His Dark Materials: Season 1 Reviews

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January 21, 2020
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.
December 28, 2019
His Dark Materials started and ended strong, but suffered a little in the middle to keep our attention.
December 28, 2019
We might have to wait until season two to see if the series can dust off its rough edges, but I have faith we can turn things around.
December 23, 2019
The story takes on alternate universes, fascist religious orders, witches, armored polar bears and the very essence of love. Take a look.
December 7, 2019
This production is mysterious, highly engaging, and incredibly beautiful to watch.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.75/5
December 7, 2019
Pullman's elaborate world of talking spirit animals, arcane gadgets and massive airships is beautifully realised, and half-way through the series, Lin-Manuel Miranda arrives as thrill-seeking adventurer Lee Scorseby, just to ratchet everything up a notch.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
December 7, 2019
While the visuals did take you into a grand and glossy another world and the actors slid into their roles as evil aunties and absentee uncles with ease, it failed to be more than the superficial sum of its parts.
December 7, 2019
The best and most compelling reason to stay tuned into "His Dark Materials" is the lead performance from Dafne Keen as Lyra.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 6, 2019
For every exceptional scene, another is either too familiar or too meh.
December 6, 2019
In terms of looks and overall ambience, HBO should be proud of what they've got on their hands.
December 6, 2019
The series is a beautifully realized adaptation of the source material.
December 6, 2019
Lacking the youthful discovery that comes hand in hand with a chosen one protagonist entering a new world, the first half of HBO's "His Dark Materials" is bogged down by a snail's pace and faint world-building.
Full Review | Original Score: C
December 6, 2019
[Ruth] Wilson is one of those actors who can make you shiver even as she smiles. Plus, there's no one on this earth who looks better in a belted trench coat.
December 6, 2019
The adaptation nails an often-failed imperative of screen translation: it successfully communicates subtext by mindful use of visual language.
December 6, 2019
Ruth Wilson... is inspired casting. Glamorous and glacial, she has the allure of a perfectly sharp icicle.
December 6, 2019
The story feels thin, as creator Jack Thorne focuses more on establishing the particulars of the series' alternate world. Yet the world-building also does a very poor job of explaining how things work and what the stakes are.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
November 12, 2019
I have high hopes, though, for His Dark Materials... Watching this week's opening episode, I got echoes of Harry Potter, but more interesting, too, and with a splendid turn from Ruth Wilson as the villainous Mrs Coulter.
November 12, 2019
Sumptuously designed and faithfully adapted, His Dark Materials is skilfully bringing Pullman's worlds to life. Let's hope it continues (no, you can't check your Alethiometer).
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
November 11, 2019
Uneven fantasy adaptation has strong cast, some violence.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
November 11, 2019
The inaugural instalment was slow, corny and bewildering. Much of its creakiness stemmed from the onerous weight of complicated backstory required for a sprawling saga that incorporates multiple realities and a dizzying abundance of gee-whiz conceits.
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