BBC’s His Dark Materials already set for a second season

Filming for the first instalment of Philip Pullman's acclaimed trilogy only recently began but BBC director-general Tony Hall says a second is being made

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The BBC is to make a second series of its His Dark Materials adaptation, according to director-general Tony Hall.

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Filming on the first instalment of Philip Pullman’s acclaimed trilogy, starring James McAvoy and Ruth Wilson, only kicked off in recent months, but it appears that at least one more is in the works.

“We are making two series of Philip Pullman’s ‘[His] Dark Materials,’” Hall said on Tuesday, during a speech about the broadcaster’s finances before a government committee. “The cost per episode is high – it’s really ambitious.”

Like the first series, the second will run for eight episodes, and will also star Logan’s Dafne Keen as wilful Lyra, an orphan with a prodigious talent for tall tales.

The BBC is yet to officially confirm that it has recommissioned the show. However, a press release from July this year also suggested that a second series – and possibly a third – were in the pipeline.

“After series one, which covers the first instalment of Northern Lights, the story continues in The Subtle Knife where Lyra is joined on her journey by Will, a boy who possesses a knife that can cut windows between worlds,” the press release stated. “As Lyra learns the truth about her parents and her prophesied destiny, the two young people are caught up in a war against celestial powers that ranges across many worlds and leads to a thrilling conclusion in The Amber Spyglass.”

Principal photography on the first series began in Cardiff at Wolf Studios Wales this summer, with further filming also set to take place in Oxford, where Lyra is raised in the books.

The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper will helm the project and direct the first two episodes. Joining Hooper are Harry Potter and The Cursed Child writer Jack Thorne, as screenwriter, and Doctor Who’s Julie Gardner as producer.

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Trust’s Dawn Shadforth is also set to direct an episode, while Peaky Blinders’ Otto Bathurst will reportedly direct two.