His Dark Materials TV Show to Potentially Split Final Book Into Two Seasons

The first season of the TV adaptation of Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy premieres this weekend, and in an interview with Deadline, Jane Tranter, co-founder of the Bad Wolf production company behind the show, discusses the journey of bringing the book-to-screen adaptation to life, as well as future plans for the rest of Pullman’s materials.

One of the driving factors that played into filming and scoring a 16-episode order for the show was both Dafne Keen’s age, and the age of Lyra, the character she plays, according to Tranter.

We mainly wanted to make sure that we didn’t wait too long because otherwise by the time we came to film again, [Dafne Keen] could be 18 months older and at that age, you grow up very fast and season two picks up days after season one ends. We had that to consider.

The first two seasons of the HBO series are based on Northern Lights/The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife, respectively. Season 2 as already entered pre-production, and it sounds like the production team is already considering their endgame.

In the third book, The Amber Spyglass, Lyra is around 16 years of age, which, in success, would allow Bad Wolf to film in 2021. Tranter admits that if ordered, she would like to split the “huge” and “sprawling” book into two seasons.

Although Asriel’s battle with self-styled Heaven is somewhat glossed over in The Amber Spyglass, would expanding that onscreen really lead to the need for two seasons? And if so, where would they split the story of the final book? Between Lyra’s rescue and the land of the dead?

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