BBC To Adapt Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’

Pullman said in a statement, “It’s been a constant source of pleasure to me to see this story adapted to different forms and presented in different media."

BBC One has green lighted a television adaptation of ‘His Dark Materials‘, which is to be based on the fantasy trilogy by Philip Pullman.

As fans will now. An attempt to get a movie trilogy going a number of years back with the 2007 movie ‘The Golden Compass’, but ultimately it never went beyond the first movie.

The story opens by following Lyra, an orphan who lives in a parallel universe in which science, theology and magic are entwined. Lyra’s search for a kidnapped friend uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children and turns into a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust.

Pullman said in a statement, “It’s been a constant source of pleasure to me to see this story adapted to different forms and presented in different media,” including the tepidly received 2007 Nicole Kidman feature ‘The Golden Compass,’ which adapted the first book, ‘Northern Lights.’

“In recent years we’ve seen the way that long stories on television, whether adaptations (Game Of Thrones) or original (The Sopranos, The Wire), can reach depths of characterisation and heights of suspense by taking the time for events to make their proper impact and for consequences to unravel,” the author added. “And the sheer talent now working in the world of long-form television is formidable. For all those reasons I’m delighted at the prospect of a television version of His Dark Materials.”

Pullman will executive produce the series alongside Bad Wolf’s Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner, New Line Cinema’s Toby Emmerich and Carolyn Blackwood, BBC One’s Bethan Jones and Scholastic’s Deborah Forte.

To date, His Dark Materials has been published in more than 40 languages and has sold worldwide close to 17.5 million copies.

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
4 Comments on this post.
  • doctorrieux
    3 November 2015 at 10:32 pm -

    A concern: the big problem with the 2007 film version was that it attempted to cram the first novel into only 113 minutes of screen time, which simply didn’t work. Given that, are the producers (as today’s news release suggests) really going to try to cover the entire three-volume series in only eight episodes? That would seem to threaten exactly the same problem, and would entirely belie the notion that a TV production would offer more “scope” to the story.

    Here’s hoping that either (1) the first eight episodes are only intended to cover the first novel, with subsequent series devoted to the next two and/or (2) those eight episodes are all going to be far longer (à la “Sherlock”) than ordinary TV episodes.

    • Ian Cullen
      4 November 2015 at 2:23 am -

      I can’t see them trying to get all 3 books into a single 8 episode series.

      I think that they’ll most likely try and do the three books over three series consisting of 8 episodes.

      They’ll likely do the first book first and if that works make the rest.

      We’ll have to wait and see. Hopefully it proved successful enough for them to cover all three books.

      • doctorrieux
        4 November 2015 at 11:19 pm -

        The press release covered in this article (and several other places), though, strongly implies that (1) they’re only doing eight episodes and (2) those eight are intended to cover the entire “His Dark Materials” series.

        If you’re right, the story is being reported in a very misleading manner.

      • Ian Cullen
        5 November 2015 at 12:52 am -

        It might be how you figured it that each episode would be 90 minutes. In fact I’d hope that would be the case given how much is on the three books for them to cover.

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