young adult”, so I’ll ask for it for Xmas with my new Lego set 😉

    Spin
    Member

    don’t think hitting her own daemon is the book, but its there to show she is really screwed up in her head.

    That’s crept in from the prequel book La Belle Sauvage.

    lambchop
    Member

    Very much enjoying. Dreading seeing Lee Scoresby as the casting doesn’t seem right, Sam Elliott in the movie was perfect.

    Also Boreal, without re reading I’m sure was a slimey Tory type? I always imagined Ian Richardson in House of Cards as the perfect Boreal.

    CountZero
    Member

    i’ve not read the books and after 2 episodes have no idea whats going on.

    does it make more sense later? i don’t know who anyone is, or their motives, other than the parents trying to get their kids back. (must have missed the bit where they knew where to look for them).

    production values are great, story telling bad

    Any film or series based on a fantasy/fictional world in a series of books is going to be confusing to anyone coming to it without any reference from the books from which it’s been sourced. Without loads of exposition which will waste time and bog down the story it’s bound to be initially confusing.
    It’s no different to picking up a book with a similarly complicated story and little exposition, which I’ve done many times; I always just go with the flow, a good writer will clarify with bits of backstory as things go along.
    The storytelling in this case isn’t bad, just initially a bit confusing.
    Perhaps you might like to record or download the series, get the books cheap, and read them, then go back to the series.
    Of course, you might find there are spoilers, a bit like watching Titanic; I mean, who knew the ship sank at the end!
    One little detail I noticed in the first episode was the location shots of parts of the college, in particular a staircase with what looked like gothic pillars, and seemed very familiar. It was shot at Woodchester mansion in Gloucestershire.

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    Spin

    Member

    Part 2 is unlikely to happen as a mainstream Hollywood film any time soon because it contains some even more controversial and (for some audiences) unpalatable stuff.

    Part 3 has much the same, with the added complication of being absolutely batshit mental. Bring on the motorbike-elephants!

    CountZero
    Member

    Familiar looking staircase?

    I think this is the long ‘gallery’ the two kids were in near the beginning of Ep1:

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
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    Wow.

    That was one of the best adaptations I’ve seen.

    Bring on the next two…..and can I have an armoured bear for Christmas?

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
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    Disappointed in the lack of Eva Green but otherwise really enjoyed it.

    Premier Icon slowoldman
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    and can I have an armoured bear for Christmas?

    An armoured bear isn’t just for Christmas.

    Premier Icon senor j
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    I thought it was near perfect and I still have an episode and a half to watch! As someone else has said previously, the music isn’t the best.
    If only underworld had done it and it would be a 10/10 from me. 🙂

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    I gave into temptation and watched the final episode without watching the rest- well, I know the story after all. It was ace, wasn’t it?

    Premier Icon DezB
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    It was good. Preferred the film tbh. The polar bear fight was much better for one thing.

    Spin
    Member

    I’ve watched the lot and it just hasn’t captured me. Well enough done but just lacking that spark. McAvoy wasn’t right as Asriel, Lee Scoresby was better than expected, Mrs Coulter just annoyed me, the Gyptians were pants apart from Ma Costa. The only character/performance to nail it for me was Lord Boreal.

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