Friday, October 16, 2020

His Dark Materials

Back in 2017 when Philip Pullman released Volume One of The Book of Dust, La Belle Sauvage, I did a deep dive into the world of His Dark Materials, re-reading all the classics and hunting down all the short stories I had missed. I even went so far as the re-watch the much maligned film. It was nowhere near as bad as I remembered, but nowhere near what these beloved books deserved, especially that sanitized ending. Therefore I was looking forward to this series with bated breath. Obviously it had to be better! On the one hand they had the time to fully explore the world, on the other hand, television series don't get the budgets of blockbusters, especially when there had been a previous and costly prior attempt. Still, the casting made my heart jump, Ruth Wilson!?! Ruth 'Alice' Wilson as Mrs. Coulter!?! That right there was enough. They could mess up everything else but I was spared the most complicated character being given to someone not up to the challenge. While this adaptation as a whole wasn't perfect, I think it was as close to perfect as we're ever going to get. The three main points of contention are the expansion of the roles of the adults, the daemon problem, and the introduction of plot points from The Subtle Knife. Well, more Ruth Wilson just made me happy and made me finally understand Mrs. Coulter, and this was done to deepen the world as well as to get around how many hours child actors can work. The daemon problem, well, yes, I understand that there is a problem, but I think it was the explanation versus the execution. Daemons needed to be better explained as our other halves versus more camera time, because I don't think we will ever get to a point where we'll have realistic CGI animals. The final issue I will fight you tooth and claw over. The Subtle Knife has plot points that take place concurrently with The Golden Compass, so one, it made sense to include them in season one because then we don't have half a season with no Lyra, and two, the big reveal of Lord Boreal and Sir Charles Latrom being the same person doesn't work in television! You'd go, hey, that's the same actor in five seconds. So it was a logical change. Plus, it made me more invested in Will from the start. What I do find entertaining though is that not one review mentioned the one major gripe I had, which was there just wasn't enough snow!


Newer Post Older Post Home