New His Dark Materials photos are daemonically good

Check out these new looks at iconic characters from the BBC adaptation of Philip Pullman’s novels, with some exclusive behind-the-scenes details

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Brand-new pictures have been unveiled for the BBC adaptation of His Dark Materials, and they’re giving us a better look at some of the best characters – and dæmons – from Philip Pullman’s iconic book series.

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Starring Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson, Lin-Manuel Miranda and James McAvoy among many others, His Dark Materials takes place in a parallel world of talking bears, all-powerful religious cults and breathing animal “souls,” and the fantasy adaptation has been eagerly-awaited by fans of the novels for years.

One new picture (which, as with the others, was first unveiled exclusively in the Radio Times magazine) shows lead character Lyra (Dafne Keen) and her dæmon Pan gazing at the series’ all-important alethiometer, which has been reimagined in a new square shape containing the compass-like device within – you can see it in the main image above.

“We’ve tried to avoid the feeling of fantasy,” production designer Joel Collins told Radio Times on the set of the BBC/HBO drama, explaining that they actually built the new-look alethiometer to move and work in-camera.

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“It needs to be a plausible world, built on science – even if that science is different to ours.”

Another of the new photos properly introduces mighty panserbjørn warrior Iorek Byrnison in his armour for the very first time, while another gives us a close-up look at Stelmaria, the snow-leopard dæmon of Lord Asriel (James McAvoy).

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And finally, the last photo introduces us properly to the Master of Jordan College (Clarke Peters) and the golden monkey dæmon of Ruth Wilson’s Mrs Coulter, who was never named in the books – though perhaps the new TV series will change that…

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Overall, it’s an exciting look at what’s sure to be one of BBC1’s must-watch dramas this winter. Now all we need is our own alethiometer to predict exactly when it’ll be airing…

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His Dark Materials comes to BBC1 in winter 2019