12 votes

His Dark Materials s01e01 - "Lyra's Jordan"

The first episode of the BBC/HBO adaptation of His Dark Materials, by Phillip Pullman.

Synopsis: Orphan Lyra Belacqua's world is turned upside-down by her long-absent uncle's return from the north, while the glamorous Mrs Coulter visits Jordan College with a proposition.

Trailer
Title Sequence

4 comments

  1. [4]
    bilbodwyer
    Link
    Overall I'm really, really happy with how this turned out. I have a lot of love for the books, and had high hopes for the TV show. I think it's been really well done. The Daemons look great most...

    Overall I'm really, really happy with how this turned out. I have a lot of love for the books, and had high hopes for the TV show. I think it's been really well done. The Daemons look great most of the time (although they're a little uncanny valley when they talk), and I was dead impressed with the acting throughout. I'm completely sold on Lyra's life at Jordan and her friendship with Roger.

    They've definitely changed up some characters, Asriel is not the same as he is in the books. I don't mind that though, they're clearly making changes to broaden the appeal to a wider market. It was just noticeable from the very first moment that the book and show incarnations have differing personalities. Show-Asriel is much warmer than book-Asriel. I noticed it right from the off, there is no way that book Asriel would hold a baby (any baby) that closely and that tenderly. Again, I don't mind, just an interesting change that they've made.

    I loved all the extra scenes that aren't in the books, particularly Lyra's tricking of the librarian - that got a huge laugh from me and my friends. The Gyptian coming of age ceremony was really cool, that fleshed out the world for me a bunch, and it felt right. In this world there would be all sorts of cultural stuff that happens around your Daemon settling.

    10/10, very excited for the rest of the series. Amazed at how much they showed in the "coming up in HDM" trailer at the end. I thought it gave a lot away, but I think that's just because I've read the books.

    Bonus: That title sequence though! I am completely in love with it.

    2 votes
    1. [3]
      KapteinB
      Link Parent
      Did you watch all 8 episodes? Does it hold up?

      Did you watch all 8 episodes? Does it hold up?

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        bilbodwyer
        Link Parent
        Hmm. The last episode was pretty good, but I felt myself getting more and more frustrated with the series as each one went by. There were three or four particular moments in the season that I was...

        Hmm. The last episode was pretty good, but I felt myself getting more and more frustrated with the series as each one went by. There were three or four particular moments in the season that I was really looking forward to, and I think they only managed to stick the landing for two...ish. Both of those included Asriel, so I think it's a testament to James McAvoy's acting.

        The main thread of frustration and disappointment for me though was the treatment of daemons throughout. I understand that it's expensive to have CGI animals running around all the time, and to be constantly visible on screen. There was an elegant moment in I think the second or third episode where one of the characters is talking about how you don't need to have your daemon on display at all times. That mollified it a little for me, but ultimately I ended up feeling like daemons were talking pets rather than part of the actual human being. Big let down, particularly during a couple of scenes later in the series which hinge on the relationship between human and daemon (I won't get into details because of spoilers).

        1. callmedante
          Link Parent
          The end of episode 5 had my wife and I clutching each other and sobbing. Although it's been years since I've read the books, I realize that the show is making choices about how to represent the...

          The end of episode 5 had my wife and I clutching each other and sobbing. Although it's been years since I've read the books, I realize that the show is making choices about how to represent the relationship between human and daemon. That said, I had no problems understanding the connection in the world of the show, and the end of that episode just tore me apart.

          I've loved the series so far. I was hoping to see more of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Lee Scoresby, which may be my only significant disappointment.

          2 votes