His Dark Materials: Season 1 (2019)

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.



Critic Ratings: 75


Audience Score

User Ratings: 270
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Air date: Nov 4, 2019
Air date: Nov 11, 2019
Air date: Nov 18, 2019
Air date: Nov 25, 2019
Air date: Dec 2, 2019
Air date: Dec 9, 2019
Air date: Dec 16, 2019
Air date: Dec 23, 2019

His Dark Materials: Season 1 Videos

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.


Dafne Keen
as Lyra Belacqua
James McAvoy
as Lord Asriel Belacqua
Ruth Wilson
as Mrs. Coulter
Lin-Manuel Miranda
as Lee Scoresby
Anne-Marie Duff
as Ma Costa
Clarke Peters
as The Master of Jordan College
Ariyon Bakare
as Carlo Boreal
Will Keen
as Father MacPhail
Ian Gelder
as Charles the Librarian
Georgina Campbell
as Adèle Starminster
Lewin Lloyd
as Roger Parslow
James Cosmo
as Farder Coram
Daniel Frogson
as Tony Costa
Tyler Howitt
as Billy Costa
Ruta Gedmintas
as Serafina Pekkala
Mat Fraser
as Raymond van Gerrit
Geoff Bell
as Jack Verhoeven
Simon Manyonda
as Benjamin de Ruyter
Kit Connor
as Pantalaimon
Joe Tandberg
as Iorek Byrnison
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for His Dark Materials: Season 1

Critic Reviews for His Dark Materials Season 1

All Critics (75) | Top Critics (22)

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…
Top Critic

Dafne Keen is a find, perfectly portraying that tricky period on the cusp of adolescence when you're desperate to grow up but a tiny bit afraid of it too. Lyra is a wonderful character, rule-breaking and brave, unaware that a great destiny awaits.

Nov 4, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Visually, it's Art Deco meets steampunk, with the airships and canal barges feeling a little less fresh than when this world first tumbled from Pullman's rich imagination; but his themes are ever-pertinent.

Nov 1, 2019 | Rating: 4/10 | Full Review…

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

Nov 1, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

While His Dark Materials is not, on the basis of the first episode, an all-out extravaganza, it is a fine piece of drama, capturing the strangeness and childlike wonder of the books, but also their rigour and bite. This is intelligent populism writ large.

Oct 16, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | 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…

Uneven fantasy adaptation has strong cast, some violence.

Nov 11, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

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.

Nov 12, 2019 | Full Review…

A wonderful balancing act of telling its story while investing immensely into its characters.

Nov 5, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Another action-packed episode of His Dark Materials, and we're a quarter of the way through the season.

Nov 5, 2019 | Full Review…

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).

Nov 12, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

The real surprise this episode comes from Lord Boreal.

Nov 5, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for His Dark Materials: Season 1

  • 11h ago
    For the life of me I cant understand why this has such a high rating. They took a brilliant work of adventurous young adult fantasy and managed to make it completely void of life and excitement. After two episodes the characters have done little more than stand in rooms and talk. The world looks empty and not at all lived In. Most scenes involve people talking with close shots of their face. Theres little exploration of the world or its inhabitants. The characters are flat and lacking any personality. They managed to take a phenomenal piece of source material and strip all the soul and depth from it. I had such high Hope's for this series and found myself irritated by the lack of intrigue and wonder.
  • 1d ago
    This show is for sure a masterpiece next to the movie Golden Compass. The cast is acting tremendously good, such as Dafne Keen playing Lyra and Ruth Wilson playing Mrs Coulter. Being a fan of the books, I can only highly recommend to watch it!
  • 3d ago
    A great suspenseful fantasy series with phenomenal performances, especially Ruth Wilson, James McAvoy and Dafne Keen.
  • 3d ago
    Two episodes in, the story is getting mysterious, glad I haven't read the book nor have I watched the film. But the show is really interesting with all its beautiful production design and how all that is photographed. The sequences and cinematography are wonderful along with the well suitable music score. 4.5/5
  • 3d ago
    More than I expected!
  • 3d ago
    It's been great so far
  • 4d ago
    Friggin awesome so far! Way better than the Golden Compass movie from a while back. So far I love everything about it, can't wait for the rest of the season
  • 4d ago
    I liked the first episode and I'm hoping for more good episodes to follow. It's hard to tell yet, if the show is going to be as great as I hope I will. I have to admit, I thought it was a bit slow and I liked the movie version better. But nevertheless it looks promising.
  • 4d ago
    Not good enough. Acting is horrible. The dialog is Meh.... And the lead is too bad.
  • 4d ago
    Probably the best thing on HBO since the first few seasons of GoT. Two episodes in and I'm hooked and I get the sense the series will actually go somewhere and have a proper ending.

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