His Dark Materials has had a chequered past when it comes to its translation from the page to the screen. While other book series have enjoyed enormous success during their adaptation – Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander novels and Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings to name just two. Pullman is also a critically-acclaimed author and well-known for his fantasy novels Northern Lights, The Amber Spyglass and the Subtle Knife, with later sequels, but unfortunately the Hollywood movie attempt in 2005 didn’t take off.
Despite featuring a stellar cast in Nicole Kidman among others, The Golden Compass was panned and bombed so badly at the box office the original plan for two sequels was shelved altogether.
Now though, the BBC has made a concentrated effort to give Pullman’s work another chance at success, and so far it seems to be working.
Following last week’s first episode of the new series, viewers were hooked, and began to debate the differences between the show and the original source material.
One that came up was the introduction of some characters at different stages.
“In the trailer for the season there is also a quick shot of who looks to be Father Gomez (again only in Spyglass).
“So how does everyone feel about the increased presence of these characters? I for one am thrilled that they will be further explored and not just turn up later in the story.
“Hopefully this will also give us direct insight into the plans of the Magisterium and can make them stand out individually. Thoughts?”
Korivak replied: “Could be interesting. Adapting something that has five finished novels gives you a perspective that you can’t get writing them one at a time.”
“Delighted as I am with the TV adaptation of [His Dark Materials, I don’t want to be too critical of [The Golden Compass] movie,” he wrote on his Twitter page.
“A magnificent cast, among whom [Lyra actor] Dakota Blue Richards shone like the polar star, did the best that could be done with the time they had, which simply wasn’t enough.”
Following the film’s release and subsequent poor performance, any plans for more films were ditched and it has been over a decade since.
But now the BBC show’s executive producer Jane Tranter has agreed with Pullman’s assertions.
“I think that what the film lacked that the television series has is size,” Tranter told press including Radio Times.
“I like the breadth as well as depth that television offers. And I think actually having that space to adapt the books is part of the thing that made it less daunting and gave us the courage to do it,” she added.
His Dark Materials airs Sundays at 8pm on BBC One.
Published at Sun, 10 Nov 2019 19:27:00 +0000