In Review: His Dark Materials – Theft

In "Theft", Lyra (Dafne Keen) ignores the aleithiometer, with dangerous consequences for her and Will (Amir Wilson). Lee Scoresby's (Lin-Manuel Miranda) search for Grumman brings an unlikely ally. The witches seek answers.
theft

Synopsis: In “Theft”, Lyra (Dafne Keenignores the aleithiometer, with dangerous consequences for her and Will (Amir Wilson). Lee Scoresby’s (Lin-Manuel Mirandasearch for Grumman brings an unlikely ally. The witches seek answers.

 

Story

Picking up from where last week left off, Lyra returns to Will’s Oxford in search of answers. She is chased by a police officer and “saved” by Lord Boreal, who steals the aleithiometer. Meanwhile, Lee Scoresby searches for Stanislaw Grumman, which results in his capture by the Magisterium. There is some interesting exposition of the overarching plot in the form of Iorek Byrnison and Kaisa‘s conversation. Additionally, Mrs. Coulter interrogates Lee Scoresby, only for her usual tactics to come up short. Will meets up with Lyra who explains that she has lost the aleithiometer, only to remember that “Charles” left his card with her. Following on from their duel of wills, Marisa Coulter frees Lee Scoresby from prison and asks him to look after Lyra if he finds her. While this is happening, Will and Lyra journey to Lord Boreal’s house only for him to invite them in. After a tense conversation, Boreal demands that Will and Lyra retrieve an artifact for him from the tower in Cittagazze.

 

Acting

This week’s standout performance is the interrogation scene between Ruth Wilson and Lin-Manuel Miranda. We see Miranda’s scoundrel-esque heroism of a man who has seen the world at its very worst and who is courageous in the face of Wilson’s evil. When Lee Scoresby tells Mrs. Coulter that his parents were the same as hers is brilliantly acted as is Mrs. Coulter’s clipped iciness. Miranda also shows his comedic acting talents during the bar scene. There is some great tension created in the scene with Lee Scoresby and Dr. Haley (Angus Wright)  Wright sells Haley’s frothing fanaticism well. Miranda also does a great job of delivering Scoresby’s explosive anger and frustration at Haley’s death. Dafne Keen ups her acting game once again this week in the scene where Lyra remembers Roger, and Amir Wilson creates the tension in the final scene with Ariyon Bakare brilliantly. Speaking of Bakare, he shows Boreal’s turn from friendly and genial to sinister and threatening with great skill.

CGI

The CGI in the scene between Iorek Byrnison and Kaisa was great. However, we as the audience are very slightly aware that they are not real as I have said before. Hester’s realisation and that of Mrs. Coulter’s golden monkey daemon are brilliant and helped to sell the interrogation scene to great effect. Hester nuzzling Lee Scoresby’s face after that scene had ended was masterfully put together as was the golden monkey holding Mrs. Coulter’s hand. It’s really great when these little pieces of lore are drip fed into the episodes which really help to develop the world that the show has created. These little touches were great to watch and added a lot to what was already an incredible interaction.

 

Incidental Music

The incidental music in His Dark Materials is brilliant. When Lyra returns to Will’s Oxford, the score was so hopeful and adventurous. Consequently, it really helped convey that moment well. A more sonorous and heroic theme was used for Lee Scoresby which again added to his character and helped establish it in the audience’s mind. Furthermore, the soulful theme that played during the montage of Will reading his dad’s letters made that scene and let us feel what Will was feeling. Also great was the trepidatious music that played when Mary Malone was attempting to make her computer talk to her. I loved how this theme turned mournful and portentous as Malone kept working. The musical score when Will and Lyra were in Lord Boreal’s home really brought in the idea that the two main characters were walking a knife’s edge between safety and danger.

 

Overall

A strong episode. Great tension created throughout, with some stellar performances from the cast.

9.3
His Dark Materials - Theft
  • Story
    8.9
  • Acting
    9.5
  • Incidental Music
    10
  • CGI
    8.9

I'm a writer on the autistic spectrum who loves sci-fi, cosplay and poetry. I'm also an actor with Theatre of the Senses.
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