After a successful first season last year, His Dark Materials returns for its second season on BBC One (in the UK) and HBO (US) this Autumn. Despite concerns that the season would be delayed – due to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis – fans finally have confirmation of the series’ imminent return in a special Comic-Con@Home 2020 panel, hosted by Stacey Wilson Hunt.
Featuring cast members Dafne Keen (Lyra), Amir Wilson (Will), Ruth Wilson (Mrs. Coulter), Ariyon Bakare (Lord Boreal), Lin-Manuel Miranda (Lee Scoresby) and Andrew Scott (John Parry), as well as Executive Producer Jane Tranter and writer Jack Thorne, the panel was a lovely treat for fans across the globe, offering us hints and teases of what’s to come in the team’s adaptation of Philip Pullman‘s The Subtle Knife.
Even more exciting of course was an exclusive teaser trailer for His Dark Materials: Season 2, showcasing Lyra and Will’s adventures in Cittàgazze, more sinister exploits for Mrs Coulter and Lee Scoresby discovering Will’s mysterious father John Parry. There are some exciting visuals in the new trailer, from a meeting of the Witches through to Boreal menacing Lyra, and Cittàgazze itself looks stunning on screen. There may seem to be a lack of Bears this season, but I’m sure His Dark Materials will make up for it with another exciting series of adventures.
Alongside the panel and trailer came a few casting announcements: Simone Kirby will play Dr Mary Malone, a pivotal character in the latter two volumes of His Dark Materials, whilst Jade Anouka will portray Ruta Skadi, Queen of the witches of Lake Lubana, and Terence Stamp will make his mark on Giacomo Paradisi in his second role in Pullman’s universe (having previously voiced Lord Asriel in the BBC Radio series). Andrew Scott also let slip during the panel that his Fleabag co-star Phoebe Waller-Bridge will be voicing John Parry’s dæmon, Sayan Kötör.
Executive Producer Jane Tranter confirmed that the second season will consist of seven episodes this year, with an eighth installment planned for a later date. This additional episode will be a standalone centered around Lord Asriel (played in Season 1 by James McAvoy), who does not feature in Pullman’s The Subtle Knife at all, making this installment particularly interesting for fans. It’s a shame that we’ll have to wait longer for this extra episode – entirely due to understandable Covid-19 concerns – but with a third season potentially not hitting screens until 2022, it may serve as an exciting treat to bridge the slightly longer gap between seasons.
His Dark Materials will return later this year to BBC One and HBO. Season 1 is currently streaming on BBC iPlayer and HBO Max, and is available to buy on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital Download.