His Dark Materials: Season 1 (2019)

SEASON:

Season 1
His Dark Materials

Critics Consensus

The daemon is in the details and while His Dark Materials visual splendor and exceptional performances deftly capture the essence of Philip Pullman's seminal novels, it could use a little more magic.

80%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 97

81%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1375

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Episodes

Air date: Nov 4, 2019

Series premiere. Orphan Lyra Belacqua's world is upended by her long-absent uncle's return from the North, while the glamorous Mrs. Coulter visits Jordan College with a proposition.

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Air date: Nov 11, 2019

Lyra arrives to her new life in London, determined to find Roger with Mrs. Coulter's help; the Gyptians continue their search for the missing children and the elusive Gobblers.

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Air date: Nov 18, 2019

In a world similar to ours, but inhabited by witches, sapient polar bears and daemons, a brave young woman named Lyra (Dafne Keen) uncovers a sinister plot after her childhood friend is kidnapped by a secret organization.

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Air date: Nov 25, 2019

In a world similar to ours, but inhabited by witches, sapient polar bears and demons, a brave young woman named Lyra uncovers a sinister plot after her childhood friend is kidnapped by a secret organization.

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Air date: Dec 2, 2019

The alethiometer sends Lyra and Iorek on a new path, leading to a shocking but vital clue.

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Air date: Dec 9, 2019

Lyra discovers the horrific truth behind the Gobbler's activities in the North. She must use all her wits to help free those around her and avoid suffering a terrible fate.

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Air date: Dec 16, 2019

Lyra must use her methods of deception to outwit a formidable foe.

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Air date: Dec 23, 2019

Season 1 finale. As the Magisterium closes in, Lyra assists Asriel's efforts, but at great personal cost.

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His Dark Materials: Season 1 Videos

His Dark Materials: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

An adaptation of Philip Pullman's acclaimed trilogy "His Dark Materials," considered a modern masterpiece of imaginative fiction. The first series follows Lyra Belacqua (Dafne Keen), a seemingly ordinary but brave young woman from another world. Lyra's search for a kidnapped friend uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children?and becomes a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust. As she journeys through the worlds, including our own, Lyra meets a determined and courageous boy called Will. Together they encounter extraordinary beings and dangerous secrets, with the fate of both the living?and the dead?in their hands. A star-studded cast consists of James McAvoy as Lord Asriel Belacqua, Ruth Wilson as Mrs. Coulter, Lin-Manuel Miranda as Lee Scoresby and Clarke Peters as The Master of Jordan College.

News & Interviews for His Dark Materials: Season 1

Critic Reviews for His Dark Materials Season 1

All Critics (97) | Top Critics (35)

For every exceptional scene, another is either too familiar or too meh.

Dec 6, 2019 | Full Review…

It's a series that's not perfect and it isn't the adaptation of the books that we deserve, but it's good, and that's a start.

Nov 5, 2019 | Rating: B | Full Review…

His Dark Materials remains a world worth exploring, but whether you're comparing it to the source material or coming to it fresh, this series is weak tea.

Nov 4, 2019 | Full Review…

Proof that TV is now the best medium for bringing epic literary fantasy to the screen.

Nov 1, 2019 | Full Review…

It's really good in its accuracy, plotting and acting - but the first episode has so much set up.

Jul 15, 2020 | Full Review…

A slick adaptation lacking in magic.

Feb 16, 2021 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

...the best version of Philip Pullman's Northern Lights (a.k.a. The Golden Compass) to exist in any form...and that includes the book

Aug 20, 2020 | Full Review…

While the debut season of His Dark Materials boasts exceptional visuals, it's hindered by problematic pacing and odd structural choices, resulting in a great-looking, but unnecessarily-elongated, adaptation of the first novel of the trilogy.

Aug 3, 2020 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

[Though] the visuals are on point, the writing isn't. Despite the elements at its disposal ... it's made to feel ordinary, especially the farther it gets from its fantasy trappings.

Jul 3, 2020 | Full Review…

His Dark Materials is a valiant effort that scrappily rises to the challenge, but only time will tell if it has the strength to go the distance and carry itself over the finish line.

Jun 25, 2020 | Rating: 6/10 | Full Review…

Much of the first hour of His Dark Materials is given over to world-building, and what a feast for the eyes this world is.

Jan 20, 2020 | Full Review…

It also lays the sentimentality on thick, finally using daemons correctly.

Nov 5, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for His Dark Materials: Season 1

  • Feb 09, 2021
    I never watched The Golden Compass or read any of the books, but season one pulled me in immediately. I can't recommend His Dark Materials enough.
  • Jan 17, 2021
    nice visuals but didn't do the source material justice. Plot & dialogue seemed like it was written for a Young Adult audience. Disappointing.
  • Jan 08, 2021
    I got me hooked from the start. Interesting characters, unexpected story line. I did not read the books, but by itself, it is a gem.
  • Jan 06, 2021
    Slow and cold. It tries to be deep and mysterious. But falls flat. It has no heart to it and is mostly emotionless.
  • Jan 05, 2021
    Wildly rushed, but the best that can be done to the franchise in this commercial tv format. Actors were the highest point.
  • Jan 04, 2021
    Strong cast with a number of outstanding performances. It moves quickly, perhaps a little too quickly through the book material. Humor and heartbreak.
  • Dec 30, 2020
    This is a tour de force of cinematic-quality film making that belongs on screen, right up there with Lord of the Rings. An amazing story based on the wonderful trilogy of books, and completely faithful to the books because there's time to tease out all the intricate relationships and plotting. A movie was made of the first book, the Golden Compass. It flopped, not the least from Nicole Kidman's over-one dimensional, under-nuanced villain performance as Mrs. Coulter. To see how the role can be played, and beautifully, watch the actress in this series: she's an acting tutorial all by herself. To be fair to the original film, you can't possibly do this story justice in two hours, though they tried hard. The young heroine Lyra and the deeply conflicted villain Mrs. Coulter, along with a cohort of fascinating characters beautifully acted and directed, is not to be missed. It's fantasy, alternate worlds-sci fi, but above all, a compelling, engaging, never-less-than-human dive into how real and complicated people easily grab you into caring for them. This is no black/white hate/love soup can drama. Don't miss if you love story-telling that keeps you up late for just one more episode. It's a wonderful dive into what amazing, visually wondrous, empathy-arousing storytelling can be, but all too often is not.
  • Dec 29, 2020
    I recommend it. Season 1 is a little slow but rewarding if you stick it out. The world building, visuals, characters, and acting are great! Warning: Before you invest too much of your time be warned the show is presenting the materialism philosophy and at its core will be critical of creationism and other philosophies. I recommend just accepting the universe and its rules that the show creates and enjoying the ride. As the show progresses you'll start to see inconsistencies and flaws in materialism, but the show is still enjoyable.
  • Dec 27, 2020
    Enjoyed series 1, there was enough going on to keep me interested while I binge watched it all.
  • Dec 25, 2020
    Love, love, love this series 🥰

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