Jack Thorne opens up about his “exciting” His Dark Materials TV series

The Cursed Child playwright talks about the importance of staying “loyal” to Phillip Pullman’s original novels

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Back in 2015 it was announced that Philip Pullman’s smash-hit fantasy book trilogy His Dark Materials was being adapted for the BBC, and while the project is still in its early stages screenwriter Jack Thorne has opened up on how the big-ticket production is shaping up behind-the-scenes.

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“It’s at an exciting point where we’re just throwing things at the page and trying to work out what works and what doesn’t,” Thorne told RadioTimes.com at the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival earlier this month.

When asked if he was making any major changes to the source material Thorne said it was “not something I can tell you about yet,” though he seemed to suggest that the longer running time of a TV series versus the previous film adaptation of the books would give them more options to keep the original material intact.

“I mean, the most important thing is being loyal to the books, and trying to tell those books as well as we possibly can,” he said.

“The advantage of television is we can slow down. In the film and on stage they had so much plot to get through, so much plot to churn through, whereas we’ve got the luxury of having time to get to know [lead character] Lyra, and spend time in her world.”

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Thorne accepting the Olivier award for Best New Play for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child last week

The award-winning playwright, who is best known for penning acclaimed Harry Potter stage sequel The Cursed Child from a story by JK Rowling, went on to discuss how his experience on the other fantasy behemoth had prepared him for the His Dark Materials adaptation, describing the “responsibility” he felt to the passionate fans of both worlds.

“The thing is that as a writer you want to do the things you love, and it happens that other people love the stuff that I love too,” Thorne told us. 

“You realise that you’ve got a responsibility not to let them down, but you’re really excited about being given the opportunity to play in that amazing, amazing world. I mean, Phillip is… every single page, you learn something new. He’s a beautiful and incredible writer.” 

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His Dark Materials will air on BBC1 at a later date