His Dark Materials: Terence Stamp, Simone Kirby and Jade Anouka join BBC drama

New key characters have been revealed for the Philip Pullman adaptation.

Terence Stamp, Simone Kirby and Jade Anouka

BBC fantasy drama His Dark Materials has added a smattering of new actors to its ranks for the upcoming second season, with Terence Stamp, Simone Kirby and Jade Anouka set to join the Philip Pullman adaptation when it returns this autumn.

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Stamp, best known for his roles in the original Superman movies will play Giacomo Paradisi, described by producers Bad Wolf as “the bearer of the Subtle Knife who lives in the Tower of the Angels in Cittàgazze”.

Without giving too much away Paradisi will be a familiar character to fans of Pullman’s original novel The Subtle Knife (which His Dark Materials’ second season is based on), and will share key scenes with Amir Wilson’s main character Will Parry.

Peaky Blinders star Kirby, meanwhile, will play Dr Mary Malone, a scientist from “our” world who studies dark matter and ends up a key ally for heroes Lyra (Dafne Keen) and Will, as well as a major character in her own right in third book The Amber Spyglass.

And finally, Jade Anouka (Trauma, Cleaning Up) will play a character possibly less familiar to fans of the books – witch-queen Ruta Skadi, who plays a small role in Pullman’s original texts but will have an extended appearance in the TV adaptation. In a release Ruta Skadi is described as “a witch Queen, who joins forces with Serafina Pekkala (Ruta Gedmintas) against the Magisterium.”

All three will be joining regulars Dafne Keen, Amir Wilson, Ruth Wilson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ariyon Bakare, newcomer Andrew Scott and many others for the eagerly-anticipated His Dark Materials season two, which is currently set to arrive on the BBC this autumn.

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A short blurb for the new episodes reads:

At the end of season one Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) opened a bridge to a new world, and, distraught over the death of her best friend, Lyra follows Asriel into the unknown.

In season two we find Lyra in a strange and mysterious abandoned city – Cittàgazze – where she meets Will, the boy first seen in our world in season one – who is also running from a troubled past. 

And fans keen for more information are in luck, with the cast of the series set to reveal more details about His Dark Materials season two during a special Comic-Con @ Home panel starting at 9pm BST (1pm PT) and streaming for free online.

In other words, these new characters might just be the tip of the iceberg. Or at least the tip of an armoured ice bear…

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His Dark Materials returns to BBC One and HBO in autumn 2020 – check out what else is on with our TV Guide