What age rating is His Dark Materials, and is it suitable for kids?

Although based on a trilogy of children's books, His Dark Materials contains some scary scenes.

Dafne Keen Lyra His Dark Materials

It’s back, and at the perfect time. Just when the world needs an escapist drama, BBC fantasy hit His Dark Materials is returning for a second season.

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And as season one was based on the first novel in Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, season two will follow the second instalment, The Subtle Knife. This means that heroine Lyra Belacqu (Dafne Keen) is back for more world-hopping adventures, exploring the mysterious deserted city of Cittàgazze.

But she’s not alone – and we’re not just talking about daemon Pantalaimon, the animal manifestation of her soul. As teased in the first season, new episodes will see Lyra team up with Will Parry (Amir Wilson), a boy on the run for murder. Across the season, the pair will cross all matter of friend and foes, including spectres – monsters that feast on the souls of adults.

Understandably, at this point you might be worried if His Dark Materials is actually suitable for children. But don’t worry: from the age rating to general guidance on the show’s scariness, here’s all you need to know.

What is the age rating of His Dark Materials?

Like the first season of His Dark Materials, the BBFC has awarded the season overall a ‘12’ rating. This means the show is suitable for people 12 years and older.  This is likely due to the show’s moderate violence.

You can get a taste of the show in the trailer below.

Is His Dark Materials suitable for kids? How scary is it?

True, His Dark Materials does delve into a plethora of issues you’d expect from more adult dramas: death, the nature of the soul, religion and sin are all topics explored.

And the drama isn’t without its scary moments and there are monsters in the show, like the aforementioned spectres. Mrs Coulter’s creepy Golden Monkey daemon from season one also returns. But overall, this horror on par with the Harry Potter movies or Doctor Who – remember, His Dark Materials goes out before the watershed.

While perhaps not suitable for younger children, young teens and above will certainly be able to enjoy this critically-acclaimed series.

Read more about the His Dark Materials cast, the His Dark Materials release schedule, and the His Dark Materials books, plus find out where His Dark Materials is filmed, including the scenes set in Cittàgazze.

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His Dark Materials comes to BBC One on Sunday 8th November at 8pm. Check out what else is on with our TV Guide, or take a look at our new TV shows 2020 page to find out what’s airing this autumn and beyond.